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Index Headset Care & Troubleshooting

Index Headset Care & Troubleshooting

General troubleshooting

Before following instructions below, be sure you've tried the following:

  • Check your headset connections (power outlet, USB, DisplayPort, PC, breakaway connector).
  • Make sure the tether is fully plugged into the HMD. It can look like it’s connected even when it is not.
  • Check your video driver versions (including the high-definition audio component) and update if necessary - see Updating Drivers.
  • Reboot your headset from the SteamVR status window ( Menu > Devices > Restart headset) or restart SteamVR.

Headset not ready in SteamVR status window

Check the LEDs located above the two cameras on the front of the headset, then refer to the matching troubleshooting section below.

LEDs are green (dull)

The headset is sleeping but ready to go when you are. Put it on or move it around in your Lighthouse-tracked space to wake it up. If it's still not ready, reboot the headset or restart SteamVR.

LEDs are red and blinking

The headset has encountered a startup error. This can happen if the System Button is being pressed while the headset is turned on. The System Button is on the left underside of the visor. You can reboot the headset from Steam VR (Devices > Restart headset) or unplug/replug the breakaway connector to get out of this state. If the LEDs remain red and blinking, there may be an issue with the headset's firmware - please click "Contact Steam Support" below to get help.

LEDs are red and steady

The headset display has failed to initialize. Check all your headset connections and make sure you've updated your video drivers. Once you've done that, unplug/replug the breakaway connector to power-cycle the headset and restart SteamVR.

LEDs are blue

The headset is in standby mode. Please try the following:

  • Check all your headset connections.
  • Move your USB and DisplayPort connections to different ports, if available.
  • Unplug/replug the breakaway connector to power-cycle the headset and restart SteamVR.

If the headset remains in standby mode, try reinstalling USB drivers for SteamVR devices:

  • Unplug your headset from the USB port.
  • Navigate to the SteamVR status window.
  • Select Menu > Developer > Remove All SteamVR USB Devices.
  • Wait for the process to complete, then reconnect your headset to the USB port and retest the issue after the driver has been reinstalled.

LEDs are off

The headset is not receiving power. Check all your headset connections and try using a different power outlet if available.

Still having problems?

If your headset is still not ready in the SteamVR status window or is stuck in one of the states described above, please click "Contact Steam Support" below to get help.

Blurry visuals

Before you begin, make sure the protective film from your lenses is removed.

Follow our fit guide

There are several steps to getting the right fit and setup for your Index. Refer to our Index Fit Guide for instructions on setting up for the best visual experience. If you don't notice improvement after following those instructions, check all your headset connections, and restart SteamVR. Finally, make sure you regularly clean your headset's lenses with the provided cleaning cloth. Avoid using liquids or cleaning products when maintaining lenses.

No display?

If you're not seeing anything in your headset's display, something isn't connected properly. Check the headset's power, USB, DisplayPort, and main cable connections.

SteamVR is displaying an error message

Some error messages contain instructions or links to help articles. SteamVR will also recover from many temporary issues after a restart. If the error appears again and there are no instructions on-screen, be sure to check all of your headset's connections (power, USB, DisplayPort, and main cable connections). If you continue to receive errors, please click "Contact Steam Support" below to get help.

Audio issues

Removing audio arms

If you are having issues with your headset audio, you may want to try removing the speakers and ensuring the contacts are clean and free of debris.

The audio arms and off-ear speakers can be removed with a T6 Torx driver. With the weight of the headset supported, hold the audio arm in place while loosening the screw, and pull straight out. Lateral force can damage the pogo pins that carry the audio signal. To reattach the audio arm, first align the pogo pins with the gold contacts, then hold the contacting surface against the head strap while tightening the screw.

No audio on off-ear speakers

Verify that your headset is solid green in the SteamVR status window. Next, verify that Index and is the active output device in Windows while SteamVR is running (type "sound playback options" in the search bar, then check Choose your output device) and the default playback device in SteamVR (Settings > Audio > Set Playback device to...). If you're still having trouble, you can:

  • Unplug all other playback devices.
  • Test your system audio from the Windows Sound Panel.
  • Verify that nothing is plugged into the 3.5mm audio jack behind the face gasket.
  • Check SteamVR audio levels - with the headset on, press the System Button to bring up the VR Dashboard and check the slider in the bottom right.

Low audio volume

Be sure the off-ear speakers are positioned correctly. You can check our Index Fit Guide for more information. If your issue continues, play test sounds from the Windows Sound Panel to verify that your system audio is working correctly, then try to retest the issue with another game or application. Finally, check all your headset connections, exit Steam VR, and restart Windows. If you continue to experience low audio, please click "Contact Steam Support" below to get help.

Microphone issues

No microphone

Verify that the headset is solid green in the SteamVR status window. Then confirm that the Index microphone is the default recording device for Windows (type "sound" in the search bar, then check the recording tab).

If another device is selected, switch to this one instead, then re-launch your game or restart SteamVR. If Windows continues to default to another recording device, check to make sure that SteamVR is defaulting to the correct device (Settings > Audio > Set Record device to...). Finally, you can try using a different USB port for your headset connection if you continue to experience issues.

Microphone distortion

If you're experiencing distortion or disrupted mic audio, try lowering the microphone levels. Type "sound" in the search bar, then select Recording, right- click the Digital Audio Interface and select Properties, and lower the slider under the Levels tab.

You can also try adjusting the gain inside of the application you're having trouble with. Finally, you can try using a different USB port for your headset connection if you continue to experience issues.

Caring for your headset

Avoiding sunlight

Even while indoors, exposure to sunlight can cause permenent damage to the display panels in your headset. An uninterrupted lens exposure of less than 10 seconds can begin to cause noticeable damage under the right circumstances. To protect your headset, observe the following:

  • Take care not to expose the headset's lenses to sunlight during use.
  • Don't leave your headset unattended in a place where it may be exposed to sunlight.
  • Transport your headset in a manner that protects it from exposure.
  • Be sure to store your headset away from any possible exposure while not in use.


To clean the headset's exterior surfaces, use a dry, clean cloth to wipe down as necessary. Isopropyl alcohol may also be used if a dry cloth is insufficient, but take care to apply it only to the cloth, using small quantities and avoiding all non-exterior surfaces.

To clean the headstrap and face gasket padding, use a damp cloth to scrub the padding. The padding material is antimicrobial and won't normally require antibacterial or other chemical cleaners, but isopropyl alcohol can be applied to the cloth in small quanitities if necessary.

To clean the lenses, use the microfiber cloth that was included with your headset. Gently wipe in a circular motion, starting at the lens center and moving outward. Do not use cleaning agents on lenses.

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