If you own a Ninja air fryer, then you are undoubtedly part of the large fan club of this amazing little appliance which is one of the best air fryers for cooking so many different food items so well. However, if you have just gone to cook a delicious meal, and you have discovered that your air fryer won’t turn on, or isn’t working properly, this has likely led to quick disappointment and possibly even a hungry belly! Fear not – in this article I will walk you through the fifteen most common problems that can result in your air fryer failing to turn on, how to check if each potential problem is applicable to your Ninja air fryer, and if so, how to fix it. Let’s get started.
The Most Common Reason Your Ninja Air Fryer Won’t Turn On
There are a number of different reasons why your Ninja air fryer might not turn on. The two most common reasons are either that there is a problem with the electrical outlet or system powering your air fryer (such as a tripped electrical breaker), or there is a problem with the air fryer itself (such as the when the fryer basket is not properly secured or the heating element is damaged). The cause of, and solution to, your particular Ninja air fryer not turning on will be in part determined by which model of Ninja air fryer you own.
Your Air Fryer Model & Its Owner’s Guide
Most of the problems and corresponding solutions discussed below should be applicable regardless of which series and model of Ninja air fryer you own. Many of these solutions should also be applicable if you own another brand, such as an InstaPot, Cosori, or NuWave air fryer. In my experience it is always helpful to review the troubleshooting suggestions in the user manual from the manufacturer for your specific Ninja air fryer model.
Even if you lost the paper copy of the owner’s guide that came with your air fryer when you initially purchased it, you can still find, download, and review an electronic copy. To do this, find the model number on your air fryer, and then find the corresponding “Air Fryer Owner’s Guide” for your specific model of Ninja air fryer at the “Owner’s Guide” page on the NinjaKitchen website.
SharkNinja (the manufacturer of the Ninja air fryer) sells four different lines of air fryers which fall into the following series:
- The “DZ Series” and the “AD Series”:
- Larger two-drawer air-fryers
- Correspond to model numbers DZxxx and ADxxx
- The “AF Series”:
- Tall cylindrical air fryers
- Correspond to model numbers AFxxx
- The “SF Series”:
- Rapid cookers
- Correspond to model numbers SFxxx
The current models available via the Ninja website as of the writing of this article in June of 2023 were as follows:
- The Ninja Foodi Air Fryer 6-in-1 Smart 10-qt. 2-Basket (DZ550);
- The Ninja Foodi 5-in-1, 6-qt. 2-Basket Air Fryer (DZ090);
- The Ninja Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer (SF301); and
- The Ninja Air Fryer Max XL (AF161).
Previously manufactured Ninja models, many of which can still be purchased in department stores or online via sites like Amazon include the following: DZ275, DZ400, DZ400Q, AD350CO, DZ200, DZ201, DZ201Q, DZ250Q, DZ100, AG100A, DZ100WM, DZ090, SF301, SF301H, AF100, AF101, AF150, AF160, AF170, AF170Q, AF080, AF080C, and AD150.
In fact, the best-selling Ninja air fryer on Amazon is the older AF101 model.
If you did not recently purchase one of the five models currently for sale, you likely own an older model. SharkNinja also manufactures several combination models such as their “Oven & Air Fryer” model or “Toaster Oven & Air Fryer” model.
Diagnosing Your Air Fryer’s Problem
As was mentioned above, when your Ninja air fryer does not turn on, the problem is usually one of two types. Either there is a problem with your wall socket, the electrical system servicing your socket, or there is a problem with the air fryer itself. Before you attempt the specific troubleshooting steps below, it would be helpful to perform a quick test to determine which of the two problem areas you are facing.
The easiest way to do this is to try plugging another appliance which you know works into the outlet you are using for your air fryer, and then try plugging your air fryer into a different outlet which you also know works. This should give you a good idea of whether or not the problem is related to the air fryer itself, or related to your outlet and electrical system.
The 15 Most Common Problems & Solutions When A Ninja Air Fryer Won’t Turn On
Now that you have a basic idea of what your problem may be, let’s walk through the fifteen most common potential issues that could be keeping your air fryer from turning on. These issues (and their suggested solutions) are roughly listed from easiest to diagnose and fix, to most difficult to diagnose and fix.
Potential Problem #1: Your Ninja Air Fryer Won’t Turn On Because Its Not Plugged In
If your air fryer won’t turn on, the first thing you should always check is whether or not your air fryer is plugged into a power source. Like rebooting your computer, this might seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to turn on my air fryer or another appliance, only to find that my wife or someone else unplugged it.
Solution For Problem #1:
Plug your Ninja air fryer back in. That’s it. That’s the solution. Let’s hope this solves the issue. If not, keep reading. It would be wise to note at this point that you should not use an extension cord to connect your air fryer to a power outlet.
