Power-Cycle a Device

These instructions will walk you through a process techs will refer to as “power-cycling” a device. This procedure can generally be done with all sorts of electronic devices, whether computers, modems, printers, monitors, or switches. Some devices will require some modification of certain steps.

This process is also sometimes referred to as “draining the flea power”. Regardless of what it might be called, the process removes remaining small amounts of power from the circuitry of the device, often taking with it problematic commands, as the memory they reside in has its power fully depleted.


  1. Locate the power button on the device you want to power-cycle. If there isn’t one, skip to step 3.

  2. Power off the device.

  3. Locate the power cord for the device.

    1. Where possible disconnect the power cable at the device end. (I.E. the back of a computer or printer)

    2. If step 3a isn’t possible, disconnect the power cable at the wall, surge protector, or power strip which it connects to.

    3. If the device has a battery in addition to or instead of the power cord, and it is removable, please do so. If the battery is NOT removable, skip to step 5 and proceed as though the device does NOT have a power button.

  4. If the device has a power button, press and hold the power button for 15-20 seconds, while it is still unplugged. This will drain the ”flea-power” mentioned above.

  5. If the device does NOT have a power button (some receipt printers, for example), locate another button that would cause the device to do something (Enter key, paper feed, etc…) and press & hold the same as in step 4.

  6. Release the button, then reconnect power to the device.

  7. Power the device on normally.


You might be asked to power-cycle a device as part of the remedy for several issues including, but not limited to: a TPM error, unresponsive printer, misfunctioning monitor, an unresponsive computer, or any issue with a device that a regular reboot does not resolve. It is also recommended to try this when confronted with ”BSOD” (Blue Screen Of Death or Black Screen Of Death).