If Your Zune Won’t Turn On

A couple days after getting my Zune, I woke up and went to turn it on – and nothing. Nada. I went online in search for the answer, and found a lot of answers – and none that were the answer I was looking for.In my situation, it was far simpler than all of the crazy solutions I read about. So if you’re a new Zune user, and your Zune won’t turn on, you might have the same problem I had…

The battery went dead and needed charging.

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Before you laugh – read on. Naturally, I thought it could be a dead battery, but wrongly assumed that when I plugged it in, the power from the USB cable would immediately wake it up. That is wrong.

If your Zune goes dead, it will take several minutes (give it 10 minutes even) of charging from the USB connection before it will turn on. I believe that’s because the power from the USB cable doesn’t directly power the Zune, so it must charge the battery enough to run first.

If that is not your problem, I did learn of other things to try when researching my “dead” Zune problem. The most common answer I saw was that you need to simply reset the Zune. How to reset your Zune? Simply hold down the back and up button on the control pad. Also, make sure the keypad isn’t locked on the top, so that if you do need to reset it the keys will actually work.

If your Zune ever seems to be acting strange, it might be wise to reset it. This is the exact same as rebooting a computer when it’s giving you problems.

Some people said to merely plug it into the USB cable and that might “wake it up” so to speak.

Other Zune battery tips
I noticed that leaving it on in wireless mode will drain the battery far faster than with wireless mode off. If you use the wireless sync, be sure to turn wireless mode back off as soon as the sync is complete. And if you’re like me and hate to pick up your Zune after a night of sleep, only to see the battery’s charge has gone down, you can also turn the Zune completely off instead of having it go into standby mode. Standby mode allows it to come up faster, but slowly drains the battery over time. Press the back button and push the control pad down and it will power off in a few seconds. Press and hold the play button to turn it on again. It takes longer to power up, but those extra few seconds are easily saved in extended battery time.

So to recap the commands…
Back + Up = Reset/Restart
Back + Down = Turn off, also known as Sleep mode


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45 Comments on If Your Zune Won’t Turn On

  1. Oneye Photography // April 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm // Reply

    Great advice…thought my zune was a goner….thanks a lot!!!

  2. I’ve seen the same info posted on Microsoft’s site, but mine seems to have a bad charging port. I was wondering if there is any way to open the zune up to get the songs off the hdd?

  3. I was sad for brief moment because I couldn’t power on my zune and didn’t see the charging symbol after plugging it in to charge. I found this page, and plugged my zune back in. After nearly 7 mins… voil√†! The charging symbol appeared! Thanks! :)

  4. Holding the start button down for 15-20 seconds worked for me. My Zune was charged overnight but wouldn’t turn on in the morning. When plugged into my laptop it was still not turning on and not recognized as a connected device in Zune.

    I simply held down the start button and then it booted up. Fully charged and operational now!

  5. i just synced some songs to my zune and now it wont work. can someone help

  6. My Zune wont turn on

  7. I just got my Zune 40 and i have been charging it for like 7 hours and it is still not done charging it yet. but it shows the charging sign. (the battery with a lightning bolt through it.)

    • Make sure you’re plugged into a true USB port, and not just a USB memory stick reader. The readers are low-power and will charge devices over a period of days, not hours.

  8. Hi,my friends i need an advice…i have a roblem with my Zune…it won’t turn on…but my situation is diferent from what i have read on web…one day i pluged it to my computer to charge it…it was ok..but after some time i decided to unplug it…when i tryed to turn it up…nothing…and now it makes a strage sound when it is plugged in to computer USB… i don’t think is buttery…HELP please!!! thnak you..and sorry for my english…

  9. thanks a lot for that information because I was giving my zune as a gift and I did not play it in a while, and so when I went to turn it on it would not work so thank you you solve my problem.
    you’re really awesome…

  10. Omg you saved my zune I was worried I would have to get a new one or something. Thanks for this man

  11. Jennifer Blanco // February 16, 2013 at 10:09 am // Reply

    Hello, I’m just curious is there a way to reset the touch screen zune? I was listening to music with the charger full yesterday morning. I Shut it off to start working thinking everything is fine . After work I press the power button and it wont turn on :(
    I connected it to the wall charger and still the same. Waited about 10 minutes and nada. Connected to the laptop and now just simply woke up with the battery symbole with a lighting bolt. Now my laptop is reporting no connection and the UBS windows device attached to the laptop is malfunctioned. Its charging as we speak but Zune software on the computer isnt reading it :/
    Now the zune is acting weird :/

  12. P.S., it was dead for 4 years until recently when i finally charged it.

    • I have three Zunes. It seems to me that the batteries on the older ones degrade to the point that the battery won’t hold a charge. A year after getting an 8GB Zune, it barely lasted 30 minutes before the battery died. The newer Zunes don’t seem to have that problem.