Potential Problem #2: Poor Connection Between The Plug And The Electrical Socket
Often a Ninja air fryer will be plugged into a wall outlet behind cookbooks, another appliance, or other objects which can cause the plug to wiggle loose and slightly out of the electrical socket. While it may still look plugged in, the two-prong power cord may no longer have the proper connection with the internal contact points of the electrical socket necessary to provide electricity. Alternatively, some electrical sockets may be so old, worn, or damaged, that they no longer consistently allow a connection between your air fryer’s plug prongs and the socket’s internal contact points.
Solution For Problem #2:
The best way to fix this problem is simply by ensuring the Ninja air fryer’s plug is securely inserted into the electrical socket, or by utilizing a different outlet. If this does not work, or the plug consistently has a loose connection or falls out of the socket, and using another outlet is not an option for you, you likely need to fix your electrical socket or replace it with a working socket. If this is the case, see our helpful how-to guide on “How To Fix A Loose Outlet”.
Potential Problem #3: Your Electrical Socket Is A GFCI Socket & Needs To Be Reset
If you are plugging your Ninja air fryer into a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet, and the outlet has tripped, that will prevent your Ninja air fryer from turning on. Many electrical code regulations require that electrical outlets within a certain distance of a water source be of the GFCI variety. GFCI outlets are an important safety feature in your home which provide additional protection from electrical hazards like a short circuit, but can also result in outlets being temporarily unusable. Because these outlets are often found in the kitchen, there is a good chance that your air fryer may be plugged into a GFCI outlet, especially if you live in a home of recent construction. If this is the case, the fix is rather simple.
Solution For Problem #3:
If the indicator light on your GFCI outlet is off, this indicates it is in a tripped state. You will notice that your GFCI outlet has two buttons, a red “Reset” button, and a black “Test” button. In order to reset your GFCI outlet, simply click or push the red “Reset” button. You should hear the button click down and you may also hear a beep. The indicator light on the GFCI outlet should come back on and be green in color. You can review our “GFCI Outlet Troubleshooting Guide” for additional assistance with this issue.
Potential Problem #4: Lack Of Power Due A Tripped Electrical Breaker
If your Ninja air fryer still won’t turn on after ensuring it is plugged in securely and you have attempted to reset your GFCI electrical outlet, it could be the result of a tripped electrical breaker in your home’s main electrical panel box which services the outlet for your air fryer. This can be caused by plugging in too many appliances or other items into outlets serviced by the same electrical breaker.
Solution For Problem #4:
If a tripped electrical breaker is the culprit causing your air fryer not to turn on, the fix is rather easy. Simply locate your main electrical breaker panel and look for any breaker switches that appear tripped or loose. Once found, you will need to click the breaker switch back to its original, non-tripped position. Be sure that you are not connecting too many appliances or other items into plugs serviced by the electrical breaker so as not to trip it again. If you experienced continued tripping of this same electrical breaker we recommend you consult a licensed electrician to assist in determining the cause and appropriate remedy. See our in-depth guide that is helpful if your outlet has stopped working but the breaker is not tripped.
Potential Problem #5: Power Outage Due A Faulty Electrical Socket Or Blown Fuse
One of the possible causes why your Ninja air fryer might not be turning on is if your electrical socket contains a blown fuse, or is otherwise faulty. Generally speaking, most electrical outlets don’t come with a built-in fuse because they are protected by the electrical circuit breaker in your main breaker panel. However, some special fused sockets that do contain fuses exist, and these are most commonly found in the United Kingdom. If you have a socket containing a fuse and that fuse is blown, or the socket is otherwise damaged or faulty, this can prevent your air fryer from turning on.
Solution For Problem #5:
One simple solution to this problem would be to use a different working outlet. However this is not always feasible and does not fix the core issue. If you do have the type of socket that has a fuse inside of it, you will see this upon opening the socket to investigate. You may need specialized tools or equipment to determine if the fuse inside your outlet is blown. If a fuse replacement is needed, be sure to replace the old fuse with a new one of equal rating and specifications.
Other problems that could cause an electrical socket not to function may be quite obvious, such as burned, melted, or frayed wiring. Other socket issues, such as faulty receptacles may not be as visible. In either case, if the socket is not functioning properly, your next step would be to replace the socket.
Potential Problem #6: Your Air Fryer Needs A Reset Or Reboot
Sometimes household appliances such as an air fryer may not turn on or respond properly (or at all) to user prompts for unknown reasons. Many appliances manufactured today contain one or more microprocessors which can be prone to technical issues, and much like your computer, this results in users experiencing errors and bugs in operation from time to time.
Solution For Problem #6:
To manually reset or reboot your Ninja fryer, first let it cool to room temperature. Next, unplug it and let it sit for 30 seconds. You can then try plugging it back in, pressing the power button, setting a time and temperature, and pressing the start button to see if it turns back on and operates as expected.
