Ender 3 (Marlin Firmware) Homing Failed: Printer Halted Error – Causes & Fixes

Homing the axes is essential for your Ender 3 to know and calculate the X, Y, and Z positions, meaning that the failure of the homing process due to any reason will naturally halt the printer due to a lack of positional data and make it impossible to print until the issue is resolved.

In this guide, we will explain the possible factors that can cause your Ender 3 to fail the homing process, which is indicated by the “Homing Failed: Printer Halted” text appearing on the screen, and how you can fix the problem to get your Ender 3 back in working order.

Causes & Fixes for the Ender 3 (Marlin Firmware) “Homing Failed: Printer Halted” Error

As there are a few different factors that can cause your Ender 3 to fail to home the axes, with each problem requiring a distinct fix, getting rid of this error will require you to go through each factor one by one until you find the one that’s creating the problem.

ender 3 homing failed printer halted error message


Corrupt or Incompatible Firmware

Using corrupt or incompatible firmware is one of the most common reasons that can cause your Ender 3 to fail the homing process.

The firmware is especially likely to be the culprit if the problem started occurring right after you flashed new firmware, as it’s entirely possible to mistakenly flash incompatible firmware, such as one compatible with a different Ender 3 motherboard or one with BLTouch enabled, even though your printer doesn’t have one.

ender 3 firmware list


In this case, you can usually expect erratic behavior from your Ender 3, such as the axes moving in reverse during homing (away from the endstops, whether due to incorrect HOME_DIR configuration or inverted steppers), none of the axes not moving at all, only one of the axes not moving (usually Z-axis), or the movement being way too slow (can be incorrect feed rate or steps per mm configuration), which leads to the homing process timing out, and while these signs can stem from other issues as well, we can’t rule firmware problems out at this point.

Our recommendation to eliminate the possibility of firmware-related problems causing the homing issue is to flash the original firmware that came with your Ender 3 in the SD card, as this makes it impossible to flash incompatible firmware to your 3D printer and allows us to check this problem off our list.

ender 3 v2 neo original firmware file example


If you don’t have access to the original firmware file anymore, you can find the correct firmware that belongs to your printer by visiting the Creality website.

Blockage Between Printhead or Print Bed and Endstop (Limit Switch)

Sometimes, something as simple as a physical blockage can stop the printhead or the printbed from reaching the endstop and cause your Ender 3 to fail, and if all of the axes are moving without any apparent problems, but the homing still fails, this can be the factor that’s causing the problem for you.

The best way to determine whether this is the problem is to carefully watch the movement of the axes during homing and ensure that the printhead and the print bed can reach and trigger the limit switches, with nothing getting in between and stopping the activation.

To make the observing easier, you can also initiate the auto-homing process three times in a row and watch one axis at a time, making sure that each limit switch makes the “click” sound that comes out as a result of the printhead or the print bed activating it.

While it’s rare for the X and Y axes to be affected by this problem, the Z-axis being affected by it is relatively common, as a Z-axis limit switch placed below the print bed will cause the printhead to crash into the print bed before reaching it.


In such a case, you will need to unscrew the Z-axis limit switch and move it up to a point where the printhead can come into contact with it before the nozzle touches the bed.

Inoperational Endstop (Limit Switch)

If any of the limit switches are inoperational due to any reason, the homing process will naturally fail, as the signal that the printhead or the print bed has reached its destination won’t reach the mainboard.

3d printer limit switch


Factors such as defective limit switches, stuck limit switches, damaged wires, loose connectors (both on the side of the limit switch and the side of the mainboard), and incorrect wiring can all contribute to an endstop not working as intended and create the problem at hand.

When your Ender 3 fails the homing process due to an inoperational endstop, the most apparent sign is the printhead or the printbed not stopping to move even when it reaches and activates the limit switch, as the printer cannot know that it has reached the end of its range of motion in this case.

In such a case, you will often hear loud noises during homing due to the printhead or print bed pushing forward despite there being no more space for it to move, which will make it easier to identify the axis with the problematic limit switch.

Alternatively, if the wiring is completely mismatched (stepper motor wires going into the endstop controllers and vice versa), you may also notice that the axes aren’t moving at all.

