Dyson airway blocked: how to solve this message?

dyson airway blocked
© Vacuumtester
In short: a blockage of the air duct with a Dyson can in almost all cases be solved by replacing the old Dyson filter. Something you should do every year according to Dyson! It may sound a bit commercial, but we often also buy several filters ourselves so that you can resolve these types of reports immediately and this also contributes to a longer battery life.

You can easily order new filters here at Amazon:
Dyson V8 filters (ULPA 15)
Dyson V10 filters (HEPA 13)
Dyson V11 filters (HEPA 13)
Dyson V12 filters (ULPA 15)
Dyson V15 filters (ULPA 15)

Then you will get rid of this annoying message within 24 hours and you have solved the blockage. A filter costs about 12 – 15 dollars each. Usually they are sold per 2 pieces. View the prices here.

When the airway of a vacuum cleaner becomes clogged, the suction power of a vacuum cleaner can decrease. In fact, he might not even be able to suck at all. It is important to solve this problem immediately.

With a Dyson vacuum cleaner it can sometimes happen that you receive a message that the air duct is blocked. In this article I'll tell you why you can solve this the fastest with these new Dyson filters and how you can prevent this message in the future.

Reasons for a Dyson airway blockage

A Dyson's airway can become clogged for a number of reasons. Although people often think that it always depends on what you are vacuuming, there are even more reasons that cause a blockage:

  • Poor maintenance of the filters of a Dyson
  • Failure to empty the dust container in time
  • Vacuuming too large dirt
  • Vacuuming sticky dirt
  • Worn Dyson Parts
  • Wrong connection of parts*

* What I often hear around me is that the use of attachments that are not from Dyson itself can also cause blockage messages in the long run. Want to know more about the different parts? Check out a detailed explanation of all Dyson parts guide.

Consequences if you do not quickly resolve an airway blockage

If the airway of a Dyson vacuum cleaner is blocked, the vacuum's suction performance will immediately decrease. In fact, the vacuum cleaner might even have no suction power at all. It is therefore necessary to clear the blockage quickly. Failure to do so may result in the following consequences:

  • Reduced suction power, decreasing performance
  • The vacuum cleaner motor is not cooled properly, which can cause the Dyson to break
  • The vacuum cleaner can start to smell (for example, like a dog with accumulated dog hair)
  • Dust emissions can increase dramatically, with an increased risk of allergic reactions

If the airway of a Dyson vacuum cleaner is blocked, the vacuum's suction performance will immediately decrease.

How to know if your Dyson is clogged

When a Dyson suddenly no longer sucks, there does not necessarily have to be a blockage. It is also possible that your battery may need to be replaced, which greatly reduces the suction power. If there is actually a blockage in the air duct of your Dyson, the following will happen:

  • An ‘Airways blocked' message on the LCD display of newer models (Dyson V11, V12 and V15 series).
  • The vacuum cleaner does not suck or the suction power is greatly reduced
  • You can't see through the vacuum cleaner rod
  • Dyson stops automatically (this can also happen if the filter needs to be washed)
  • The blue light continues to flash (if it stays on, the battery is too low)

Please note: when checking the Dyson for blockages, it is important to be careful with the on/off button. Switching on a Dyson vacuum cleaner when it is disassembled can be dangerous.

dyson airways blocked message
© Vacuumtester.com

Resolving Dyson airway blockage

When there is actually a blockage in the air duct, it is important to find out where the blockage is. Watch the video below or my step-by-step plan to find out and solve the problem.

  1. Disassemble all Dyson parts (attachments, vacuum cleaner rod, etc.)
  2. Press and hold the trigger button for 10 seconds
    • Does the blue light keep flashing? Go to step 3.
    • Does the blue light stop blinking? Then check the vacuum cleaner rod and Dyson parts for blockages to solve the problem.
  3. Look through the hole at the dust container of the vacuum cleaner and remove dirt where necessary
  4. Hold the dust container down and empty the dust container, then look at the opening on the vacuum cleaner to remove any debris where possible
  5. Press and hold the trigger button for 10 seconds
    • Does the blue light keep flashing? Go to step 6.
    • Does the blue light stop blinking? Problem solved!
  6. Remove the dust container by using the red slide on the back
  7. Shake the Dyson vacuum cleaner very carefully above the trash can to remove fine dust and then mount the dust container back on the Dyson vacuum cleaner.
  8. Click the floor brush back on the Dyson vacuum cleaner and hold the trigger button again for 10 seconds.
    • Does the blue light keep flashing? Go to step 9.
    • Does the blue light stop blinking? Problem solved!
  9. Chances are the problem is with a clogged or defective filter. Cleaning and/or replacing the filters regularly is important.

