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Troubleshooting SanDisk Sansa Fuze Problem

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


Common problems with the SanDisk Sansa Fuze media player include the device failing to turn on, problems getting audio files to play, the device freezing, the device not being recognized by a computer and more. Try working through your issues using troubleshooting before scraping the device in favor of something else. Also, this article lays out how to restore the media player's factory settings, which can resolve most problems.

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze media player comes in a variety of colors, such as red, blue, black and gray.

The SanDisk Sansa Fuze media player comes in a variety of colors, such as red, blue, black and gray.

Sansa Fuze Won't Turn On

  • The Sansa Fuze may not be powering on as a result of excessive discharge, which can result if the device hasn't been charged for an extended period of time. You can resolve this by holding down the "Power" button for at least 30 seconds to get the device to power on. When the device does turn on, immediately connect it to a computer for charging.
  • The Sansa Fuze player may not have been charged properly, which may have resulted in the battery not actually charging. As a result, the battery may have become depleted while the device was in Standby mode. Try charging the device by connecting it to a high-power USB port and not a low-power USB port. High-power USB ports are often located on your computer's tower; low-power USB ports are often found on monitors, keyboards, desktop phones and in other places. Leave your device connected to the USB port for at least three hours to ensure a strong charge. Disconnect the Sansa Fuze after three hours and try powering it on.

Sansa Fuze Freezes

Various factors can cause the Sansa Fuze to freeze up. The issue may result from a temporary software glitch or may call attention to a larger problem with your media player. First, try resetting your Sansa Fuze by holding the "Power" button in the Up position for at least 30 seconds to turn the Sansa Fuze player off. Power the device back on and use it to see if you still experience the media player freezing. If the media player still freezes up, you're problem is much larger. Restore the Sansa Fuze to its factory settings by doing the following to try resolving the issue:

  1. Select "Settings" on the media player's home screen. The Settings icon looks like an equalizer panel.
  2. Select "System Settings."
  3. Select "Reset Factory Settings."
  4. Highlight the "Yes" option and then press the "Select" button, which is the circular button on the device in the center of the clickwheel. Your device begins the factory recovery process, and may restart a few times on its own before eventually booting up to the first screen you saw when you booted up the device the first time. You'll need to reload content that was on the device previously, as all personal content will be erased during the factory recovery.

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Sansa Fuze Not Recognized by Computer

  • Try connecting to a different USB port on your computer. Be careful to connect to a high-power USB port (typically found on your computer tower) and not a low-power USB port (typically found on keyboards and monitors).
  • Disconnect any non-essential USB devices connected to your computer, restart your computer and then try connecting your Sansa Fuze media player to the computer. Because the computer only has so much power to push out to the USB ports, after all of that power is used up, devices connected to USB ports may not be powered, even if those ports are open.
  • Ensure that your using a computer running the Windows XP operating system with Service Pack 2 or higher. Windows XP computers running Service Pack 1 or earlier won't recognize the media player.
  • Refresh the Sansa Fuze media player's drivers by doing the following:
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  1. Open your computer's Start menu and then right-click "Computer."
  2. Right-click "Computer" and then click "Manage." The Computer Management window appears.
  3. Expand "System Tools" on the right side of the Computer Management window and then click "Device Manager." Your Sansa Fuze media player will either be listed on the right side of the Computer Management window under Portable Devices or USB Mass Storage.
  4. Right-click the name of your device in either location and then click "Uninstall" to uninstall the drivers for your device from the computer.
  5. Disconnect the device from the computer and then restart the computer.
  6. Reconnect your Sansa Fuze media player to the computer after it restarts. The device will install itself automatically.

Sansa Fuze Doesn't Playback Song

  • The audio file type most likely isn't supported. Check your Sansa Fuze manual for a more detailed list of supported audio file types for your specific device, but all players support the MP3, WMA, WAV and OGG file types.
  • You may be trying to play a supported file type, but the file itself may be corrupted. Try playing the file back on your computer or another device.

Update Sansa Fuze Firmware

Updating the Sansa Fuze firmware is something easy you can do that can resolve some problems just by doing it. Updating the firmware optimizes your device, such as improving battery life, and can also add new functionality. Update your Sansa Fuze firmware by doing the following:

  1. Click here to download the Sansa Firmware Updater file.
  2. Install the Sansa Firmware Updater on your computer.
  3. Plug your Sansa Fuze into your computer using the USB cable that came with the device. If an update is available, a balloon appears in the Notification Area saying an update is available upon connecting your device to the computer. If no update is available, you won't see this message.
  4. Click the balloon notifying you about the update to open the Sansa Firmware Updater, which opens directly to the Downloads part of the program.
  5. Click to check the "Firmware" option and then click "Download Now." The Download Now button turns into a Downloading button.
  6. The Firmware text turns into a progress bar, displaying the progress of downloading the firmware update and moving it to the media player. When the firmware update is downloaded and transferred to the Sansa Fuze player, the Downloading button turns into a Finish button.
  7. Click "Finish."
  8. Unplug the Sansa Fuze media player from the computer. A dialog box reading "Firmware update in progress" appears on the Sansa Fuze screen. The Sansa Fuze media player will install the firmware update on itself and then power itself down. You can power the device on when your ready to use it and resume using it normally.


Just Meow on April 17, 2016:

Our Sansa Fuze (red one with 4GB, BH0905BKZK) somehow got stuck in LOCKED position years ago and no matter what we do, we cannot unlock it. How did this happen and what can we do to unlock it? It powers on and says PLEASE UNLOCK THE HOLD SWITCH TO POWER ON... but nothing we do unlocks anything! Very frustrating as this is the best MP3 player we ever had! We want our Fuze working again!

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