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Set Up the Square Reader

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Before setting up your Square Reader, make sure you have a compatible device with the latest version of the Square app.

The location of the power button, chip card reader slot, and LED lights on the Square reader.

1. Check the Battery of Your Square Reader

For an accurate battery reading, unplug your reader from any power source. 

Firmly press and release the button on the reader. Green lights indicate that you’re charged and ready to go. If you see a single red light, charge up immediately. Once your reader is on, you don’t need to worry about turning it off. It’ll automatically go into sleep mode after two hours of inactivity. To wake it up from sleep mode, firmly press and release the button on the side of the reader. 

2. Charge Your Square Reader

Connect one end of the accompanying USB cable to your reader and the other end to a USB port like a mobile phone charger, computer or car charger. 

It will take approximately two hours for a reader with low battery to charge completely. 

3. Wirelessly Connect Your Square Reader

The reader connects wirelessly with Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). Make sure you have the latest version of the Square app for your device- only the latest version supports the Square Reader.

To connect your reader:

  1. Press and release the button on your reader to turn it on.

  2. Go to your device settings and make sure Bluetooth is turned on.

  3. Open the Square app and tap More to navigate to the menu.

  4. Tap Settings > Hardware > Card Readers > Connect a Reader.

  5. Put your reader into pairing mode by pressing the reader’s button for three to five seconds. Remove your finger as soon as you see orange flashing lights. If you see red flashing lights, you’ve held the button too long and you’ll need to try again.

When connected, the reader will be listed as Reader Ready in-app.

Any necessary firmware updates will be automatically installed once the reader has been connected. The wireless connection can be lost if the reader and device are more than 10 ft apart.

Note: Processing payments in Offline Mode is currently unavailable with the Square Reader for contactless and chip and PIN.

If your reader was previously paired to a different device: Keep in mind, if you are reconnecting a reader that was previously paired to a different device, you may need to forget your reader from the device it was previously paired with. For more information on reconnecting a reader, check out our troubleshooting article.

Now that you’re set up, learn more about accepting chip and PIN card and contactless payments.

Protect Your Reader

Get the most life out of your Square Reader for contactless and chip and PIN by avoiding damage to the hardware. Certain attachments and environments can cause damage to the Square Reader over time and shorten the lifespan of your device. To protect your device:

  • Avoid using Square Reader in wet environments, and avoid getting water or liquid in the insert slot. Inserting wet payment cards can also cause water damage. 

  • Do not use strong magnets, hook-and-loop fasteners (like Velcro), adhesive or mounting hardware not tested by Square to frequently mount and unmount the Square Reader. Use of third-party accessories not tested by Square to secure the Square Reader to surfaces can add tension or pressure to the device, which can cause damage.

  • Move the Square Reader away from sources of Bluetooth interference, such as nearby microwaves, cordless phones or fluorescent lights, or placement on a metal table.

To protect your Square Reader from everyday wear and tear, we recommend using the compatible cases and charging dock featured in Square Shop. These cases fit a variety of mobile phones and tablets. Keep your Square Reader for contactless and chip and PIN charged and in place for quick, seamless countertop transactions by attaching it to the Dock for Square Reader.

What do the lights mean?

Connecting your reader

Lights Pairing Status
Four orange lights flashing Reader is in pairing mode
Four green lights Reader has successfully paired
Four red lights Reader failed to pair

Accepting a payment

Lights Payment Status
One green light Reader is ready to take a payment
Moving green lights Reader is processing a payment
Four green lights Payment was accepted
Four red lights Payment was declined

Checking your battery

Lights Charge
Four green lights Battery is 100% charged
Three green lights Battery is 75% charged
Two green lights Battery is 50% charged
One solid red light Battery is 25% charged
One blinking red light Battery is low – charge immediately

Connect Square Stand and the Square reader

If you’re using a Square Stand with the reader, set up is quick and simple. Just plug the included USB cable or Dock for Square Reader in to the USB hardware hub on the Square Stand.

You can connect your reader wirelessly if there are no free USB ports on your Stand’s hardware hub.

Watch this video to learn how to connect the Square Stand and reader:

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions and review these reader troubleshooting tips if you run into any issues.