3DS: System Software Downgrade Tutorial (Updated!)
Thanks to a new kernel mode exploit it is now possible to downgrade your Nintendo 3DS device to a previous firmware version.
Downgrading your Nintendo 3DS device can give you access to older exploits and also to a 3DS Custom Firmware, which allows Custom Channels, Backup playback and even more!
In the following Tutorial I am going to explain how to successfully downgrade your Nintendo 2DS, 3DS or 3DSXL from 10.3 to 9.2!
Compatible devices and firmwares for the Downgrade:
Before we start to gather necessary files, let’s check which devices and system versions are supported.
At the moment the Downgrader supports Firmwares up to Version 10.3.0-28.
The Downgrader also supports the Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DSXL.
The New3DS & New3DSXL are technically supported, but as of now it is recommended to not downgrade these devices yet, due to a risk of bricking them!
Your device and Firmware seem to be supported? Great! Let’s continue…
You can either simply watch this thorough video tutorial or just continue with the text tutorial below. The choice is yours!
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE YOU WILL BRICK YOUR DEVICE! – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Necessary steps to follow on your Computer:
Necessary Files for the Downgrade:
In general we need at least 1 entry point (userland exploit) to launch Homebrews with, and a few files that have to be copied onto your SD card.
The Userland exploit can either be an exploit game, or one of the free exploits, such as BrowserHax & MenuHax. We are going to use the free ones (yes, both of them).
We need the starter package files, because they are necessary for BrowserHax to properly work.
We need the new & improved SysUpdater.zip from
TuxSH’s Github GBATemp, since this tool is pretty much the downgrader.
We also need the HomeMenuHax files, to set up the HomeMenuHax, which will be our entry point to start the downgrader Homebrew.
We will also need the Full Updater Files (e.g. 9.2.0-20X(Full).zip) – Use the Firmware files that fit your devices Region: E files for EU, U files for US, J files for JP, etc. – because those are the necessary firmware files we are going to install. (Due to copyright reasons we cannot link to the download page – Watch the video & then google it)
That should be it. We gathered all the necessary files and now we have to copy them onto our 3DS SD card.
Where to copy the necessary files?!
At first you have to connect your 3DS’ SD card to your computer; either via a card reader or via a USB SD card connector.
It does not matter how you connect it, it just matters that you’re able to write to your 3DS’ SD card.
We have 4 ZIP files that we have to copy to our SD card, let’s start with the first one.
Starter.zip: Just copy it to the Root of your SD Card (e.g. E:/).
Menuhax_v2.1.zip: Same place as the Starter.zip, the root of your SD Card.
SysUpdater.zip: Inside of this ZIP we have a sysUpdater folder. Copy the sysUpdater folder into your 3ds folder (e.g. E:/3ds/).
Full Firmware Package.zip: Create a new “updates” folder on the root of your SD Card (E:/updates/). Next open the Firmware ZIP and drag & drop all the CIA files into your newly created updates folder.
In the end we should end up with the following files & paths:
E:/boot.3dsx (this is a file, not a folder)
E:/Themes/ (this folder is empty)
E:/3ds/menuhax_manager/ (this folder contains a few files)
E:/3ds/sysUpdater/ (this folder contains a few files)
E:/3ds/ (this folder contains all the folders from the 3ds folder that was inside the starter.zip)
E:/updates/”Numbers&Letters”.cia (over 100 CIA files!)
Additional Note for Japanese New3DS/LL Users:
If you happen to use a japanese New3DS or japanese New3DSLL you will have to delete a specific CIA file from your updates folder.
JAPAN N3DS ONLY: Delete the 000400102002CA00.cia file from your updates folder.
If you do not delete this file, you will end up with a bricked device. Once again, this ONLY applies to a Japanese New3DS/LL!
You have been warned twice! Once about the New3DS’ in general and once about the japanese New3DS’!
Remaining steps to follow on your Nintendo 3DS:
This should be everything we have to do on our Computer. As long as we did everything right, we can now continue to use the 3DS.
We may need the Computer to get a URL, but it is a simple copy the URL & paste it into the 3DS’ Browser task.
Setting up & starting the BrowserHax:
Reinsert the SD card into your Nintendo 3DS and turn it on.
Now wait for the bottom screen to turn yellow, then dark and back to yellow. Next the top screen should glitch a bit and the Homebrew Launcher starts itself.
If your device gets stuck or freezes, be sure to reboot your 3DS and try it again. You may also visit your Browsers Settings and reset the Browsers Settings back to default.
Installing the HomeMenuHax:
After using the BrowserHax we should now have access to the Homebrew Launcher. Inside of the Homebrew Launcher we start the MenuHax Manager, which will allow us to install the MenuHax.
After starting the MenuHax Manager we select Install and then press A. This should successfully install the MenuHax onto our device.
After this is done we press B & then Start to exit the Manager. Now we reboot our Nintendo 3DS.
After rebooting our Nintendo 3DS we click the Theme button at the top-left corner and select Change Theme. The 3DS will loads for a few seconds and then we can just leave the Theme menu (click abort/cancel).
Now we can press the Power button and shutdown our Nintendo 3DS.
Using MenuHax to launch the SysUpdater:
Our 3DS should be powered off. Before we turn it back on, we keep the L-Trigger pressed.
While the L-Trigger is being pressed, we press the Power button. Our 3DS should turn on.
We should be greeted by a black screen, followed by a glitchy upper screen.
We should be back in the Homebrew Launcher, which allows us to start Homebrews.
Now we scroll down and search for the SysUpdater – Which is the Downgrade Homebrew!
Click on SysUpdater and start it.
Downgrading the Nintendo 3DS via SysUpdater:
We should see the following on our upper 3DS screen:
We should see 8 different lines, which start with #1, #2, …, #8 and it should end in Success!
If we happen to see the following error on our screen:
Then we have to reboot our device and try it again, until we see the successful message.
Next we have 3 different options: Update, Downgrade and Exit.
Since we want to downgrade our Nintendo 3DS, we are going to select the downgrade option (Press Y).
Press the Y button 2 or 3 times and then don’t touch your 3DS anymore. The 3DS should now start the downgrading process and it will show a few messages on the screen.
Wait until the 3DS is fully done and tells you to reboot the device.
Afterwards the Nintendo 3DS should reboot itself and your device should now run version 9.2.x (or whatever version you wanted to downgrade to).
You may remove the SD Card AFTER the “reboot in 10 seconds” message appeared, if you happen to be stuck on a black screen. This may be caused by MenuHax.
Simply switch to a different Theme in the Theme settings and MenuHax should be disabled. You can now re-insert your SD Card.
This Bug does not always appear, but if it does appear you will know how to solve it.
- @Steveice10, @TuxSH, @julian20, @mid-kid, @delebile, and @MassExplosion213 and @motezazer for working on memchunkhax2.
- profi200 for sysUpdater, and @TuxSH for getting it to work for properly downgrading.
- @JustPingo for various research efforts and for the upcoming KTM, a safer way to do this.