In today’s post, we are going to troubleshoot a common problem that DJI Mavic Air owners face quite frequently – DJI Mavic Air wont turn on out of the blue.
Although there are several reasons for your Mavic Air to not turn on, the most common reason is a dead or uncharged battery.
If your DJI Mavic Air wont turn on, check if your battery is fully charged and is not showing any signs of physical damage.
If the battery looks fine and is fully charged, then the problem is somewhere else.
This article provides a comprehensive troubleshooting guide to identify and possibly fix the problem before contacting DJI support.
DJI Mavic Air wont turn on – Reasons
If you don’t see any visible damage to your drone or your battery and the battery is also fully charged, that means your drone has another problem preventing it from turning on.
The below troubleshooting steps go through the most common reasons and their solutions so make sure you try every step before throwing in the towel and contacting DJI support for repair.
You are not turning it ON correctly
If this is your first time with your DJI Mavic Air, chances are that you are not following the correct procedure of turning the drone ON.
Unlike other electronics where you have to long press the power button to turn them ON, with DJI drones, the process is slightly different.
To turn your Mavic Air on, press the power button once and then press & hold it again for a few seconds till you see the lights come on.
Here is a quick video demonstrating how to turn your drone ON & OFF. It is the same for all DJI drones.
Most new users would long press the button and expect the drone to turn ON just like any other electronic but it won’t work. The drone will just show the battery charge level.
If it was your incorrect procedure and following the correct one worked, off you go and enjoy your drone. If not, keep reading the rest of the troubleshooting guide below.
Battery is not charged
Again, a simple but common mistake on part of new users. If you are trying to fly a drone with a fully drained battery, the drone will simply not turn on.
However, checking the battery charge level is easy. Just press the power button on the battery ONCE and the LED lights will turn on.
If you see a low charge on your battery (only the first LED is blinking) that means you need to charge your battery first before you can fly your drone.
Battery in hibernation
If you are turning your drone ON for the first time after arrival, chances are that your drone batteries are in hibernation.
When DJI ship your drone, the batteries are put in a special sleep mode called ‘hibernation’. Before you can use your battery, you have to ‘wake them up’.
Batteries in hibernation don’t charge normally when you try them. You first have to kick start them and take them out of hibernation.
To do this, simply connect your battery directly to the DJI charger (no hub charger for now) and let them sit for 12 hours. They will start charging after that.
I have written a detailed article about getting Mavic Air battery out of hibernation.
Once your battery is out of hibernation, put it in your drone and turn it ON. If hibernation was the issue, it should turn ON now.
Battery terminals & compartment is dirty
If none of the above methods of troubleshooting has worked yet, it’s time to physically inspect your battery for any signs of damage or malfunction.
While flying, your drone can crash and get dirt and dust in the battery compartment. This affects the connection between the battery and the compartment terminals.
You have to clean both the battery terminals and the compartment with isopropyl alcohol. Follow the below steps:
- Take out the drone battery and place both on a smooth table.
- Get some isopropyl alcohol and a bunch of cotton swabs.
- First, clean the battery terminals with the cotton swab soaked in cleaning alcohol. Make sure to clean any and all debris, dirt any foreign objects.
- Next, thoroughly clean the battery compartment and especially the connectors, and make sure no dirt or debris is blocking them.
If dirty terminals were the culprit or debris particles were responsible for insufficient contact between the terminals, this should fix it.
Battery terminals are misaligned
This has been reported by many users as one of the reasons their drone won’t turn on after a crash – the battery terminals get misaligned and won’t make contact.
This can also happen during rough shipment or on the assembly line.
To eliminate this as a reason for your issue, closely inspect the battery terminals and the drone compartment terminals and make sure everything seems perfectly aligned.
If you find any twisted terminal or misalignment, you have to fix it yourself (if you are a DIY person) or get help from a professional repair shop.
Battery is not correctly inserted
There are not many ways you can insert the battery into your Mavic Air but there is a chance your battery is not fully inserted.
Check your Mavic Air manual for the correct way to insert the battery inside the compartment.
You should hear a click sound when the battery is inserted correctly and the latches close in place.
Also, never insert your battery inside the drone when the battery is turned on.
The battery is too cold
All batteries have temperature limits under which they operate. If your battery is too cold, it will simply stop discharging and your drone will not turn on.
