When I press the Power Button once on my 3DS when turned on, I get a screen about Sleep Mode. It tells me I need to close the screen to enter Sleep Mode, insinuating that simply closing the 3DS when not on this screen, won't activate Sleep Mode.
So what happens when I just close the system when playing a game? Is that not Sleep Mode? If it is, then why the talk about Sleep Mode when I press the Power Button?
I can sort of skip that screen by holding the Power button down for a second or two, but the entire notion of that screen just seems silly to me. I wish I could just turn off the system with a single short press of the button.

3 Answers 3


It's just poor copywriting. Closing the 3DS in a game includes all the features listed except that street pass is not enabled when in a DS game (3DS games still allow streetpass when sleeping), so you certainly don't have to enter the home screen just to put it to sleep.

That screen itself is just a tutorial to teach you that you don't have to press the button to do that; you just close the device. You can close the device on the home screen (not the power button screen) and streetpass remains active.

  • Note: closing the 3DS while playing a DS game is not the same. It doesn't activate StreetPass etc. Dec 17, 2012 at 12:21
  • @DisgruntledGoat oh really? Didn't know that. I still seem to get game coins so I figured the rest worked too
    – Ben Brocka
    Dec 17, 2012 at 14:46
  • @BenBrocka It's true. There's even a question about this.
    – Krazer
    Jan 31, 2013 at 22:08
  • Note that when running one of the GBA games available as part of the Ambassador Program, the 3DS won't go into sleep mode when you close it. However, if the game supplies its own sleep mode (such as Metroid Fusion ), then using it will put the system to sleep; closing and opening the system will awaken it, as normal. I'm unsure whether GBA mode's sleep mode enables or disables StreetPass; I suspect that it's disabled, but haven't tested or verified this. Feb 4, 2017 at 3:33

There is essentially no difference between closing the screen to put it into sleep mode or the power button sleep mode. You will have to think of this as a standby mode, just like that of a PC. It will turn off unneeded hardware or put them in a low-energy mode (CPU, screen, etc), but will keep up power to the RAM, resulting in you beeing able to continue your game from the point where you close your screen.

Sleep mode will continue to consume battery life until you turn off your device, and if you haven't saved and your battery dies, you will have to replay from your last save.
Turning your device off will help save battery power, if you don't want to use your 3DS for extended periods of time (e.g. ~3 hours or more).


There is a way to bypass the sleep mode talk. When playing a big game such as "Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS" or a DS game, find out when you want to be done with the game. This part is essentially important for bypassing.

For a DS game, go to the screen that asks if you want to go to the HOME Menu. Hold down the POWER button until it stops the LED light of blue.

For a large 3DS game, exit out of your game and fully close the app. You can tell it is a large game if it says "Please wait..." and turns dark for about a minute. When it says "Please wait...", then go and hold down the POWER button when the screen turns dark. The blue LED should turn off.

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