Picture of the Power button on the JBL Pulse 3 speaker.

JBL Pulse 3 Power Button Not Working Fix

When the Power button on your JBL Pulse 3 mini party speaker is not working, this likely means one or more things causes as follows…

    1. The button mechanisms may have sand, dirt, or other debris in them. To repair this, take the speaker apart if so inclined, and blow, brush, or polish switch contacts if you can reach them.
    2. Your charger cord is dead. To resolve this, swap in a working charger for the suspected bad one. Use an adapter that supplies 5 volts at up to 2.3 amps (11.5 watts).  The speaker should then boot up once more if the charger was in fact the culprit.
    3. The battery inside no longer recharges due to age, excessive charging, or heavy use. To solve this, replace the battery. Use one that fits the speaker and provides 3.7 volts at 6 amp-hours (22.2 watt-hours).
    4. Your JBL Pulse 3 is damaged beyond repair. In this case, buy a replacement unit and recycle this broken one.
    5. Now since the Pulse 3 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 as it should, we cover here the last possibility. Thus, we describe below how to get this speaker out of service mode, and restore proper operation.

JBL Pulse 3 Service Mode Explained

First, a symptom of active service mode, is that the speaker does not power ON unless you connect a charger adapter. Thus, the speaker will not run on the internal battery while in Service mode.  Moreover, when you do connect outside power, it powers ON right away, without you pressing the Power button.  I.e. It comes on as soon as you apply power to the micro USB input port.

Also, you cannot turn off the JBL Pulse 3 while it is in Service mode, unless you disconnect the 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.

Finally, none of the buttons do anything in Service mode, except for the ones needed to exit that mode.  E.g. The speaker won’t pair with any devices or other speakers when you press the Pairing button, and as stated earlier, the Power button does not switch it off either.

How to Enter Service Mode

This is what someone may have done on your speaker by accident at some point just prior to your JBL Pulse 3 Power button not working problem first appearing… To turn on this Service mode, power up the Pulse 3. And then press and hold in the Connect+ and Volume UP  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.  But remember that once in this mode, you won’t be able to exit it without first connecting the external charger cable.

Picture of the JBL Pulse 3 speaker control panel, with the -Connect+- and -Volume UP- buttons highlighted.
The JBL Pulse 3 speaker control panel, with the -Connect+- and -Volume UP- buttons highlighted.

How to Fix the Power Button Not Working on a JBL Pulse 3

Now you can restore normal function by deactivating  Service mode. But note that when this mode is active, then to switch it back off, you must connect external power to the speaker. Why?  Because when this mode is in effect, 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 JBL Pulse 3 to AC power.  The speaker automatically powers up at this point.
    2. Then, with the speaker Power button glowing, you press and hold the Connect+ and Volume UP button combo for ten seconds or so, until the unit powers down.
    3. Then, normal speaker operation returns the next time you depress the Power button to start up the speaker.

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

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Other Posts About the JBL Pulse 3 Speaker

    1. JBL Pulse 3 Firmware Update Instructions
    2. Pulse 3 Speaker Hard Reset Instructions
    3. JBL Pulse 3 Battery Indicator Explained
    4. How to Connect JBL Pulse 3 to iPhone
    5. How to Pair JBL Pulse 3 Speaker

References for JBL Pulse 3 Power Button Not Working

    1. JBL Pulse 3 Product Page at JBL.com

Revision History

    • 2023-01-26: First published.