How to Fix a CD Player When It Won't Play

Written by amanda kondolojy
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How to Fix a CD Player When It Won't Play
(Mohylek via Wikimedia; Public Domain)

Although CDs are still the preferred method of audio distribution, CD players are quickly being phased out in lieu of MP3 players. If your old CD player stops working, it might be a little panic-inducing, but fear not. If the CD player turns on but does not play CDs, then the problem is not with the power cord or the circuity (which are generally more expensive to repair rather than fix) but with the lens. There are several troubleshooting steps that you can take to fix a CD player when it won't play.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Glass/lens cleaner
  • CD cleaning disk
  • Dry duster

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  1. 1

    Remove excess dust from the CD player. Dust is the number one enemy of electronics, and it can corrode even the most resilient device. Make sure to dust in between buttons, knobs, power cord(s) and audio-out ports. Note: use a dry duster, as moisture will harm your CD player further.

  2. 2

    Use a disk-based lens cleaner to remove ground in dust or dirt from the CD player's lens. These lens cleaners look like a regular CDs, but have specially-made bushes on the reverse side that gently remove excess dirt from the CD-reading lens. Simply put the CD in your player, and press the "Play" button to clean the lens. Do not run the cleaner more than once, as excess brushing can cause scratches on the lens.

  3. 3

    Polish the lens. Use a glass or eyeglass cleaning solution and a lint-free cloth to gently polish the reading lens. Clean it by using a low amount of pressure and softly polishing the lens and its surrounding area using soft, circular motions. Do this for about a minute or two and then allow the player to sit for a few minutes before trying to play a CD.

Tips and warnings

  • If the CD player does not turn on or off, or the power indicator flashes infrequently, the problem is with the power cord or the circuit board, in which case the CD player will not be able to be repaired.
  • If the CD player still does not work after these steps, the lens has probably been scratched, and the CD player will need to be replaced.

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