How to Connect a Nintendo 3DS to the Internet

By Seth Amery

Updated September 22, 2017

Between the Nintendo eShop and various Wi-Fi connection games, taking your 3DS online expands your options for entertainment with your handheld device. The process for connecting your device to the Internet is the same for the 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS units.

Turn on your device and tap the wrench icon with your stylus. This opens the Settings menu.

Tap "Internet Settings," the first icon listed in the Settings menu. Users who also own a Wii or Wii U may find the menu familiar from this point on.

Tap "Connection Settings," followed by "New Connection" and "Manual Setup" to begin setup.

Select "Search for Access Point." Look for the strong signal near the top of the list; you can find your wireless network here. Enter the password if your network uses one. If you don't know it, you can find it on your computer (see Resources).

Tap "OK" to save your settings and initiate a connection test. If everything was correctly entered, the device will successfully connect to the Internet. An error code will appear if something goes wrong; you'll need to look up the code on Nintendo's website for more information (see Resources).


Tapping "Tutorial" lets the device help you set up the Internet connection. This may be beneficial for brand new users.


There is no way for Windows 7 or Windows 8 users to connect a 3DS via wired connection. The Nintendo DS Wi-Fi adapter only works through Windows Vista.