How to Fix A CD Player That Skips? – Learn Here

Last Updated on December 22, 2020

A CD player that skips is very annoying. Occasionally, the playback will jump to different parts and this can be very problematic. Here, you’ll see just how to fix a CD player that skips.

If the lens is blocked, you will experience the skips. Cleaning the lens can help the CD player work a little better. You can also recalibrate your player’s read head by varying the potentiometer that controls it. The best fix will depend on what the actual problem is.

Before attempting any of the fixes though, check to see if the CD player skips on any other CDs, not just one. It may turn out that the problem was a smudge on the CD itself and the player was just fine. If so, ensure the CDs you insert have no dirt on their read surfaces.

How to Fix A Cd Player That Skips

How to fix a CD player that skips

Fixing a CD player that skips is not a difficult task. It takes some patience and a few basic tools to get it done correctly without inadvertently harming your system in the process.

Method 1: Clean the Sensor

cleaning the cd player head

If the player skips on multiple CDs that are not blemished in any way, the problem might be within. One way to go about it is to clean the sensor.

You will need a screwdriver for the screws on your device, a flat working surface, preferably antistatic, and some good lighting before you disassemble the player to reach the sensor.

Also, have the device shut down, and give it a few minutes to ensure that all the charges are discharged before you continue.

Next, remove the screws of the cover, lift off the cover and put it somewhere else, and locate the lens which will be near the drive motor.

With a lens cleaning kit, this can be done safely. Dab a little of the solution on a cotton swab and carefully rub the lens. Ensure it is clean and clear before you stop and then give it a few minutes to dry up completely.

At this point, you may then test the CD player. If it works, then you now know how to fix a CD player that skips because of a dirty lens.

If you don’t have the lens cleaning kit, you can use a light dab of rubbing alcohol and a very soft cloth or a cotton swab.

Method 2: the Sensor Assembly Rails

The sensor assembly rests on rails that allow the lens to move from the center of the disk to its edge as it reads the data.

This can have some dirt buildup, especially if it has not been used for a long time. The dirt in the rail can affect the mechanism that positions the sensor under the disk, causing the effects of skipping.

To fix this, you have to wipe the rails with a soft cloth. A carefully positioned blower can help too, by removing the accumulated dust and other matter, thus allowing you to get better music playback from your CD player.

Method 3: Recalibrating The CD Player Head

A misaligned read head in your CD player can cause it to skip on some tracks. Under worse conditions, the player may just spin the disk without reading any of the tracks on it, ultimately resulting in an error.

If you have cleaned your sensor, and its rail, as well as the CDs and the player, is still not working properly, this is how to fix a CD player that skips.

You will need to disassemble the player by opening the case up to expose the inner electronics. The motherboard attached to the motor and lens assembly, the one that controls the workings of the CD reader may have a potentiometer.

It usually appears as a small square plastic component with a notch at the top and a circular grove that lets you turn the top plate using the notch. This provides variable resistance.

Using a flat head screwdriver on the notch, rotate the circular plastic plate, and with each rotation, test to see if the player is working correctly. Use small movements of about 30 degrees and test the CD player each time.

Before doing this, however, mark the initial positions you found the potentiometer in, just in case you need to reset it.

Method 4: Replacing Broken CD Player Parts

If all the tests have been conducted and the device still does not work without skipping, you may need to look around for replacement parts, particularly for the sensor itself.

If you can’t test this out yourself, it is a good idea to seek the help of a qualified technician, and have them take a look at the device, troubleshoot the problem, and determine the best appropriate way forward.

Just note that this may be expensive. At times, it is more expensive to fix the player than to buy a new one because the devices can be very affordable, and the labor required to fix one may be very expensive.

If you can handle the labor part yourself, then you may take a look, of course, exercising a lot of caution during the process.

Also Read:


Disassembling electrical devices requires care particularly if they are as delicate as a CD player sensor or head. Failure to observe general guidelines can cause personal injuries or damage the component you’re trying to fix.

You should keep the unit powered off while working, and if you use rubbing alcohol, wait till it dries before switching the CD player on.


A CD player that skips is a nuisance, especially when listening to music and there are obvious skips and pauses.

Luckily, here you’ve seen exactly how to fix a CD player that skips. The moving parts of the CD player can suffer a lot of issues when they are clogged with dirt.

Furthermore, a little dirt on the sensor can also cause the playback to skip because the CD player cannot correctly read the files on the CD.

If everything with the player is fine, you should check the CD itself to see if it’s dirty or has scratches.


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