Upgrading your Wii without losing Homebrew
Warning: This is the old version of this page kept for posterity. It is no longer actively maintained and may contain false information. DO NOT UPGRADE your Wii to 4.2.
Do I need to upgrade my Wii's firmware to use homebrew?
No. In fact, we suggest that you don't upgrade unless you want the new features the upgrade provides.
What does upgrading from 3.x to 4.1 give me?
SDHC card support, Wii shop access, ability to run channels that were previously saved to SD/SDHC and a fix for a bug in Wii Sports Resort.
What does upgrading from 4.0 to 4.1 give me?
A fix for a bug in Wii Sports Resort.
Is upgrading safe?
As of firmware version 4.1, yes.
Should I install homebrew and then upgrade or vice versa?
As of Wii Firmware 4.0, it is always easier to install your homebrew first and then upgrade the Wii.
I'm scared that my Wii might brick when I update because I installed some potentially unsafe homebrew apps. What do I do?
Make a backup of your NAND with BootMii (preferably as boot2). That way you can restore your Wii to the way it was if the update fails.
Once I have Homebrew Channel and IOS249 installed, how do I update my Wii?
Just use Nintendo's Official Update (via the Wii settings menu). It's the safest method.
Will I lose access to my homebrew by updating, or lose access to homebrew options in the future?
No. The only things currently broken by the update are applications you shouldn't be installing on your Wii in the first place.
Will I lose any normal Wii functionality (e.g., Wii Shop) by installing homebrew before/after updating?
No, as long as you use the official Nintendo update procedure.
The Homebrew Channel isn't working after I updated. What's wrong?
Some people seem to experience this problem. Reinstall Homebrew Channel on your new firmware and it should work fine.
USB Loader isn't working after I updated. What's wrong?
Some people seem to experience this problem. Reinstall IOS249 on your new firmware and it should work fine.