4 Reasons Why Your Roomba Keeps Stopping

There are a few reasons why your Roomba might keep stopping. The most common reasons are:

  1. It’s stuck or sucked something too big up
  2. It’s low on battery or bad battery
  3. Your bot is dirty or dustbin needs to be emptied
  4. Something blocking it or it’s trapped

1. Stuck

One of the biggest reasons why any robot vacuum may stop is because it’s stuck.

For me, at least, leaving gym shorts or shirts on the floor can cause it to get stuck and stop working. They will try to suck up too big of items, and it causes them to get stuck. 

I’ve also seen odd things like screws or even kids or pet toys get stuck in them, and they stop working.

Most of the time, the robot vacuum will warn you by sound or through the app if it’s stuck or something stuck to it.

2. Battery Low Or Bad

Most robot vacuums you get today with a charging base will go home and charge themselves, especially if they use LiDAR or cameras to navigate around.

The random navigation robot vacuums do struggle and can miss the charging base if they don’t find them before running out of power. So if you have a random robot vacuum, and it stops at random spots, this could be your issue. Place the charging base somewhere the robot vacuum can more easily find it.

If your robot vacuum stops randomly or only goes for a few minutes, then you more than likely have a bad battery.

It may charge up, but it’s a false charge and the robot gets confused and just shuts down before doing any real cleaning. Replacing the battery is how you fix this problem, they only last so long.

3. Dirty!

Another reason it may stop is that the sensors are too dirty, or the dustbin needs to be emptied.

If a sensor is not sending back the correct information, it will cause the robot vacuum to shut down and stop working, as it doesn’t know if it’s going to fall down the stairs or similar.

The dustbin being too full is another issue and will cause the robot vacuum to just stop cleaning.

You need to routinely empty its dustbin to keep robot vacuums running at the best performance.

4. Blocked or Trapped!

Your robot vacuum getting blocked by something or getting trapped can cause them to stop working.

Small 4-leg furniture is bad about this, or furniture with humps or odd legs too!

I have bar stools that will often trap my robot vacuum and get it stuck. Sometimes the robot vacuum doesn’t tell me as it thinks everything is fine as the wheels can move fine.

You’ll need to adjust the furniture location or set up no-go areas in the app of your robot vacuum to keep it from getting stuck and overall stop working.

Stops After 5-Seconds

If your robot vacuum stops working after 5-seconds, then that is mostly likely a sign of a really bad battery.

If the battery is worn out enough, it may give off a “fake charged” sign to the charger, but really it’s a surface charge and was only enough juice to get it going for a few seconds.

I would replace the battery of your robot vacuum first before you do anything else, especially if it’s over two years old.

Stops in Front of Charger

A bot that stops in front of the charger means the charger guiding lights have gone bad, and you need to replace the charging base.

Robot vacuums use an invisible light (to us) to guide them to the charging base.

Another reason is that the charging pads on the charger or robot vacuum are worn out or dirty. The robot vacuum goes on the charger but since it can’t get a charge because of the pads being dirty it backs off and tries again. The robot will keep trying to find these pads until it runs out of power, and that is why it stopped in front of the charger.

Briefly Pausing Is Common

It’s normal for your robot vacuum to stop briefly when it’s cleaning, especially if it uses LiDAR or camera navigation.

The robot vacuum is getting its bearings and looking for the next spot to clean.

It also may have gotten new information from the app, or you may have pressed one of its buttons, and they’re waiting for your next command. This used to be a big problem with the older models that had a “TV remote” to control them, as the IR blaster would pick up other signals and confuse the robot vacuum or make it stop.

There is also the very rare chance that someone has hacked your robot vacuum and could be playing with you. Follow our guide here to better secure yourself and your robot vacuum. Once again, it’s rare, but it could happen, so we make mention of it.



Hello, I'm Lee from "ThemVacuums.com"! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

2 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why Your Roomba Keeps Stopping”

  1. My Roomba starts fine and will go for 6-10 minutes. Then it will stop and show a red ring. When I pick it up to take it to the charging station, a voice tells me to “empty the bin.” I put it in front of the station, where it emptied itself. Still didn’t work. So then I tried cleaning out the bin by emptying it into the garbage. It was VERY full. I put the bag back in, tried it again….no joy. What’s going on?

    • Make sure the contacts are clean and not damaged on the bin. Look for any blockage on the bin intake or the base station, sometimes plastic from food wrappers can get trapped.


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