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How to Set Up Your Square Register

The Square Register, a complete POS kit, is one way to take payments with Square without using your own tablet or mobile device or downloading any apps. Why do people love it? It’s affordable with a straightforward pricing structure, and the setup is fast and easy.

Looking for a quick step-by-step to get your new Square Register up and running?
We’ll keep it simple and have you checking out customers in a matter of minutes. Then we’ll tell you how to quickly navigate your Register’s menu and use it for maximum convenience and efficiency.

1. Set Up Your Counter

Unpack the box.
In the box you’ll find the register with customer display, the mounting plate for the customer display, and the mounting tools. Also look for the power adaptor, and two cables. The mounting display comes attached to your register with a foam pad underneath. You’ll need to take the customer display off (from behind the register) to remove the foam pad.


You can tilt the register screen to adjust its viewing position.

Get to know your register.
Once you remove the plastic screen cover from the register, you can tilt the screen to adjust its viewing position and explore it’s features. The power button is located at the center and bottom of the touch screen at the front. If you turn the register over carefully and look under its base, you’ll find:

  • a slot for the mounting plate
  • two micro USB ports
  • a release latch that lets you undock the customer display

Get to know your customer display.
On your touch-screen customer display, you’ll see the EMV chip card slot at the top, the magstripe reader just below that, and the micro USB ports on the back of the display for connecting to the cable.

Power up your Register.
For this step, you’ll need to connect the accessory hub to one of the USB ports under the register base. Then plug the power adaptor into the accessory hub and connect to a power source. Note that to operate Square Register, it must be connected to a power outlet.

Dock the display.
The customer display will fit easily into its slot behind the register screen. Be sure that no cables are attached first. You’ll need to press firmly at the bottom edges until you hear a click. That means the customer display is locked into place.

Undock the display and connect it with cable.
To undock the customer display, turn the register over. Then simply press the release latch in while lifting the display out of its slot. To operate the customer display in the undocked position, connect it with its cable to one of the USB ports under the base of the register.

Turn the device on.
Now that everything is connected, press the power button at the base of the register screen until you see the Square logo on both the register and customer display screens. You’re ready to go!


The optional hardware connects through a USB cord plugged into the accessory hub.

2. Get Connected

Square will prompt you to set up your network via Wi-Fi or ethernet. You’ll find a slot for the ethernet cable on the accessory hub.

After setting your time zone, the register will then prompt you to sign into your Square account. If you don’t already have an account set up, you’ll just need to visit Square.com on a computer.

Most optional hardware that you might use will connect to the register with a USB cord plugged into the accessory hub. This includes the following:

  • cash drawer
  • printer
  • barcode scanner

You can confirm that your accessories are working properly under the Settings menu on screen in these 3 easy steps:

  • Tap the Settings menu
  • Select the accessory you’d like to test
  • Hit the test button

3. Set Up the Software

You’ll need to set up Square register software through Square Dashboard on your computer.

  1. Create items in your "Items Library" of all products you’ll want to see on your register’s checkout screen. The "Items Library" is where you’ll add images, sku numbers, and descriptions. You’ll also choose any sales tax that will apply to the item (see step 2).

  2. Set up taxes in the tax tab on your Dashboard. (We’ve described how to do that in depth here.) You’ll need to know which state and local sales taxes apply to your sales.


You can also create new Modifier Sets from the Item screen.

  1. Set up any modifiers from your Dashboard as well. From the “Items” tab on your Dashboard, click “Modifiers” found along the top of the screen. This is where you’ll be able to set up sizes and custom options for items you sell. Click the “Create Modifier Set” button, and on the next screen you will name the modifier and enter options under that modifier, such as the range of sizes offered on an item with price points for each size. After you’ve entered that information, hit save. Then click “Apply Set to Items” and select any items to which that set of options will apply. Now when you tap the item on the checkout screen of your register, these options will appear.

  2. Create Discount options in much the same way that you set up modifiers. Click the “Discount” tab. Click “Create Discount.” Enter the information and save. Now on the register, the discount will appear in the item library. To apply it at the time of sale, you have two options:

  • Find the discount in your "Items Library" and tap it to apply it to the entire sale.
  • From the "Current Sale" screen, tap the item you want to apply the discount to and toggle on the discount near the bottom of the screen.**
  1. Set up locations under the “Account and Settings” tab on your Dashboard. Click “Locations” and then “Create Location” to enter the information for each one. Here you can set up the customer-display-screen image, business hours, and bank information for each location. To assign items to a particular location, click on the item, click on “Locations” and check all locations where this item is available.

  2. Set up employees by clicking on the “Employees” tab.

Note that if you already have a Square account set up, you’ll sign into your existing account at this point, and all your items and existing settings will appear on your register screen.

4. Navigate Your New Menu

You’re doing great and will be making your first sales in no time. You just need to explore the menu. Review the list below where we give you a brief overview of each one of your menu options on the main Register screen.


Square allows you to accept an array of payment options.

Checkout Menu
This menu houses all your point-of-sale functions. Here you will ring up items, type in sale amounts, offer discounts, or look up the balance on gift cards.

You’ll also be able to edit items on the go from this screen as well as edit categories, modifiers, discounts, or gift cards. If you need to edit many of these at once, it’s best to visit your Square Dashboard on your computer.

Transactions Menu
You can easily search all your transactions here in the transactions menu. This is also where you’ll go to print a new receipt for a customer or issue a refund.

Customers Menu
This menu allows you to manage your customer list. Keep in mind that you’ll be able to add customers right from the checkout screen as well.

At the "Customers Menu," you’ll find your customer directory. This is handy place to quickly find lapsed customers as well as identify your regulars who you might want to reward for their loyalty. From Square Marketing in your Dashboard, you can send offers and other communications to enhance your customer experience.

Reports Menu
This is the place to see sales reports at a glance. Find best sellers or sales by location here. You can also see deposits Square has made to your account from this menu. Find out more about linking your bank account here.

For more detailed reports, go to the Square Dashboard on your computer.

Settings Menu
This is where you’ll edit device and business settings from the register. From this menu, you can even set up employee time cards, which allow employees to clock in and out from the register. Find out more about time clocks here.

Support Menu
This is where you get answers to any pressing questions right from your register screen.


Square has a helpful library of support documentation online.

5. Handle Troubleshooting and Maintenance

The first things to check if you experience any problems include checking that the register is plugged into a power source properly, checking that the date and time are correct, making sure your account is activated, and checking that your software is updated (see below).

Square has a great system for customer support. Your options for getting support when you need it are as follows:

  • The online knowledge base is extensive and has been highly praised by users and reviewers alike. Most questions can be answered easily and quickly by searching this online user manual.
  • Contact Square by phone, available from 6am to 6pm Pacific Time.
  • Contact Square via social media messaging.
  • Consult with Square’s online Seller Community.

We recommend keeping these two issues in mind when it comes to ongoing maintenance of your Square register:

  • As mentioned above, keeping your software updated is critical to the register working properly. To perform a regular update, select the “Settings” menu. Under the device section, select “General” then “About Register” and “Software Update.”
  • Verifying your tax compliance on a quarterly basis is also paramount. You’ll need to stay up-to-date on any changes in tax rates, especially on the local level, and make a point to edit your tax settings in the Dashboard when needed. For more information on setting up and modifying taxes in Square, check out this post.
Never file another sales tax return.

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