Fixing a Flip UltraHD that won't charge its battery

About a year ago I received a Flip UltraHD 2nd Generation camcorder (the one with the rechargeable battery) as a gift.  I made little use of it at first, and it wasn't until I took it with me on a trip to New Zealand at the end of the summer that the battery fully discharged for the first time.  I connected the camcorder to my laptop to allow it to recharge, but the display showed the "Connected" screen instead of the "Charging" screen and the red charge indicator light never came on.  My Flip wasn't charging its battery.

After returning from New Zealand I looked around online for solutions to this problem.  I found a number of people complaining about the same battery charging issue, along with some information on fixing the problem by removing the battery while the camcorder was connected to a computer, disconnecting the camera, reinserting the battery, and reconnecting the camera to the computer.  This was supposed to reset the camcorder in some way that would allow it to charge its battery.  The procedure seemed to work for some people, but not for others.  Unfortunately I was one of those others for which it did not work.  

Eventually I decided that if the camcorder wasn't going to charge its battery, it wasn't going to be all that useful, and I might as well just get rid of it.  First, though, I decided pull it apart to see if there were any obvious internal problems that could be corrected.  As I was about to crack it open, I noticed something in the battery compartment that led me to a solution to the battery charging problem using nothing more than a folded piece of paper.   

Folded Paper with Flip

It turns out that the camcorder will only charge its battery if it detects the physical presence of its rechargeable battery pack.  Battery detection depends on two physical components.  One is a switch located at the top of the battery compartment, circled in the photo below.  

Flip Battery Compartment Switch

The other is a little plastic tab included with the battery pack, circled in the photo below.  

Flip Battery Plastic Tab

When the battery pack is inserted within the camcorder, the plastic tab will activate the switch, causing the camcorder to charge the battery.  If the plastic tab does not make contact with the switch, the camcorder will not charge the battery.  As you see in the picture above, the plastic tab is a little off center.  My Flip was not charging the battery because the plastic tab was not aligned with the switch.  To work around the problem I placed a folded piece of paper on top of the switch as shown below.  

Flip Charging Problem Fix

When the battery pack is inserted, it applies enough pressure to the paper to hold it firmly on top of the switch, with the switch in the active position.  That was all it took to get the Flip to charge its battery.  The flaw seems to be with the battery pack design, which simply combines two NiMH batteries with the plastic tab by shrink wrapping them together in a way that does not guarantee correct placement of the plastic tab.  

A paperless alternative would be to cut the plastic tab free from the shrink wrap and tape it back onto the battery pack in the correct position.  I tried using a pair of needle nose pliers to realign the plastic tab without cutting the shrink wrap, but the shrink wrap was too tight and the plastic tab wouldn't budge.  The paper based solution is good enough for me for the time being.  

The use of a physical switch to activate the charging process could be an indication that the only difference between the Flip version with the rechargeable battery and the version powered by traditional alkaline batteries is that one comes with a rechargeable battery pack and the other does not.  This could mean that there is no actual difference between the units themselves, and that regular alkaline batteries could safely be used with the rechargeable version of the Flip if necessary.  I can't say that this is the case for sure, though, and I'm not about to find out.  



Brilliant. Thank you for this. I previously tried various hocus-pocus methods found online like "Hold down the power switch and the trash switch for ten seconds, then take the battery pack out, count to ten and put it in again"... etc. Now I suspect they only "work" if the position of that plastic tab happens to get shifted in the process.

My problem with my Flip UltraHD 2nd Generation camera echos the the earlier comments. I loved the camera and it worked great initially. And then it stopped charging the rechargeable battery. I'd tried everything I could thing of including different computers, removing and replacing the battery per another's online recommendation, and finally shelving it. And then, I found your solution and low and behold with a tiny piece of folded post-it note it is now charging! Thanks. You've saved it from the landfill - at least for now!

I can't tell you how many endless an unhelpful videos I watched earlier. Thanks so much for this post and a very clear solution, THAT WORKS!

Wow you are a genius. I had shelved my flip for almost a year after numerous attempts to remove the battery, eject the device....blah blah blah didnt work. I just could thow it out after only a few uses so I held on to it. I even called Flip and they sent me a new battery. This workaround is flawless and now I have 2 working batteries. Thankyou 

Usually I don't leave comments but man this one saved my flip. I almost threw it away.


Thankfully there are people like you in the world that not only explore this but then take the time to post.


Oh My! 

I have spent the past 3 days trying to get my FLIP to chat help to no avail..

I was about to give up and found your is charging as I type..

Thank you so much for your for your simple fix..

who'da thunk it!!

It worked for me as well. I hope the Flip video people are paying attention... 


my boss has been going mad for ages as he couldnt use his flip ultra hd on holiday.

i fixed it first time using this ;-)

i myself have the alkaline battery version and works great. flip shoyuld take note of this design flaw.

Thanks a Million! Now the camera is charging!

Thankyou!!! I had to use a little duct tape to hold it down...charging now !!!


Thank you!

Two AA batteries later and the thing works.  Throwing away the rechargable battery.

Thank you so much for the battery "fix"  !  It worked!!!!  I had been without my camera for 6 months because I could not get battery to charge even attached to the computer.  I am so glad that there is a person out there who took the time and brains to assist those who are less mechanically inclined.

It looks like you saved my holiday. Exactly the same problem here. I already spend two days finding out what the problem is and was already sad that I could not film the wonderful vacation I'm having with my family. Now my battery is charging again. Thank you!

It looks like you saved my holiday. Exactly the same problem here. I already spend two days finding out what the problem is and was already sad that I could not film the wonderful vacation I'm having with my family. Now my battery is charging again. Thank you!

Thank you so much... Was about to junk this camera, but now it has new life!

SPOT ON! thanks so much!

from France...

Totally did the trick. Like others it was driving me mad and was about to get rid of the camera.


I didn't close out this browser because I wanted to wait and see if this worked. I was using regular batteries for the longest and got sick of replacing them so I orderd one from ebay. Long story short, it worked for a few days then died. Tried charging and nothing. I came across a few sites that offered methods that were pretty TRASH. Dont know why this one isn't #1 in Google... Thanks so much for sharing. You just saved me a lot of moneyDennis of

tnx man this realy help me . i am using two normal AA rechargeble batteries and whith this paper i can now charge this batterys too :) tny bro :)grets from Slovenia

Thanks a great Blog.  It's nice to see how many people this helped.  I tried the paper fix but it probably isn't the same battery problem I have with my Flip Video UltraHD.  The Flip seems to be incredibly sensitive to everything that could go wrong in charging.  I've got three for work and quite often the red light starts flashing (not charging) when charging through my laptop's USB 2.0 ports.  I've checked and they are the 500ma version so all should be well.  Other issues I'm exploring:Whether using a USB extension cable stops chargingTrying different USB ports (an old Desktop computer seems to work better)I haven't had any problem with my Flip Mino recharging.  Ironically I'd bought the Flip Ultras because they had removeable batteries.I had a similar thought to tnx from Slovenia about fooling the Flip into thinking it had rechargeable batteries instead of generic NiMh but until I can get batteries charging in the Flip I think only I'll have to use standard rechargeable NiMh batteries and charge them separately in a regular charger  

I thought that the battery could no longer charge and was planning to buy a replacement. I found this page and added a folded piece of paper as described. The red light is now on and looks like it is charging!Thank you so much for posting this! 

Thanks for the tip and the detailed instructions

In the end, for me was enough to pull out and replace the battery pack

I spend many hours on the Internet looking for a solution before I found this. Many thanks