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(13 Fixes) Bose Remote Not Working (Updated 2023 Guide)

Bose Remote Not Working

Uh-oh! Is your Bose remote unresponsive?

Or does it keep on randomly losing connection with your devices?

Well, guess what? I’ve experienced that same problem many times before.

So, trust me with this…

And let me share with you some of the easiest and most effective fixes that I’ve personally tried.

Read on to discover:

  • How to reprogram and reset a Bose remote.
  • How to clear the remote’s cache using the Bose app.
  • 13 ways to effectively fix a Bose remote that isn’t working.
  • How to clean the remote button contacts (and why you need to do it).
  • And a lot more…

Why isn’t my Bose remote working?

Your Bose remote isn’t working because its IR sensor is blocked, and its batteries are empty. It’ll not work if the connected device isn’t working or has glitches and outdated software. Dirty remote button contacts, direct light, and distance are factors that can also contribute to the problem.

Bose remote not working: 13 fixes

#1: Remove the plastic protection on a new remote

Is your Bose remote brand new?

If yes, then make sure to remove the plastic protection that comes with it.

Sure, this plastic cover can help maintain your remote longer. And prevent the buttons from wearing out.

But it can interfere with the remote’s IR sensor. And so affect the connection between your remote and connected devices.

Note: The IR sensor is the single light at the front of your remote. Its function is to send IR signals to your connected device from your remote.

When this is blocked, your remote can fail to send proper signals to your devices. Which can make your remote appear unresponsive and broken, even though it’s not.

#2: Use the remote near the connected device

Distance is one of the major factors that affect the remote’s functionality.

Yes, remotes are wireless. So you can use it anywhere and at any angle you want. As long as it can point directly to your connected device.

However, your Bose remote can only work within a specific range. Which is 20 ft (6 m). And that’s about 1.5 times as long as a Beetle car.

So, if your remote seems unresponsive…

Try moving near your TV or whichever device you’re trying to control.

#3: Remove anything that blocks the IR signal receiver

To make your remote work, you have to point it to your TV, cable box, or gaming console. Whichever you’re using.

But not just in any part of the device. It has to be directly on the IR signal receiver.

Do you see a small light next to your device’s power button? That’s it. That’s your device’s IR signal receiver.

To fix the issue with your Bose remote…

Make sure to remove anything that blocks that particular part of your TV.

And that can be a:

  • Plant.
  • Shelf decor.
  • Human body.
  • Another device.

“But I love having decors in front of my TV…”

You can still decorate your shelf however you want. Just make sure to leave adequate spaces in front and near the IR signal sensor.

Leave at least 4 in (10 cm) allowances on all of its sides.

You might also like: Can I use my smart TV without a remote?

#4: Avoid direct light on your connected device

Your Bose remote can also appear unresponsive due to light interference.

Suppose your device is near a window. And the sunlight points directly to your device’s IR signal receiver.

When the IR signals from your remote travel to your device, the sunlight can block it. And so, cause your device to not respond to your remote’s command.

That being said, avoid direct light on your connected device. 

Close your curtains or blinds to block the sunlight if it’s near a window. 

You should also shut down or move your laptop or PC away from it. As the light coming from the laptop’s screen can also cause light interference.

#5: Insert a new set of batteries

Is your Bose Lifestyle remote not working?

Try testing your remote, and see if it emits light on the IR sensor.

Follow these instructions:

Step 1: Get your smartphone and remote.

Step 2: Open your phone’s camera.

If your remote emits light, it means that it’s working.

But if it doesn’t, perhaps your remote batteries are already empty.

If that’s the case, replace the batteries as soon as possible. And make sure to get Alkaline batteries that are compatible with your device.

Get a high-quality AA or CR2032 set of batteries, depending on your Bose remote.

#6: Clean the remote button contacts

Clean Bose Remote Button Contacts

If the batteries aren’t the problem, check the button contacts of your remote.

The button contacts of your remote can collect dirt, dust, and gunk over time…

 And when that happens, the remote’s PCB can fail to receive command signals from the remote buttons.

And so your Bose remote won’t work.

So, if your remote is unresponsive, clean the remote button contacts.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the battery compartment cover.

Step 2: Remove the batteries.

Step 3: Use a flat head screwdriver to open the remote case.

Step 4: Split the remote case apart.

Step 5: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the button contacts (the green panel).

Step 6: Use cotton buds to clean the back of the buttons.

Step 7: Then, reassemble everything.

Note: You can use a little amount of water to clean the back of the buttons. Just make sure to air dry them before reassembling them to the remote case.

Check out: Smart TV Remote Not Working: 8 Causes & Fixes

#7: Ensure that the connected device is working

Is your Bose Solo remote not working yet?

Then this time, check if your connected device is working. 