The DJI Mavic Air battery won’t work when the temperature drops below 14 °F (-10 °C). If you are flying in an area where the temperature is below freezing point, that could be the reason.
LiPo batteries use electrolyte chemicals that freeze in low temperatures and won’t stop conducting current (ions). Due to this, you won’t get any voltage out of the battery.
If that is the case, take your battery inside a warm room and keep it there till the temperature recovers and try again.
However, it is not a good idea to fly your drone in extremely low temperatures. Even if your drone takes off, it can crash midway due to low discharge from the battery.
The battery is damaged
If you recently crashed your drone or dropped your battery accidentally, there is a good chance of physical damage to your battery.
LiPo batteries are quite resistant to physical deformation but a drone crash can impact the batteries severely. They can de-shape, deform or even the internal circuitry gets damaged.
To check this, use another battery that was not involved in any such crash and see if that starts your Mavic Air.
If the battery is damaged, you should immediately dispose it of as using it is a fire/explosion hazard.
If it’s not your battery then it’s a problem with other parts of the drone. Our first suspect would be the power button.
I have experienced a stuck power button due to dust on my DJI Mavic Mini. Dust and dirt can gather under the button and make it hard to fully press.
To fix this, you can use a Can of compressed air to blow out the dirt. Angle the compressed air at 45° and blow all around the button. It should remove any and all dust particles.
Once done, press the button and see if the drone turns ON now.
Drone is water damaged or crash damaged
Similar to your battery, your drone’s internal circuitry can also get damaged if you recently crashed your drone or worse crashed it into a water body (lake, river, etc.)
Water damage is the worse as it fries the internal components and renders your drone useless.
If you recently crashed your drone and now it won’t turn on, it’s probably time for a repair. You can either contact DJI (if you have DJI Care Refresh) or get help from your local repair shop to get it fixed.
A hard crash can also break delicate parts of your drone like the arms, motor mounts, or propellers. In that case, you will need parts replacement and DJI is the best source to get them.
Electronic bug or software glitch
Your drone is a complex machine with a lot of electronics built into it and a software layer that coordinates everything. It is possible for it to develop bugs and software glitches at times.
You must have heard the term “have you tried turning it off & on again” in IT industry. Well, it works and we can try the same with our drone.
In technical language, it’s called “power cycling” your electronic device. We don’t simply turn it off and on again but make sure to drain all capacitors of their charge.
To do this, just take your battery off the drone and leave it on your table overnight. The capacitors will drain and the drone will be empty of any residue charge.
In the morning, connect your battery again and try turning it ON again and see if it works.
Refresh the firmware
Outdated firmware can cause problems with your drone so it is a good idea to check for firmware updates from time to time.
If your drone is completely off with no sign of life whatsoever, it’s difficult to update the firmware.
However, if the drone shows some lights but won’t fully turn on, you might be able to connect it with your PC and refresh or update the firmware
To refresh or reinstall your Mavic Air firmware, follow the below steps:
- First, download the free DJI Assitant from the official DJI website. Here is the direct link.
- Once downloaded, double-click and install it on your system.
- Once the program is installed, double-click and opens it. It will ask you to connect your drone via USB. Connect your drone to the DJI Assistant.
- If your drone’s main board is ON, you will see your drone model number (Mavic Air) will pop up on the screen. Click on it.
- Go to “Firmware Update” on the left-hand panel, and you will see all the firmware available for your Mavic Air.
- If your drone is already on the latest firmware, you will see a “REFRESH” button in front of it.
If the problem was due to outdated or buggy firmware, this should fix your issue.
Contact DJI Support
If you tried all the troubleshooting steps and are still here with your Mavic Air that won’t turn on, it’s probably time to call the professionals.
If you have DJI Care Refresh, you can see if your problem is covered under it. Contact DJI support on their website (direct link)
If you live in an area where DJI support is not available, you can send your drone via registered mail to repair it as well.
DJI Mavic Air Wont Turn ON – Final Words
DJI products are quite reliable and robust but at times, they can malfunction. If you are stuck with a Mavic Air that won’t turn on, it’s a good idea to troubleshoot the basic things before you send it in for repairs or replacement.
This guide provides a detailed troubleshooting guide that you can follow to eliminate the most common causes of your problem and most of the time, your drone will turn on.
However, if you still can’t get it ON, you can always contact DJI support and get professional help.