Top view of the JBL Charge 3 speaker, showing dark Power button, OFF.

JBL Charge 3 Not Turning ON

When you notice the JBL Charge 3 not turning ON, one or more causes may be to blame…

    1. Dirty Button Contacts. The button mechanisms may have sand, dirt, or other debris in them. To repair this, take the speaker apart if so inclined. Then blow, brush, or polish switch contacts if you can reach them.
    2. The Charger Cord is Dead. To resolve this, swap in a working charger for the suspected bad one. You should then see the speaker turning ON once more.
    3. Expired Battery. The battery inside no longer recharges due to age, lots of charging, or heavy use. To solve this, install a new battery.
    4. Speaker Has Severe Damage. Your JBL Charge 3 is faulty beyond repair. In this case, get a replacement unit.
    5. Service Mode is Active.  Now since this speaker has a Service Mode, you may have unintentionally activated this mode a.k.a. secret or weird mode.

So, assuming that all the hardware and software in the 3 is working, we cover the last possibility. That is, how to exit service mode, and to get the speaker turning ON again.

JBL Charge 3 Not Turning ON: Service Mode Explained

First, a symptom of running service mode, is that the JBL Charge 3 does not turn ON without the charger. Thus, it will not run on the battery while in Service mode.

Moreover, when you do connect outside power, it powers ON right away. And it does so without you pressing the Power button.

Also, you cannot turn off the unit while in Service mode. Well, that it unless you disconnect the power source first. And then, it turns off without pressing the Power button.  Thus when this service mode is active, the Power button has no effect.

Finally, none of the buttons seem to work in Service mode, except for the ones that exit this mode.  Thus the Charge 3 won’t pair with any devices when you press the Pairing button. Furthermore as stated earlier, the Power button does not switch it OFF either.

How to Start Service Mode

This is what someone may have done by accident prior to your JBL Charge 3 Power button not working. So to turn ON this Service mode, power up the speaker. And then press the Connect+ and Volume UP  buttons at the same time. Hold them in until the speaker powers OFF. So this usually takes ten seconds or so.

Note that you can enter this mode as long as the speaker is ON. So it doesn’t matter whether you connect external power or not.

Also note that these buttons are very close to (beside) each other.  So some users may find it easy to press them both by accident. Thus this tends to be a common problem.

But remember that once in this mode, you can’t exit it without first connecting the charger.

Top view picture of the JBL Charge 3 speaker, showing the -Connect- and -Volume UP- buttons highlighted.
Top view of the JBL Charge 3 speaker, showing the -Connect- and -Volume UP- buttons highlighted.

JBL Charge 3 Not Turning ON: How to Fix

Now you can restore normal operation by ending Service mode. But note that when this mode is active, then to switch it back off, you must connect external power again. Why?  Because when this mode is working, the speaker won’t power up without outside power. But you can’t change modes without switching on the unit first.  Thus, you need the AC adapter to make this fix.

    1. So, connect your speaker to AC power and turn on the unit.
    2. Then, with the speaker Power button glowing, press the Connect+ and Volume UP button. Then hold that combo in for around ten seconds until the unit powers off.
    3. Then, normal speaker operation returns the next time you power it up.

Finally, at this point, the Power button should work again, whether or not you connect the power supply.

Other Posts About the JBL Charge 3

    1. JBL Charge 3 Review
    2. How to Connect JBL Charge 3
    3. Bass Boost Explained
    4. The Buttons Guide
    5. Firmware Updating Explained


    1. JBL Charge 3 Product Page
    2. Where to Buy the JBL Charge 3