How-To

How to Easily Jailbreak Your Old Nintendo Wii

Looking for something to do with your aging Nintendo Wii? Give it a second wind by soft modding it and unlocking every feature possible.

Now that the Wii-U is out, there isn’t much use for that old Wii you have laying around is there? Wrong! You can turn your old Wii into a total Nintendo entertainment center by jailbreaking it. The form we’ll cover in this tutorial is called a SoftMod, and it will only take a few minutes to completely crack open the Wii and give you complete control over the console. To get started, you’ll need just a few things.

Requirements

  • 1GB SD card (non-SDHC if possible)
  • Computer with internet connection & SD card reader.
  • Wii console
  • Wii firmware version 4.3 (open the Wii system options, and this appears at the top-right)

Recommended

  • External USB hard drive, or a large (32GB+) USB thumb drive.
This does not work with Wii-Mini or Wii-U. It is only applicable for the original Nintendo Wii console.

Step 1

Find your Wii’s MAC address. Then visit the [LetterBomb website] and enter in the MAC address to download the customized exploit package. Cut the red wire.

  • Keep the checkbox “Bundle the HackMii installer” ticked when using the LetterBomb site.
  • Select the firmware version that matches yours.
  • Your MAC address is listed in the Wii system options. It is located in the menu at  “Internet” (page two), and then under “Console Information.” [video]

find wii mac addressletterbomb gui

Step 2

Format your SD card so that it is FAT32. In Windows, this is very easy to do. Right-click on the SD card drive from My Computer or Windows Explorer and select “Format.” Change the file system option to FAT32, leave the rest of the settings at default, and then click Start.

Note: Formatting the card will erase all data that is currently on it. Backup anything, you don’t want to lose before you format.

format the sd cardformat window

Step 3

Download this modpack.

Extract both the modpack and LetterBomb so that the contents of these zip files are on the SD card. Do not save the zip files themselves to the SD card, only the contents.

copy to sd card

Step 4

  • Insert the SD card.
  • Open the Wii system messages and browse to yesterday’s messages. The LetterBomb icon should show up. Click it with the Wii remote pointer.

The Wii will install LetterBomb and Hackmii. Once it is done it will ask you to Push 1 on the Wiimote to continue. So follow the instructions onscreen. Install the Homebrew Channel and Bootmii.

insert sd cardletterbomb

hackmii installer

Step 5 (Important)

Make a backup, if something breaks or bricks you’ll be jubilant to have one. This is done through Bootmii. If you left the Hackmii installation settings at their default, you likely installed Bootmii as a boot2. This means to open up Bootmii you’ll need to do it through the Homebrew Channel.

  • Open the Homebrew channel and press the Home button on the Wiimote. Launch Bootmii.
  • Bootmii doesn’t use the Wii remote so you’ll need to use the buttons on the console itself for this part. You can also use a Gamecube controller if you have one.
  • Press the power button on the Wii console three times to go to the last option. And then press the reset button to select it.
  • Press reset to choose the first option. Follow what it says on the screen to proceed with creating the backup.
  • The backup is saved to the SD card.

I suggest you copy the backup files off the of the SD card onto your computer and upload them Dropbox or another backup solution. This way if your Wii ever fails you’ll know where to find them.

run wiimodpack

Step 6

Back in the Homebrew channel, launch the Wii Mod Batch. It should be the first title listed on the screen. It will automatically install everything.

Step 7

Launch Priiloader from the Homebrew channel. It’s the weird looking one with orange text. After it is loaded:

  • Push + on the Wiimote to install Priiloader.
  • Next simultaneously hold Rest + Power on the console itself to restart the Wii into Priiloader.
  • Enable the following hacks (and any others you want):
    • Auto press A at health screen
    • Region free everything
    • Block disc updates
    • Block online updates
    • Remove NoCopy Save File Protection

Done!

The Wii is now jailbroken and modded out. You can now do just about anything you want with it. One of the suggested things to do is pick up an external USB hard drive (reformatted to FAT32) and connect it to the Wii. We’ll cover that in another article. In the meantime here are a few utilities that are worth downloading to the SDcard or the external hard drive once you set it up. If you save them to the SD card, they can be launched via the Homebrew Channel.

  • Wii Backup Manager (for Windows)
    • A must-have Windows application for managing, compressing, decompressing, and burning disc copies of game backups.
  • Neogamma
    • Plays burnt backup discs. (The site is in German, but the plugin is English.)
  • Wiiflow
    • An open-source loader for USB files on an external hard drive.
  • usbloader-emulator-pack
    • This is a pack of emulators and USBloader for running games from a USB drive. Allows you to play NES, SNES, Sega, Gameboy, N64 and other ROMS.
  • usbloaderwbfs
    • same as the above except it’s designed for compressed wbfs files.

