How do you turn on and off the elliptical? That would be the first question on your mind if you are new to this equipment. You will learn all you need to know about switching your equipment on/off as you read along. We will also discuss reasons why an elliptical trainer may refuse to come on or go off and how to fix them.

How do you turn on and power off an elliptical? Use the power button on your device to turn it on, then step on it to get the machine running. To turn off the machine, stop moving, get off the elliptical, and press the power button. You may also unplug the machine until the next time you are working out. That will help preserve the device’s functionality and increase its lifespan.

That’s the answer in a nutshell, but there’s still more. Can you turn on the elliptical without electric power? How do you set up the console after turning it on (for first-time users)? Why is your elliptical refusing to come on or go off? How do you troubleshoot these problems?

How To Turn On An Elliptical Trainer

You can turn on an elliptical trainer in five easy steps:

  1. Plug the power cable into a socket
  2. Switch the socket on
  3. Press the power button
  4. Set up the console
  5. Start pedalling

Start by plugging the power cable into the socket. Check if the socket has a switch and make sure it is on. Then, look for the power button or switch of the elliptical trainer and press it. When you do that, the console should come on and you will see its preset display.

New ellipticals will display a demo when the console comes on. You can turn off the demo by pressing the demo button on the console and selecting the off checkbox. Press back and the console will return to its home screen.

How To Set Up Your Console To Get The Elliptical Running

Switching on your machine does not mean that it is now ready to use. You need to also set up its console before you step on it for your workout. Setting up the machine’s console is part of turning it on for the first time.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Connect the elliptical to Wi-Fi. You can check the user manual to find out how to do that.
  2. Check for console updates and enable automatic updates. You should also find information on how to do that in the user manual.
  3. Turn the Bluetooth on if your elliptical trainer is Bluetooth-enabled.
  4. Create a fitness account. Check if there is a globe icon on your console. Touch the icon and follow its prompts to create a fitness account that will help you track and synchronise your workouts across different devices.

Once you complete these steps, you can start working out on your elliptical trainer. Step on the machine and start pedalling to activate the flywheel mechanism.

Do You Need Electricity To Turn On An Elliptical Trainer?

Some elliptical trainers do not require electricity. Several brands of the best elliptical trainers on the market are human-powered. That is, the machine relies on pedal power, and not electricity, to activate its flywheel or magnetic mechanism.

The machine starts running when you start pedalling and stops running when you stop moving your legs. What’s more, some elliptical trainers use batteries and, as such, do not require electricity.

Knowing what your device needs to come on is very crucial. You may not be able to successfully turn the machine on without that knowledge. As you read on, we will show you the different power options that elliptical trainers use.

Different Power Options For Elliptical Trainers

Broadly speaking, there are two power options. They are powered and non-powered options.

Powered elliptical trainers need electricity or batteries before you can turn them on. Some modern powered-elliptical trainers have both battery and AC power options. Non-powered elliptical trainers, on the other hand, rely on human energy, through pedalling, to power the flywheel or magnetic mechanism.

Battery-powered Elliptical Trainers

Battery-powered elliptical trainers are not limited by a power cable. In other words, the machine does not have to be near a wall socket, so you are free to place the machine anywhere. However, you need to replace or recharge the batteries from time to time to keep your equipment functional. Otherwise, you will not be able to turn the device on when the batteries have run out.

Electric Elliptical Trainers

These trainers have an AC adapter which you must plug into a socket before the machine comes on. These machines are more stable because the operation is not affected by weak batteries. A good electric elliptical trainer is like the NordicTrack 9.9 Elliptical, which we did a full review on.

Human-powered Elliptical Trainers

Human-powered elliptical trainers rely entirely on human energy. The screen on many of these ellipticals only comes on when you have been training actively for some seconds. The energy you generate from pedalling is what the elliptical uses to power itself.

How to Power Off an Elliptical Trainer

Electric Elliptical Trainer

You can power off an electric elliptical trainer by pressing the power button when the machine is on. Be sure that the equipment is not off already, otherwise pressing the power button will turn it on.

You may proceed to unplug the machine afterwards to protect the machine and prevent phantom loading. Take note to never unplug it without properly turning off the machine with the power button. That may reduce the lifespan of your elliptical trainer’s electrical components.

Battery-powered Elliptical Trainer

Turning off a battery-powered elliptical follows a similar process. Press the power button when the machine is on. You do not have to remove the batteries after every use. You may, however, remove the batteries for preservation if you won’t use it again any time soon. A good instance where this applies is if you are travelling and will be away for some time.

