A button not working out of nowhere, basic clean up did not fix it. (old 3ds)


New Member
Jan 24, 2023
I'm fairly new to the 3ds scene, i bought the console about a month ago. For the entirety of that, it worked perfectly fine, even better than expected! I bought it used from a reasonably trustworthy seller and it came pre-jailbroken, which i thought about jailbreaking it myself since i don't necessarily trust pre-jailbroken stuff, but when i saw how slow it was to download anything on the 3ds, i decided against it. Not important though!

In the middle of the last week, i woke up to check my animal crossing stuff when i noticed the A button was no longer doing anything. Now, a few important details:

  • The button still pressed as normal. Sound was perfectly fine, it clicked a little different than the others but every button clicked a bit differently than the last, so i thought this was fine.
  • It seems the button remains pressed no matter what, and releases only when the device is in sleeping mode/turned off. I know this because whenever i close the screen and open it back up, the button presses automatically, then continues to not work. I also know this because Animal Crossing behaves as if it's always pressed, but not as if it's pressed at any specific part of the game, so it never releases no matter what.

I have tried cleaning the 3ds 2 different ways. Putting some Isopropyl alcohol on the button from the outside then pressing it a lot, which made it work for around 5 minutes before stopping again. I did that a second time and it worked again for about as long, but it really seemed like it was on a timer and not related to actually pressing the button. Secondly i opened it up and cleaned the entire inside of the motherboard, including the outside of the membrane.

I have seen a video that removes the sticker with the domes and cleans up the inside, which appeared to have corrosion. I have not yet done that, but if there is any other solution i can try before that, i wold gladly take it, since peeling that sticker off seems somewhat risky due to my very limited tools. Another thing of note is that the inside had stickers from what i assume was a repair shop, although nothing inside seemed to showcase that the repair shop did much of anything, and the membrane was like new.
Post automatically merged:

Oh and sorry if this is in the wrong place or is formatted wrong, i don't much participate in forums anymore.
Post automatically merged:

Small update, i had recorded myself opening up the 3DS for the sake of knowing what to do to put it back together, and i noticed now that there might be some corrosion on the big metallic parts, which implies there'd be corrosion on the inside of the buttons. Here's the two pics i'm using to base that assumption:



The problem might be water damage, and the corrosion took some time before it affected the internal components, meaning there might be a chance i can fix it by cleaning up the inside of the membrane. For that, i've been thinking about removing it and placing it back for a bit now, but i can't seem to find the confidence, and i want to wait until someone else gives me their opinion.
Last edited by Gowford,


Well-Known Member
Jan 30, 2020
United States
Doubt you'll ever see this, but yeah the problem is going to be with the sticker. I wouldn't try and clean it, I've not had good luck doing that, I would just order a new one and put it on- there's a reasonable margin around the pads so you don't have to be super precise, I would worry about dust getting in between the sticker and the pcb more than misaligning it.

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