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Set Up Hardware with Square for Retail

You can use supported hardware with your Square for Retail point of sale to run your business — giving you an all-in-one countertop solution. Square for Retail Free and Square for Retail Plus apps are compatible with iPad, iPhone, Square Terminal and Square Register. With Square Stand, you can connect your iPad to a cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner to equip your business with a full POS setup.

Note: At this time, you will not be able to use either Retail app with Android mobile devices.

Set Up Hardware

USB Connection

To set up hardware for the Square for Retail POS app:

  1. Sign in to the Square for Retail POS app.

    • Note: If you're logged into Square Point of Sale, tap  Menu on your Square Point of Sale app or tap the down arrow on Square Register to sign out.

  2. Tap Settings > Hardware.

Note: If you’re using Square Stand or Square Register to connect your compatible USB receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners, insert the USB plug directly into the USB accessory hub — your hardware will automatically connect. Just make sure you’re signed into the Retail app with a device code.

Bluetooth Connection

With the exception of the Square Reader for contactless and chip which connects through the Retail app settings, all other Bluetooth devices will need to be connected through your iPad or iPhone settings. Read more about setting up Bluetooth hardware with your iPador setting up with your iPhone.

Note: If you’re using Square for Retail Plus with Square Register, Bluetooth-connected hardware accessories, including Bluetooth-connected barcode scanners, are not supported at this time.

Create Printer Station

You can create a printer station from the Square for Retail app to limit which printers connect to specific points of sale. To get started:

  1. Tap ≡ More on your Square app or tap the down arrow on Square Register.

  2. Tap Settings > Hardware > Printers.

  3. Tap Create Printer Station.

  4. Name your printer (for example, “Front Register”), enable Receipts, Bills, Reports, Open Cash Drawers, Order Tickets, or Order Ticket Stubs. Choose to Automatically Print Receipts to automatically print at checkout to bypass the receipt screen. Note: This will disable digital receipts but tap on the Transactions tab to resend a receipt.

  5. Tap Save.

Compatible Hardware

Square Stand

Square Stand securely holds your iPad in place and swivels so your customer can review the payment total, sign, and enter their receipt information for email or SMS delivery.

Once you have your Square Stand, download the Square for Retail POS app, insert your iPad and start taking payments. The Square Stand includes a USB accessory hub to directly connect a supported receipt printer, cash drawer, and barcode scanner.

Read more about setting up your Square Stand, as well as recommended hardware to create your point of sale station.

Square Terminal

Square Terminal is a handheld device with a built-in printer that allows you to take payments at the counter or on the go. Learn how to set up your Square Terminal to take payments with Square for Retail. Once you’ve configured your device, learn how to get started with Square for Retail POS on Square Terminal.

Square Register

Square Register allows you to accept card payments all from one device to create a complete POS system. Square Register also features a customer facing display to let your customers view items, complete sales, and update contact information on their own.

Square Register has a USB accessory hub that allows up to five USB devices. Currently, receipt printers, keyboards, cash drawers, and USB barcode scanners are supported. Note: Bluetooth-connected hardware accessories, including Bluetooth-connected barcode scanners, are not supported with Square Register at this time.

Read more about setting up your Square Register.

Printers, Cash Drawers, and Barcode Scanners

View a full list of compatible hardware to start using your Retail point of sale.

Barcode Printer

An essential piece of hardware for many retail sellers is a barcode printer. With Square for Retail Plus, you can generate and print barcodes directly from the online Square Dashboard. Note: Barcode printing is not available with Square for Retail Free. We recommend the following barcode printers for Square for Retail Plus:

Dymo Barcode Printers: LabelWriter 550 and LabelWriter 450

Zebra Barcode Printer: ZD411

Learn more about printing labels with Square for Retail Plus - including compatible label sizes and how to generate and print barcodes from your online Square Dashboard

Note: LabelWriter 550 will only work with DYMO authentic labels. LabelWriter 450 works with third-party labels but is no longer being manufactured by DYMO.

Square Reader for Contactless and Chip

To process your customer’s card quickly and securely, you can use the Square Reader for contactless and chip. To do so:

  1. Have the reader and accompanying USB cable handy. This cable can be the included USB cable that came with your reader or an extended USB-C to USB-A cable for Square Reader for contactless and chip (2nd generation). You can also use the white Square Dock for Square Reader for contactless and chip (1st generation only) to charge your reader. 

  2. Connect one end of the USB cable to your reader and the other end to a USB port (e.g. a mobile phone charger, laptop, or desktop computer) or the USB hardware hub for Square Stand. You can also insert your reader into the Bosstab Dock for Square Reader to keep your reader secure on your tabletop. Simply thread the charging cable through the back of the dock.

It takes around 2 hours for a reader with a low battery to charge completely. To check your battery level, press the button on the side of your reader. If fully charged, you will see 4 green lights.

If you’re using a Square Stand with the reader, connect your reader to the USB hardware hub of the Stand with the included USB cable or Square Dock for Square Reader for contactless and chip (1st generation). If all USB ports on the hub are occupied by other hardware, you can connect your reader wirelessly to your device.

Once you connect, you should see your reader appear automatically with the status Ready.

If you don’t have available space on the USB hardware hub, not to worry! The Square Reader for contactless and chip can connect to the Retail app through Bluetooth. You’ll need to connect the reader through the Retail app, not through your iPad settings.

To connect the reader via Bluetooth:

  1. Open the Retail app and tap the three horizontal lines.

  2. Tap Settings > Hardware > Square Readers.

  3. Tap Connect a Reader.

To pair your reader:

  1. Put the reader into pairing mode by pressing the reader’s power button for 3–10 seconds. You’ll see 4 blinking orange lights.

  2. Immediately release your finger when you see the orange lights. If you see red lights, you’ve held the button too long and you can try again.

  3. In the app, a pairing confirmation will appear, make sure to tap “Pair” to complete the pairing process.

    1. On Android devices, quickly tap Pair and Pair & connect each time you are prompted until the connection is successful. If the connection fails, start the pairing process over and make sure to accept all Pair and Pair & connect prompts within 5 seconds.

Note: Due to extended security measures, some Android devices will require multiple confirmations during the pairing process.  We apologize for any inconvenience and are actively working with Android to help make this process easier.

When the reader is connected, it will be listed as Ready in the app and the reader’s lights will turn green for 2 seconds. Keep in mind, the wireless connection can be lost if the reader and device are more than approximately 10ft apart.

If you run into any issues, review troubleshooting steps to help resolve most problems with connecting Square Readerfor contactless and chip.