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Anyone who relies on an Oculus VR headset for entertainment or software use knows just how crucial it is to have optimal functionality.

But if your Oculus keeps turning off on its own terms, you may need to perform a factory reset, hard reboot, or simple settings change on your device. 

To learn how to perform each of these troubleshooting methods and get tips along the way, keep reading.

AdobeStock_337197527 black virtual reality headset and controllers for gaming with white background

5 Reasons Oculus Devices Keep Turning Off

It’s not uncommon for Oculus users to run into issues with the device suddenly turning off and “going black” at times. Luckily, there are some pretty straightforward explanations to this problem.

1. The Auto Wake Feature Is Switched On

A common cause for Oculus devices turning off automatically is that the Auto Wake setting is turned on without the user’s knowledge. This sensor-related setting is designed to switch the device on and off without user direction.

Luckily, this device setting can be switched off, which we’ll explain how to do later on.

2. The Device Isn’t Holding Charge

While low or depleted battery may seem an obvious reason for your Oculus turning off repeatedly, it’s worth noting. In some cases, it may be due to a deeper-rooted issue, such as the device itself not being able to hold charge, no matter how long you charge it.

Whether the battery is in good shape and it simply needs a full charge, or the battery is compromised, there are fixes for this problem.

3. The Oculus Needs Rebooted

If your Oculus battery is in good shape and the Auto Wake setting is switched off, you might consider the age of the device. If you’ve had it a while and haven’t yet done a reboot, this might be the source of frequent turning off malfunction.

4. The Oculus Needs Reset

If your Oculus device hasn’t been reset in a while, doing so could help in a similar way that a reboot could help.

5. The App and Headset Aren’t Properly Paired

Oculus devices require a proper pairing between the mobile app and the headset device. This means that the app “sees” your headset.

Sometimes, when this app-device pair isn’t happening as it should, it can cause the Oculus headset to switch off or simply not turn on. You need to check that this connection is good.

5 Ways to Fix an Oculus That Keeps Turning Off

Each of the above reasons for this Oculus malfunction has a fairly straightforward solution. Many of these fixes take just a few minutes to complete and don’t actually require you to spend money.

In the case that they do require extra support or cost, we’ll explain where to start.

1. Turning Off the Auto Wake Setting

If the Auto Wake setting is the source of your problem, then lucky you! This is one of the simplest and fastest fixes to the Oculus turning-off problem. You can manage settings using the Oculus mobile app or the Oculus controller.

  1. Head to the “Settings” menu
  2. Select the “Device” option
  3. Look for the “Auto Wake” feature and select it
  4. Select the option to turn off the “Auto Wake” feature
  5. Restart your Oculus device to ensure that the settings change is complete

2. Recharge the Battery or Fix the Battery

Oculus VR devices might suddenly turn off automatically due to insufficient charge. If this is due to a properly functioning battery that needs to be recharged, all you need to do is charge it. Because of the simplicity of this solution, it’s one of the first fixes you should turn to.

Simply plug the headset into a USB charger compatible with the specific device. Oculus Quest headsets take approximately 2-2 ½ hours to reach full charge. 

On the other hand, if your Oculus keeps automatically turning off due to battery issues, the battery may need to be replaced even after you’ve waited for a full charge. Luckily, you can find these compatible, rechargeable Oculus headset batteries for sale online. Many are relatively affordable, priced around $15-$30.

If this doesn’t work, you may also opt to replace your compatible Oculus charging cord. You can buy replacements online for roughly $15.

3. Rebooting the Oculus Device

For older Oculus devices or ones that require maintenance to stop the auto turning off, a reboot may help. If you can’t even get the device to turn back on at all, you can do a hard reboot on the device by taking the following steps:

  1. Press down on the power button and hold
  2. Wait a minimum of 10 seconds before releasing the button

Or, if you can keep the Oculus on momentarily, you can perform a hard reboot by navigating to the Oculus bootloader menu. You’ll want to press and hold the volume and power buttons simultaneously. Do so for at least 10 seconds.

Next, you can use the volume buttons to navigate to the “boot device” option in the menu. Press (but don’t hold) the power button once more.

4. Resetting the Oculus

Another way to refresh the Oculus device and approach the turning off issue is to do a factory reset. If you’re familiar with iPhones and other handheld technology, you’ve probably done a factory reset.

For the Oculus headset, however, it’s important to note that there are negative repercussions to this “fix.”

While the factory reset may fix the automatic turning-off issue, it could also clear any existing storage or data from the device. This is a headache, so you should see if other solutions work before resorting to this one.

To perform a factory reset, take these steps:

  1. Press down on the volume and power buttons simultaneously
  2. Hold these for at least 10 seconds
  3. Use the volume buttons to navigate to the “Factory Reset” menu option
  4. Press (but don’t hold) the power button

5. Fixing the App-Headset Connection

Last, you may need to ensure that your Oculus mobile app can “see” your headset. Once you’re logged into the Oculus app on your mobile device, ensure that it can “see” your device and select an app to load.

This should effectively turn on the headset, where you’ll be able to see the app you selected on your mobile device.

The Bottom Line

If you’re using an Oculus virtual reality headset device and keep running into issues with the screen turning off on its own, there are a few explanations and fixes you can turn to.

Issues with the battery can be fixed by fully charging the headset or replacing the battery and USB charging cord. A hard reboot or factory reset may also fix the issue, and you may even try to fix the app-to-device pairing or make sure that the Auto Wake setting is switched off.

Remember that some fixes can have unintended outcomes, such as a factory reset that clears your data.

Try less invasive solutions before turning to the more extreme ones. And always make sure that your Oculus device and its connected mobile app are up to date, logged in, and set to the appropriate settings for optimal use.