109 Comments

109 Comments

  1. yaxdeedat  

    Thank you so much and good bless you

    • Nova  

      Still works in 2015… Amazing.

      • xanderten50  

        Still works in 2017 😉

  2. kev  

    I have a question, do I have to have a 1 GB SD card exactly or it can be more?
    Because you can’t find an sd card that low on GB’s!

    • Jack  

      No, it can be higher

    • jeb  

      probally not the file is probally 1gb

      • thnx  

        He said he can’t find one that SMALL meaning he only has bigger ones which will still work.

  3. Ultra  

    well my wii version is 4.2E. will it work?

    • Alex  

      It wouldn’t work. You would have to update your Wii’s software to 4.3E. Once you update it’ll work.

    • yolo  

      yes it will
      the only problom is to install the homebrew
      just take the files from letter bomb and merage with this (if ther are 2 files that the same make shere that the one from letter bomb will stay)

      merage with this http://www.mediafire.com/?myentdyynkg/
      all the rest is the same
      hope i helped (i got 4.2 and i know this works)

  4. Just got an old wii for the little one, and wanted to jailbreak it. Your how to here was rank 1 on google, good job, and I can see why. Thank you sir.

  5. nikki  

    How come when i download the letterbomb it keeps saying its unsuccessful

  6. Brenda  

    Modded Nintendo wii I have all n64 games sad card and 1 to hard drive I purchased a GameCube controller to play n64 games it will not let me shut down when I’m done playing I have to pull power cord out anything else I can do without pulling out power cord to turn off

  7. pelagatos  

    Both zip files (modpack+letterbomb) contain an eboot.elf file which are different…

    • Awesomator77  

      First, download the letterbomb file. Install that to the Wii, then take your SD card out. You can remove the Letterbomb things to download the modpack now.

  8. ashley  

    i fail at step 7,it keeps saying that no password or setting file are found during installing Priiloader.
    what can i do?

    • MGII  

      You have to restart the Wii and hold power+rest as it load, to choose to boot it from priiloader. This is the only bad explanation in this, I had to go to another tutorial to figure it out. All the rest is A+, easy to follow and all.

  9. dannyv573  

    I have the same question about the boot.elf file. Both zip files contain one. Which do we copy to the sd card?

  10. dannyv573  

    Also, which version of 4.3 does it have to be? I have 4.3U.

    • yolo  

      all vertions of 4.3
      the u just means thats its from usa

  11. Chuck  

    ‘Next simultaneously hold Rest + Power on the console itself to restart the Wii into Priiloader.’

    This step doesn’t work for me, When i press Reset and Power, the Wii just switches off, and doesn’t come back on.

    • Lucky  

      You need to press the reset button by itself first, as you see the screen load (with the squares of the wii home page) then press the reset and power button simultaneously on the console. This should put you on the Prilloader page

    • kent  

      If you can’t do this, then launch wiimod (the one with red and blue) on the homebrew channel. Once that loads, go to ‘other menu’ and click ‘Switch to Prilloader’. I think it’s a bit easier that way.

  12. Kole  

    Wii Mod Batch wont start up.. It does the mounting error thing everytime. Help.

  13. Kole  

    Do I need to load a different IOS or something?

  14. Brenda  

    I have n64 games on modded wii but I can’t save any game progress

  15. Teodora  

    I need help! I installed homebrew but after I download usbloader what do I do? Put in on the sd card? I tried that and it didn’t appear on homebrew…

  16. Jerry  

    Hi there

    I have installed the Homebrew channel but did not get the Priiloader in orange text. Also I cannot perform the no wii update, no region etc as per your instructions.

    How do I copy my Wii disk on to the SD card for game play please?

    Sorry for long question. Thanks!

    • big daddy do-ya-mom  

      go back to step 3 there is a link that says “download this modpack” i skipped clicking that by accident. that is why there was no apps in after downloading the letterbomb. good luck hope this helps

  17. Mizuki  

    Do i have to have a wii sd card or does any card works for this?

    • Martina  

      For me the SDHC card didn’t work, it can be other 🙂

  18. Martina  

    Thank you, it work… At first i used SDHC card and it didn’t work, then i used card from my phone + adapter and it worked… thx 😀 😀

  19. matt  

    Hi,
    I have copied all the files from both Letterbomb & modpack, leaving boot.elf from Letterbomb.
    I have a got new mail from yesterday, which is great, but, when I clicked on it, wii hangs.

