How to Go to the Main Menu on a Nintendo DS

by Matt Skaggs
Monitor image by Caila from

The Nintendo DS is a handheld gaming system with a plethora of features and games. Among other options, the system itself allows you to connect to Wi-Fi networks and to communicate with other DS players on PictoChat, a visual chat program. Unlike other Nintendo products, you cannot use buttons on the DS as a shortcut to reach the main menu, but there are only a few steps you can take to get there whether the DS is powered off or you're in the middle of a game.

When the DS is Off

Step 1

Press the power switch to turn on the DS.

Step 2

Wait just a moment for the DS to power up.

Tap the screen when the health and safety warning displays. You are now at the main menu where you can start playing a game, start using PICTOCHAT, download games or change user settings.

When You're Playing a Game

Step 1

Save your game if you need to. When you return to the main menu, you'll lose any unsaved progress.

Step 2

Press and hold the power switch. This will turn off your DS.

Step 3

Wait a moment and press the power switch again to turn on the DS.

Step 4

Give the DS a second or two to completely start up.

Tap the stylus anywhere on the screen after you see warning for health and safety. The main menu appears and you may use any of the options listed.


  • You should never power off your DS when it is saving or loading data for your game. If you do so, you run the risk of corrupting your save files.


  • If you're careful, you can reset your device and go to the main menu if you want to avoid certain in-game consequences such as when your character dies. If the game doesn't save your progress automatically, you'll just be sent back to wherever you saved last.


Photo Credits

About the Author

A lover of technology in all forms, Matt Skaggs began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in Windows computers and Android devices. His writing has appeared on many websites providing a plethora of technology information and tutorials. In 2008 Skaggs graduated from Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Arts in humanities.

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