What Does Red Light On Motherboard Mean?

The red light on the motherboard is an indicator of an issue with the system. It is usually a warning sign that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. It could be an issue with the power supply, the cooling system, the memory, or another component. It is important to identify and resolve the issue as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the system.

How To Read A Red Light On A Motherboard?

The red light will be next to each label on a newer board with four main markers. That is:


A red light near the BOOT sign means that something is wrong with the boot device, which would be the hard drive. More exactly, the OS is stored on the hard drive.


A red light next to the VGA or GPU sign means that the graphics card has not been found or is not in the right place.


If there is a red light next to the DRAM indicator, it means that a RAM cell is not in the right place. If you can see that the side clamps on either side of a RAM stick are not locked down, that’s probably the problem.


If this light is red, it means that the system does not recognize the CPU, which could mean a lot of different things. The CPU may not be on the right, or one of the pins may be bent. It’s also possible that the fan for the CPU is not plugged in. The red light can also come on if the CMOS battery is dead.

What Does the Red Light on the CPU Mean?

Red light on CPU on Motherboard

Each LED on the motherboard shows you where the problem is, but not always what the problem is.

Something is wrong with the processor if the red light next to the CPU name is on. This is one of the most common reasons why the red light will be on.

Here are some things that could cause the CPU light to go off:

  • It might not be in the right place, which could mean that it’s not plugged in right or that the pins are bent. 
  • It could also mean that the power wire to the motherboard is not plugged in right.
  • The wire for the CPU fan is not in the header.
  • The battery for the CMOS is dead.
  • The CPU you have put in is broken.

How To Fix Errors With A Red Light On A Motherboard

To fix broken hardware, first try unplugging and reconnecting it. If your board is old, you might skip this.

Update your motherboard’s BIOS. Often, you can do this by shorting a jumper; if unsure, refer to the board’s manual or the manufacturer’s website. Alternatively, remove the CMOS battery for at least five minutes.

Replace the CMOS battery if needed. A dead battery often triggers a red LED light. Consider trying this first.

If these don’t work, disconnect all components, including GPU, hard drives, RAM, and CPU. Check for damage or dirt on joints and pins. Clean older CPUs with a soft eraser. Remove peripherals like the mouse, keyboard, external drives, and ethernet cable.

Reconnect each device one at a time and power it on. Focus on the CPU and RAM. With multiple RAM modules, leave one connected and remove the rest. If there’s no red light and the computer tries to start, you’ve likely found the issue. Boot with one RAM stick and no GPU to test.

If problems persist, the issue might be a faulty motherboard or power supply. Sometimes a failing power supply still powers the motherboard and fans, but the computer won’t boot.

Causes Of A Red Light On The Motherboard

Motherboard Red Light Indicators

1. Faulty Power Supply: 

One of the most common causes of a motherboard with a red light is an inadequate or faulty power supply. If the power supply is not providing enough power to the components, the motherboard will display a red light.

2. Overheating: 

Another cause of a motherboard with a red light is overheating. If the CPU or other components are running excessively hot, the motherboard may display a red light to indicate that the system needs to be shut down.

3. Bad Motherboard: 

A broken or defective motherboard can also cause a red light on the motherboard. This could be due to a short circuit, manufacturing defect, or other issue.

4. Bad Memory: 

Faulty memory can also cause a motherboard to display a red light. This is often due to compatibility issues with the motherboard and the RAM.

5. Bad Processor: 

A faulty processor can also cause a motherboard to display a red light. This could be due to a manufacturing defect, faulty or incompatible memory, or other issue.

How do you know if your motherboard is dying?

Follow the repair steps in this article to find out if your motherboard is dying or failing. Unplug all of the board’s small hardware and try to boot with as few links as possible.

If the computer still won’t turn on or POST, the problem is probably with the board or the power source. Most of the time, the trouble is with the power source. But if you change the power source and the computer still won’t start up, you know the problem is with the motherboard.

In rare cases, you may be able to see damage on the board, such as burned or broken leads, transistors, and other parts. An electric shock will kill a board, but it won’t show any signs of damage.

What Causes the Orange Light to Be Present on My Motherboard?