    I tried restarting multiple times and clicking the email (leaving it for 5-10 min gap), but,no luck.

    Did you have any of this instances.

    My ver 4.3E.

    • Martina  

      Maybe if you try to cun different wire on Letterbomb?

    • Martina  

      Maybe if you try to cut different wire on Letterbomb? Did you try to make the apps folder?

  20. Kaz Ewol  

    Do you need to leave the sd card in there after you install homebrew? I only have one, and I use it in my 3ds. I dont want to loose my files for my 3ds, but even if i back them up on my pc, then i would have to be constantly switching my files when i want to play the wii or 3ds. That would be annoying and time consuming, transfering all the wii files to the pc, and 3ds files to the card, then vice versa to play the wii again.

    So, as i asked, do you need to keep the sd card in the wii after the installation, or can i get the games i want with a usb drive and only use the sd card to install homebrew?

    • Bob  

      Spend 5 bucks and get a second card…

      • Kaz Ewol  

        WHY THANK YOU I WOULDN’T HAVE EVER THOUGHT OF INCREASING MY STORAGE SPACE AND GETTING A SECOND CARD!! And it’s only 5 dollars?!?!? Wow, I hope I make that money with the job i may or may not have!

        Look, I don’t mean to offend you Bob, however i may not have the five bucks to go get one, I may not be able to obtain the 5 bucks for a while. Money can be fairly tight for some people, and it is for me. On top of that, I don’t necessarily have the time or patience to wait for money that i may not even be able to spend on myself, or to actually get myself to a store when i finally do have the five bucks.

        Also, i would enjoy an answer to my question simply for the knowledge of it. I enjoy learning technical things such as that, so getting a real answer would be nice. Next time you answer, please give a response that will answer the question. I’m sure most people ask specific questions for a reason. If you feel the need to tell people to go buy something as a quick fix, then make sure at least the question was answered as well. Such an example might look like “Yes… this is how this works… but for a shortcut, you can just buy an extra card for 5 bucks.” That answer is much more productive, as it provides the asker with the knowledge they were seeking, and it gives them an option for a shortcut if they can do it.

        I’ll apologize if i offended you any, it’s just comments like these tend to get under my skin. Have a good day however, happy commenting!

        • Laura  

          You seems the one offended here, Bob gave a nice answer, and the answer is “you need a second card” 😉 so money for a Wii and a 3ds? why not 5 bucks for a 1gb SD card, have a nice day young padawan.

          • Kaz Ewol  

            I litterally just came back to this from back then lol. Anyway, my point at the time was that i was looking for an answer to the question, not some sort of advice. At the time, i didn’t have the money. The 3ds and wii were gifts from my parents and grandparents. I didn’t have a job at the time, nor a way to get into town cuz, yeah lol. Anyway. But thanks for your contribution to my question xD

        • AWOL  

          Yeah, you dont need an SD card after you’ve installed all the stuff brah

    • beastytortuga  

      from what ive read you can use a usb drive for all the games

  21. jason  

    The letterbomb download will always say unsuccessful….?

  22. Malosha  

    I followed all steps it restarts and goes to a black screen with 4.3(usa) at the bottom

  23. Swiggy  

    What if I do have a SDHC? I didn’t realize it was one until I got home.

  24. Patatron2000  

    Thank you so much. Clear, straightforward and working!!!

  25. Hyoka  

    But will this work with the Black/Family Wii?

    • Sammyyy  

      He said it only doesnt work on MINI WII and WII-U, so I guess it would works!! try, you wont loose anything thought!

    • Kaz Ewol  

      I had a black wii that i homebrewed, so it’ll work fine 🙂

  26. Sammyyy  

    Hi!, does my wii can run Wii ISO or i have to create a backup of the game to run it? And what about the Gamecube games?? Thankyou

  27. James  

    my screen gets stuck on the letter when i click on it. how do i fix this?

  28. Elgrame  

    Do i need a gamecube controller for the hacking process?

    • ellis  

      no, use the buttons on the console

  29. Wout  

    Hello,

    How can I play wii ISO-files with this tutorial? I’m not able to store games on the SD-card because it’s FAT32-formatted… Can I load ISO-files via USB instead?

    Greetings

  30. Michael  

    My sd card is SDC-16M and i cant format it to fat32 will just fat work?

