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Smart TV Remote Not Working: 8 Causes & Fixes (2023)

Smart Tv Remote Not Working

“My smart TV remote isn’t working. I’m thinking of getting a new one… ”

Hold on.

You must be thinking that getting a new remote is the most convenient thing to do. 

But it’s costly…

Plus, fixing your smart TV remote issue is not rocking science.

So, why not try some easy fixes first?

It will help you save some costs.

Continue to read to learn:

  • How to update TV and remote firmware.
  • When’s the best time to replace remote batteries.
  • 8 common causes of smart TV remote not working.
  • 8 effective ways on how to resolve smart TV remote issues.
  • And so much more…

Why is my smart TV remote not working?

A smart TV remote will not work if its batteries are drained or inserted incorrectly. It will also not work if the battery contacts are dirty or the TV infrared sensor is blocked by any object. Other possible causes include disconnected Bluetooth, unstable internet connection, and outdated firmware.

Smart TV remote not working – 8 causes & fixes

#1: Blocked or dirty TV infrared sensor

Although smart TVs work with WiFi, their remotes still use infrared technology.

Do you notice the small red light on one corner of your smart TV?

That’s the IR sensor.

This small sensor receives infrared signals from your smart TV remote. These signals carry the commands from the remote.

The IR sensor works by detecting infrared beams that come from the remote. And it interprets the codes it delivers.

So, when something blocks the infrared sensor, your smart TV remote won’t work.

It can be any object that directly blocks the IR sensor. Or blocks the signals’ pathway.

“But nothing blocks the IR sensor on my TV. I’ve already everything in front of it…”

If that’s the case, there must be some clogged dirt in the IR sensor.

Check if there’s accumulated dirt on the sensor.

If yes, then that’s what causes your remote not to work.

How to fix it

First, remove any object that blocks the IR sensor of your smart TV.

Sometimes a leaf from a closeby indoor plant can also block the sensor. So, make sure to access the space thoroughly. 

Decreasing the distance between your smart TV and remote will help as well.

If you’re cleaning the IR sensor, use soft and gentle cleaning materials.

You can use a microfiber cloth or a cotton bud to clean the area.

But the easiest thing you can do is to blow air into the sensor. This alone will remove accumulated dirt and dust.

#2: Drained remote batteries

Smart TV remotes use batteries to function.

All the regular remotes do too. 

But the difference is, smart TV remotes use more charge than the regular ones. Especially if you use one that has voice assistance.

That must be something that some smart TV users don’t know.

In general, smart TV remote batteries last for 3 to 6 months. Depending on how often you use it.

You’ll know if the batteries are drained when the remote doesn’t emit signals anymore.

To check if the remote still emit infrared signal:

  1. Open your phone camera.
  2. Position the remote sensor to your camera.
  3. Then, press any button on the remote.

If you see a red light, then the batteries are still good. 

If not, it’s already drained.

How to fix it

The only solution for this is to replace the batteries.

Smart TV remotes use either AAA or AA batteries. 

Replacing remote batteries is super easy.

You just have to open its compartment and remove old batteries. Then, insert the new ones.

Here are a few things to note when replacing batteries:

  • Don’t use rechargeable batteries.*
  • Avoid buying insanely cheap batteries.
  • Don’t pair old and new batteries together.

*Most smart TV remotes use disposable batteries. So, only insert ones that are disposables. Unless the manufacturer mentioned that rechargeable batteries are okay to use.

Editor’s pick: Will Smart TVs Become Obsolete? The Harsh Truth & Facts

#3: Wrong battery placement

“I already replaced the batteries. My smart TV remote still doesn’t work!”

If that’s the case, then you might’ve placed it incorrectly. 

As you may know, a battery has a positive and negative side.

And so the battery contacts or terminals. 

If the batteries are in the wrong positions, the electric charge won’t be able to flow.

Meaning, your smart TV remote won’t power up and turn on.

How to fix it

Open the battery compartment of your remote once again. 

Remove the batteries. Then, check the battery contacts and ends.

A quick guide on battery and battery contacts:

  • Battery negative side: has a flat base.
  • Battery positive side: has a small projection.
  • Battery positive contact: usually has a flat base.
  • Battery negative contact: usually has a coil spring.

To place the batteries correctly:

  1. Position the positive side of the battery to the positive contact.
  2. Position the negative side of the battery to the negative contact.

#4: Dirty remote contacts

If placing the batteries correctly still doesn’t work, there must be a problem with the contacts.

Like IR sensors, battery contacts can get clogged with dirt and dust.

And when this happens, the remote won’t be able to receive charges from the batteries.

You already know what it does.

It keeps your smart TV remote not working.

How to fix it

Use soft cleaning materials when removing dirt in the battery contacts. Especially if it has a coil spring. 

I mean, you wouldn’t want to damage it. And cause more problems.

Some of the materials that you can use are:

  • Microfiber cloth with a little alcohol solution.
  • A piece of cotton bud with a little alcohol solution.

Once done, return the batteries.

Is there battery corrosion on your remote? 

Then watch this video to learn how to clean it!

#5: Disconnected Bluetooth

“The remote batteries are all good. But I still can’t use my smart TV remote.”

If that’s the case, then your remote might’ve been disconnected from your smart TV.

Smart TV remotes connect with your TV via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is a technology that wirelessly connects two electronics. Unlike IR, Bluetooth sends code using radio waves.

“But I thought the smart TV and its remote communicate via IR sensors?”

Most smart TV remotes today use both IR and Bluetooth to connect with the TV.

