Honeywell thermostat on wait? Steps to bypass this error

Last updated on April 12th, 2024

If your Honeywell thermostat says wait, then there’s nothing to be concerned with. It’s a common occurrence to see a wait message on a thermostat. It might have popped up several times before but you never noticed until this moment.

And now that you have seen this, you must be wondering how to bypass the wait message on my Honeywell thermostat. We are going to answer that in this article.

But before we see different ways to bypass the Honeywell thermostat wait message, let’s try to understand why it pops up.

Reasons for the wait message on the thermostat

Your Honeywell thermostat displays a wait message when the system is rebooting. This happens in two cases.

  1. The HVAC system is just turned on, and short cycling should be avoided.
  2. There’s high pressure on the HVAC compressor.

If your air conditioning was off for a long and when you turn it back on, you can see the ‘Wait’ message on your thermostat screen. This is because the system doesn’t start right away. If it does, there’s a chance that it will shut off immediately due to the sudden surge, thus resulting in short cycling.

That’s why the HVAC system takes a few minutes for the system to power up completely before you change any thermostat settings. And that’s why you see the ‘Wait’ message.

Short Cycling: Short cycling is the process in which a system powers on and immediately powers off before even completing a power cycle. This happens when the system is suddenly overloaded after being off for a long time.

Sometimes, the HVAC compressor experiences higher pressure than usual. The compressor is responsible for passing refrigerant throughout the system. If it experiences high pressure for an extended time, it could result in accidents and greater damage to the system.

To avoid that, the system itself ceases all operations and puts your Honeywell thermostat on wait to allow the pressure to be released. Or even the Cool On light turns on. In such cases, you must be wondering whether it is acceptable to bypass the wait message on your Honeywell thermostat.

Should you bypass this wait message?

Ideally, you shouldn’t manually bypass the wait message on a Honeywell thermostat. The message automatically goes off after 5 minutes when the system is done rebooting. Older thermostat models could take a bit longer. But the ‘Wait’ error should resolve itself without your interference.

And we believe you could stay for 5 minutes without air conditioning to let your system do what is needed. But if the wait message doesn’t go even after 5-10 minutes or if it’s been there for hours, you might want to bypass it. And how will you bypass the Honeywell thermostat on wait? Let’s find out.

Ways to bypass Honeywell thermostat on wait

There are several ways to bypass the wait message on your Honeywell thermostat. Though these are not recommended to allow your system to reboot, there’s no better option if the wait message has been there for hours. So, let’s discuss different ways to bypass the ‘Wait’ message on your Honeywell thermostat.

1. Select a different mode

There are three modes on your Honeywell thermostat: heating, cooling, and off. If your thermostat is either on heating or cooling mode and you see a ‘Wait’ message on the screen, then select the off mode.

Use the given button on the device and turn off the thermostat. This will power cycle the device. Wait for a few minutes and select the heating or cooling mode as per your preference. The ‘Wait’ message on your Honeywell thermostat should be gone by now.

2. Remove the batteries

Removing the batteries from the thermostat

If selecting a different mode didn’t work, you might want to power cycle the thermostat using a better way. And what’s better than removing the batteries? You can follow the same procedure for replacing Honeywell thermostat batteries. But here, you will insert the same batteries again.

This will complete a power cycle on your thermostat and also allow time for the HVAC system to return to normal working conditions. On powering on the thermostat, you will notice that the ‘Wait’ message is gone.

3. Use the circuit breaker

Using the circuit breaker to resolve the bypass message

If removing the batteries doesn’t work, you must employ a stronger option. Go to the electrical box of your house, where the breaker switches are located for all your connections. Locate the circuit breaker for your HVAC system and switch it off. Give it a few minutes before switching it back on.

This will reboot the entire system and eliminate any errors that were present. Don’t forget to switch on the thermostat after using the circuit breaker. The ‘Wait’ message should no longer be on your Honeywell thermostat screen.

4. Set a Schedule

Setting a schedule on the thermostat

If you don’t want to reboot your Honeywell thermostat or HVAC system, there’s an alternate option to bypass the ‘Wait’ message. But this option is only available for programmable and Wi-Fi thermostats. You cannot employ this solution for non-programmable thermostats. So, the solution is to set a schedule for a few minutes after the current time.

For instance, it’s 3:07 pm, and you see a ‘Wait’ message on your thermostat screen. Then, set a schedule for 3:10 pm to turn on cooling. This will bypass the wait message as the new schedule will come into action. But we again warn you that this is not recommended as it will create unnecessary pressure on your HVAC system.

5. Reset the Wi-Fi router

Reset the Wi-Fi router

In very rare cases, the ‘Wait’ message is visible because of a lost internet connection. This issue is only faced with Wi-Fi thermostats, as none of the other models have anything to do with Wi-Fi. If the Honeywell thermostat temporarily lost connection with the network, the ‘Wait’ message could be displayed.

The ultimate solution is to reset the Wi-Fi router. You don’t have to do any complex settings to achieve that. Simply switch off the power to the router, wait for a few minutes, and then power it on. This should reboot the router and reset any settings that are blocking the thermostat network.


The ‘Wait’ message on the Honeywell thermostat usually goes away in 5 minutes. It’s only there until the system reboots. We suggest that you wait for a few minutes and let the system do what is needed. But if the ‘Wait’ message stays there for a prolonged time, then you have no option but to bypass it. You can use one of the above-mentioned ways to do so.

If you know of a better way to bypass the Honeywell thermostat on wait, please let us know in the comments.


How do I bypass the delay on my Honeywell thermostat?

You can bypass the delay on your Honeywell thermostat by pressing the up or down arrows on the device to increase or decrease the temperature. This will bypass the current schedule and display a ‘Temporary’ message on your thermostat screen.

Is the ‘waiting for equipment’ message the same as the ‘wait’ message on a Honeywell thermostat?

Yes, the ‘waiting for equipment’ message is the same as the ‘wait’ message on a Honeywell thermostat. Both say that the system needs some time to power up completely, and you shouldn’t change any thermostat settings while it does.

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Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

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