A steady orange light indicates that power is being delivered to the motherboard, which is the expected state of affairs. There is a possibility that an orange light will remain on indefinitely in some motherboards while others will not.

On certain computers, there is a problem that can be identified if the power button flashes in a variety of colors. If the orange light is constantly blinking, this indicates that there is a problem with the power supply, whereas a steady orange light indicates that there is an issue with the motherboard.

On the Motherboard, There Are Indications of a Red Light

1. Smell of Burning: If there is a burning smell coming from the motherboard, this is a significant indication that there is an issue, especially if there is smoke or sparks present as well.

2. Excessive Heat Another sign that something is amiss with your computer is if the motherboard is producing an excessive amount of heat.

3. A Video That Flickers If the video on your monitor flickers or turns off randomly, this could be an indication that there is a problem with the motherboard.

4. Components That Are Not Responding If some of the components on your motherboard are not responding, this could be another indication that there is a problem.

5. Visual Indications: If there is a significant red light on the motherboard, this is a clear indication that there is an issue with the device.

What Does the Red Light Indicate About the Motherboard’s Well-being?

To begin, if the red light on your motherboard is labeled as the CPU light, it may not necessarily indicate that your motherboard is about to fail. On the other hand, if everything is working well, including the central processing unit, yet the light on your motherboard continues to illuminate, this very probably indicates that there is a problem with the motherboard.

Utilizing the approaches described in this article to perform a diagnostic check is your best bet in the event that your motherboard is exhibiting symptoms that point to its imminent death or failure. If you are having problems booting, you should remove any peripherals that aren’t absolutely necessary from the board.

If the computer still will not boot or pass the POST test, the issue is almost probably caused by either the motherboard or the power supply. In virtually all cases, the problem is with the power source. However, if there is a problem with the motherboard, the computer will not start up even after the power supply has been replaced.

Sometimes it is possible to spot signs of damage on the circuit board, such as headers, transistors, and other components that have been damaged or burned, respectively. On the other hand, a board that has been rendered useless by a static shock will exhibit no evidence of damage.

How to Keep the Red Light on the Motherboard from Coming On

If you follow these easy tips for taking care of your motherboard, you can avoid getting a red light in the future:

  • Keep your computer clean and make sure it has enough airflow so it doesn’t get too hot. Learn how to clean a computer without using compressed air by reading our article. 
  • Learn how to clean a PC without compressed air by reading our guide. 
  • Make sure that all of the hardware on your computer is installed and connected in the correct way.
  • Make sure that all of the hardware in your computer is installed and linked correctly.
  • Make sure that your computer always has the most recent version of the software and drivers installed.
  • Keep the software and drivers on your machine up to date.
  • Try to avoid putting undue strain on your computer by simultaneously running too many programs or by using applications that require a lot of resources.
  • Don’t overwork your computer by running too many programs at once or by using programs that use a lot of resources.
  • Don’t move your computer with your hands while it’s on.
  • Perform routine maintenance on your computer, such as removing dust and checking for loose cables, and do this on a regular basis.
  • Do regular maintenance jobs, like cleaning the dust off your computer and checking for cables that are loose.
  • Use antivirus software from a reputable company to keep malware and other online risks away from your computer.


The importance of the red light on a motherboard can vary greatly depending on both the individual board in question and the settings that have been applied to it. In most cases, a red light indicates that a serious fault has occurred in the system and needs to be handled as soon as possible.

It is possible that the fault is with the setup of the BIOS, the power supply, or a component. It could also indicate that the power supply is not functioning properly. It is essential to look through the documentation provided by the manufacturer as well as the troubleshooting guide in order to figure out what triggered the red light and then take the proper steps to fix the problem.

About Henzon

Henzon, affectionately known as "The Hardware Guru," is our go-to guy for everything related to PC components and custom builds. His dedication to this craft is so profound that he once spent three days straight building a PC inside a life-sized replica of R2-D2. When he's not busy crafting the perfect PC, Henzon can be found binge-watching obscure sci-fi movies or playing retro video games from the 90s. With Henzon on our team, we're confident that our readers will never be left in the dark about the latest in PC hardware.

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