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(11 Fixes) Vizio TV Remote Not Working [Updated 2023]

Vizio TV Remote Not Working

What’s a cat’s or dog’s favorite button on your remote?

Paws (Pause).

You might find this funny… or not.

But you know what’s definitely not funny?

Your Vizio TV remote not working.

It’s such a hassle having to get up every time you need to change the channel.

So let’s fix that remote of yours.

Continue reading to find out:

  • 11 easy and effective ways to fix your Vizio TV remote.
  • A quick way to turn your mobile phone into a TV remote.
  • 5 of the best universal remotes that you can use as an alternative.
  • And a lot more…

Why is my Vizio TV remote not working?

Your Vizio TV remote isn’t working due to defective batteries. Vizio TV remotes use a pair of AAA batteries. And they generally last 6 to 12 months on regular usage. Dirt buildup and liquid spills can also cause issues with the remote. It’s also likely that the remote’s IR sensor is defective.

 Vizio TV remote not working: 11 fixes

#1: Replace the remote’s batteries

When your Vizio TV remote suddenly stopped working…

There’s a good chance you immediately thought of the batteries.

And you know what?

In most cases, you’d be right.

Because defective batteries are the most common cause of a faulty TV remote.

Like most TV remotes, Vizio also uses a pair of AAA alkaline batteries.

These batteries generally last from 6 to 12 months on TV remotes. And that’s with regular use of a few hours per day.

So try to replace your Vizio TV remote’s batteries.

It’s better if you replace them with fresh ones. But you may also use batteries from your other gadgets that you know are still working.

In addition, you should also try to use your TV remote’s old batteries on another device. This will also help you check for further issues.

If the old batteries work on other devices, it means there are other issues with your TV remote.

But don’t worry. There are a lot more fixes ahead. 

#2: Reseat the batteries

Another easy way to troubleshoot a Vizio TV remote is to reseat the batteries.

And by that, I mean to switch the batteries around.

Move the battery on the left to the right side. And vice versa.

Moreover, check for any problems with the battery slots.

Check if there are issues with the springs.

Also, look for any dust or debris build-up. 

Sometimes, dirty battery slots are what keep the remote from working.

So ensure that the entire battery compartment’s clean.

#3: Power cycle your remote

I’m sure you’ve heard of power cycling or restarting a TV, a laptop, or a smartphone. And you’ve probably done that many times.

But power cycling a TV remote?

Yes, you can do that too.

And with Vizio TV remotes, there are a couple of ways to perform a power cycle.

The first method’s simpler. It only requires pressing one button.

The second one involves pressing all of the buttons.

I’ll provide the steps for both. And you may choose to do either. 

Method #1:

  1. Remove the back panel of the remote.
  2. Take out the batteries.
  3. Press and hold the remote’s power button for 30 seconds.
  4. Put back the batteries and the cover.

Method #2:

  1. Remove the remote’s battery cover.
  2. Take out the batteries.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
  4. Press all the other remote buttons 2 or 3 times each.
  5. Reinsert the batteries and return the cover.

Afterward, try using the remote again. 

Would you like a demonstration on how to power cycle a Vizio remote? Then this video’s for you:

#4: Restart your Vizio TV

In some instances, a malfunctioning remote’s due to a glitch on the Vizio TV.

Of course, smart TVs nowadays all have dedicated firmware. 

For Vizio TV, it’s the SmartCast OS.

And this firmware can experience glitches from time to time.

Causing issues such as a flickering screen. Or, in your case, a remote malfunction.

So restarting your Vizio TV can also help fix the remote’s issue.

“But how do you do that without a working remote?”


You do it the old-fashioned way. By unplugging:

  1. Unplug your Vizio TV from the power source.
  2. Press the TV’s power button for 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Plug your Vizio TV back into the outlet.
  4. Press its power button again to turn it back on.

#5: Remove obstructions between the TV and the remote

Your Vizio TV and its remote both have a built-in infrared (IR) sensor. Which makes it possible for them to communicate.

Now there’s likely an object blocking this sensor. And it may be the only thing keeping your remote from working.

So remove anything that’s getting in the way of your TV’s IR sensor.

“Where exactly can I find my Vizio TV’s IR sensor?”

It’ll depend on the model. But usually, it’s in the bottom front portion of the TV.

On some models, it’s on the bottom left. While in others, it’s on the bottom right.

Once you locate the sensor, you may also try to clean it. Especially since that part of the TV can suffer from dust accumulations at times.

You may use a dry, clean cloth to wipe it.

#6: Check if the non-working buttons are content-dependent

So what are content-dependent remote buttons?

According to Vizio, these are buttons that you can only use on specific devices or apps.

For instance, the channel buttons will only work when you hook up an antenna to your TV.

If you’re using a set-top box, they won’t function. Because you’ll need to use your cable provider’s own remote.

Here are other examples of content-dependent buttons:

  • Play.
  • Pause.
  • Rewind.
  • Fast Forward.