Potential Problem #7: Your Air Fryer Is In Standby Mode
While not technically a reason why your air fryer might not turn on, the “Standby” function of many air fryers can confuse owners and make it appear that the device is not powering up or working properly. Ninja air fryers are programmed to enter “standby” mode after 10 minutes of no interaction with the control panel. Standby mode does not completely turn off the air fryer or prevent you from turning it back on. However, while in standby mode, you may see the screen go blank or black, and the “Power” button will be only dimly lit.
Solution For Problem #7:
Thankfully, the solution for exiting standby mode is quite simple. To do so, simply press the “Power” button.
Potential Problem #8: Food Or Other Residue Is Interfering With The Power Button
If your Ninja air fryer won’t turn on, it is possible that the “Power” button is stuck or inoperable due to the build-up of food particles or residue, especially if you like to cook fatty foods. For most newer Ninja product models, the power button was manufactured such that there is no opportunity for food or other residue to interfere with it. However, if you have an older model this may not be the case. If food or other residue is interfering with your air fryer’s power button, you will likely feel the button becoming more “sticky” or more difficult to press over time.
Solution For Problem #8:
To help alleviate this issue, first unplug your air fryer. Next, use a toothpick or other similar instrument and some paper towel to remove any food, grease, dirt or other residue that has built up in, on, or around the power button. This should allow the button to work more freely and assist in ensuring the unit powers up quickly whenever you go to turn it on. I have included immediately below a great video tutorial on how to clean your air fryer.
Potential Problem #9: The Timer Is Set For Too Long
Many articles attempting to address air fryer troubleshooting have listed as a potential problem users who set the cook time for too long a period of time, or who attempt to set a cooking temperature that is too high. I have found no recorded instances where setting a longer cooking time or high temperatures have ever caused a Ninja air fryer to malfunction, turn off, or fail to turn on. The owner’s guide documentation provided by Ninja also does not mention that these factors affect performance of your air fryer. In fact, your air fryer is built not to exceed the maximum temperature at which you can set it and which is acceptable for cooking.
Solution For Problem #9:
You should of course not set the timer of your air fryer for longer than needed to preheat and cook your food – no one wants burnt food! However, if you find that you have set the cook timer for longer than is needed, most Ninja models allow you to reduce the remaining cooking time by pressing the up/down arrows that correspond to cooking time. Lastly, if you set the timer for much longer than intended and your air fryer has turned itself off, simply allow it to cool to air temperature, unplug it, and then plug it back in and turn it back on.
Potential Problem #10: Basket Or Lid Not Completely Closed Or Secured
One of the main reasons your Ninja air fryer might not turn on may be that your basket or lid is to blame. When the basket is pulled out of the unit (even slightly), or has not been snugly pushed into the main body of the air fryer, the unit may not turn on. Similarly, if the unit is already cooking and you pull the basket out to check on the progress of your meal, cooking will be paused, and will not resume if you do not completely and snugly return the basket to the main body of the air fryer. For Ninja models that contain a lid instead of a basket, the same will be true if you open the lid and do not securely fasten it when closing.
Solution For Problem #10:
Ensure your air fryer’s cooking basket is completely inserted into the main body of your air fryer. Oftentimes you will be able to tell right away that your basket is not completely inserted if you see a “lip” or notice uneven surface contact between the basket and the air fryer’s main body. If you are having difficulty ensuring the air fryer’s basket is completely inserted, check to ensure there is no food or other items obstructing the air fryer basket’s path (such as when food falls over the back side of the basket and into the air fryer body). Don’t be afraid to use a firm yet controlled push to ensure your basket is completely inserted into the body of the air fryer.
Potential Problem #11: Your Air Fryer Has Overheated
Your air fryer may turn off or refuse to turn on if it has recently overheated. This can be caused in one of several different ways. Most often it is when an air intake vent or air outlet has been blocked. As you can imagine, blocking the escape of hot air from your air fryer could severely damage it. There have also been reports that overfilling the food basket can lead to overheating your air fryer, not to mention also being detrimental to the cooking process.
Solution For Problem #11:
First, ensure that there is at least five inches of clearance between any air intakes or air vents on your air fryer and surrounding items. Accordingly, it is a good idea to pull your air fryer out and away from the wall when using it to ensure it has enough counter space. Lastly, if you suspect that your air fryer has overheated due to the volume of food placed in the food basket, try reducing the volume of food before proceeding. If your air fryer has overheated, first let it cool to room temperature. Next, unplug it and let it sit for 30 seconds. You can then try plugging it back in and pressing the power button to see if it turns back on and operates as expected.
