Drone not Pairing (Connecting): Why, and How to Fix It

This post was last updated on: September 1, 2021

It must be the most annoying thing when you come to a place that seems more than perfect to let your drone fly off and potentially capture some amazing photos, but the moment you turn it on and try to pair it - you get deprived of all the excitement.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this problem. Many people come across a moment when their drone simply refuses to pair with your desired device and you don’t know what to do.

It doesn’t take a lot to fix this problem, but it can be quite frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing - which is not uncommon since this happens to everyone for the first time at some point.

Let me explain to you exactly what you need to do in order to pair your drone to your desired device and how to potentially solve this problem forever.

It won’t take long since this is not a big problem that should require repair service to get involved or you needing a diploma in electrical engineering to know what you’re doing!

What Should You Do? - Step By Step

There are two potential problems here: 

Your drone won’t connect to your remote controller, and your drone won’t connect to your phone.

Let’s approach the problems separately because the solutions may be different for both of these situations.

The Remote Controller

If your drone turns on but won’t connect to your remote controller (which is the most common issue people have) you might be able to fix it in just under two minutes.

The first thing you need to do is to plug your remote controller into a phone or a tablet that you’re using to get the picture from your drone’s camera.

After that, you’ll press the pairing button once or the power button twice to begin the pairing process.

This is the moment where your drone will refuse to connect. Look for a slot that is covered or hidden underneath a piece of plastic. In my case (Mavic Pro), it’s the part of the drone where you can find your memory SD card slot.

There should be a small button here that you won’t be able to press with your fingers, but you’ll need a screwdriver or a toothpick instead.

The reset button is the smallest black button in the upper left-hand corner of the panel.

This is a “quick reset” button that will reset your drone’s connection settings. After you pressed it and unlocked your phone or tablet, you should wait a couple of seconds.

Now you have a few seconds to pair your device. Open your drone’s app and search for the “remote settings” or “remote options” tab.

Find the “link the remote controller” and click it. If you have more than one remote controller, you should pick the right one (or the primary one that you use).

At this point, you should be connected to your drone. The only thing left to do is to take your drone outside and let it fly!

The Phone

Usually, the drones that are controlled over the phone without any third-party widgets are connected through Wi-Fi.

If this is the case and your phone won’t connect to your drone, it’s also quite easy to fix. You should open your wifi network settings on your phone and set it aside for now.

Take your drone and find the function or the utility button and long-press it. Some drones might let out two or three beeps as an indicator that it has recognized your long-press.

At that point, the connection function of your drone should be refreshed and it should be ready for pairing.

Set the drone aside and take your phone. Refresh the Wi-Fi settings and find your drone’s name on it.

If you don’t know the password for your drone, it should be printed on the backside of it. If you’re not sure what’s the name of your drone, that information can also be found on that sticker.

At this point, you should be able to click on your drone’s name on the Wi-Fi list. Enter the password and the connection should be established.

There is one unpleasant potential problem that you can experience with this kind of connection. It happens when the Wi-Fi connector in your drone is either broken or damaged and unfortunately - there’s nothing you can do about this.

If this is the case, you probably won’t be able to fix it on your own, unless you’ve done this before and you know how to take out the wifi card and replace it with a new one.

I need to warn you that this will probably terminate the warranty of your drone, but sometimes it’s worth it if you know what you’re doing and you want to save yourself a couple of bucks.

Drone Not Pairing - Conclusion

As you can see, these are not the biggest problems that you can encounter with your drone/quadcopter.

If you’ve followed my step-by-step guide, in both cases your problem should be solved. A good thing about this is that you don’t need access to a computer or a high-grade machine in order to fix the problem, but instead you just need your regular drone gear.

I hope this helped and that your drone isn’t refusing to pair anymore, but will instead work as it should without any further complications.

If you run into the same problem again, just repeat the process.


About the Author: Ruan Nelio

When I'm not geeking out over the newest drones, I'm busy flying my DJI Mavic 2 Pro all over Oslo. The coolest part about this job is I get to keep some of the drones I review, which happens to be how I got my Mavic 2!

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