Roomba Woes: Why Does My Roomba Keep Going in Circles? Troubleshooting Guide

Roomba Woes: Why Does My Roomba Keep Going in Circles? Troubleshooting Guide


Roombas, the autonomous robotic vacuums, have become increasingly popular for their convenience and ability to keep floors clean with minimal effort. However, some users have reported an issue where their Roomba keeps going in circles instead of following its programmed cleaning path. This can be frustrating and hinder the Roomba’s effectiveness. In this troubleshooting guide, we’ll explore the potential causes and provide solutions to help you resolve this issue.

1. Dirty Sensors:

Your Roomba relies on various sensors to navigate and clean efficiently. If these sensors are dirty or obstructed, it can lead to erratic behavior, including going in circles. Here’s how to address this:

  1. Clean the Cliff Sensors: These sensors prevent the Roomba from falling down stairs or off ledges. Locate them underneath the Roomba’s front bumper and use a soft cloth or brush to gently wipe away any dirt or debris.
  2. Inspect the Wheels: Hair, dust, and debris can get tangled around the Roomba’s wheels, causing it to struggle with movement and orientation. Check the wheels for obstructions and remove any debris.
  3. Clean the Bumpers: The Roomba’s bumpers help it detect obstacles and prevent collisions. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the bumpers, affecting their sensitivity. Wipe them down with a soft, damp cloth.

2. Software Issues:

Occasionally, software glitches or bugs can cause the Roomba to malfunction. Here are some steps to resolve software-related issues:

  1. Restart the Roomba: Sometimes, a simple restart can fix temporary software glitches. Turn off the Roomba, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on.
  2. Check for Updates: iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba, regularly releases software updates to improve performance and fix bugs. Connect your Roomba to a Wi-Fi network and check for available updates through the iRobot app or the Roomba’s display (if applicable).

3. Obstacles and Clutter:

Excessive clutter or obstacles can confuse the Roomba’s navigation system, causing it to move erratically or go in circles. Make sure to:

  1. Clear the Floor: Remove any loose objects, cables, and obstacles from the floor to ensure a clear path for the Roomba to navigate.
  2. Organize Furniture: Move furniture pieces that might block the Roomba’s path or confuse its sensors. Keep a minimum of 12 inches of clearance around furniture items.

4. Battery Issues:

A weak or faulty battery can impact the Roomba’s performance, including its ability to navigate properly. Here’s how to check the battery:

  1. Inspect the Battery: Remove the battery from the Roomba and inspect it for any signs of damage or swelling. If you notice any irregularities, replace the battery.
  2. Clean the Battery Contacts: Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on the battery contacts, affecting the connection between the battery and the Roomba. Use a soft, dry cloth to clean the contacts.

5. Reset the Roomba:

If none of the above solutions resolve the issue, you can try resetting the Roomba to its factory settings. This will erase all learned maps and customized settings, but it might fix persistent software glitches or navigation problems:

  1. Locate the Reset Button: Depending on your Roomba model, the reset button may be located on the bottom of the device or underneath the battery compartment. Consult your Roomba’s user manual for specific instructions.
  2. Press and Hold the Reset Button: Press and hold the reset button for the duration specified in your Roomba’s user manual. Typically, it’s around 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Restart the Roomba: Once the reset is complete, turn off the Roomba, wait a few minutes, and then turn it back on.


By following the steps outlined in this troubleshooting guide, you should be able to resolve the issue of your Roomba going in circles and restore it to its normal cleaning behavior. If the problem persists despite trying all the solutions, it’s recommended to contact iRobot customer support for further assistance or consider professional repair options.