Thursday, 19 February 2015

Nintendo DSi - Resetting Parental Control

The Problem

If you've ever watched kids use computer devices then you'll be aware of their preoccupation with the menus (or screwing around with the settings). I've gotta admit the worst incident of this was when I had to reset the language on an MP3 player from Chinese back to English.

Anyway my son (let's call him Dick to retain his anonymity) has wasted countless hours exploring all of the menu options and settings on his Nintendo DSi. At some stage we think he set the parental lock and then forgot the four digit code.

He'd been complaining for some time about how we need to ring up Nintendo's Technical Support and get a reset key. And we've done our best to ignore the request, keen to show him that there's a real world impact to "buggering about with things in a hap-hazard way".

The net result of this problem: he can't access the web (fine by me), and can't access the Nintendo Shop (again fine). The latter generally forces a firmware update, which in the past has stopped their R4 cartridge from working.

But after replacing his brother Harry's DSi at the weekend, Dick became very upset that the new machine had DSiWare on it that his didn't have. Specifically Flipnote Studio!

Flipnote Studio - Finally a constructive use for the DS

He initially tried to copy the app over using an SD card, but it refused to copy back to his DSi. (Nice try but it's restricted to that console during the download. Copying to an SD card should be viewed as a backup only.)

I think it's a pretty good program, so I waited until they were in bed and then attempted to access the Nintendo Store.

Parentally Locked

My first problem was unlocking internet access. The old four digit code (we'd set when the DSi had belonged to Tom) wouldn't work, so I was then asked to enter the town were I was born. I tapped it in but - no go!,  then tried my wife's - also no! (and various other places we'd lived - all to no avail)

Eventually I was presented with an eight digit enquiry number and advised to contact Customer Support to obtain a master key. I fired off an email, but in the mean time carried on looking for an alternative.

I got a standard reply from Nintendo stating they were busy and would respond soon, and then I found the following page..

Obviously it's meant for the Nintendo Wii, but it also works for the DSi.

Enter your enquiry number and click on the button to receive your 5 digit master key.

If it doesn't work check the date is set in-correctly on your DS.


  1. I know he did something stupid but calling your son a dick is a bit strong.