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Samsung TV Not Finding Channels: 5 Causes & Fixes (2023)

Samsung TV Not Finding Channels

Samsung TV not finding channels? 

I’ve been a victim of this too. 

But there’s something you should know. 

It only took me a couple of minutes to get all my channels back. 

How did I do it?

Read on to find out: 

  • 5 easy fixes to get your Samsung TV channels back. 
  • Why your Samsung TV doesn’t display any local channels.
  • 5 real reasons why your Samsung TV’s not finding channels.
  • And many more…

Why is my Samsung TV not finding channels?

Your Samsung TV isn’t finding channels because it needs retuning or re-scanning. Another possible reason is you’re not on the right TV source. A faulty antenna or weak WiFi signal are possible culprits. Lastly, it could be a faulty setting that changed your TV’s channel access or a hardware issue.

Samsung TV not finding channels: 5 causes & fixes

#1: You’re not on the right TV source

Let’s start with the basics. 

If you can’t find channels on your Samsung TV, you may be in the wrong TV source. 

What does that mean?

Let’s put it this way:

Someone might’ve accidentally pressed “Source” on your remote and then…

Landed on a different screen. 

In effect, it appears as if you’ve lost all your channels. 

But really…

You’re simply in the wrong TV source. 

“Is there a way to solve the issue?”

You betcha. 

How to fix it:

Here’s a step-by-step solution to return to the right TV source:

  1. Tap the Home button on your remote.
  2. Scroll left until you hit Source.
  3. Tap “Source.”
  4. A list of sources should appear. 
  5. Choose either “TV” or “HDMI 1” or “HDMI 2.”

If your original TV source with all your channels was on HDMI 1, for example, choose that source. 

However, if you have other sources apart from HDMI 1, HDMI 2, and TV, try checking those too. 

Read also: No Signal On Samsung TV: 6 Causes & Fixes 

#2: You have a faulty antenna/HDMI cable or weak WiFi signal

Faulty HDMI Cable

If you have a cable box or antenna hooked to your TV, a faulty cable could be the reason for losing all your channels. 

A faulty antenna or HDMI cable means a disrupted signal.

This means your TV loses the ability to find any channels.

If it’s not your antenna, it could be your WiFi. 

After all, TVs need a strong WiFi connection. 

Not just for connecting to the Internet, but also for accessing channels. 

You’ll know it’s a bad WiFi connection if you see this message on your TV:

“No Samsung TV Plus channels available at this time. Try again later.”

How to fix it:

At the back of your TV, you should see an “ANT IN” port.  

Most TVs only have one of these ports. 

Now, if you only have 1, this fix should work too.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Unplug your antenna cable. 
  2. Wait for 30 seconds.
  3. Plug your cable back into the same “ANT IN” port.
  4. Check your TV if the channels returned.

“What if I have 2 ANT IN ports?” 

In that case…

  1. Unplug your antenna cable again.
  2. Plug it to your second “ANT IN” port.
  3. Check if you got your channels back.

Be sure to do this for your HDMI cable too. 

On most Samsung TVs, there should be at least 2 HDMI ports. 

Still didn’t work? 

Check the location of your antenna. 

Is it positioned in a place that has good signal?

According to Consumer Reports, height’s a crucial factor when positioning your antenna. 

Placing it near your ceiling provides the best results. 

On the other hand, positioning your antenna on top of your TV doesn’t give you the best signal. 

This is why wall-mounted antennas have better signal reception. 

Read also: Do Router Antennas Make a Difference? The Surprising Truth

Try positioning your antenna in a different location like by your window or in the attic.

Then, check if your Samsung TV’s channels return. 

Finally, inspect your WiFi connection. 

How? By streaming a movie on Netflix using your phone. 

If it buffers a lot or takes long to load, then your WiFi’s the issue. 

You might also like: Samsung TV Won’t Stay Connected To WiFI: 11 Fixes

From here, you can do either of the following: 

  • Reset your WiFi. 
  • Buy a new router
  • Remove 1 or 2 devices from your WiFi network.

Resetting your router is the quickest approach: 

  1. Unplug your WiFi device. 
  2. Wait for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  3. Plug your WiFi router back into the power outlet.

Now, if your WiFi, antenna, and HDMI aren’t causing the issue, then…

Let’s head over to:

#3: Your Samsung TV needs tuning and re-scanning

Think of re-scanning or tuning your Samsung TV as if you’re giving it a refresh. 

Your TV’s channels may be scrambled, so Samsung doesn’t recognize them. 

By doing a re-scan, you’re refreshing your TV’s memory and returning it back to normal. 

How to fix it:

Note: I’ve also included steps on how to re-scan channels on older Samsung TVs. 

Step 1: Select “TV” as your source. 
  1. Tap the home button on your Samsung TV remote.
  2. Scroll left until you hit “Source.” 
  3. Tap “Source” and choose TV. 
Step 2: Go to your Samsung TV’s settings.
  1. Press the home button on your Samsung remote.
  2. Scroll left until you hit Settings (gear icon). 
  3. Select Settings. 