Check whether it is:

  • Powered ON.
  • Plugged into a power socket.
  • Connected to the WiFi, if required.

If your device isn’t in operation, your remote won’t be able to send command signals to it. No matter how hard you troubleshoot your remote.

So, check every connection that your device has. Check its power cord, HDMI cables, and ethernet cable if it’s directly connected to your WiFi.

#8: Press the SOURCE button to establish a connection

If all your device connections are okay, but your Bose remote won’t still work…

Press the source button on the remote to re-establish the connection with your device.

There are 6 source buttons on a Bose Lifestyle remote:

  • TV: for smart TVs.
  • CBL-SAT: for cable and satellite.
  • VCR: for a video cassette recorder.
  • GAME: for gaming consoles like Xbox.
  • BD-DVD: for Blu-ray discs and DVD players.
  • AUX: for microphones, headphones, and MP3 players.

Some Bose CineMate remotes have a similar set of source buttons. 

While some only have one source button, similar to Bose Solo remotes. Where you’d have to select the specific source on your TV screen.

If your remote has several source buttons, press the one you want to control. Let’s say you want to use your smart TV. Just press the “TV” button once.

#9: Soft reset the connected device

If that didn’t work, soft reset your connected device.

A soft reset fixes connectivity errors by refreshing the device’s system. Plus, it doesn’t delete data, which is a good thing.

Regardless of what device you’d like to soft reset, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Ensure that the device is ON.

Step 2: Unplug the power cord from the socket.

Step 3: Wait for about 30 seconds.

Step 4: Replug the power cord.

Step 5: Then, power ON the device.

After that, try using your remote with it to see if the reset has helped resolve the problem.

Note: You may also try redoing the process but longer, about 10 minutes. Before you try other troubleshooting methods.

#10: Update the connected device’s software

Sometimes having outdated device software can also cause connectivity errors.


When your device doesn’t have the latest software, some of its functionality may fail to work. And that’s because the old software isn’t compatible with the latest one.

So, if your Bose remote isn’t working, check if there’s a software update available for your device.

You may visit your device manufacturer page to download the update file. Or you can update it through the device’s setting.

Note: The process varies on every type of device. So, make sure to review your product manual for accurate instructions.

#11: Reprogram the remote

“I’ve tried a lot of solutions already. But why is my Bose CineMate remote not working yet?”

If that’s the case, then your remote may have been disconnected from your device.

And to resolve that, reprogram your remote. 

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Press and hold the source button. 

Make sure to press the correct source button. If you’re using a TV, press “TV.” 

Doing this will make all the six source buttons glow.

Step 2: Release the source button.

Once released, the source buttons will stop glowing except for the one you had pressed.

Step 3: Enter the device’s brand code.

You can find this code on the remote control code booklet that comes with your Bose remote package. 

In case you’ve lost it, visit Bose support to download your product booklet.

Step 4: Press the VOL+ button. 

If the six source buttons blink, it means that you’ve entered an incorrect code. 

When that happens, press the VOL+ button again to let your remote cycle through the codes.

Step 5: Press EXIT.

Suppose you’ve entered the correct code already. Press EXIT on the remote. Doing this saves your settings.

You can also watch this video to know how to reprogram a Bose CineMate remote:

#12: Clear the remote’s cache memory

Still not working? Clear the cache memory on your Bose remote.

Note: Doing this removes all the connected devices on your remote. So, you’d have to reprogram it again after.

To clear Bose remote’s cache:

Step 1: Open the Bose app.

Step 2: Go to settings.

Step 3: Select “Universal Remote.”

Step 4: Click “Advance.”

Step 5: Tap “Remove Pairing Memory.”

Step 6: Press and hold the NAVIGATION and VOLUME- buttons on the remote for 5 seconds.

Step 7: Back on the app, press “Pair Remote.”

Step 8: Remove and reinsert one battery on the remote.

Step 9: On the remote, press the VOLUME+ button.

Step 10: Wait for the remote to pair with the app.

Step 11: Then, click “Done.”

#13: Reset your Bose remote

Oh! So nothing worked with your Bose remote? 

Don’t worry. You still have one solution. And that’s to reset your Bose remote.

Warning: A reset deletes data and disconnects your remote to other devices. So, only do this as your last resort.

To reset a Bose remote:

Step 1: Press and hold the source button.

Press and hold the source button of the device you want to reset.  Continue holding it until all six source buttons glow.

Step 2: Release the button. 

Doing this will stop the source buttons from glowing, except for the button you had pressed.

Step 3: Press 9-8-1 + ENTER.

All six source buttons will glow again to confirm the action. This also indicates that the reset process is already done.

To use your remote again, reprogram it by following the steps on fix #11.

Read also: 4 Easy Steps To Reset A Bose Soundbar (700, 500 & 300)