Front left view of the JBL Charge 5 BT speaker.

JBL Charge 5 Secret Mode

sWhen the JBL Charge 5 is in Secret Mode, the buttons do not work. So, assuming that all the systems are okay, we’ cover how to end Secret Mode, and restore proper function.

JBL Charge 5 Secret Mode: May Be Active

First, when in this (often called ‘weird’ or ‘secret’) mode, the Charge 5 does not power ON without the charger. Thus, it will not run on the internal battery while in Secret Mode.  Furthermore, when you do apply outside power, it powers up without you even pressing the Power button.  So it comes ON as soon as you connect the charger.

Further, you cannot turn off the Charge 5 while in this mode. Not without the charger. And then, when you disconnect the charger, the 5 powers off without pressing the Power button.  So when this Secret Mode is active, the Power button appears to not work.

Indeed, none of the buttons seem to work, except for the ones you need to exit Secret Mode.  E.g. The Charge 5 won’t pair with any devices.

JBL Charge 5 Secret Mode: How to Turn ON

This is what you may have done by accident prior to your speaker freezing… To turn on this mode, power up the 5 first. Then press the Bluetooth and Play-Pause buttons together. Hold them in until the 5 powers OFF. So this usually takes ten seconds or so.

Note that you can enter this mode whenever the 5 is ON. It doesn’t matter whether the charger is present or not. You can also enter it whether the 5 is running on batteries or external power.

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.

How to Exit Secret Mode

Now you can restore proper operation by deactivating this mode. But note that when Secret Mode is ON, then you must connect the charger to turn it OFF. Why?  Because the JBL Charge 5 won’t come on without outside power. Yet you can’t change modes without powering it up first.  So, you need a USB-C power adapter to make this fix.

    1. So, connect the 5 to external power. Next, the speaker comes on.
    2. Then, with the Power button glowing, press the Bluetooth and Play-Pause button combo. Then hold for ten seconds or so, until the Charge 5 powers off.
    3. Finally, normal operation returns the next time you power it on. So Secret Mode is over.

Finally, all buttons should now work again, whether or not you connect the AC adapter.

Other JBL Charge 5 Posts

    1. Charger Type and Replacement
    2. Bass Boost Discussed
    3. How to Know If JBL Charge 5 Has a Full Charge
    4. Not Showing Up on Bluetooth


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