On an older Samsung TV, access your Settings by clicking the Menu button on your remote.

Step 3: Tap “Channel” or “Broadcasting.”

For newer Samsung TVs, you won’t see a “Channel” option. 

Instead, you’ll see “Broadcasting” listed under “Sound.”

For older Samsung TVs, you’ll see “Channel” listed under “Sound.” 

Step 4: Select “Auto Program.”
Step 5: Start rescanning or tuning your Samsung TV’s channels. 

On a newer Samsung TV, you’ll see a message: 

“Press Start to search and store channels. 

Note: The search will erase your current channel list.”

From here, tap “Start” and the Auto Program will run by itself. 

After, you should have all the channels on your Samsung TV. 

“But what about older Samsung TVs?” 

The process requires a little more legwork. 

After tapping “Auto Program,” you’ll see a message on your screen:

“Run Auto Program by pressing Start. 

If you start this function, the existing channel data will be deleted.” 

From here, follow these steps:

  1. Tap “Start.”
  2. You’ll be asked to select two options: “Air” and “Cable.”
  3. Select both and click “Next.”
  4. Set “Digital Cable System” to “STD” (Note: STD means standard). 
  5. Set “Analog Cable System” to “STD.”
  6. Tap “Next.”
  7. Auto Program should run automatically.

Read next: Samsung TV Stuck On One Channel: 9 Ways To Fix It

“Help! The “Broadcasting” or “Channel” option is grey.”

Why does this happen? 


Because you have an app that’s open on your Samsung TV. 

If your Netflix app’s open, for example, some settings on your TV turn grey. 

In most cases, the “Broadcasting” or “Channel” option is greyed out. 

To fix this issue, press “Exit” on your Samsung TV remote. 

After that, you’ll be able to access “Broadcasting” or “Channel” without issues. 

You might also like: (3 Steps) How To Scan For Channels On Samsung TV

#4: Your TV’s settings were altered

There may be a Samsung TV setting that’s preventing you from accessing your channels. 

One solution is to find the faulty setting by trial and error, which could take hours. 


You could do a factory reset

What does that mean?

This action restores your TV to its default settings and deletes the data, but it also…

Fixes most bugs, glitches, or issues your Samsung TV has. 

Sure – it’ll wipe all your downloaded apps. 

However, downloading multiple apps takes minutes. 

A trial and error solution takes hours and has a lower chance of fixing your issue. 

How to fix it:

If you have a newer Samsung TV model (2019 and up), follow these steps:

  1. Tap the home button on your Samsung TV remote. 
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select General (listed under “Broadcasting”).
  4. In the General settings menu, tap “Reset.”
  5. Enter your Samsung TV pin. 
  6. Factory reset will start. 

For an older Samsung TV, like a 2016 model, this step-by-step guide should work:

  1. Press your Samsung TV remote’s home button.
  2. Scroll left until you hit Settings (blue rectangular box with a gear icon).
  3. Tap Support (listed under “System).
  4. Tap “Self Diagnosis.”
  5. Tap Reset. 
  6. Enter your Samsung TV pin.
  7. Confirm the factory reset. 

#5: Samsung TV hardware problem

If none of the steps above solved your issue, your Samsung TV might have a hardware problem.

Although it’s rare…

There could be several components on your Samsung TV that’s causing the issue.   

So, what’s the best solution? 

How to fix it:

Contact Samsung and request a service technician to examine your TV.

Now, it’s not advisable to do the diagnosis yourself. 


Because this might lead to more issues and costlier repairs. 

Not to mention, tinkering with your Samsung TV voids the warranty. 

In other words, you can’t claim your TV’s warranty if you’ve tampered with it.  

Dig deeper: Samsung TV Stuck On One Channel: 9 Ways To Fix It 

People also ask:

Why is my Samsung TV not picking up local channels?

Your Samsung TV’s not picking up local channels due to an antenna issue. 

There could be several reasons for this, such as: 

  1. Damaged antenna or cable. 
  2. Antenna’s position is in a bad spot. 
  3. Your antenna can’t get good signal reception which leads to a weak TV signal.

Try positioning your antenna in different areas around your home. 

Preferably, near your window or on the second floor. 

This video should also help you with how to get the best signal reception:

If that doesn’t work, it might be your antenna cable. 

Reader’s tip: Will a Smart TV Work With an Antenna? 5 Device Facts

Try the same cable on another TV, then do a channel scan as shown in #3 above. 

Don’t have another TV?

Check the back of your TV. 

Try plugging your antenna cable into a second antenna port. 

From there, do a channel scan and see if any local channels appear. 

As a last resort, you might want to try getting a new antenna for your Samsung TV. 

If you plan on buying a new one, here’s 1 final tip.

Digital TV antennas work best when it comes to signal reception and range.