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My NEC Projector Keeps Turning Off: How To Fix It?

a white NEC projector

Sharp NEC caught the attention of many when it won the Invidis Green Signage Award 2021

If you own a NEC projector and are passionate about sustainability, this extra feature in NEC’s cap tells us that you know how to pick your brands.

That’s our motivation today as we explore the factors that might cause your NEC projector to shut down unexpectedly. 

We hope the solutions we suggest below come to the rescue when your NEC projector keeps turning off. Because, really, projector shutoff errors are usually fixable.

Materials Needed

  • Multimeter
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum cleaner hose attachment


  • Replacement projector power cord
  • Replacement air filters
  • Replacement fan
  • Replacement lamp projector

Solution 1: Check your power connection

It could be that your power cord is faulty and does not deliver a constant and adequate supply of power to the projector.

The constant fluctuation in current can cause the unit to shut down. 

And the cord itself is a safety hazard. If any parts of the cable are exposed, they could cause electrical shock or start a fire.

Use a multimeter  to check whether the projector power cord is faulty. If it is, replace it with a working projector power cable.

AstroAI Digital Multimeter TRMS 6000

Click image for more info

Solution 2: Check whether Off-Timer or Auto Power Off is ON

When the Off Timer is on, the projector will shut down at a specific time. 

And if the first option, which is 30 minutes, is selected, the unit will turn off half an hour after you switch it on. 

If Auto Power Off is on, the projector will automatically shut down if:

  • there is no signal within the specified duration or
  • you don’t perform any operation within the specified duration

Depending on the selected option, Auto Power Off can go off after 5, 10, 20, or 30 minutes.

You need to turn off both settings to stop the automatic shutoff.

To do this:

Go to Settings > Setup > Options (2)

Select Off Timer and set it to OFF. 

Go back one step. Still under Options (2), select Auto Power Off and set it to OFF.

Solution 3: Clean the projector’s air filters

NEC projectors come with two air filters. The filters go over the air inlets on the side and back.

NEC Professional Video Projector (NP-P474U)

Click image for more info

If the air filters are dirt-clogged, the dirt blocks air circulation within the projector. So the cooling system cannot regulate the temperature inside the unit. When this happens, the projector can shut down.

Cleaning the air filters can keep the projector from shutting off. The process is pretty easy and doesn’t need any special equipment.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Press the bottom of the filter slightly and then pull out the filter.
  2. Tap the filter gently to dislodge and remove dirt. Repeat a few more times until you can’t see any dirt coming out when you shake the filter.
  3. You can use one of your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachments to vacuum the outer part of the filter. This is the grill-like part, and it goes over the interior mesh-like part of the filter. 

It’s not advisable to use compressed air to clean the mesh-like interior since that can push some dirt inside the projector. Besides, the compressed gases could leave a residue on the filter, diminishing its effectiveness.

  1. Re-insert the filter.

If the filter is damaged or too dirty and hard to clean, replace it. NEC recommends replacing both air filters (see pg.53) at once so the projector can calculate the air filter usage correctly and alert you when they’re due for replacement.

Solution 4: Allow the project to rest awhile

The projector could overheat, especially if it’s been running for some time. When that happens, the unit may turn off.

Much as this auto-shutoff can be an inconvenience, it’s also a safety mechanism that protects the projector from damage. 

Allow the unit to rest and cool before turning it on again.

Switch off the projector and wait until the cooling fans stop rotating to unplug the power cord.

unplugging white cable and a white projector

Give the projector an hour to cool before reconnecting it to power and turning it back on.

Solution 5: Adjust high-altitude settings

Are you using the projector at a high-altitude location? Setting Fan Mode to Auto in such places will cause the unit to overheat and shut down.

To prevent this, change the Fan Mode setting to High-Altitude.

Go to Setup > Options > Fan Mode > High-Altitude Mode > ON

NEC has different high-altitude thresholds for its projectors. So be sure to check the user manual to know the altitude cap for your model. 

For some, the cut-off is 1700 meters.

For others, it is only 760 meters.

Solution 6: Move the projector to a cooler spot

If the projector is overheating fast, try moving it to a part of the building that isn’t as warm. 

Something as simple as an efficient central A/C system can make a difference. 

a white projector in ceiling near the cooling system

Before using the projector, consider the environmental factors that could increase its internal temperature. 

Then you can adjust your setup accordingly. For example, choose a cool room or ensure that it has an excellent temperature control system to regulate the heat.

Pre-empting the problem in this way can prevent this disruptive shutdown. 

Solution 7: Remove obstacles surrounding the projector

a projector on a glass table

Are there other electronic devices near the projector? 

You may need to move these as their fans could be blowing hot air into the projector’s air vents, thus raising the temperature inside the projector. 

Yep, you guessed right. It’s another cause of overheating. 

To keep this from happening:

Unplug the projector and give it time to cool.

Meanwhile, turn off any TVs, printers, desktop computers, and other electronics not in use. 

After 60 minutes, replug the projector into power. Then turn it on and see if the situation improves.

The next two steps involve replacing some components of the projector. And they apply when all the above steps fail to resolve the issue.

Solution 8: Check the fan

If something about the fan or cooling system is off, the indicator light will blink red before the unit shuts down.

You may also receive an on-screen message that “The cooling fan has stopped.”

If you’re comfortable repairing your devices, you can try to replace the fan by yourself. Otherwise, it’s perfectly okay to get a technician to do it for you. 

The thing with cooling system failure is that the problem may be more complex than a simple fan replacement. 

Replacing a cooing fan of NEC NP-U310W

Having a trained and experienced professional look at the projector might unearth more issues you may not have noticed.

And if they fix those, too, it will save you more trouble down the line.

Solution 9: Check the lamp

Could it be that you’ve installed an incompatible projector lamp? 

You’re likely to face this issue if you’ve replaced the original bulb with an incorrect projector lamp.

The disconnect comes in when the replacement lamp housing does not dissipate heat efficiently, causing the unit to overheat. So the projector shuts down to protect itself. 

Such a lamp could eventually damage the projector, which, I imagine, would be an immense setback.

NEC advises you to use specific replacement projector lamps . The recommended replacement lamps are for specified projector models only.

NEC Projector Lamp for NP-M322X and NP-M322W NP28LP

Click image for more info

This means the lamp and projector complement each other and will not clash. So you’re unlikely to have any problems when using the new bulb.

These steps should solve the most common errors that cause the projector to shut off. 

If they don’t fix the problem, you may be dealing with a more concrete issue that has to do with the internal mechanics of the projector.  

In this case, it’s advisable to consult an NEC technician for professional repair works.

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