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DJI Drone Won't Turn ON or OFF (Complete Troubleshooting Guide)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
Error while turning on and off a drone

Let’s say you planned a drone flight in your favorite national park. You put down your backpack, take your drone out and get everything ready.

You even have permission to fly from the local authorities…

Yet, the worst happens. The drone can’t be turned on.

You’d think this problem is something rare, yet you’d be surprised by how many people frequently report their drones not turning on on the official DJI forums. 

The reasons for your drone not powering on (or off, that can happen too) are varied. In this article we’ll attempt to go over the most common ones. I’ll also show you how to turn on/off your DJI drones in case there is no problem with it and you simply don’t know how to do so (if it’s your first time using  a DJI drone).

This article will be a full and comprehensive guide, so stick around until the end and you’ll never need to worry about your drone not powering on/off.

9 Common Reasons Why Your Drone Isn’t Turning On

After perusing the official DJI forums and some official ones), it seems to me that there are 9 common reasons that keep repeating themselves over and over. 

Some of these 9 reasons are simply rookie mistakes and have nothing to do with the drone. 

Others are actually problems within the drone that need to be fixed. Let’s get into it.

1. Not Switching the Drone on Correctly

If you’ve flown DJI drones before, you can totally skip this section as it only applies to rookies and new drone buyers.

So you’ve just gotten yourself a brand new DJI drone, probably for the first time. You’ve unboxed it, charged it (after activating the battery) and you’re now ready for the final step before flying, turning on your drone so you can activate it.

Excitedly, you press the button and hold your breath and… nothing happens.

Before you smash your drone and start thinking about getting scammed by DJI, know that this is perfectly normal for new drones. DJI drones simply operate with an intelligent toggle battery.

That means, you must press the button on the battery once, then press it and hold it again for 3 seconds. It’s a two step process, but once done it should get your drone ready for use.

2. You Need to Activate the Battery (For First Use)

If your new drone isn’t powering on, are you sure your battery is charged? Usually the batteries of DJI come charged at 50% or more, but they’re also in hibernation mode.

You need to “wake them up”, so to speak. That waking up process is called battery activation. I’ve talked in-depth about it in this article here so I won’t go super into detail about it.

But basically, to ensure transportation safety, DJI batteries are usually set to Sleep Mode before shipping. 

Simply connect your drone with the battery charger to activate the battery and begin using. After activating the battery, press the power button once and then press and hold to turn on the drone.

And that’s it. A good rule of thumb is to wait for the batteries to be fully charged (they’ll usually be at a 50% charge). That’s because the activation process can take time and they need to be fully charged.

3. Your Drone’s Battery is Dusty or Dirty

In most cases, DJI drones are unable to get powered on because of an underlying issue within their batteries. A good rule of thumb is to always check whether your batteries are damaged or not.

Assuming you bought your drone from DJI themselves and not second hand, you likely have more than one set of batteries. To check whether it’s a problem with the batteries simply insert another (charged) battery and try powering on the drone.

If it powers on, then you know the battery is the problem. First thing you want to do in this case is check if your malfunctioning battery is dirty and has debris on it. 

If you’re landing your drone in dirt or sandy terrain, it’s likely that some of it (being moved by the propellers) got on your batteries. Check the small metal slots within the battery and see if they’re clogged by any debris.

4. You Charged Your Battery Too Soon After a Flight

The average RPM of a DJI drone (rounds per minute) is around 6000. Yes, that’s 6000 rounds that your propellers make and that the little motors in your drone have to do. 

Needless to say, it takes a lot of energy, at a very fast rate. Batteries heat up when you're flying your drone, especially if you’re flying in sports mode.

Charging your battery while it's still hot can cause irreversible damage to the cells. So in some cases, it gets ruined and when you try flying your drone it doesn’t turn on.

To prevent this issue from occurring, make it a habit to remove your battery after every drone flight. Place it somewhere dry that has good airflow. Wait approximately 30 minutes for the battery to get back to its normal 20C degrees, or it feels cool to the touch. At this point, it is safe to plug it in the charger.

5. It’s Too Cold for the Battery to Work

Seems funny since we've just talked about keeping a battery cool, but you see when it comes to batteries, there is a big difference between cold and cool.

Batteries don’t do well in extreme temperatures, at both ends (hot and cold). It’s why many drone manuals advise against flying in cold weather because batteries may not be able to handle it.

So what to do? Well, if you live in a very cold climate (below 14 Fahrenheit), you’re out of luck. Best thing to do here is to not take your drone out for flight because you might do irreparable damage to your battery.

Once that’s done, you’ll find yourself unable to turn on your DJI drone.

6. You Have a Faulty Battery or Charger

Alright, so your battery’s activated. It’s charged. It’s free of debris and isn’t in a cold or hot environment… Why isn’t it working?

First things first, make sure your drone isn’t powering on because of the battery. I’ve already outlined how to do that. Simply use another battery if you have a spare one (which you should have anyways, if not, get one).

Then, check if your charger is working properly. Plug your battery in and check if nothing is out of place. The light on the charger should blink red red while charging, and turn green when charged. If this is not the case, you may need a new charger (always get an official DJI charger, not a knock off).

