Starlink Searching: What is it and How to Fix

Lately, I have been facing issues with my internet, and the Starlink app shows that my dish is in a searching state.

Perplexed as to why this happens, I figured I would put on my research hat and dive deep into the possible reasons and solutions to this dilemma.

Here's how to fix the issue.

To fix the Starlink Searching issue, check for obstructions between the dish and the sky. Check the Starlink service address and its connection and billing status. Perform a check on the dish hardware and replace any worn-out parts. Finally, perform a power cycle and factory reset.

Here's a brief account of why Starlink gets stuck on the 'Searching' status:

ScenarioCauses and Fixes
Starlink stuck on Searching abruptlyNetwork congestion; avoid using Starlink during peak hours. Could also opt for a better subscription
Starlink stuck on Searching after moving the DishObstruction issue; check for obstructions in the path of the Dish to the Sky.
Searching message won't go awaySoftware issue; power cycle the Dish
Why Starlinks gets stuck on Searching
Starlink Dish Searching (calibrating)

Check for Dish Obstructions

Starlink Dish Obstructed

Starlink dishes typically show up under a searching status banner on the Starlink app if it can't connect to any Starlink satellites in the sky.

So the first thing that you need to check is whether you have set up ideal conditions for your Starlink dish to capture the necessary signals from the satellites above.

For this, the Starlink Dish should be placed in such a way that there are no obstructions in the line of sight of the Starlink dish to the sky.

Poles, wooded areas, and even a roof covering or glass hood can cause signal-related issues, so place your Starlink dish accordingly.

The best way to ensure that there are no obstructions in the field of view of your Starlink dish is to use the obstructions checker available on the Starlink app.

To do just that, follow the steps below:

1. After placing and setting up your Starlink router and dish in your preferred location, open the Starlink app on your phone.

2. From the home screen, tap on the Check for Obstructions option.

Starlink check for obstructions

3. Your camera viewfinder should open. Assuming that your phone is your Starlink dish, scan the possible field of view of your Starlink dish using the camera.

Do this in multiple locations to find the location that suits you best.

You can use a Starlink mount and related accessories to place your dish in a location that benefits both the aesthetics and performance of your setup.

Bad weather can also affect the optimal reception on Starlink. It's best to use Starlink in clear weather.

Check Your Starlink Service Address

If your Starlink dish is located in a node different from the service address you provided, it can show a 'searching' status as it cannot verify your connection.

If you shift to a new place that is outside the node of your service address, you can ask Starlink to change your service address and get your issues fixed.

This can be done by changing your service address completely, or by paying a portability fee if you plan on switching locations frequently.

You can change your service address by following the steps below:

1. Open the Starlink app on your phone.

2. Tap on the profile icon in the top right corner to access the account settings.

Starlink Account icon

3. Tap on the option with your name.

Starlink account tab

4. Tap on Location and select the service address you want from the map on the screen.

But one thing to note is that Starlink does have a waiting list for every area that they provide their services for.

So if you are shifting to a location where the service is congested, then you might be transferred over to a Basic Access plan.

The Basic access plan will have unlimited data usage like every Starlink plan.

Still, you will be in a priority bracket below others with the proper Starlink plan in times of network congestion, which is a major disadvantage of Starlink.

Check Your Starlink Plan

starlink plans

The most common occurrence of the Starlink dish being constantly in the searching mode is if you don't have the proper authority to utilize the connection in the first place.

It could be that your Starlink plan has expired, so ensure that all your dues and bills have been paid.

You can check your statements and billing information directly from the Starlink app, by following the steps below:

  • Open the Starlink app on your phone.
  • Tap on the profile icon in the top right corner to access your account settings.
  • You should see the option for statements, which will open up your recent billing statements.
Starlink Statements

Ensure Proper Transfer of Ownership for Second-Hand Starlink Hardware

This issue might be more relevant if you bought your Starlink dish secondhand, and the previous user didn't correctly transfer ownership or pay their bills.

If that is the case, get in touch with them and get your Starlink subscription sorted.

Check Starlink Hardware

Starlink unboxed

Coming back to the obstructions factor that might be a cause of this issue, it is also possible that the hardware is suffering damages hindering its ability to detect signals.

This is usually seen on aged hardware that has been kept outside under harsh environments for long periods, or if it is second-hand hardware.

Properly check your Starlink dish and ensure that everything looks well and functioning at least on the outside.

Also, check if the cables are well inserted and are not exposed to critical wear and tear.

If you notice any permanent scuffs and wear, get a replacement part from Starlink Shop.

In cases where the parts are unavailable, or if the damage is too severe for regular operations, contact Starlink support to try claiming your warranty on the hardware.

Power Cycle the Starlink Hardware

Starlink Dish and Router setup

As a final step, try power cycling your Starlink dish and router.

Power cycling can be an excellent tool in ensuring that devices that run 24x7 like Starlink do not face an imbalance in charges that can hinder their daily operations.

Power cycling depletes the dish and router of power and connects it back to power, thus resetting the charges.

Doing so may also come in handy for issues like when Starlink stops receiving signals or when the app shows the Starlink Degraded Service message.

To power cycle your Starlink hardware, follow the steps below:

  • Unplug the Starlink router from power and let it sit idle for about a minute in its powered-off state.
  • Plug the Starlink router back into power and let it sit idle for about a minute in its powered-on state as well.

If you perform power cycles three times in a row, it will also factory reset your Starlink router, further increasing the chances of your device functioning properly.

Final Thoughts

If you have further queries regarding your Starlink dish stuck on the searching status, feel free to contact Starlink support.

You could also factory reset the Starlink Dish if none of the above-mentioned fixes seems to obviate the issue.

I hope my article on how you can fix your Starlink stuck showing the searching status on the app has been a helpful read and has aided you with the same.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does Starlink usually stay on searching?

Starlink dishes usually take one to five minutes to search for a satellite.

Is manual adjustment of Starlink dish possible?

Starlink dishes adjust automatically and it is not recommended to manually adjust as it can cause damage to the motors responsible for movement.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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