How to fix a robot vacuum that stops moving

Robot vacuums offer a hands-free way to keep your floors clean. But like all electronics, they sometimes develop problems that prevent them from working as intended. For robot vacuums, a common problem is when an appliance stops running, rendering everything useless. Figuring out what is causing your robot to stop moving is not easy, as there are many different reasons why this could happen.

If you’re trying to figure out how to fix a robot vacuum that stops moving, here’s a quick rundown of everything you should check, as well as general tips for solving the problem. Suggestions have also been given.

check out its wheels

Roborock S4 Max, review
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If your robot vacuum is not running, it may be because there is something wrong with its wheels. After cleaning your house for a long time, it is very possible that something may get stuck between the robot chassis and its wheels, preventing them from rotating. To fix this problem, simply turn off your robot, turn it over and do a quick inspection of the wheels. In particular, check for tangled hair, charging cables, or other types of cords and debris stuck in any crevices near the wheels.

Make sure its sensor is free of debris

EchoVox X2 Omni in your dock.
John Bittner/

Many robots will stop moving if their sensors are covered. This prevents it from rolling into obstacles (or down stairs). You can fix this problem by wiping the front of your robot with a soft cloth. Alternatively, make sure there is enough light in your home for your robot to see. Most modern robot vacuums can operate in the dark, but older models still struggle in low-light environments – which can result in an immobile robot.

Check its internal brush and litter box

The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra left behind a fist-sized tuft of fur in a small carpet.
Nick Moki/

Robot vacuums can only clean your house if their brushes are rotating and their dustbins have space. Depending on your model, it’s possible that a jammed brush or a full dustpan will prevent it from moving. Thankfully, these are quite easy to check. Most of the bins are located on the top of the robot, so you can easily open the faceplate and see that there is space. For the brush, you have to turn the robot off and then turn it upside down. From here, you can inspect its brush for tangles.

Check its battery level

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is in its dock.

Most robot vacuums can run for about two hours before needing a recharge. If your robot is not moving, verify that its battery still has juice left. If it doesn’t, return it to its dock to refill. Also inspect your charging dock at this time and make sure it is recharging your robot properly. Some docks require a switch to turn on after plugging into the wall. Forgetting to do this step means your robot vacuum will not charge.

update its software

ECOVACS DEEBOT T10 OMNI with Mobile App Control

It’s unlikely, but your robot vacuum may be working because it’s running on outdated software. Check your smartphone app to see if there is an update available for your device. The update usually requires placing the robot in your lap and walking away for several minutes.

Reset Your Robot Vacuum

T10 is cleaning the floor.

If all else fails, try simply turning off your robot (and its dock). After a few minutes, turn them back on. Like all electronics, sometimes your robot companion needs a reset.

contact support

Still can’t turn on your robot vacuum? Then you may consider reaching out to customer support. The above problems are easy to fix yourself, but issues like a bad motor, faulty sensor, or broken internal components need to be handled by the manufacturer. With luck, your product will still be under warranty, allowing you to get your robot vacuum working like new without spending a dime.

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