  31. Michael  

    tried a diffrent card and it worked, but the homebrew channel just has the bubbles and no icons

    • Michael  

      I didn’t download the modpack X[

  32. Andrew  

    By far the best mod pack and tutorial I’ve used other mods in the past for other Wii systems that I’ve nodded and this by far is the best explanations and best quick mods I’ve ever came across well done and the power reset button hold just turn off your Wii then hold power and reset and it will go into the custon menu to change the settings absolutely well done thank you

  33. Daniela  

    When I load the priiloader and try pressing the rest + power it just takes me back to the wii menu, am I doing it wright? As well how would I enable the mods?

    • Darkpwnu  

      Yea same, maybe it has something to do with me using an SDHC

  34. master splinter  

    im trying to use the program and its not working. i cant find the letter bomb on the wii message center/
    thanks for the helpers/ my version is 4.3e

    • bmill  

      I’m having the same problem

  35. Jack  

    the letter bomb icon doesnt show up and also i replaced the boot file from modpack with letterbombs

  36. asmgabber  

    Hi. I backed up my nand and completed step 5 I got up to get my controller. My wii went of and won’t turn back on I tried a different psu the red light flashes for a brief moment and goes back off the wii won’t light up or turn on is it totally bricked or is there any key combination to start it up? Cheers

  37. Dan The Diamond Minecart  

    Do you have to have an SD card for this? Or an USB would work? Cause my Wii has USB ports…

  38. Tatoroboto  

    Made it through step 5 but the WiiMod in step 6 didn’t do anything at all. I manually installed the first item on the list and when it said it had finished installing, it just froze up completely. Power button wouldn’t work to turn the Wii off so I unplugged it, now when I turn it on it just goes to a black screen. Good times.

  39. chaney  

    every time I attempt to download the mudpack it somehow gets interrupted in the middle of the download, so I press resume on it since its an option, which once I attempt to unzip it, I get an error saying its an empty zip folder. so is the link to the download broken or am I missing something?

  40. Amazing article sir.Thanks for posting.

  41. sawdud  

    umm.. this may sound dumb but does this enable free dvd burned games?

  42. Jose  

    Hi it won’t let me download the mod pack any suggestions

  43. Christian  

    After step 5 when i go back to the homebrew channel the wii mod batch never comes up what do i need to do

  44. cbon  

    The system freezes when I click the letterbomb in the messages. Where am I wrong?

    • bobobdd  

      Me too.

    • Airtime  

      when you downloaded the letterbomb file, did you enter the MAC address of your wii and choose the right 4.3 version type ie U , E, I etc. after it downloads you extract it to the sd card, make sure its extract to the root of the card and nothing else is in the card.

      click on the Wii message to get the letterbomb icon and click and it should go through the process as outlined above.

      • Airtime  

        also i overwrote the boot.elf with that of the modpack and it installed it all fine.

  45. Airtime  

    i have now done 3 wii’s this week after years of not doing them and its painless as ever, great guide. One machine was still on the old 3.4E but after I updated to 4.3e everything ran smooth.

  46. adam  

    Thanks guy. awesome……The internet still keep value..thx

  47. Joash  

    Des this article have a follow-up for a legit way to install and run backups in a good loader like wiiflow, USB loader GX, CFG USB loader, etc.?

  48. myWii  

    For anyone running into “cannot find boot.elf” like I was (once I got letterbomb to appear at all by making sure my calendar on the wii was set up instead of reading 2010:)) the only formatting tool I found that worked was called sdformatterv4.zip and was linked from the Nintendo site. I did it as a full erase and left everything else default. It formatted it as fat32 with 32k sectors, which I had done ten times with other tools before this, but that one finally worked and letterbomb found its boot.elf

  49. xian  

    hi, i already installed it, i tried gamecube games and it’s working, however, everytime i try to run wii games, my wii freezes… tried wiiflow, hangs after clicking play on the game, tried configurable usb loader, wii freezes instantly after the bootscreen, tried usbloadergx freezes after reading usb… i’m using sd card + card reader…

  50. Eric  

    Hi I got the homebrew channel installed and working but I was wondering how to install the emulator/usb loader pack. I downloaded the zip file and extracted it to the apps folder but none of the emulators or anything is showing up in my homebrew channel. Is theresomething I’m doing wrong?

    • Mickael  

      same thing here

      • Jason  

        The applications aren’t even in those folders, they’re just folder names with nothing in them. Thats why nothing appears.

  51. Plochu  

    Can’t get the letterbomb message to appear at yesterday’s date. Does anybody know what might have gone wrong?

    • Plochu  

      Fixed the issue by just putting the private and boot.elf files on the SD card instead of the whole letterbomb folder. Took a while to figure it out though.