Our primary recommendation to solve this problem in this scenario would be to re-do all the wiring between the limit switches and the mainboard by carefully following the wiring diagrams and ensuring that all the connectors are seated tightly.

If that doesn’t fix it, the following steps would be to inspect the wires for any damage, test whether the wires are the problem by swapping them (use the wire you’ve been using to connect X endstop to connect the Y endstop instead, etc.) and replace them if they are faulty.

Provided that the wires aren’t the issue either, you can move on to checking whether the limit switches are faulty with a multimeter (or swap them around as you did with the wires if that’s more convenient) and replace any defective limit switches with new ones.


While rare, if you are entirely sure that none of the factors above are creating the problem in your case, the only remaining culprit is the mainboard itself, which might require a replacement.

Restricted Printhead (or Print Bed) Movement

If the movement of the printhead or the print bed is restricted, they won’t be able to make their way toward the limit switches and fail to activate them as a result, which will naturally result in the failure of homing.

Problems with the X-axis and Y-axis timing belts, the Z-axis lead screw, the V-slot wheels, the eccentric nuts, the wiring of the stepper motors (damaged wires, mismatched wires), the stepper motors themselves, loose connectors, and practically anything else that is responsible for the motion of the axes can contribute to this problem.

If your Ender 3 is failing to home due to movement-related problems, you will usually observe that there is either no movement in the affected axes at all or that the movement is erratic (too slow, grinding noises coming out, etc.), preventing the limit switch of the axis from being reached as a result.

To solve this problem, the first thing you will want to do is to isolate the problematic axis by watching the movement of your Ender 3 during homing and see which limit switch is not being triggered at all.

Next, you will need to evaluate the problem you’re observing.

For instance, if there is movement, but it’s erratic, you will most likely want to start by checking out the tightness of the belts and the lead screw first, then find out whether the V-slot rollers are turning correctly, adjust the tightness of the eccentric nuts if the rollers aren’t turning, etc. before you move on to the stepper motors themselves.

On the other hand, if there is no movement in the axis at all, then it’s a good idea to skip ahead to re-doing the wiring between the stepper motor and the mainboard while ensuring that the cables aren’t damaged, that they are connected to the right places, and that the connectors are seated tightly.

Then, if the problem still continues, you can move on to switching the wires and connectors (use the X-axis wire for the Y-axis, connect the X-axis stepper motor to the Y-axis stepper driver, etc.) to find out whether the problem is wire-related, mainboard-related, or stepper motor-related and replace the problematic part.

Inoperational Auto Bed Leveling Probe (BLTouch, CRTouch, etc.)

Similar to an inoperational endstop, an inoperational auto bed leveling probe can also prevent your Ender 3 from homing correctly, as the probe practically replaces the Z-axis limit switch.

Once again, a defective probe, a stuck probe pin, damaged wires, loose connectors, and improper wiring are the factors to look out for in this case, as such factors will prevent the probe from operating as intended.

In cases where an Ender 3 fails the homing process due to an inoperational auto bed leveling probe, you will observe that the X and Y axes are homing as usual and activating the limit switches without issues, but the Z axis does not move at all, and eventually, the “homing failed” message pops up.

Additionally, you may also observe the color and the flashing pattern of the LED on the probe changing during the process, which will give you additional information about what’s causing the probe not to work.

To solve this problem, our primary recommendation would be to re-do the wiring of the auto bed leveling probe, specifically ensuring that both sides of the wire are connected tightly and that there is no visible damage on the wires.

If simple wiring fixes don’t solve the problem, our following recommendation would be to consult the manual of the auto bed leveling probe you’re using, which will give you more insight into what could be going wrong.

You can find the CRTouch Manual and BLTouch Manual by following the links.

Conclusion

Now that you know the potential causes behind the Ender 3 “Homing Failed: Printer Halted” error and their fixes, all there is left to do is to carefully go through each of these solutions, which should hopefully get your printer back in working order.

While it’s definitely a long list with many distinct factors involved, the good news is that it’s usually possible to resolve this problem without having to replace any parts, as the problem often stems from the more minor issues, such as a loose wire somewhere.