Human-powered Elliptical Trainer

Turning off a human-powered elliptical is the simplest. All you need to do is stop pedalling and get down from the elliptical. The elliptical trainer and its console will power off automatically once you do that.

As you can see, turning off an elliptical is simple and easy if you know how to turn it on. Just reverse the process and the machine will power off.

Elliptical Trainer with a Power Strip

You can simply power off your power strip if you are using one with your elliptical trainer. That way, you may not have to unplug the elliptical trainers. Your machine will remain safe so long as your power strip has a built-in surge protector.

Why Is Your Elliptical Trainer Refusing To Turn On?

The common reasons why an elliptical trainer may refuse to come on include:

  • Dead batteries
  • Power supply failure
  • Bad wire connection
  • Faulty console

If the elliptical trainer uses batteries, the batteries should be your first point of call.
Check if the batteries are down and charge them (or change them). Check again to see if the elliptical comes on. Be sure that the console is responsive and the machine is running. Your console may be faulty if changing or charging the batteries does not fix the problem.

If the elliptical trainer uses electric power, unplug the machine and check its power cable. Do you find any damaged wires or loose connections? Reconnect the wires or replace the entire power cable if need be. Your elliptical trainer’s console may be faulty if that does not fix the problem.

If you suspect that the console is faulty, you can order a new console and replace the old one. However, it is safer and better to ask an expert to replace it for you. Most manufacturers do not sell consoles to their customers. They often insist on sending a technician over to troubleshoot your elliptical and replace the console if he deems it necessary.

How To Replace A Faulty Console

You can successfully replace the faulty console and get your device to come on if you are the handy type. Note, however, that the latest elliptical trainer models have sophisticated consoles that are just like computers.

These consoles are quite difficult to replace and require some expertise. Older models, on the other hand, have simple LCD consoles, which are very easy to fix.

Here are the steps to follow to replace your faulty elliptical console:

  1. Remove all the screws holding the console in place
  2. Disconnect the console’s wires and take the console out
  3. Fix batteries into your replacement console
  4. Connect the wires to your replacement console
  5. Put the console in its right place and hold it with its screws

Try switching on your elliptical again. It should come on and the console should be displaying.

Less Common Causes Of The Elliptical Trainer Not Coming On

Before you order a replacement console, please check for other less common reasons why your elliptical trainer may not come on. They include:

  • A broken drive belt
  • Water damage

Read on to learn more about how to turn on your elliptical trainer in either of these situations:

  • Broken Drive Belt

A broken drive belt may cause your elliptical trainer not to work. If this is the case, the simple solution is to replace the drive belt. You should make sure to include drive belt replacement in your routine maintenance. Don’t wait for the drive belt to break before you replace it.

  • Water Damage

One of the golden rules for using any machine is to make sure it never gets wet. Please take extra measures to prevent it from getting wet because it may damage the machine beyond repair. But then, if you made a mistake and your elliptical trainer is already wet, we can only hope that the damage is minimal.

If you suspect water damage, do not try any DIY method. Request the services of a professional to help you fix the machine. Trying your hands on a wet machine is not safe for you. More so, you may end up damaging the machine even further.

Why is Your Elliptical Trainer Refusing to Power Off?

There are several possible reasons for an elliptical trainer not powering off. However, the most common causes are:

  • Mechanical malfunction
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Weak batteries

Your elliptical trainer may refuse to power off if any of its electrical or mechanical components malfunctions. What’s more, if the device has an active Bluetooth connection, it may not power off until you disconnect the Bluetooth device. Also, weak batteries may prevent your elliptical trainer from powering off.

Common examples of malfunctions that can prevent your elliptical trainer from powering off include:

  • Faulty Sensor

Many elliptical trainers have sensors that activate the flywheel or magnetic mechanism when you start pedalling. These same sensors signal the bike to power off when you stop pedalling. You need an expert to help you troubleshoot this problem.

  • Loose Crank Arms

A loose crank arm will prevent your machine from powering off. It’s a good thing that you can fix this problem by yourself. Just remove its covers and realign the crank arms to their proper place. You can check the user manual for instructions on how to adjust this component. It is also okay if you prefer to ask a professional to fix it and show you what to do next time.


It is not difficult to turn on or power off an elliptical trainer. Once you know the power option that your elliptical trainer uses, you can master how to safely switch the machine on/off. For a more detailed elliptical maintenance guide, check out our post here.