IR is used for basic functions. Usually for turning on and off the TV. And Bluetooth is used for other advanced features. 

The remote Bluetooth connects automatically to your smart TV.

But if it runs on some software bugs, it can get disconnected. And that’s why you can’t use your smart TV remote.

Trivia: Some home electronics and appliances can interfere with a Bluetooth connection.

Many home electronics and appliances use a 2.4 GHz frequency. The same frequency that Bluetooth use. 

Two or more devices with the same frequencies can interfere with the connection. And cause the signals to get distorted. 

A lot of things in your home can interfere with your remote’s Bluetooth connection.

One study even showed how a microwave oven can interfere with Bluetooth signals.

How to fix it

Sometimes a smart TV remote can fail to reconnect with your smart TV. 

This scenario happens when the remote’s system runs into some software bugs.

You can fix it by updating your device.

But if an update is not available, you can resolve it by resetting your smart TV.

To reset your smart TV:

  1. Turn your smart TV off.
  2. Unplug its cord from the power socket.
  3. Leave it unplugged for 30 seconds.
  4. Then, replug and turn on the TV again.

Once the smart TV is on, your remote should reconnect with it automatically.

If it doesn’t, you can proceed to the settings and connect it manually.

#6: Unstable internet connection

Unstable Internet Connection

Your smart TV works with WiFi. 

If the WiFi connection gets disrupted, your smart TV won’t be able to follow any commands.

And that includes the commands from your smart TV remote.

Many things cause your internet connection to get slow or lost, including:

  • Poor internet signal.
  • Low internet bandwidth.
  • Too many devices connect to the internet.
  • Smart gadgets and home appliances close by.
  • Long-distance between the WiFi router and smart TV.

Distance plays a role in how slow or fast your internet speed will be.

One study proved that WiFi travels faster in free space. 

If there are too many obstructions, WiFi signals weaken.

Many obstructions can get in the way when there’s a great distance between the WiFi router and the smart TV.

These obstructions can be huge home appliances or piles of gadgets.

But mostly, these are the walls and floor levels in your home.

So, if your smart TV is in a room upstairs, it can be hard for the WiFi signals to reach it.

“How about the low internet bandwidth? How does it affect it?”

Internet bandwidth, in simple terms, is the amount of data you receive.

The higher the bandwidth, the more data you can consume.

The lower the bandwidth, the lesser data you can consume.

No matter what internet plan you have, a data limit is set for you.

Your internet service provider sets a monthly data limit on your plan. 

Once you’ve reached that limit, your ISP will throttle your internet. 

And that’s how you end up having a low internet bandwidth.

To answer the question: A smart TV can’t function with low internet bandwidth.

Learn more: Do router antennas make a difference?

How to fix it

You can’t control the speed of your internet connection.

But you can control how much internal signal your device can receive.

To ensure a strong, stable internet connection, here are a few things you can do:

  • Disconnect gadgets that are not in use.
  • Install extra routers throughout your home.
  • Place your smart TV close to your WiFi router.
  • Remove smart devices and appliances near your smart TV.
  • If it’s on another floor, place your TV directly below the router location.

If any of these doesn’t work, it might be because the WiFi router has some bugs.

To remove software bugs in your WiFi router:

  1. Unplug the router from the power source.
  2. Leave it unplugged for about 30 seconds.
  3. Replug the router into the socket.
  4. And turn on the router power button.

Doing this should fix any connectivity issues. Including recurring lost internet connections.

#7: Outdated TV firmware

“I’ve already reset my WiFi router. But it still doesn’t work.”

It must be because your smart TV has outdated firmware.

Outdated firmware can cause a lot of bad things. 

Including disconnecting to your WiFi connecting. Or not responding to your smart TV remote.

Wondering why it happens?

Devices that have outdated firmware are more prone to software bugs

These software bugs are programming errors that cause the device to malfunction.

You can only remove a software device from updating it. Or resetting your smart TV.

Another reason is that new updates often change codes in the system.

So, when your device is outdated, it can malfunction because it misses some codes in its system.

How to fix it

A smart TV often notifies a user if there’s a new update available.

But if it fails to do so, you can still update through the device settings.

To update your smart TV:

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “Support.”
  3. Proceed to “Software Update.”
  4. Then click “Update,” if displayed.

Every smart TV has a different updating process. 

So, please refer to your user manual as well.

Once the update is done, your smart TV should be able to follow your remote commands.

Check out: How Often Do Smart TVs Update Their Software? 5 Examples

#8: Outdated remote firmware

Like your smart TV, the smart TV remote also has firmware.

And so, your remote updates regularly too.

Normally, your smart TV remote updates itself automatically.

But it can fail to update if there are some generic bugs on its system.

As you may know by now, these bugs prevent devices from functioning right.

If your smart TV remote has outdated firmware, it can fail to follow commands. 

“How would I know if the remote firmware is the problem?”

If all the other things mentioned above are not the issue, it must be the remote firmware.

If the batteries, internet, and TV firmware are good, your last resort is to update its firmware.

How to fix it

Your smart TV should display a notification if an update is available for your smart TV remote.

But if it doesn’t, you can update through the smart TV settings.

To update smart TV remote:

  1. Go to settings.
  2. Select “Remote & Accessories”
  3. Choose “Remote Control.”
  4. Then, click “Software Update.”

If there’s no update available, you can try to reset it.

You can do it by removing the batteries from the remote. Then, after 15 to 30 seconds, put them back in.

Doing this should resolve any connectivity issues between your remote and smart TV.

If not, perhaps you really need to get a new one.

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