  13. i have the orginal zune. IDK what happened. I had it on the charger all night and a few hours later i had to leave so i grabbed it and headed out. I thought id be jammin to my tunes soon enough. Nope. Even though i left it on the charger it was dead. I angrily brushed it off thinking i could just plug it up and charge it. Nope. If i look closely i can see the faint battery symbol appear and then fade away like an original gameboy when its cut off. It wont stay. There is no bolt. I have tried resetting it. It wont do anything. Ive plugged it in the wall charger and computer. IDK if theres something wrong with my zune or maybe the 95 cent charger from Amazon just isnt adaquate. It was before. What changed? SMH can anyone help? My ear are lonely :-(

  14. I had My Zune plugged in, and the Battery was fully charged, a moment later when I went to use it, suddenly it’s completely dead, it wont work at all, I tried doing the reset thing, and I have it plugged in still, it wont Work…

  15. Brian Erdmann // August 31, 2012 at 12:13 pm // Reply

    Yep i thought it was the unfortunate end of my Platinum 32gb Zune hd. I was downloading music from Zune.net on my final Free-trial of the software and had my Zune plugged into my netbook. I noticed that it was turned off but i knew it had a full battery. I kept pressing the power button and nothing. I went online and was about to send it for repairs but according to Zune the warranty expired last year. Was going to purchase their new replacement one for a decent price but thought i look online for help posts. I came across your site and sure enough…..just needed a reboot by pressing top power button and the back button at the same time! THANKS for your help!!!!

  16. This didn’t help me at all. I tried thia multiple times and nothing

  17. It still wont turn on when i want it to. It is not even dead, its fully charged. Do I need a new zune if this didnt work. I have 120 gb and ive only been able 2 listen 2 like 600 songs because it turns off only hours after I unplug it from the computer

  18. I hope this works if the screen stays black even if you plug it in….no zune mark, no charging symbol, nothing. We’ll see!

  19. YOU ARE SO BRILLIANT! I was so upset my zune was totally busted. I plugged it in, nothing, then reset it ,nothing. But i tried plugging it in like you said but i waited this time and it worked! Thanks again for posting this info!

  20. Thank you so much. I’ve never known how to turn the Zune off and it is always dead when I want it! They should tell people how to completely turn the thing off in the instructions! Thanks for the help.

  21. Hmmm…nothin’. Mine won’t turn on at all. I can’t even reset it. I “charged” mine overnight (meaning I had it plugged into the computer all night). Still, nothing happens. Any ideas? PLEASE HELP!!!!

  22. Thanks for the guide, waffles. Almost a year after your post, you’re still helping people. My new zune didn’t want to work this morning… You saved me troubleshooting the problem on my own.

  23. Thank you so much for the zune battery tips! I was having trouble getting my zune to turn completely off, but now that you’ve explained the difference between standby and completely off my problem is solved! Thanks for the great advice!

  24. Great advice! This really helped me fix my zune, much more informative and correct than other sites I explored. Thanks!

  25. Thank-you sooooo much! All i had to do was reset it and now it is working. I am about to go on a loooonnnggg trip and i was gonna listen to it but it wouldnt turn on and it wouldnt charge. but now it is working so thank you soooo much!

  26. Thank you MAN!!!! I was sad because I didn’t pay for the warranty and my Zune just froze and shut off and wouldn’t turn back on! I was Like “Oh my God, I have a dead Zune now!” Thanks to you, I am saved! My life is saved, many peoples lives are saved!

  27. Nope, same problem and this solution did not work for me.

  28. OH MY GOSH! THank you!!!!! Yayayayayayayay!!!!

  29. And it worked. Thanks for getting me less stressed. (Got it two days ago, so you can’t help freaking out)

  30. Thanks, my Zune stopped while I was downstairs (I have it upstairs) not long after it got in contact with a very small amount of water. :O (As in a sort of wet pack of gum, wet because you had it while walking in the rain like a half hour ago, touching the Zune quick leaving slightly visible water stains), when I came back up and it didn’t work and I didn’t get any sort of response right away I freaked out a little. Hope it works. :P

  31. Ahh you are a life saver – mine died in germany, would have been a real problem

  32. thank you so much! i borrowed this zune from a friend and i thought he’ll kill me if he found out! But thanks to you, i was able to turn it back on! thank you a million times!!! =]

  33. Great tip!! I live in south america and we got no Zune tech support…it turned on after charging for 15 minutes!!!

  34. Thanks! On Holiday in Sri Lanka and my Zune died on the first day….. can you imagine how bored i would have been………


  35. hey bro thanks now my zune is working again i had no clue that u could reset it like that i was so pissed it wouldnt turn on thanks for the help

  36. Thank YOU for the comment! Glad you found the site, and I hope I was able to help in some way. Good luck to you!

    • tj gunnin // May 6, 2013 at 3:44 am // Reply

      I just got my zune hd not long ago and when it would not come on this morning I did not know what to do but then I got what I needed here and it is back working…. THANK YOU

  37. hey, thanks for the post.. had the same problem and hopped online to see what might be going on. keep on keepin on!

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