  52. Tanner Bayes  

    Do you need the wads or can you just install the apps without them, because I keep getting an error when trying to move the wads to my SD card. It says that the parameter is incorrect. Does anyone know what causes this? My SD card was expanded from 32MB to 4GB, if that makes any difference.

  53. Brayan  

    The letterbomb does not appear on my messages.. Any idea why?

  54. Justin StPierre  

    After the mod can I save emulator and roms to console or is it just on a card? Also will my console still play Wii games?

  55. Louise  

    I’ve done everything on the Wii I’ve jailbreaked it and it won’t let me play my copied Wii DVD games do I need anything else

  56. Migs  

    To the person who can’t afford $5 for an SD card. Are you Fing kidding me?! During that whole long comment you could have looked under your coushions in your car, or couch for loose change to get an SD card. It’s not an expensive item. It’s not like your taking out a loan to get one. Why would you bash the person who is helping you out and gave a good answer. Your more worries about your game progress instead of finding a job? That seems more logical. If $5 is a huge expense I would be going to monster or career builder’s website cause clearly you have some financial issues that I don’t think the guy who created this hack can’t help you with. Hack you life first before you hack a Wii.

  57. niko  

    How do i install games now? i dont want to burn them do i just download the .iso game and plug it in with a usb? Confused as to what to do when its all modded without burnt CDs

  58. Don Darnell  

    I get to the step where you open up the letter on the wii from yesterday, but when I click on it the wii just freezes and I can’t do anything with it? Any suggestions? It’s April 2017.

  59. Exe  

    I did everything it say.. it time to play game!! it what i though.. but there is no step when you setup app to play iso wii game or whatever it is.. can someone teach me how to play Wii iso game??

    • Exe  

      btw.. i have 2 Homebrew channel app.. so i think i mass up a bit.. if i want to redoing it all.. i can do it right? or my is Wii alrdy broke? and backup i made after i do step 6 then step 5……

  60. Mike  

    The Wii shuts off my remote when I go into piiloader what do I do?

  61. Gary  

    I’ve downloaded the letterbomb file and extracted it….added the contents to an SD card and inserted it but I cannot find the letterbomb file can anyone help?
    There are messages already there from playing the wii does that cause an issue?
    Thanks guys

  62. Petey-poo  

    brilliant! cheers. decided to buy another wii second hand but the cd drive is burned out so going to use it for emulators instead, worked out pretty good i’d say 😉 🙂 wish i hadn’t backed the brew up onto the sd though, it took forever and then still wouldn’t fit on the sd card despite it having a lot of gig haha

    • Petey-poo  

      also wish it had said don’t merge those two bloody files haha common sense i guess 😛

  63. KyBluz  

    Hello. Thank-you for this TUT but where the he!! can I download letterbomb? The please hackmii site is down and I can’t download the hack.
    Is there anywhere else to download this?
    I recently acquired two Wii consoles ( first gen virgin boxes) and want to mod one. My baby brother has a Wii and a ton of games but I don’t live at home anymore and it’s a long drive just to borrow a game. I want to rip copies of some of the games I bought him but can’t untll I can mod the box. Please someone help me out..

  64. Beastytortuga  

    Can I use the SD card for games or does it have to be a USB drive? Does it still work in 2017?

  65. Diin  

    Still working in 2017
    However, I can’t get the utilities to show up in homebrew. I tried on the SD card that I used to install letterbomb and homebrew. Also tried loading them onto an external hard drive, still won’t work for me.
    How can I fix this?

  66. MotherEarth  

    I have a jailbreak Wii accidentally updated to IOS 4.3U when my daughter placed the original donkey kong game in the cd drive. now i can not access my external USB drive. the screen is just black. How do I make this external drive work again and still play the original cds in cd drive? is that possible?

  67. Mikeh  

    My wii remote also shuts off when I get to the priiloader install part and won’t let me install it. Any help would be great

  68. Joe  

    Can I use a flash drive to make it work?

  69. Matt  

    how long does it take to install letterbomb seems like it takes a while…

  70. Jeremy  

    Where can you get the games?

  71. xanderten50  

    Romulation is probably the best place to start, although it’s worth noting that the Nintendo first party games are all restricted these days!

  72. FirstTimeHacker  

    I downloaded both the modpack and Letterbomb; on my Mac, they showed up as folders in my Downloads folder. I just dragged both folders onto the card and stuck it in my Wii. Nothing happened. Was there something else I needed to do that I just overlooked?

    • FirstTimeHacker  

      Okay, I just realized that you have to put the CONTENTS of the folders on the card, not the folders. I’m an idiot.

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