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There are a number of indicator lights that Oculus Quest devices display. These lights are intended to relay information to the user, as long as you know what the lights mean. The red light means that the battery level is low, but only if it’s a solid and unblinking red.

A blinking red light is not even listed as an informative light type on Oculus Quest’s informational pamphlet. Only the solid red light is listed. A blinking red light does occur from time to time and it generally means there is an issue with the charger or the charger port, or it’s completely dead. 

AdobeStock_443086713 young man in a white t shirt wearing Virtual Reality VR Headset. VR for gaming. Grey blue background

The Oculus Quest charging port is a USB-C charging port. For those unfamiliar with USB-C, it’s the latest mass-market upgrade to USB micro chargers. It offers a much higher data transfer and a much higher charging rate.

7 Potential Fixes for Oculus Quest Blinking Red

1. Forced Charging

It’s called a “forced” charge but it’s really just a method of getting the charger to start charging the Oculus Quest through unconventional means. This is a meticulous little process but it will often do the trick.

  1. Power up the Quest (assuming it has any remaining battery)
  2. When you see the green light, press and hold the power button for 30 seconds
  3. Once the 30 seconds is up, plug the charger cable into the charging port
  4. Press the power button while it’s charging
  5. The battery meter should show up on the HUD
  6. Orange means that it’s charging

It sounds weird and is not an official method listed in the Oculus Quest troubleshooting manual. However, it often does the trick when you have problems getting the Quest to start charging and dump the blinking red light.

If it doesn’t work, you should attempt it one more time before you move on to something else.

2. Thoroughly Check Your Equipment

Since a blinking red light means there is a problem with the charging capabilities of the Quest, rather than a low battery problem, one of the first things to look at is your equipment.

This fix won’t take long because there are only two things worth checking—the cable itself and the port on the Oculus Quest.

Remember, anytime the charger is working, an orange light will pop up on the screen. You always know you’re successful if you see the orange light. Charging cables are often problematic no matter what device you own. A simple crimp in the cable is enough to open the circuit.

“Open the circuit” means there is no longer a pathway for electricity to travel. Check the cable for any kind of damage or bends. Check the male USB-C as well. Make sure there is nothing caught inside the connector that could block the connection. Do the same for the port in the Oculus Quest.

3. Switch Charging Cables

Fortunately, the cable the Oculus Quest requires is not proprietary. You will find USB-C charging cables anywhere you go nowadays, whether it’s Best Buy or a grocery store electronics section.

Unfortunately, no matter what the charging cable technology, charging cables just don’t seem to last very long, even if you’re using the one that comes with the device. Your best bet is to purchase a USB-C charging cable that’s a premium cable.

There is no such thing as a forever dependable cable but the premium, well-made cables typically last longer than those cheap, $9.99 USB-C charging cables you find up at the local convenience store. You should avoid the latter unless you’re getting pretty desperate.

4. Oculus Quest is Overheating

This is fairly uncommon but it does happen from time to time. When it’s overheating, it will not accept a charge. The process of charging the internal battery produces additional heat and, like a smartphone or a tablet, the Oculus Quest has built-in safety mechanisms that block charging when the device is too hot.

Your best bet is to allow the Oculus Quest to cool off for a while before you plug the charger back in and give it another go.

This could take anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. Just set the device off to the side, in a cool, well-ventilated area, and give it time to cool off.

After some time has gone by, feel free to give it another try. It’s not very common for an Oculus Quest to get too hot to touch. If it gets hot to touch, you need to contact customer service or the retailer you purchased it from.

5. Update Your Oculus Quest

While the red blinking light is an indication that the charger is not working or the device is completely dead, it might mean it’s time to update your Quest. If your Quest isn’t up-to-date, a blinking red light is possible.

Oculus Quest devices are supposed to update on their own, whenever they’re connected to the internet. However, that’s not always the case, especially if you pull it out of the box for the first time and it’s never been connected to your WiFi before.

  1. Use the right controller to press the Oculus button
  2. Select Settings (it’s a gear icon)
  3. You’ll have to aim the pointer over the Settings menu to access the drop-down menu
  4. Scroll down the drop-down menu and select “About”
  5. Select “Download” or “Install Update”

If there is no firmware update available, the selection box will be greyed out and there won’t be anything for you to select. However, if you have the option to download or install, that means your Oculus Quest has not automatically completed the firmware update and you’ll have to initiate it yourself.

AdobeStock_448299854 Close up of the inside of a virtual reality headset.

6. The Cover on the Lenses

When you first open the box and haul the Oculus Quest out, it should come with a protective cover for the lenses. You can choose to use this cover throughout the lifespan of the device, whenever you have it set off to the side, or not. It’s up to you. If you don’t have any lens covers, we recommend these from amazon.

However, the cover can occasionally confuse the Quest, making it think there is something in front of the lens that it needs to read. While it’s sitting there, trying to scan the cover in front of it, the battery is slowly but surely draining away.

When you pick the device up to put it on, you may get the blinking red light because the battery was draining the whole time it was sitting off to the side. Of course, the solution is simple.

When you aren’t using the Oculus Quest, completely power it down before placing the cover on it, or don’t use the cover at all.

7. Preventative Maintenance

One of the most common fixes for the devices we use every day is to never have to fix them at all. Preventative maintenance is a surprising force in the preservation of electronic devices and something that should be emphasized in troubleshooting articles more often.

Establish a routine where you thoroughly clean your Oculus Quest, including checking the ports over carefully, especially the port in the Oculus Quest itself. Make sure they are clean and free of any debris or dust.

It’s hard to get in the habit of checking your ports before you plug in the charger, but it’s always a good idea to do so. That way you don’t accidentally jam something into the port when you go to plug it in.

Final Thoughts

The blinking red light on an Oculus Quest is probably one of the least seen of all the indicator lights on the headset. It typically means the device is not charging properly or completely drained of battery.

Fortunately, the troubleshooting tips above get you back on track again. However, the most important troubleshooting tip is to keep your Oculus Quest well-maintained. As in all things in life, taking care of it will take care of you.