Problems that occur when the iRobot Roomba vacuum is not working include, the Roomba not switching on, it not charging properly, or failing to pick up the debris on the floor.

As you can control your cleaning device via the iRobot app on your mobile, there may be a connection problem that is behind the cause of these problems.

Changing the device’s batteries, or resetting the software can help fix these issues.

We have formed this simple guide to help you understand why your iRobot Roomba vacuum is not working, and what steps will fix this problem, so your Roomba can get back to cleaning your floors while it navigates around your home.

Why is my Roomba not vacuuming?

irobot roomba vacuum not working

Why is my Roomba not working

Your Roomba is not vacuuming due to the following reasons; 

Reason 1. Battery issue

The iRobot will automatically put itself onto the dock to charge once it has completed the cleaning cycle.

If your vacuum’s battery cannot hold any power, the device will not be able to work after it has left its home base.

The batteries could be faulty or drained.

NB; Your Roomba will not charge if the batteries are too hot or too cold.

Reason 2. Built-up debris

If you do not clean your vacuum after it has performed, debris will start to build up;

  • Over the sensors
  • In the battery
  • Around the buttons
  • In between the brushes

The dust bin also needs to be emptied frequently as your device will not be able to pick up any more dirt if the bin is too full.

An overload of dust will make the Roomba more susceptible to getting stuck because it can block the wheels from being able to rotate.

Reason 3. Mobile app not working

You can control your iRobot vacuum through the mobile app.

If you are experiencing connection issues with your internet, your phone will not be able to connect and instruct your Roomba.

Your mobile and cleaning device could be connected to two different Wifi networks, or, your iRobot has not been able to pick up your network to connect online.

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Reason 4. Software issue

If your device is fully charged and your iRobot Roomba is still not working, this will be a sign that the software of your device is faulty.

This can be from the memory data being corrupted.

(Fun Fact: The first iRobot Roomba was launched in 2002, but iRobot has been around since 1990).

What do you do if your Roomba stops working?

irobot roomba vacuum not working

How to fix iRobot Roomba not working

You can fix your iRobot Roomba by following these easy fixes;

Fix 1. Check the battery

First, complete a reset on the battery;

Step 1. Remove the battery

Step 2. Push down on the ‘Clean’ button for around 15 seconds

Step 3. Put the battery back in 

Step 4. Charge the battery until the ‘Power’ light becomes green

Note, it is advised to keep your Roomba charging for 72 hours.

If your current battery is completely drained, replacing the battery will fix the battery issue. (You can tell if the battery is dead if the green indicator light does not appear).

Make sure you re-insert the battery correctly as this will interfere with your Roomba working properly.

Fix 2. Clean your device

Built-up dirt is one of the main reasons why your iRobot Roomba is not working.

Step 1. Turn your Roomba upside down

Step 2. With a dry cloth, wipe away all the dirt

Step 3. Open your vacuum to check for the dust around the battery

Step 4. Wipe the docking station

Make sure your vacuum is closed securely before activating the device.

NB: Do not forget to detach the dustbin to empty it, and clean the filter.

Fix 3. Check mobile app network settings

If your mobile app is not working, there could be a connection issue with your network.

First, make sure your network service provider is delivering adequate bandwidth speeds.

Occasionally, your internet can drop in and out of its connection. A reset of your router will help refresh the connection and aid in making the network visible.

Step 1. Turn your router off and unplug it

Step 2. After a couple of minutes, switch it back on

Check to see if the app has reconnected.

If this does not work, you may need to reinstall the iRobot app;

Step 1. On the app, remove your Roomba as a ‘Known Device’

Step 2. Uninstall/delete the app

Step 3. Search for the app and reinstall it

Once the install has been completed, open the app and search for your Roomba to add it as a device.

Fix 4. Reset Roomba device

If the software on your Roomba is corrupted, resetting the device will get rid of any contaminated files stored in its memory.

We advise you to perform a Soft Reset first;

Step 1. At the same time, press down on the ‘Start’ and ‘Dock’ buttons on your Roomba

Step 2. Once you hear a ‘beep’ release the buttons

Step 3. Plug your vacuum back in

Depending on what Roomba model you have, there will be a ‘Reset’ button on the device. You can press down on this button for 15 seconds.

A Hard Reset will erase all saved data on your iRobot and return the device to its ‘default’ settings.

Step 1. Place your device on charge (either on its docking station or plugged in)

Step 2. Hold down the ‘Clean’ button until you see ‘r 5Y’ 

Step 3. Let go of the button

You should hear a ‘beep’ which will confirm the reset is complete.


Your iRobot Roomba should now be automatically detecting dust and manoeuvring around your floors without any hassle.

If, for some reason you are still experiencing issues with your iRobot Roomba Vacuum not working, you can contact Roomba’s customer care team via email or speak to someone directly on 0208 8653171.

Their operating hours are Monday to Friday, 9 am to 7 pm.

If you need to contact iRobot outside the UK, you can make use of their ‘International Distributor’ by choosing where you are calling from.

Make sure you have your Roomba’s serial number before contacting their support team. You will be able to find it on a black and white sticker.