The back LED on my Nikon D90 keeps blinking, and it is causing the battery to discharge completely. As far as I understand, the LED is supposed to blink a few times to detect the memory card and then it should stop. Any clue as to what needs to be done?

  • Have you tried this: dpreview.com/forums/post/37622904
    – subsub
    Sep 12, 2013 at 10:06
  • I have done almost all this things (not exactly in the sequence as mentioned here though but still tried almost every combination ) .. once it seems to be working but later on the problem again started. Sep 12, 2013 at 10:26
  • Can you explain a little further what you have done and in what conditions the blinking happens and stops?
    – mattdm
    Sep 12, 2013 at 13:39
  • I found in the blog that people are claiming sometimes if you pull the power button to the lightbulb slot and release it suddenly so that it switch back to the off position solves the problem. I did exactly that and it seems to have really stopped for sometime. Bug again it started within couple of days. as @Michael Clark mentioned in his answer. other than this I've tried using different battery and SD card but in vain, what else I could have done? Sep 12, 2013 at 19:48
  • Switching to the lightbulb position fixed it. My LED was blinking while that camera was off and stopped blinking when I turned it on. Thanks!
    – user36888
    Jan 8, 2015 at 23:42

6 Answers 6


This is a known issue concerning the D90, and at least the D70 as well, that has been discussed at length on several forums. The problem usually seems to be with the on/off switch.

Many users have reported that moving the power switch all the way over to the lightbulb position for lighting the top-of-camera LED display and pulling their finger back and letting the spring loaded switch flick back to off solved the problem for them. This seemed to work more often when the user allowed for the possibility dirt or dust had been able to make its way into the switch.

Others have used a more methodical approach:

  1. Turn camera off
  2. Remove SD card (SD card remains out until step #11)
  3. Remove battery
  4. Turn camera on (without battery)
  5. Turn camera off (without battery)
  6. Replace battery in camera
  7. Turn camera on
  8. Try two-button reset (no visual indication this worked)
  9. Use menus to reset custom settings (see #8)
  10. Turn camera off
  11. Replace SD card
  12. Turn camera on

Some have reported the lens must also be removed for this to work. It seems that usually it is a power switch issue, but if the contacts for the SD card or lens are loose the camera will blink on and off each time it thinks either the SD card or the battery is removed or replaced.

Others have suggested that inserting a freshly charged battery immediately after removing it from the charger sends too much voltage to the Main Power IC Board in the camera and damages it. Waiting a few minutes after removing a fully charged battery from the charger is suggested as a preventative measure.

If you google Nikon Green Light of Death, you can see many more links to forums where this has been discussed.

If neither of these methods solve your problem, it is probably time to consider sending it to an authorized Nikon Service Center for a repair assessment. If the cost of repairing it is a significant percentage of the value of the camera, it may be time to consider replacing it instead. Good luck!

  • 2
    We just has the same problem with a Nikon D7100. Following steps 1-7 above fixed it, so luckily we didn't need to do a complete reset. Thank you very much. Feb 3, 2015 at 14:52

My solution was taking the grip off.. problem fixed


mine was solved by removing the neewer battery grip, then I had a think, and popped a spare battery into the grip and problem solved... so with mine it seems that the camera does not like a grip without a battery. just have to solve the RAW files not read by PS6 now !


I have many Nikon D4 bodies and have had the flashing LED problem on at least two of them. The problem has been coming and going. I recently got the problem to go away by taking the Nikon 80-400mm Lens off then put it back on. That particular lens has a known VR problem. The lens works fine if I switch the VR off. I will be tracking that lens carefully now.


the answer provided here : http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/56060626 worked for me (amazingly)

you hold the power switch all the way to the right, so that the top menu is illuminated, then allow it to ping back as hard as it can.. mine went all the way to switching itself off... that's all there was to it.. the problem has now gone away.

  • It didn't solve that way, though initially it was partially working for few days but eventually I had to replace the circuit as I was told by the Nikon service centre that it was short-circuited Jul 20, 2015 at 4:53

I used compressed air and cleaned around power button and SD card slot.... did the power button flick thing while holding straw on can of compressed air at edge of button. So far so good! No blinking light!!!

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