7. Water Damage

If your drone isn’t turning on, it might also be water damaged. Operating your drone in fog or in an area with a lot of humidity might seem like a good idea if you’re into that type of photography/videography…

But it damages your drone’s motors and also its batteries.

Unless you have a specified DJI model designed for flying in wet conditions, allowing your drone to get wet can cause all kinds of unforeseen issues. if the water gets into the power distribution board of your DJI drone (or the electric motor), a short circuit may occur. It can burn components on circuit boards, or even cause your drone's internal cables to melt.

It’s not pretty.

Keep in mind that water damage is also usually not instant. Sometimes it might corrode the small metal spikes on your battery and cause them to rust overtime. In that case there are many ways to get rid of the rest, which you can look up online.

8. Your Drone Has Been Damaged in a Crash

There aren’t many drone pilots who haven’t crashed their drones at least once. Most crashes don’t do much damage to your drone (because of the drone’s object sensors and failsafes). Some crashes however mess with the internal workings of your drones.

It’s not unusual for your drone to look fine on the outside after a crash, but to have some damage in the motor or motherboard inside its frame. In which case, best to let DJI themselves take care of it if you’re covered by a warranty.

If you aren’t, there are many drone experts whose services you can use. Look for them in the area where you live.

9. A Faulty Mainboard

If you’ve carefully gone through all the possible problems outlined above, and nothing seems to work, then it’s entirely possible that your drone’s mainboard is toast.

If that’s the case then there isn’t much you can do I’m afraid. You either go to DJI if you have a warranty or you look for an expert who may or may not be able to fix your drone (for a fee, of course).

How to Power Down Your DJI Drone

We’ve talked about how to power on your DJI drone, but what about powering it off?

To power off your DJI drone, press the power button once, and then press it again and hold. You’ll hear a beeping sound before your DJI drone turns off.

Sounds pretty basic but not many rookies are aware of it. Especially if you’re reading this right after you’ve unboxed your brand new DJI drone.

Let’s have a look at how to turn off each of the popular models of DJI drones (and their controllers).

How to turn off a DJI Mavic Mini drone?

This is one of the most loved DJI drones out there, it features nearly all of what’s great about the company’s larger, more expensive drones in a small package. 

Turning it off is simple, although some rookies find it hard to do the first time since it’s different from how it is in known DJI models.

Simply press the power button once before releasing it. Once that’s done, press the power button once more and hold until all the lights turn off. 

Sometimes your drone won’t turn off even after following these steps. If that’s the case, simply press and hold the power button again. If that still doesn’t work, try removing the battery while the drone’s turned on.

Be careful though, it’s usually not recommended that you remove your battery while the drone’s active.

How to turn off a DJI Mini 2 drone

You’ve likely already heard of the DJI Mini 2 so I won’t describe it to you. In fact, I’m willing to bet that it’s actually the drone that you have right now, that’s how popular it is in the drone community. Turning it off after a flight is simple.

Simply press the power button once before releasing it. Once that’s done, press the power button once more and hold until all the lights turn off. 

Again, if that doesn’t work, repeat the process again (press the button stronger). In the worst case, you can just remove your battery while the drone’s active but I wouldn’t recommend you do that.

How to turn off a DJI Mavic Pro drone

Weighing in at 1.64 pounds, the DJI Mavic pro is a small yet powerful and portable drone. While it came out in 2016, it still shares the same power down process as the newer drone models.

To turn off a DJI Mavic Pro, press the power button once before releasing it. Once that’s done, press the power button once more and hold until all the lights turn off. 

If that doesn’t work repeat the process and make sure you’re pressing the button stronger this time. 

How to turn off DJI Mavic Air 2s drone

The DJI Mavic Air 2s is a compact drone. Also popular with its fair share of fans. It came as  a huge improvement to its predecessor, the Mavic Air.

To turn off a DJI Mavic Air 2s, press the power button once before releasing it. Once that’s done, press the power button once more and hold until all the lights turn off. 

If that doesn’t work, again, repeat the process. If you press it again, 99% of the time it’ll turn off properly. You can still take out the batteries if that doesn’t end up working.

How to turn off a DJI Osmo Pocket 2

This is one of DJI handheld camera lines and is really handy for outdoors photographers. Its compact size makes it perfect to shoot or film while moving (it’s called Pocket for a reason after all).

To power down a DJI Osmo Pocket 2, Press and hold the Power/Function button for one second to power off. This also works to power it back on.

How to turn off a DJI drone controller

Powering off a DJI controller is equally as easy as powering off the drones themselves. It’s quite easy.

You just have to press the power button on the controller once. This will prompt the battery level. You’ll then have to press and hold the button once again for a second or two, and you will hear a beep.

To turn it back on, press the button once, then press it again and hold it for a bit. This will turn your controller on.

If you have a smart controller, you can power it off by long pressing once.

Conclusion (Final Thoughts)

As you can see,  adrone not power on or off is usually not a big deal and not a call for worry. In only some rare cases is it a serious problem that has to do with the drone’s motherboard or circuit, in which case you’re better off checking in with DJI to see if you’re covered by a warranty.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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