I am a complete beginner in electronics; I started learning using Arduino yesterday.

There is something strange happening with the Arduino UNO board.

The Arduino board is connected to my laptop and it's working fine (the green LED is on), but when I connect a breadboard with the Arduino's 5V pin and GND pin, the Arduino board disconnects from the laptop and turns off(green LED turn off), but the strange thing is that this problem only occurs if the Arduino's 5V and GND pins are connected to the breadboard from two columns:

Image for the problem's columns

If the breadboard is connected to the Arduino board from any combination of two row different than the one in the image everything goes fine, even if one of the wires is connected to one of the columns in the image and the other one isn't the problem doesn't occur.

So why is this happening? And why does it only happen with a specific combination of two columns in the breadboard? Is it even a problem, or is it just a normal thing?

Picture of another combination of columns: (Notice the green LED is on so there is power and it's connected to the laptop)

Image of another combination of columns

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ There's most likely a short in the breadboard. The USB sockets have a current limit and will shut down if too much is drawn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil G
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a multimeter? Can you test if the 2 offending strips on the breadboard aren't shorted by any chance ? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You mean that the metal line under the (+) column is touching the metal line under the (-) column in the left side of the breadboard? Phil G \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately I still didn't buy a multimeter. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ "You mean that the metal line under the (+) column is touching the metal line under the (-) column in the left side of the breadboard?" Exactly that. Go get a multimeter, even the $5-7 ones are better than nothing for diagnosing simple issues like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil G
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


The two columns of holes that you use in the first picture must be shorted together, perhaps by a piece of metal underneath the breadboard. You can try to remove the breadboard and then remove the short.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Specifically, peel the backing foam tape and look underneath. Could be a broken off piece of wire, could be some flange on the terminal strip, could be a terminal strip with a contact bent out of shape and rammed into the adjacent row's hole... If you can't fix it fix it, and are unwilling to toss it, consider yanking out the offending contacts entirely and using a sharpie marker on the top to "delete" those holes, on the theory that an open circuit flaw is better than a short circuit one... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or use an LED as a meter - Anode to +5, cathode to one strip, resistor from other strip to Gnd. Does the LED light up? Then the strips are connected. NOW, tear it apart to find it the short. \$\endgroup\$
    – CrossRoads
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 19:44

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