Front left view of the JBL Charge 5 BT speaker.

JBL Charge 5 Won’t Turn On

When your JBL Charge 5 won’t turn on unless it is plugged in, this likely means one or more things.  Either your speaker is broken beyond repair, the battery inside no longer recharges due to age or heavy use, or, you mistakenly put your speaker into service mode a.k.a. secret or weird mode.  So, assuming that all the hardware and software is still okay in your speaker, we detail here the last possibility. Thus, we write below about how to get your JBL speaker out of service mode, and restore proper operation.

Service Mode Details for this Speaker

First, when in this (often called ‘weird’ or ‘secret’) mode, the unit does not power ON unless you connect an external power source, like an AC charger adapter. Thus, it will not run on the internal battery while in Service mode.  Furthermore, when you do connect outside power, the speaker powers up without you pressing the Power button.  I.e. It comes on as soon as you apply power to the USB-C input port on the back of the speaker.

Further, you cannot turn off the Charge 5 while it is in Service mode, unless you disconnect the power cable. And then, the unit 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 any devices or other speakers when you press the Pairing button, and as mentioned, the Power button does not switch it off either.

How to Turn On Service Mode on the JBL Charge 5

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, and then press the Bluetooth and Play-Pause buttons at the same time, until the unit powers OFF, which usually takes ten seconds or so.

Find these buttons pointed out in the next picture. Note that you can enter this mode as long as the speaker is ON, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s connected to external power or not.

Showing the -Bluetooth- and -Play-Pause- buttons on the JBL Charge 5 speaker.
Top view of the JBL Charge 5 speaker, showing the -Bluetooth- and -Play-Pause- buttons.

How to Turn OFF Service Mode and Restore Proper Operation of the JBL Charge 5

Now you can restore proper speaker operation by disabling this mode. But note that when this Service mode is in effect, then to switch it back off, you must connect external power again. Why?  Because when in Service mode, the JBL Flip 4 won’t come on without outside power. But you can’t change modes without powering up the unit first.  Thus, you need the power adapter to make this fix.

    1. So, connect your speaker to AC power and turn on the speaker.
    2. Then, with the unit Power button glowing, you press and hold the Bluetooth and Play-Pause button combo for ten seconds or so, until the unit powers off.
    3. Then, normal speaker operation returns.

Finally, at this point, the Power button should turn the JBL Flip 4 on again, whether or not you connect the AC adapter.

Related Posts to JBL Charge 5 Won’t Turn On 

    1. JBL Flip 4 Won’t Turn On Unless Plugged In, How to Fix
    2. The Boombox JBL Speaker Won’t Turn On Unless Plugged In, How to Fix
    3. JBL Xtreme Won’t Turn On Unless Plugged In
    4. Honeywell Thermostat Won’t Turn On Heat Fixes

Other Posts About the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth Speaker

    1. JBL Charge 5 Buttons, Codes, Combinations, Meanings
    2. How to Put JBL Charge 5 in Pairing Mode
    3. How to Reset the Charge 5 Speaker
    4. JBL Charge 5 Low Frequency Mode
    5. Charge 5 Firmware Update Instructions


    1. JBL Charge 5 Mini Bluetooth Speaker Official Product Page at

Revision History

    • 2021-08-02: First published.