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What to Check if Your Dyson Handheld Stick Vacuum Won't Turn On

If your Dyson stick vacuum won't turn on, don't worry! This article will take you through what you should check to identify and fix the cause.

Safety first!

Before you begin, make sure your Dyson vacuum is switched off and fully disconnected from the mains.

How to identify and fix a Dyson handheld stick vacuum that won't turn on

There are a number of reasons why your Dyson vacuum is not working and has no power. Here, we will guide you through the different checks you should carry out to identify the issue, both through our step by step guide and how-to video below.

Check 1: Battery Indicator Lights

Take a look at the lights on both sides of the battery. If the lights are flashing blue, that simply means the vacuum needs charging. Once the charger is plugged in, a solid blue light indicates that it is charging. Make sure you charge the vacuum for at least three and a half hours.

If there's no light showing, you will need to check your charger for damage. You'll want to check the end that connects to the vacuum, the cable for any splits and the plug for any cracks in the pins. If there is any damage to the charger, it may need to be replaced.

Check 2: Battery Damage

There may be some damage to your Dyson Handheld Stick battery. Check the battery itself by looking for cracks or dents. If there is no visible damage, the battery lights will indicate if the battery is faulty by flashing a red warning light twelve times or more.

If you need to change your battery, head to our detailed step-by-step guide on How to Replace the Battery on a Dyson Handheld Stick Vacuum. You can find a replacement battery on our website.

Check 3: Blockages

If your vacuum is not turning on because there is a blockage, this is indicated by a blue light flashing around the MAX button. You'll want to get rid of any blockages to get your vacuum working again.

There are a few possible causes of a blockage. Below we will go through how to identify and solve them.

Emptying the Bin

One reason your Dyson may not turn on is an over-filled bin. Follow the steps below to see if this is the case and, if so, how to fix it.

Step 1: Check if the bin is too full

Make sure your vacuum's bin is not over capacity. The bin has a 'MAX' mark on it. If it is full past this mark, it will need emptying.

Step 2: Emptying the bin

Hold the vacuum bin over a waste bin. Then press the red catch down to open the bin and empty it.

Check the Filter

Another possible blockage could be a result of the filter needing cleaning. Filters need checking and washing at least once a month.

To remove and check the filter, simply place your fingers onto the top of it and pull upwards. Then check the filter. If there are any signs of damage to the cloth, it will need to be replaced.

For advice on how to clean and replace the filter, check out our step by step video. You can find replacement filters for your Dyson handheld stick vacuum on the eSpares website.

Pulsating Brushbar

If the brushbar is starting and stopping quickly, it is an indication that there is a blockage. Simply remove the motorhead and check the interior of the neck. If there is a blockage in there, you can remove it with your fingers.

If there still seems to be a blockage, you will need to check the wand. Disconnect the wand from both ends and look inside to see if there are any other blockages you may need to manually remove.

Bin Inlet

Another area that can get blocked is the bin inlet, where the wand connects to the vacuum. Again, you simply need to check this and, if there is a blockage, remove it manually.


The last place to check for blockages is the brushbar. You will be able to see if there is any string, debris or hair causing a blockage. If this is the case, you will need to remove the motorhead and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Remove the cap

Use a flat head screwdriver or a coin to twist and remove the cap keeping the brushbar inside the motorhead.

Step 2: Remove the brushbar

Once the cap is removed, slide the brushbar out of the motorhead.

Step 3: Remove the blockage

Manually remove any debris that's causing the blockage.

Step 4: Refit the brushbar

To refit the brushbar, just slide it back into the motorhead and screw the cap back on.

If the brushbar is damaged, you can find out how to replace it by watching our how-to video guide below.

Don't forget to check out our website for replacement Dyson brushbars to fit your model.

Check 4: Check the Temperature

The final possible reason for your Dyson vacuum to not turn on is that it has been stored in temperatures that are too hot or cold.

The battery light will either flash amber to indicate that it is too cold or remain a solid amber to indicate that it is too hot.

The light around the MAX button will also flash. Seven flashes mean that the vacuum is too cold and eight flashes mean that it is too hot.

If the temperature of the vacuum is the issue, you simply need to store it at a more suitable temperature.

And there you have it - all the checks you need to carry out if your Dyson handheld stick vacuum won't turn on.

Caring for and Storing your Dyson handheld stick vacuum

There are a couple of things you should know about your Dyson handheld stick vacuum to keep it running efficiently. First of all, the filter needs cleaning at least once a month to keep the vacuum working to its best. How to do this is included in the guide above. You should also store the vacuum somewhere that it won't get too hot or too cold, as this can cause the interior system to stop working until it returns to a moderate and suitable temperature.

Regularly checking for blockages, emptying the bin and giving your Dyson a clean will also ensure it stands the test of time.

Should your Dyson develop any further faults, we have a range of vacuum cleaner articles on fixing and maintaining your appliance as well as spare parts and accessories to get it back up and running again.

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