Note: each Dyson series has its own filters and some Dyson series even have two filters.

Dyson seriesFilter typeFilters
Dyson V8ULPA 15See filters
Dyson V10HEPA 13See filters
Dyson V11HEPA 13See filters
Dyson V12 SlimULPA 15See filters
Dyson V15 DetectULPA 15See filters

This is how you prevent a blockage in the future

The steps above show that it can be quite a quest to find out exactly where the blockage in the air duct of your Dyson vacuum cleaner is located. I have some smart tips to prevent a possible blockage in the vacuum cleaner in the future.

  • Maintain your Dyson: It is important to clean your Dyson regularly. Cleaning a Dyson goes beyond just emptying the dust container. View a comprehensive guide to cleaning a Dyson here.
  • Use the vacuum cleaner for what it is intended for: it is important to only use the Dyson on surfaces for which it is suitable. In addition, it is important not to vacuum up crazy large or sticky dirt. For example, did you know that vacuum pine needles can cause a blockage?
  • Empty the dust container regularly, even if it is not yet full: if dirt remains in the dust container of a Dyson for a very long time, it can cause a blockage. The Dyson can even start to smell.
  • Replace wear-sensitive parts in time: some parts of a Dyson vacuum cleaner are prone to wear. It is therefore important to replace them in time. Think, for example, of a Dyson filter replacement.
In summary: make sure you maintain your Dyson vacuum cleaner properly. Clean the filters at least once a month and replace them with a new Dyson filter every 12 months to avoid blockages.
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar is the founder of Vacuumtester.com and is a true vacuum cleaner guru. With more than 10 years of experience in the world of electronic devices, he knows better than anyone what is important in a vacuum cleaner. When a new vacuum cleaner appears, he is eager to test it extensively.

Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. I change the filter each time I use the machine due to filter light coming on even after a short vacuum of minutes!
    The blockage light is always coming on, even though I clean it all the time.
    I have tried everything I can, so disappointed.
    I’m not being awkward, but so many people I know have problems and have heard Shark is much better! and more reliable.

    • Hi Amanda,
      It’s annoying that the blockage keeps coming back. Did you also see my video where I check all the air ducts? You could also check if all the parts fit together properly.

  2. Yes. Very disappointed in my v11. Keeps blocking only after a few seconds of using it.

    • Annoying to hear Win. Does the blockage also keep coming back after you remove the suction nozzle from the vacuum cleaner?

  3. Same here, the steps above do not resolve the issue…

    • In addition to checking for blockages in the air ducts, you could also check the connection of the various parts.

      • Dyson v11 fully disabled and cleand thoroughly. the mesh was quite clogged and some debris in behind the chamber, also filter is brand new,
        Now only runs on Auto mode.
        If I use eco comes up blockage and if I use max it knocks of in 3 seconds. if I use brand new tool head it comes up blockage even on auto mode
        suction is strong
        no blockage
        still getting the fault.

        • Robbert Tigchelaar December 8, 2022 at 9:35 pm

          I’m sorry to hear that! Can I ask if the new brush is from Dyson itself or a third party accessory?

  4. After 3 months I had to change the filter and clean out the suction hole by the filter.
    Not happy. We also had the vacuum head replaced. Not worth the price

  5. Same problem with airway sensor every part is clean and not broken need a answer it’s annoying not happy

  6. I bought Dyson SV 30 just 2 months ago, and it’s not sucking although it’s very clean. What do you think is the problem?

  7. Hi Rob,
    In short, at step 9 above I have replaced the filter with a brand new one, and my V11 still pulses the same as before. I have stripped it down to just the motor (replaced the about break trigger while I was there), and after conecting the battery and putting the filter back on, it still pulses. This with no body at all, could the motor itself have a blockage?
    The vacuum is all original and geniune. Is there another possibility, like the sensor responsible for this functions?

    Would love some help on this, before considerng a replacement


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