Troubleshoot payment errors on Square Register

Square Register can accept tap, dip, and swipe payments. Learn how to Accept payments with Square Register.

This article provides troubleshooting steps for your Square Register if you are experiencing issues accepting card payments.

Before you begin troubleshooting

When to troubleshoot 

Troubleshooting payment issues involves steps that may take a bit of time, such as rebooting your hardware. If at all possible, try to troubleshoot your Square Register after hours. If you must troubleshoot during the workday, try to avoid peak busy hours so your customers will experience few delays.

To troubleshoot payments, you may need the following:

  • Your Square account login information (email address and password or device code)

  • Wi-Fi network name and password

Saving data while troubleshooting

If you have pending offline payments, do not sign out of, restart, or factory reset your Square Register. Pending offline payments will be permanently lost, and the funds won’t be captured. Learn how to Process offline payments.

Step 1: Confirm card processing method

Make sure you tap Charge to activate the customer display and accept payments ―  you’ll see the LED indicators light up and Insert, tap, swipe, or scan with Cash App on your Customer display for Square Register.

Tap (Apple Pay, Google Pay, or contactless device)

Ask your customer to hold a contactless device or card near the contactless symbol in the center of the screen to start the payment. The contactless logo lights up after tapping Charge.

Dip (chip cards)

Ask your customer to insert a chip card into the chip card slot on the customer display and leave it in place until the sale is complete. The front of the card should face your customer.

Swipe (magnetic stripe cards)

Ask your customer to swipe a magnetic-stripe card through the magstripe reader on the customer display. Customers can swipe in either direction.

If a specific card processing method isn’t working, ask your customer to try a different form of payment.

Step 2: Verify your internet connection

If your Customer display is docked, make sure that there are no gaps between the Square Register and the customer display. If your Customer display is undocked, make sure that the USB cable is plugged in properly into both the customer display and the bottom of your Square Register.

Check your Wi-Fi connection on Square Register

  1. Make sure you see the Wi-Fi status indicator on the top right corner of the status bar.
  2. Tap ≡ More > Settings > Hardware > Network and make sure you see a checkmark next to the network you are trying to connect to.
  3. Toggle Wi-Fi OFF and then back ON.

Check your Ethernet connection on Square Register

  1. Make sure your Ethernet cable is clicked all the way into the Accessory hub.
  2. Make sure your Accessory hub is plugged into power through the power adapter.
  3. Make sure you can see the Ethernet network status indicator on the top right corner of the status bar.

Step 3: Update Square Register software

  1. Tap ≡ More > Settings > Hardware > General. If you’re signed out, tap Change Settings > General.

  2. Tap About Square Register.

  3. From this page, you’ll see your software version. Tap Check for Update to see if a software update is available.

If you see Software Up To Date then you are all set.

Step 4: Restart your Square Register

Restarting your Square Register does not erase important account settings like items, transaction histories, customer lists, or team permissions. It will all be there when you sign back in.
  1. Press and hold the power button and release as soon as you see the Restart option.

  2. Tap Restart. If you hold the power button down too long and see a black screen with a count-down timer, immediately release the power button before the timer goes to 0. If you don’t, this will Factory Reset your Square Register instead of restarting it.

  3. Try to process a payment before moving on to the steps below to factory reset your Square Register.

Step 5: Send a diagnostic report

Sending a diagnostic report helps Square further investigate your issue if you cannot resolve it on your own.

Diagnostic reports can take between 2-7 minutes to upload — make sure you have a strong internet connection and your device is powered on during this time.

  1. Sign in to the Square POS app on your Square Register.

  2. Tap ≡ More > Support > Troubleshooting.

  3. Tap Upload Support Ledger.

  4. Tap Send Diagnostic Report.

Once you tap Send Diagnostic Report, you can leave the screen and continue using your Square Register normally while the report is sent in the background.

Step 6: Factory reset your Square Register

The steps below require you to factory reset your Square Register. Make sure you have the login credentials for your network and your Square Register (device code or email address and password).

Factory resetting your Square Register will reset your general Square Register settings (date, time, language, etc.) and remove any assigned Device profiles or Printer profiles.
  1. Tap ≡ More > Settings > Hardware > General.

  2. Tap About Square Terminal > Factory Reset > Confirm Factory Reset.

  3. Tap Reset one last time. From here the countdown will begin and your Square Register will reset.

  4. You can also Factory Reset your Square Register by holding down the power button for 10 seconds until you see a black screen with a count-down timer.

  5. Keep holding down the power button until that timer goes to 0 and the screen says you can release the power button.

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