Why Is My Polaroid Flashing Red? (9 Reasons Why)

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Fletcher Crawford

Fletcher Crawford is a 20-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

Polaroid cameras are fun and easy to use. That said, figuring out why their LED light indicators blink and flash can be confusing at times. This begs the question: why is my Polaroid flashing red?

Your Polaroid camera may be flashing red for a variety of reasons, ranging from low battery to low memory. So keep reading to find out the top nine reasons why your Polaroid is flashing red.

Why Is My Polaroid Flashing Red?

1. Low Battery

The most common cause of a Polaroid camera flashing red is a low battery. Most Polaroids are equipped with a low battery LED light indicator.

So when the camera is running out of battery, this indicator starts flashing red.

All you need to do to stop your Polaroid from flashing red is replace its batteries, which should do the trick. Simply push back the lens into the Polaroid’s body and replace the batteries.

Some Polaroid models will flash red even when charged via the Micro USB port to indicate that the battery is low.

Keep in mind that some Polaroids may still flash red when you plug them in.

2. Still Charging

Even when placed on a charger, some Polaroid models continue to flash red. This way, the indicator lets you know that the battery is low.

Polaroid cameras typically flash red until the battery reaches 50%, at which point the light turns orange.

When the battery is nearly fully charged, the Polaroid camera may flash green. When the battery is fully charged, the light will turn off for most, if not all, Polaroids.

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3. Almost Fully Charged

Another battery-related reason your Polaroid is flashing red is that it’s almost fully charged. When they’re almost fully charged, some Polaroid models flash red instead of green.

Other than flashing, some Polaroid cameras will blink red to indicate that the battery is nearly charged.

4. Out of Paper/Film

Some Polaroid models have various LED light indicators. If your Polaroid has a paper/film status light, it may flash red when it runs out of paper/film.

To check if your Polaroid is out of paper, open the paper door. If there’s no paper, properly insert new paper sheets and close the paper door. Once the paper sheets are loaded, the red light should turn off.

To check if your Polaroid is out of film, turn the control knob counter-clockwise. The control knob’s yellow lines should line up with the shutter button. This will cause the Polaroid’s LED lights to illuminate. The number of LEDs that light up represents the number of shots remaining.

If no LEDs light up, you’ll need to load up a new roll of film. Once you do, the paper status red light should switch off.

5. Print Jam

Print Jam

The paper status on your Polaroid may flash red if there’s a print jam as well.

If you take a photo, and your Polaroid flashes red, the camera may have a paper jam. This jam can be caused by:

  • Overloading the Polaroid with paper
  • Bent paper
  • Paper placed backward

To fix the paper jam, you should carefully remove the jammed paper. Then, check to see if any other paper is causing an issue and, if so, remove it.

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6. Canceled Print

You can cancel printing a Polaroid with some Polaroid models. When you cancel a print, the Polaroid’s print status light will flash red.

What’s more, if an error occurs during the printing process, the Polaroid may cancel the process. As a result, the Polaroid will glow red to indicate that the printing has been canceled.

A Polaroid camera may cancel a printing process due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Low battery
  • Paper is lodged too deeply inside the camera
  • Paper is placed upside down
  • Using the wrong paper

7. Misplaced or Stuck Film Cartridge

The film cartridge is one of the most critical components of a Polaroid camera. So when there’s an issue with it, many Polaroid models will flash red.

If you incorrectly insert a film cartridge into a Polaroid, it’ll flash red. In this case, trying to take a photo may damage the film.

Another issue with film cartridges that causes the Polaroid to flash red is when the film cartridge becomes stuck.

Here’s how to remove stuck film from Polaroid:

  1. Cut a strip of gaff tape
  2. Fold the top horizontally so that you have space to grip
  3. Place the sticky part of the folded tape on the visible part of the cartridge
  4. Press the tape into the cartridge firmly
  5. Pull the gaff tape, and the cartridge will come out

Most importantly, it’s recommended to dislodge the film cartridge from the Polaroid in a dark room. Otherwise, you risk ruining the film.

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8. No Memory Left

Polaroid cameras often use micro SD memory cards. If you’re using a Polaroid with a memory card, it may flash red to alert you that it has less than 1 GB of space left.

When it runs completely out of memory, the Polaroid camera may start blinking red.

All you need to do in this case is either replace the memory card with an empty one or empty the one in the Polaroid.

Just be careful not to expose the film to light if your Polaroid model places the memory card inside near the cartridge.

9. Full Ink Cartridge

Some Polaroid cameras come with ink cartridges. These models usually flash red when they’re printing to let you know that the ink cartridge is full.

In that case, there’s not much of an issue for you to fix, so you don’t need to be concerned.


Why is my Polaroid flashing red?

For most Polaroid cameras, a flashing red light indicates a low battery. Other issues can also cause your Polaroid to flash red, such as running out of memory and misplacing film cartridges.

Luckily, troubleshooting the cause of the flashing red light isn’t difficult. The above-mentioned causes are the most common. So if your Polaroid ever flashes red, you can refer to this article right here.


  • Fletcher Crawford

    Fletcher Crawford is a 15-year veteran of the electrical engineering field. He has worked on everything from Linux systems to Apple products, and is passionate about technology.

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