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Square Reader for Contactless and Chip Troubleshooting

My Square Reader keeps disconnecting

  1. Press the button on Square Reader once.

  2. Wait a few seconds for Square Reader to connect.

  3. 1-4 green lights will flash depending on your Square Reader battery level.

If the steps above do not work, quit and relaunch the Square app on your device or try toUpdate the Square app.

Additional Troubleshooting

  • Turn off and on Bluetooth.

  • Bring Square Reader within 10 feet of your device

  • Low Battery. Press the button on your Square Reader once to see the battery level. Blinking red means low battery.

  • Restart your phone, tablet, or other electronic device. You can also first try briefly putting your device into Airplane mode.

  • Reset your Square Reader. Hold down the power button for approximately 20 seconds. The lights on your reader will flash orange, then red, and then they will stop flashing. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

  • Avoid using Square Reader in wet environments, and avoid getting water or liquid in the dip slot. Taking dip payments with wet credit cards can also cause water damage. 

  • If your Square Reader gets wet, immediately power off the device, holding down the power button for at least fifteen seconds. Remove moisture by allowing Square Reader to dry out with the dip slot facing down.

  • Move your Square Reader away from sources of Bluetooth interference such as microwave ovens, cordless phones, fluorescent lights, or using your Reader on a metal table.

  • Clear your Bluetooth cache if you have an Android device.

  • Check out Apple’s article on Bluetooth interference for additional information.

Pairing a Square Reader for the first time

Before you attempt to connect your Square Reader, make sure that your Square Reader is fully charged and your device has a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

  1. Turn on Bluetooth in your device settings. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad on iOS 14 or higher, 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.

  2. Check that your device is connected to the internet, you are unable to use your Square Reader in Offline Mode.

  3. Force shutdown your reader:

    1. Plug in the reader for at least 20 minutes to be sure it’s charged.

    2. Use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on Square Reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

    3. After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.

    4. Press the button again to turn Square Reader on and observe any lights on the reader. If the lights on the Square Reader 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. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

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

To pair your Square Reader in the Square App:

  1. Go to the Square app and tap More from the navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings > Hardware > Card Readers.

  3. Tap Connect a Reader.

Place your Square Reader into pairing mode by pressing Square Reader’s power button for 3-10 seconds until you see four orange blinking lights. Immediately release the power button when you see the four 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 a Square Reader to a new Device

To pair your Square Reader with a new device or switch Square Reader to a different device, you must first have your Square Reader forget it’s connection to the previous device. To do so, head to the Square App on the device currently connected your Square Reader:

  1. Tap More from the navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.

  2. Tap Settings > Hardware > Card Readers

  3. Select your connected Square Reader > Forget This Reader

Square Reader Failed to Pair

If you see Failed to Pair when attempting to pair a Square Reader:

  1. Force quit the Square POS app.

  2. Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your device.

  3. Find your Reader and click Forget.

  4. Reopen the Square app and re-pair at Settings > Card Readers.

My Square Reader won’t accept Credit Cards

If you are having trouble accepting EMV or tap transactions:

  1. Ensure that your Square Reader is fully charged and that you have a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

  2. If Square Reader and device are more than 10ft apart, move your Square Reader and device closer when in use.

  3. Verify that your Square Reader is connected:

    • Tap More from the navigation bar at the bottom of your screen.

    • Tap Settings > Hardware > Card Readers.

    • Check that the four numbers in your settings match your Square Reader's serial number.

  4. Make sure you press charge in the Square App. You should see a single green light on Square 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 Square Reader until prompted to remove the card.

  7. Confirm that your customer’s card has a chip, meaning it’s EMV-enabled.

My Square Reader won’t charge

The tips below usually fix most charging issues customers encounter with Square Reader:

  1. Make sure Square 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 Square 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 cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on Square Reader for 20 seconds or after the 4 lights stop blinking red. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds.

    • Press the button again to turn Square Reader on and observe any lights on the reader.

  4. If Square Reader lights don’t turn on, try again and make sure to firmly press and hold Square Reader's button for a full 20 seconds. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

Reset your Square Reader

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

  1. Charge your Square Reader for at least 20 minutes.

  2. While Square Reader is charging, use a small object like a bobby pin, pen cap, or paper clip to firmly press and hold the button on Square Reader for 20 seconds.

    • After 20 seconds, release the button and wait 10 seconds. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

    • Press the button again to turn Square Reader on and observe any lights on Square Reader.

If Square 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 Square Reader's button for a full 20 seconds. Do not let go of the power button until after the red lights have stopped flashing.

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.

Protect Your Square Reader

Get the most life out of your Square Reader for contactless and chip by avoiding damage to the hardware. Certain attachments and environments can cause damage to 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 dip slot. Taking dip payments with wet credit 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 Square Reader. Use of third-party accessories not tested by Square to secure Square Reader to surfaces can add tension or pressure to the device, which can cause damage.

  • Move Square Reader away from sources of Bluetooth interference, such as near microwave ovens, cordless phones, or fluorescent lights or on a metal table.

To protect your Square Reader from everyday wear and tear, we recommend using the compatible cases, mounted, 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 charged and in place for quick, seamless countertop transactions by attaching it to the Dock for Square Reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Square Reader connects wirelessly with the iPad 3 or higher. If you have an iPad 2 with a Square Stand, you can connect Square 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 Square 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 Square 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 Square Reader disconnect when I turn on Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode disables Bluetooth on your device which will cause your Square Reader to disconnect. Once you go into Airplane Mode, connect your Bluetooth back on to be able to use your Square 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 Square Reader?

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

Can I attach my Square Reader to my mobile phone or tablet?

Yes. We offer several compatible phone and tablet cases that hold both your device and your Square Reader for contactless and chip. Visit Square Shop to learn more.

Can I stabilize my Square Reader on my countertop?

Yes. We offer a compatible Dock for Square Reader that will charge your Square Reader while you take payments.

Learn more about: Square Hardware

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