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Smart TV Remote Not Working

I’ve been using smart TV’s for a long time, and from time to time I’ve had remotes that fail and I replaced them. But, I’ve also been able to fix some smart TV remotes when they stopped working using a range of methods. In this article I will explain how to get a smart TV remote to work again once it stops working, where it’s fixable.

Discharge the electricity of the remote by removing the batteries and holding the power button for 1 minute. Verify that your TV turns on using the buttons on your TV, hard reset your TV, make sure nothing is blocking the IR sensor, unpair and pair the remote, and clean the battery terminals.

Holding a remote while pointing in the TV

These solutions are recommended by the top TV manufacturers. However, you can’t know ahead of time which one can fix the issue, so it’s a matter of trying each one by one. I’ll explain step by step how to perform each of these, and if you get to complete all of these and it’s still not working then you should buy a new remote.

Smart TV Remote Not Working

There are two types of ways a smart TV remote can communicate with your TV. The first is through infrared (IR), the other is through a wireless technology. This technology can be malfunctioning or blocked or the power for the remote controlled by the batteries can not be working. So, here’s the things to check for each of these factors that can cause your smart TV remote to not work.

Other devices in close proximity to a smart TV can interfere with the signal from the remote such as cordless phones, smartphones, microwaves, and Wi-Fi modems. The infrared signal can be blocked physically by something in the way of the sensor. Or, there can be an issue with the batteries.

The various steps to troubleshoot each of these issues are outlined below. Each step is stand alone and can cause your smart TV to begin working again. So, after each step check to see whether your smart TV remote has or hasn’t started working again before moving on to the following step.

Before getting started, it may seem like an obvious first step but put in a new pair of batteries to see if the batteries aren’t completely drained.

1. Discharge the electricity from your remote to reset it

Discharging the electricity from your smart TV remote will reset it. To do that remove the batteries from your smart TV remote and hold the power button for 1 minute. The well known smart TV manufacturers such as LG, Sony, and Samsung say to hold down the power button for a different amount of time.

Some say 5 seconds, some say 8 seconds, and others say 1 minute. So, I’ve put here 1 minute that way it covers all the bases.

2. Check the TV turns on with the physical buttons on the TV

It’s possible your TV won’t turn on because of another issue not related to the remote. So, to verify that it’s the TV remote that’s causing the issue turn your TV off and on again using the buttons on the side of your TV. Each TV is a little bit different so you may need to look up where the power button is in your user manual, or on the official website of the manufacturer of your TV. But, generally it’s pretty easy to find.

3. Turn the smart TV one and off to reset the internal computer

Turn your TV off at the wall and unplug it. Then plug it back in and turn it back on. This will ‘crash’ your TV and restart the internal computer on your smart TV. It’s possible a glitch occurred and resetting it will cause the remote to begin working again.

4. Verify that nothing is physically blocking the infrared signal path

Smart TV remotes have an infrared and wireless connection. Some buttons are controlled via infrared such as the power button, whereas, others are transmitted through the wireless connection. The infrared signal needs to have ‘line of sight’ with the sensor. This means you need to point the remote at the TV when you press the buttons.

Make sure nothing is sitting in front of the TV that can be blocking the line of sight to the infrared sensor. Also try operating your remote by pointing it at the TV, and use the remote 2 to 3 metres (6 to 9 feet) from the TV.

5. Ensure no other wireless devices are in close to your smart TV

Other wireless devices can interfere with the wireless connection from your remote to your TV. Where possible and reasonable move other wireless devices further away from your TV, and where you use the remote. The most common devices are:

  • Wi-Fi modems
  • Cordless phones
  • Smartphones
  • Microwaves

Bluetooth speakers and wireless soundbars are fine as they are designed to not cause interference. However, turn these devices off temporarily to see if they have malfunctioned and are causing the issue.

