Air Fryer Not Starting or Turning On? 6 Fixes To Try

A person holding an Air Fryer Basket

Is your air fryer not starting or turning on? The power supply might be to blame. Here are 6 fixes to try.

Air fryers have taken the world by storm since their invention in the 2010s. Being able to turn any unhealthy delicacy into a calorie-sensitive alternative is probably one of the strongest selling points any appliance has ever presented to its consumers.

They are so convenient and easy to use, that they have become an essential part of millions of kitchens all around the world.  And while this all sounds wonderful, what happens when yours is not starting or turning on?

At the very least, it can be frustrating, especially when this happens right before a big get-together with friends or a romantic dinner at home. Sure, you can always deep-fry your food as you used to in the olden days, but it’s just not the same.

So, how can you go about fixing it?  You need a detailed list of the most common causes and the solutions you can implement to make your air fryer malfunction, a thing of the past

Below, you’ll find said compendium, along with some suggestions that will make this troubleshooting process much simpler and quicker. I want to get you back to enjoying your kitchen, and your healthy snacks as soon as possible.

So, without further ado. Let’s get busy!

Fixing an Air Fryer That Is Not Working

In order to avoid spending money unnecessarily, it’s important that we go from internal to external factors. This will save you a lot of time, and effort.

If your air fryer is not starting or turning on, it could be due to:

  • A bad outlet
  • A damaged cord
  • Improper assembling
  • A broken switch
  • A blown thermal fuse
  • A faulty heating element

As you can see, half of the potential culprits won’t even require you to open the appliance. Good news, right? And it gets even better. In case you must do some internal digging, all you need is a screwdriver, and optionally, a multimeter.

The latter will help you determine your components’ viability.

#1 You Have a Bad Outlet

Test your outlets for continuity

I want to start off with the simplest possible explanation.

If your air fryer is not starting or turning on, you may have a bad wall outlet. This would not only explain a general malfunction, but also short circuits and tripped breakers. Does this sound familiar? If so, this just might be it.

Solution: Test a different outlet.

Unplugging Air Fryer from the outlet
Before trying to use another power source, don’t forget to unplug your air fryer

Carefully unplug your appliance and let it cool down. Once it’s reached an acceptable temperature, pick it up and take it to a different section of the house to plug it into a new outlet. This should take care of the issue.

If you want a challenge and wish to hone your DIY skills, you can test the outlet for continuity with your multimeter. Accurately determining that your wall outlet is bad, could help you spot further issues inside your home’s electrical layout.

This is optional, but strongly encouraged. Just be careful.

#2 Your Power Cord Is Damaged

Keep your power cord untangled and free

After ruling out a bad wall outlet as a culprit, it makes sense to look at your power cord next.

Common sense would dictate that your appliance’s cord should be resistant, right? Well, not quite.

Sure, it should withstand normal operating conditions, and it won’t break right away, but small things like keeping it tangled, badly stored or pressed against a wall for long periods, could cause some serious damage.

If your air fryer is not starting or turning on, this could be the reason why. Depending on the damage to your cord, the symptoms of this issue could range from your appliance not functioning due to power insufficiency, to a fried circuit board due to a short circuit.

Who knew such a small cable could wreak so much havoc?

Solution: Replace the power cord.

You can buy a new one at any online marketplace for less than $20. If the one you’re currently using is at fault, the replacement should resolve the issue. In case you have a spare lying around, you can save some money and try using that one, provided it meets the same amperage and voltage requirements.

#3 Your Air Fryer Is Improperly Assembled

Always double-check everything’s sitting tightly

Cleaning your air fryer regularly is a great habit. Not only will this best practice guarantee hygienic operating conditions, but also extend your appliance’s lifespan. However, if you fail to put it back together properly, it could be having issues starting or turning on. This is not a malfunction per se, but a safety measure.

You see, over the decades, appliance manufacturers have implemented all sorts of safety features into their products to protect you, the user.

Since air fryers are basically big fans that produce scorching-hot air, these

measures will kick in at the first sign of improper operation.

If your air fryer’s basket is not adequately positioned or its food tray is not pushed all the way in, the appliance might turn on, but it won’t start!

Solution: Always double-check that your appliance is properly assembled before trying to operate it.

#4 The Activation Switch Is Broken

The dial knob or the activation switch is usually located in front of the air fryer

If none of the previous non-technical solutions worked, it’s time to look at your appliance’s internal components. First, let’s analyze the activation switch.

This is usually located at the front of your air fryer. More often than not, it’s designed as a dial knob, but there can be some variations. If your appliance is not starting or turning on, you might want to take a look “under the hood”, as a faulty switch could be to blame.

Cheer up! If this turns out to be the issue, a simple replacement will do.

Solution: Carefully unplug your air fryer, let it cool down, and follow these steps:

  1. Locate the screws at the top (or the bottom, depending on your model)
  1. Undo them with a screwdriver
  1. Remove the outer plastic lid and expose the appliance’s guts
  1. Find the switch behind the external dial knob and get comfortable access to it
  1. Bring out your multimeter and test it for continuity

Following these steps should work for you, but if you’re a visual person like me, there are several online videos that will guide you step by step through disassembling your unit.

#5 Your Thermal Fuse Is Blown

Look for blackening and a broken filament

What prevents your air fryer from overheating or catching on fire? Your thermal fuse.

This nifty little component is responsible for self-destructing when it senses that the temperature inside your appliance is getting too high. When this happens, it cuts off all electrical continuity and, as a consequence, your unit stops working and cools down.

Having a blown thermal fuse is not a problem in and of itself, but it could be a signal that there’s something else going on inside your air fryer that needs your attention.

Solution: Follow the steps from the previous point to expose your appliance’s guts and then locate your thermal fuse.

Doing so should be simple, just look for a small oval-shaped piece of glass with blackening inside it and a broken filament. If your fuse is blown, it should look like something exploded in the component’s body.

You can get a replacement at any hardware store. 

#6 Your Heating Element Is Faulty

Your heating element could be failing

Last, but definitely not least, is the possibility of a faulty heating element.

In case you’re not familiar with what this component does, in a nutshell, it transforms the electrical energy drawn from your output, into heat. It’s present in most cooking appliances, and in the case of air fryers, it’s normally shaped like a spiral, and located at the top.

When it fails, it either becomes unable to generate heat or generates too much. The latter often results in overheating and permanent damage to your appliance.

Depending on your model, your air fryer might have a safety countermeasure to overheating, which might be keeping you from being able to operate it.


Having your air fryer fail can be disastrous. If you’re lucky, it will happen at a convenient time, but if you’re not, it could ruin your evening plans.

As wonderful as these appliances are, they’re no strangers to technical difficulties. From damaged power cords, to faulty heating elements, any malfunction can set off other problems and leave you stranded with a nonoperational unit.

Luckily, fixing the majority of the most common causes behind an air fryer that does not start or turn on is simple. All you need is patience, a screwdriver, and determination.

That being said, do not hesitate to call a professional when in doubt. I commend you for trying to improve your DIY skills, but not at the expense of your safety.

Thank you so much for reading. If you found this article useful, why not check out our other wonderful pieces below?

Stay safe, and happy projects!

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more