Picture of the side panel buttons on the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker.

JBL Flip 5 Buttons Not Working, How to Fix

When the buttons on your JBL Flip 5 speaker are not working, this likely means one or more things.  Either your unit is broken past reparability, the battery inside no longer recharges due to age or heavy use, or, you accidently put your speaker into service mode a.k.a. secret or weird mode.  So, assuming that all the hardware and software in your speaker is still okay, we’ll cover here the last possibility. Thus, we describe below how to get your JBL Flip 5 out of service mode, and restore proper operation.

JBL Flip 5 Service Mode Details

First, when in this (often called ‘weird’ or ‘secret’) mode, the Flip 5 JBL speaker does not power ON unless you connect an external power source such as the included AC charger adapter. Thus, it will not run on the internal battery while in Service mode.  Furthermore, when you do apply outside power, it 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 side of the speaker.

Further, you cannot turn off the Flip 5 while it is in Service mode, unless you disconnect the external power source. 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 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

This is what you may have done by accident at some point just prior to your speaker’s buttons not working… 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 speaker 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.

Picture of the button panels on the JBL Flip 5 speaker, with the -Play-Pause- and -Bluetooth- controls highlighted.
Showing the button panels on the JBL Flip 5 speaker, with the -Play-Pause- and -Bluetooth- controls highlighted.

How to Fix the Buttons Not Working Problem on the JBL Flip 5 Speaker

Now you can restore proper operation by deactivating 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 5  won’t come on without outside power. Yet you can’t change modes without powering up the unit first.  So, you need a USB-C power adapter to make this fix.

  1. So, connect your speaker to external power. Next, the speaker comes on.
  2. Then, with the speaker 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. Finally, normal speaker operation returns.

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

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Other Posts About the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker

    1. JBL Flip 5 Volume Control Explained
    2. JBL Flip 5 Factory Reset Instructions
    3. How to Reset JBL Flip 5 Speaker
    4. Restart the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker
    5. How to Bass Boost the JBL Flip 5 Speaker


    1. JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Party Speaker Product Page at JBL.com

Revision History

    • 2021-07-29: First published.