How to Soft Reset a DS

by Shea Laverty ; Updated September 22, 2017

Soft resets make resetting your Nintendo DS quicker and less cumbersome. This can be useful if you commit a serious blunder or want to manipulate certain aspects of the game's mechanics. When used incorrectly, however, it can cause even greater problems, like the loss of your game's saved data.

Soft Reset Basics

A soft reset is one that doesn't require you to power down your DS and start it back up, which is known as a hard reset. Soft resets usually return you to the game's start-up or title screen instead of taking you to the DS system menu like a hard reset would. This enables you to get back into the game more quickly and easily.

Performing a Soft Reset

To perform the soft reset, you'll need to press and hold the following buttons all at once: "L," "R," "Start" and "Select." In this instance, "L" and "R" refer to the shoulder buttons, not the directional pad. This combination should reset the DS back to the first screen after starting up the game. These resets can be a useful tool, but they aren't perfect. Not every game actually supports the soft reset, which means that entering the command in an incompatible game will do nothing. Don't soft reset while your game is saving, either; you can seriously damage and corrupt your save data, forcing you to delete it and start from the beginning.