Potential Problem #12: Your Air Fryer Is Currently Preheating
Some air fryer models may now allow changes to time, temperature or other settings while in preheat mode. While this would not be a cause of your air fryer not turning on, it can understandably cause frustration if you are not able to adjust settings and do not realize the appliance is currently preheating
Solution For Problem #12:
Ninja air fryers do not have a specific preheating function, and the instructions accompanying most models note that preheating is not needed. To the extent that you need or want to preheat your Ninja air fryer before putting food in, it is recommended to just add three minutes to your total cook time, and then add food in after the first three minutes. Thankfully, because they do not have a specific preheating function, Ninja air fryers are not subject to their controls being locked when they initially start heating up.
Potential Problem #13: Broken or Damaged Power Cable
If the power cord for your air fryer is broken or damaged, this could be a common reason why your air fryer will not turn on. This can include missing or bent prongs on the end of the power cord plug, or when the cord has become frayed or cut at any point. Visually inspect the power cord from end to end to look for any problems.
Solution For Problem #13
Unfortunately, if you have identified that a broken or damaged power cord on your Ninja air fryer is to blame for not being able to turn it on, there is no quick fix. You should not attempt to fix or replace the power cord yourself, as doing so will likely void any warranty from the manufacturer and if done improperly could also lead to an electrical fire or risk of electrocution. Your best bet is to contact Ninja for a replacement or repair under your appliance’s warranty. See our section towards the end of this article for more information on requesting a warranty covered repair or replacement of your Ninja air fryer.
Potential Problem #14: Broken Or Damaged Heating Element or Microswitch
If your Ninja air fryer contains a heating element or microswitch which has been damaged or is no longer working, that could cause your air fryer not to turn on, or not to start heating after turning it on. Damage to the heating element or microswitch could be due to varying reasons, including if the appliance was dropped, suffered water damage, or experienced a power surge.
Solution For Problem #14
You can often determine that your heating element is broken if you are able to turn your air fryer on, but the appliance never begins to heat up. However, even if you have identified one of these components as the problem, you should not attempt to fix or replace them yourself, as doing so will likely void any warranty from the manufacturer and if done improperly could also lead to an electrical fire or risk of electrocution. Again, your best bet is to contact Ninja for a repair or new air fryer under your appliance’s warranty.
Potential Problem #15: Other Electrical Problem Or Mechanical Failure
If you have verified that your electrical system and outlet are working and are not the culprit, and none of the other above fixes have worked to enable you to turn your air fryer on, it is possible that some other electrical or mechanical part of your air fryer is broken. This could be the case if your air fryer was subject to water damage or an electrical power surge, or due to a lot of wear from heavy usage which has caused parts to reach the end of their useful life. If you have seen white smoke or smelled anything like burning rubber while your air fryer is on, this could be a sign of electrical or mechanical failure.
Solution For Problem #15
Because modern electrical devices like air fryers have many delicate parts, it may be impossible to pinpoint exactly where the issue is. Your best bet is to contact Ninja for a replacement or repair under your appliance’s warranty. See our section towards the end of this article for more information on requesting a warranty covered repair or replacement of your Ninja air fryer.
If All Else Fails – Utilize the Ninja Warranty
If you tried each of the troubleshooting suggestions above and are still unable to get your air fryer to turn on or to work properly, it may be time to consider requesting a repair or replacement under the manufacturer’s warranty program.
SharkNinja offers a one-year warranty period on all of their air fryer products as long as you purchased your air fryer through their website or an authorized dealer. The warranty provides for either replacement or repair of your air fryer. When purchasing via their website, SharkNinja offers the great option of purchasing an extended two, three, or four year “VIP” warranty through their partnership with Clyde by Cover Genius. Similarly, you may have the option to purchase an extended three or four warranty for your Ninja air fryer from a third party provider if you purchase it via Amazon.
For air fryers covered under a warranty provided directly by SharkNinja, you need to first be sure to register your device via the manufacturer’s website. Next, in order to get further assistance or initiate a warranty claim, you must call SharkNinja’s customer service specialist line at 1-877-646-5288. When you call you will need to have handy both your air fryer and your receipt from when you purchased it.
Take note that your air fryer’s warranty likely will not cover normal wear and tear of usable parts. Further, the warranty is voided if the air fryer was tampered with, you had someone attempt an unauthorized repair, or the damage was caused by misuse, negligent handling, or failure to properly perform required maintenance. While the cost of shipping the item off for repair will be covered, you will be charged a fee of approximately $21 for shipping back to you after repair or replacement.
You should now have a good understanding of how to find the owner’s manual for your specific Ninja air fryer model and how to diagnose the reason why your air fryer won’t turn on. We walked through the top fifteen problems that might cause an air fryer not to turn on, and the best solution for fixing each problem. If all else fails, you also now know about the SharkNinja air fryer warranty and how to go about making a claim. Hopefully this guide gets your air fryer back up and running, and more importantly gets you back to cooking great food!