These will only perform when you’re using a streaming app directly from the TV. Such as Netflix or Prime Video.

They won’t work on cable programs. Or when you’re using a media player like Roku or Fire Stick

So perhaps there’s nothing wrong with your remote. And you’re likely just trying to use it incorrectly.

#7: Clean the remote

Dirt build-up and liquid spills are 2 common causes of remote problems.

Sometimes, tiny particles may get stuck inside the button slots.

And it’s also possible that someone may have accidentally spilled liquid on the remote.

The solution for both issues is to clean the device.

It’s best to use a microfiber cleaning cloth for wiping. This is so you don’t scratch the remote’s surface.

You may also use a toothpick or a pin to dislodge anything that may have jammed the buttons.

Also, you may try to disassemble the remote. And clean the circuit board.

Vizio TV remotes don’t have screws. So you’ll only need a flat-head screwdriver to separate the panels.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to disassemble your remote:

  1. Take off the battery cover and remove the batteries.
  2. Tilt the remote sideways.
  3. Look for the gap between the remote panels.
  4. Insert the flat-head screwdriver between the gap.
  5. Twist the screwdriver repeatedly to widen the gap.
  6. With the gap wide enough, manually separate the panels.

From here, you can now clean the parts separately. Again, just use a microfiber cloth to clean the circuit board and the rubber buttons.

#8: Verify if the remote’s IR sensor is working

Now I did mention that your remote has a built-in IR sensor.

Another thing that can help you troubleshoot it is checking if the IR sensor’s working.

For this, you’d need to use your smartphone’s camera.

You may follow the steps below:

  1. Launch your phone’s camera app.
  2. Focus your camera on the top edge part of the remote.
  3. Press any button on the remote.
  4. Look for a red blinking light whenever you press a button.

If you can see a red light on the remote, it means the IR sensor’s working.

If not, then it’s likely defective. 

But fret not. You still have plenty of options. Keep reading below.

#9: Try to use another Vizio TV remote

Do you happen to have another Vizio TV in your home?

If you do, you may try to use that TV remote instead.

Most Vizio TV remotes aren’t model-dependent. 

This means that a remote that works for one TV will also likely work on another.

#10: Install the Vizio SmartCast app on your phone

Did you know that you can also use your smartphone as a TV remote?

With Vizio, it’s possible using the SmartCast Mobile app.

If you haven’t installed it already, go ahead and download it.

You may find it on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll just need to pair it with your Vizio TV.

But ensure that both your TV and phone are using the same WiFi network.

Here’s how to pair the TV with the app:

  1. Launch the Vizio SmartCast Mobile app on your phone.
  2. You may either create an account or sign in as a guest.
  3. Tap the Select Device option. It’s at the top of your screen.
  4. Select your TV from the list.
  5. Tap the Remote icon.

You may now control your TV with your phone.

The only downside is that you’d always need a WiFi connection.

You can connect your Vizio TV to WiFi without a remote. But you can’t use the SmartCast app remote without WiFi.

#11: Use a universal remote

You may also use a universal remote as an alternative to using the SmartCast Mobile app.

The advantage of using one is you won’t need a WiFi connection.

Here are some of the best universal remotes for your Vizio TV:

Setting up a universal remote to work on your Vizio TV is easy. 

You’d just need to know the 2, 3, 4, and 5-digit codes for Vizio TV. You’ll need to enter one of those on your universal remote.

You may find these codes on Vizio’s official website.

In addition, your universal remote should also come with a manual. You can also find the Vizio TV codes from there.

Now here’s how to program a universal remote:

  1. Look for the Setup button and press and hold it.
  2. When the power button starts flashing red, press the TV button.
  3. Enter any of the codes for Vizio TV.
  4. Wait for the red light to turn off.

You may then check if the remote’s working. If not, repeat the steps. But try out the other codes.

Bonus #1: Request for a remote replacement

The SmartCast app and a universal remote are good replacements for your Vizio remote.

But I know some would rather replace their remote with an original one.

So if you’d also like an original replacement, you may visit Vizio’s service request page.

From there, you can check if your TV’s still under warranty. And if it is, you’ll be able to get a free replacement for your remote.

And if you’re out of warranty?

You may simply order from Vizio’s official shop.

The standard Vizio TV remote costs $19.99.

If you prefer the one with a built-in voice control feature, you may buy one for $29.99.

Bonus #2: How to do a factory reset on a Vizio TV without a remote

How To Do A Factory Reset On A VIzio TV Without Remote

Now, this isn’t exactly a troubleshooting fix for your remote.

But this is a guide just in case you need to factory reset your Vizio TV. 

And your remote’s not working. Or you haven’t found a replacement yet.

Warning: Factory resetting will wipe out your entire data. Including your downloaded apps and calibrated TV settings.

Here’s how to do a factory reset without a remote:

  1. Press and hold the TV’s volume down and input buttons.
  2. Wait for the factory reset message box to appear on your screen.
  3. Release the buttons.
  4. Press and hold the input button again to confirm the factory reset.