Home>Hardware

Troubleshooting Contactless + Chip Reader

My reader keeps disconnecting

  1. Your reader may have entered sleep mode.
    To wake up your reader, press the button on your reader once and wait a few seconds for it to reconnect. To conserve battery, your reader will automatically enter sleep mode if it hasn’t taken a payment for 2 hours and the message Press Button on Reader – Learn More will appear in the Square App. Press the button on your reader once and wait for it to reconnect. You should see 1–4 green lights flash depending on your reader’s battery level.
  2. Close and reopen the Square app on your device.
  3. Update your Square app.
  4. Turn on Bluetooth from your device’s settings.
    For iOS devices, this can be found in Settings → Bluetooth. Try turning Bluetooth off and back on.
  5. Your reader must be within 3 metres of your device.
    The Bluetooth connection may be out of range and could disconnect.
  6. Check that your reader has adequate battery.
    Low battery may increase disconnections between your device and reader. Press the button on your reader once to see the battery level. If you see a blinking red light, that means your reader battery is low and should be charged immediately. If your reader is in a dock, plug the dock’s power cord into an AC outlet.
  7. Restart your phone, tablet or other electronic device.
    You can also first try briefly putting your device into Airplane mode.
  8. Reset your Reader.
    Hold down the power button for approximately 20 seconds until you see red lights stop flashing on the reader.
  9. Bluetooth will automatically turn off when your reader is in a dock connected to a Square Stand by USB cable.
    Disconnect the USB cable from the stand or dock and then attempt to pair.
  10. Move your Reader away from common sources of Bluetooth interference
    This includes common household items such as microwave ovens, cordless phones or fluorescent lights
  11. Clear your Bluetooth cache if you have an Android device.
  12. See Apple’s article on Bluetooth interference for additional information.

My Reader won’t pair with my device

Pairing your Reader for the first time

Before you attempt to connect your reader, make sure that your reader is ready to be connected.

  1. Turn on Bluetooth in your device settings.
  2. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad on iOS 13, make sure Bluetooth permissions for the Square app are enabled. To do so, head to Settings > Privacy > Bluetooth and enable permissions for the Square app.
  3. Fully charge your reader.
  4. Check that your device is connected to the internet, you are unable to use your reader in Offline Mode.
  5. Force shutdown your reader:
    • Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
    • Use a small object like a bobby pin, pen lid or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red.
    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
    • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

If the reader lights turn green, you’re all set. If the lights don’t turn on, please try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

Once your reader is ready to be paired, open the Square App.

To pair your Square Reader through the Square App:

  1. Go to the Square app and tap the three horizontal lines.
  2. Tap Settings > Scroll to Card Readers.
  3. Tap Connect a Reader.

Verify that your reader can go into pairing mode. To put the reader into pairing mode, press the reader’s power button for 3–10 seconds until you see 4 orange blinking lights. Immediately release the power button when you see the 4 orange lights. If you see red lights, you’ve held the button too long and need to try again.

Check out our video on Accepting Chip Card Payments with the Square Contactless and Chip Reader for additional help.

Pairing your Reader with a new Device

If you are attempting to pair your reader with a new device or switching the reader to a different device, you must first have your reader forget it’s connection to the previous device. To do so, head to the Square App on the device previously connected your reader and follow the steps below:

  1. Tap the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner.
  2. Tap Settings > Card Readers
  3. Select your connected reader > Forget This Reader

You can also reset your reader to disconnect it from all previous devices:

  1. Charge your reader for at least 20 minutes.
  2. While the reader is charging, use a small object like a bobby pin, pen lid or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds, or after the 4 lights stop blinking red. Press the button again to turn the reader on. Observe any lights on the reader.
  3. If the reader lights don’t turn green, firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

My reader won’t accept Credit Cards

If you are having trouble accepting EMV or tap transactions:

  1. Ensure that your reader is fully charged and that you have a strong Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
  2. If the reader and device are more than 3 metres apart, move your reader and device closer when in use.
  3. Verify that your reader is connected:
    • Tap the three horizontal lines in your Square App.
    • Tap Settings > Hardware > Card Readers.
    • Check that the four numbers in your settings match your reader’s serial number.
  4. Make sure you press charge in the Square App. You should see a single green light on the reader before you ask your customer to make the payment.
  5. Check that the chip on your customer’s card is facing up.
  6. Keep your customer’s card in the reader until prompted to remove the card.
  7. Confirm that your customer’s card has a chip, meaning it’s EMV-enabled.

My Reader won’t charge

The tips below usually fix most charging issues customers encounter with the reader:

  1. Make sure the reader is firmly plugged into the USB hardware hub of your Square Stand or into a grounded AC outlet.
  2. Try plugging the power adaptor into a different outlet.
  3. Force shutdown your reader:
    • Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.
    • Use a small object like a bobby pin, pen lid or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red.
    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
    • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

If the reader lights don’t turn on, try again and make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

Reset your Reader

If you continue to have trouble with your reader after trying the above steps, you can reset your reader:

  1. Charge your reader for at least 20 minutes.
  2. While the reader is charging, use a small object like a bobby pin, pen lid or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on the reader for 20 seconds.
    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.
    • Press the button again to turn the reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

If the reader lights turn on, you’re all set. If the lights don’t turn on, please try again. Make sure to firmly press and hold the reader’s button for a full 20 seconds.

Charging and Powering Your Square Devices Safely

Square cables and wall chargers are tested thoroughly and adhere to government standards. To keep you safe and your devices working properly, we recommend you follow these guidelines:

  • Always charge your Square products with the included cable and certified USB charging sources.
  • Store your devices and cables in a safe place away from moisture, extreme temperatures and debris as these can cause fire, electric shock, injury or damage to your Square product.
  • Always charge your devices in a dry environment away from all sources of moisture.
  • Inspect your cables and devices for any damage or debris that could interfere with the proper performance of your Square products. If you see any debris or damage to a cable or any connectors, discontinue use and contact Square Support for a replacement.
  • Make sure all connections are fully engaged before charging your device.
  • Always plug and unplug your cables and chargers by holding onto the end of the cable.
  • Keep the connectors free of foreign objects and debris.
  • Always charge your device in a well-ventilated area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t the Reader connect wirelessly with my iPad 2?

The reader connects wirelessly with the iPad 3 or higher. If you have an iPad 2 with a Square Stand, you can connect the reader directly to the Stand’s hardware hub via USB.

The USB hub on my Square Stand is full. Can I use a splitter to connect my reader?

We don’t officially support splitters or third-party USB hubs, but you can connect the reader wirelessly to your iPad via Bluetooth Low Energy.

Can I use the contactless and chip card Reader in Offline Mode?

No, Offline Mode supports magstripe payments only, so you’ll need to use the magstripe reader or the Square Stand.

Why does my Reader disconnect when I turn on Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode disables Bluetooth on your device. Which causes your reader will disconnect. Once you go into Airplane Mode, connect your Bluetooth back on to be able to use your reader.
In case you are looking to take magstripe payments while in Offline Mode, disable Wi-Fi only and you will maintain your Bluetooth connection.

Why does my app say “Account Ineligible” when connecting my reader?

Square hardware can only be used in the country where it was originally purchased. If you see Account Ineligible, your reader may have been purchased in a different country.