6. Unpair and pair the remote to reset the wireless connection

The connection between the remote and the smart TV can be reset by unpairing the remote. Each remote is a little bit different. It’s common that you hold the ‘play/pause’ button and the ‘back’ button at the same time for around 5 seconds and you’ll get a notification to say that it has been unpaired. Then you press the same buttons again. But, it does differ based on the brand and make and model of TV you have. Therefore, you’ll need to find the instructions by searching Google for how to unpair and pair a remote for your brand of TV.

7. Clean the battery terminals using white vinegar

A solution of 50% water and 50% household vinegar such as apple cider vinegar or white vinegar can be made and used to clean the terminals of the battery. Generally, they won’t be dirty from everyday use. But, some dust, or grime may be on the terminals creating a poor contact with the batteries.

8. Check your remote is producing an infrared signal

It’s possible to verify that your remote is producing an infrared signal to see whether there is a problem with an internal component with your remote. In which case you’ll generally need to replace it.

The camera on your smartphone can visually ‘see’ the infrared signal which is invisible to the naked eye. The infrared signal comes out of the end of your remote directly in front of you.

Open the camera on your smartphone and point the remote at your camera so you can see the end where the infrared signal will come out and press the power button. You will be able to see a colored light coming out as you press the power button. If not, the infrared signal isn’t working and there it’s more than likely an internal problem with the circuitry of your remote.

Smart TV Remote Not Turning TV On

Man holding a remote while looking at it

Using the remote is far more convenient than pressing the buttons on your TV. However, TV remotes can not work, even once you put in new batteries. Here’s how to fix a smart TV remote that won’t turn your TV on.

Remove the batteries and hold down the power button on your remote for 1 minute. Then put the batteries back in and check if it’s working. Ensure you’re pointing the remote at the TV and you’re within 3 to 4 meters (9 to 12 feet) of the TV. And that nothing is blocking the infrared sensor.

I’ve provided detailed instructions for how to do these two steps, as well as, some other issues that can be causing it at the top of this article. Scroll to the top and follow the steps one by one. If you try all the steps and it’s still not working then you should order a new smart TV remote.

Smart TV Not Responding to Remote

frustrated man while holding a remote

In an ideal world a smart TV remote will work perfectly. But, apart from the batteries going flat, they can also malfunction on their own and not work at all. There are a range of quick fixes to try that can commonly fix a smart TV remote when it’s not working, here’s what they are.

First check that your smart TV turns on using the buttons on your TV to make sure it’s not the TV rather than the remote. Then discharge the power on the remote, check the IR sensor isn’t blocked, then unpair and pair the remote to the TV. Details on how to do each step is explained below.

These commonly fix the issue, but there are also some additional troubleshooting steps to fix this issue explained at the top of this article. Start with step ‘1. Discharge the electricity from your remote to reset it.’ And work your way through each of the easy steps until your remote begins working again. Or, if you get to the end then you should buy a new smart TV remote.

The wireless signal can be malfunctioning, the infrared signal can be blocked, the internal computer on the remote and/or your TV needs to be restarted, or there is a power issue caused by empty batteries or debris on the battery terminals. Apply the steps explained at the top of this article.

Have a Specific TV Brand Remote Not Working?

Here’s a series of specific articles we have for different brands of TV. We know each remote has it’s own quirks, hopefully as we go through each tv we can help you resolve your smart tv remote not working.

Toshiba TV Remote Not Working

Insignia TV Remote Not Working

Dish Remote Not Working

Philips TV Remote Not Working

Sharp TV Remote Not Working

Sanyo TV Remote Not Working

Google TV Remote Not Working

Westinghouse TV Remote Not Working

DIRECTV Remote Not Working

RCA TV Remote Not Working

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on October 24, 2021.

ATT TV Remote Not Working

Now TV Remote Not Working

Android TV Remote Not Working

Element TV Remote Not Working

Sony TV Remote Not Working

Samsung TV Remote Not Working

VIZIO TV Remote Not Working

TCL TV Remote Not Working

Fire TV Remote Not Working

LG TV Remote Not Working

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on October 24, 2021.