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About POS devices

POS devices are the iPads and iPhones that run the Lightspeed Restaurant app employees use to take and manage orders. This article discusses the role of POS devices in Lightspeed, how to view the POS devices connected to your account, and ways you can manage POS devices from the Back Office.

To activate a POS device on your account, install and connect the Restaurant POS app on a supported iPad or iPhone.

Understanding POS devices

Understanding POS devices is important for ensuring seamless operation of Lightspeed Restaurant in your business. This section explains how POS devices work, the various settings you’ll need to configure for them, and the differences between active and passive POS devices.

Basics of POS devices

Activating a POS device for your account involves installing and connecting the Restaurant POS app on an iPad or iPhone. The number of POS devices you can have depends on the Lightspeed subscription you signed up for.

There are two types of POS devices: active and passive. Knowing what active and passive POS devices are, understanding the role each plays, and following our recommendations will help ensure the stability of your Lightspeed system.

In the Back Office, you can see the POS devices attached to your account and configure device settings for each. For example, you can make devices active or passive and assign them a name, receipt printer, and payment terminal.

Active and passive POS devices

Learn about the roles active and passive POS devices play in keeping your Lightspeed system running smoothly.

Use one active POS device per location, set others to passive, and optimize your network to ensure stable operation. Active devices must stay powered on and connected to your network with the Restaurant POS app open for other devices to function.

Active POS devices

Active POS devices function as local servers, store financial transactions, keep track of open orders, and transmit data to the Back Office. All iPads automatically become active devices when connected to your account but can be manually switched to passive.

  • Typically only one active POS device is recommended. For optimal performance, connect this device directly to your router using an Ethernet adapter.
  • Active POS devices must remain connected to your network and powered on with the Lightspeed app open during service. If an active device disconnects, other devices running the Restaurant POS app won't be able to function properly.

Passive POS devices

Passive POS devices relay data to an active device, which then sends it to the Back Office. All iPhones automatically become passive devices when connected to your account and cannot be switched to active.

  • Use passive devices for any POS devices in your restaurant after your initial active device, especially those that may frequently turn off or disconnect from your network.
  • Passive devices must be connected to the same network as an active device with the Restaurant POS app open.

Viewing connected POS devices

In the Back Office, you can see a list of all POS devices that currently are, or previously were, connected to your account. 

  1. Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed credentials.
  2. From the navigation menu, go to Configuration > Devices > Devices to access the Devices page.
  3. (Optional) Toggle the Hide inactive devices checkbox to display only active POS devices or to also include those that were once connected but are now disabled. 

The Devices page displays details of each POS device and allows you to manage POS devices. For example, you can see when each device was last reloaded and disable devices you no longer need.

The Back Office 'Devices' page with three POS devices listed.

Using the Devices page

The Devices page in the Back Office is your hub for managing connected POS devices and their settings. From the Devices page, you can:

  • View basic and advanced POS device details,
  • Search and filter for specific POS devices,
  • Make POS devices active or passive,
  • Edit POS devices to assign hardware or change other settings,
  • Reload and disable POS devices, and
  • Export and audit POS devices.

What's next?

Managing POS devices

Explore ways to view, edit, and control POS devices from the Back Office.

Learn more

About cash drawers

Learn about managing another type of device from the Back Office: cash drawers.

Learn more

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