Top view of the JBL Charge 5 power bank speaker, showing the -Power- button when the speaker is OFF.

JBL Charge 5 Only Turns ON When Plugged In

When your JBL Charge 5 only turns ON when plugged in, this likely means one or more things.  One or more of the following issues can cause this.

    1. The JBL Charge 5 is defective.
    2. The battery is faulty.
    3. The charger is defective.
    4. Or, service mode is active.

So, assuming that the speaker is still okay, we’ll cover here the last possibility. Thus, we describe below how to get your JBL Charge 5 out of service mode to restore proper operation.

JBL Charge 5 Only Turns ON When Plugged In: Service Mode Details

First, when in this mode (often called ‘weird’ or ‘secret’) mode, you’ll see some interesting behaviors. The speaker does not power ON unless you connect a charger. Thus, it will not run on the battery.  Furthermore, when you connect power, it then comes ON without pressing the Power button.

Further, you cannot turn off the 5 while it is in Service mode, unless you disconnect the charger. And then, it powers off without pressing the Power button.  So when this service mode is active, the Power button appears to not work.

Indeed, none of the buttons seem to work in Service mode, except for the ones needed to exit service mode.  E.g. The speaker won’t pair with anything, and the Power button does not switch it OFF either.

How to Turn On Service Mode

This is what you may have done by accident at some point just prior to your speaker’s strange behavior starting… To turn on this Service mode, power up the speaker first. Then press the Connect+ and Volume UP buttons at the same time. Hold them in until the speaker powers OFF. This usually takes ten seconds or so.

Now you can enter this mode as long as the speaker is ON. It doesn’t matter whether it has external power or not.  Also, these buttons are very close to each other.  So it’s easy to press them together by mistake.

Picture of the top of the JBL Charge 5. Showing the -Bluetooth- and -Play-Pause- buttons.
Top view of the JBL Charge 5. Showing the -Bluetooth- and -Play-Pause- buttons.

JBL Charge 5 Only Turns ON When Plugged In: How to Fix

Now you can restore normal operation by disabling this mode. But note that when Service mode is ON, then you must connect the charger to switch it OFF. Why?  Because when in Service mode, the speaker won’t come on without outside power. Thus, you need the adapter to make this fix.

    1. So, connect your speaker to AC power and turn on the speaker.
    2. Then, with the speaker Power button glowing, press the Pairing and Play-Pause button combo. Hold them in for ten seconds or so, until the unit powers off.
    3. Then, normal speaker operation returns the next time you turn it ON.

Finally, the 5 should work again, whether or not you connect the AC adapter.

Other JBL Charge 5 Posts

    1. JBL Charge 5 Charging Indicator
    2. General Specs
    3. The Red Light Explained
    4. Pair JBL Charge 5 — How to Do It


    1. Official JBL Charge 5 Support Page
    2. Where to Buy the JBL Charge 5