How to Fix a Wii Disc Read Error

Updated July 18, 2017

A disc read error can occur with the Nintendo Wii console if the game disc is inserted improperly or is dirty or smudged. If you receive a "Disc could not be read" or "Unable to read the disc" error message when you're trying to play a Wii game, you can clean the disc to remedy the problem. If the error occurs with several different game discs, it may be necessary to clean the Wii's lens as well.

Moisten a portion of a clean cloth and wipe the bottom of the disc in straight lines from the inner to the outer rim.

Wipe the disc with a dry part of your cloth to remove excess moisture. Allow the disc to air dry for at least two minutes.

Insert the disc into the Wii console with the label facing up if the Wii is placed horizontally and to the right if the console is standing up vertically.

Consult the list of games with known disc issues at Nintendo's customer service website. Some games with known problems include "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" and "Metroid Prime Trilogy."

Place two or three drops of cleaning fluid on the white area of the cleaning pad of the Wii lens cleaner.

Place the lens cleaner in the Wii console with the cleaning pad facing down on a horizontally positioned console and left on a vertically placed console.

Wait five seconds, then move the handle of the lens cleaner back and forth approximately 3/4 inch 10 to 20 times.

Press the "Eject" button to remove the lens cleaner from the console.

Insert a clean game disc. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 with the Wii lens cleaner if disc errors still occur.


Return game discs to their cases after use to keep them from becoming soiled or scratched.


Use clean water to wash game discs. Do not use cleansers, as they can damage the disc's surface. Tissues and napkins can leave residue on a disc and SHOULD be not used to clean games.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Wii lens cleaner
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About the Author

Andrea Reuter has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from the New School. She has worked as a magazine writer and editor for such publications as "Diversion" magazine and "Original Logic Problems." Reuter currently writes articles about video games and consoles, board games and card games for various websites.