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(7 Fixes) Xfinity Remote Not Working [Updated 2023 Guide]

Xfinity Remote Not Working

Your Xfinity cable box provides you with dozens of entertaining channels. 

But without a functional remote… 

You won’t be able to switch between them. 

I realized this the hard way. 

And I don’t want you to experience the same problem.

So, let’s fix your Xfinity controller that’s not working in minutes.

Continue reading to find out:

  • 7 quick solutions for Xfinity remotes that won’t work.
  • How you can factory reset your Xfinity voice remote.
  • The most common reasons your Xfinity remote isn’t working.
  • And much, much more…

Why is my Xfinity remote not working?

Your Xfinity remote isn’t working because you’ve drained its batteries. This issue also happens if something’s blocking the line of sight between your remote and cable box. And your streaming device won’t detect its controller if there’s a glitch in the system. 

Xfinity remote not working: 7 fixes

#1: Check if your remote’s IR sensor works 

Your remote and Xfinity cable box communicate through Infrared (IR) signals. 

And luckily… 

It’s pretty easy to check if your controller’s IR sensor still works. 

See, the Xfinity remote emits a visible red light whenever it sends signals to your cable box.

So, for this solution…

You’ll use this indicator to determine if the problem lies in your controller’s batteries. 

That said, here’s how you can… 

Check if your controller’s IR sensor works: 

  1. Grab any mobile phone.
  2. Open its camera app.
  3. Point your phone’s cam to the front tip of your remote.
  4. Press any button on the controller. 
  5. Observe if you see a red light on your phone’s camera app. 

Note: If you do, proceed to the next solution. Because your remote emits IR signals which means it has power. 

But if you don’t see a red light…

Your remote most likely has loose connections or drained batteries. 

So, you should follow these steps to… 

Reset your remote’s connectors:

  1. Flip your controller over.
  2. Remove the back cover. 
  3. Take the batteries out of your remote. 
  4. Wait for 15 seconds.
  5. Return the batteries to the controller. 
  6. Place the cover back. 

After following this process, try using your remote again.

But if it still doesn’t work… 

Change the batteries:

  1. Take off the battery’s compartment cover again.
  2. Remove the batteries.
  3. Insert new ones into your remote (ensure they’re properly aligned). 
  4. Place your controller’s cover back. 

Note: All Xfinity remote models require 2 AA batteries. 

Now, check if your controller’s IR sensor finally works.

Note: Your remote is defective if it still doesn’t light up. That said, check the last part of the article so I can help you get a replacement. 

#2: Power cycle your cable box 

Let’s say your remote successfully sends IR signals.

But your Xfinity’s system is glitching or too laggy to receive them. 

In this scenario…

It’ll appear that your controller isn’t working. 

When in fact, it’s your cable box that’s causing the problem.

This might be what’s happening to your Xfinity setup now.

So, for this fix…

You should power cycle your cable box. 

Or simply speaking… 

It’s time to unplug your device for a minute before you plug it back again. 

See, this process will make your cable box do a system reboot. Which is extremely helpful because it makes your device:

  • Delete temporary caches.
  • Stop its ongoing and background tasks. 
  • Delete minor glitches and bugs that interrupt your streaming device’s activities. 

So, simply follow these steps to…

Power cycle your Xfinity cable box:

  1. Turn ON your streaming device using its physical power button. 
  2. Wait for 15 seconds. 
  3. Unplug your cable box’ power cable from the outlet.
  4. Let it rest for a minute.
  5. Plug it back again. 
  6. Turn ON your Xfinity streaming device once more.

You might also want to know: (7 Fixes) Xfinity Cable Box Keeps Rebooting

#3: Remove obstructions 

Unlike other Wireless connection types like WiFi or Bluetooth

IR sensors require a direct line of sight to communicate. 

Now, if you want to know the exact science behind how your remote works…

You may watch this video: 

But if you want to fix your device immediately, here’s how you can… 

Clear obstructions in front of your cable box: 

Step 1: Locate your Xfinity streaming device

If you have multiple cable boxes…

You could confuse one for the other.

So, double-check that the device you’re repositioning is for your Xfinity. 

Step 2: Find its front part

This is the side that lights up whenever you turn your cable box ON. 

Note: You’ll also find the Xfinity logo on this part. 

Step 3: Make your streaming device face your usual sitting area 

If you just place your cable box wherever it’s convenient… 

Its IR sensor may face the wall or a random spot in your house. 

As a result, your Xfinity remote’s signals won’t reach your streaming device. 

Step 4: Clear the front of your cable box 

There should be no obstructions between this device and your sitting area. 

Step 5: Check if your TV now detects your remote’s signals

Point your remote directly to your cable box.

And check if your Xfinity system is now responding to its controller.

Still having the same issue?

Then, try to…

#4: Clean your remote and cable box’s IR sensor

Tiny specks of dust may look harmless on your Xfinity controller. 

But if too many of them accumulate near your remote’s IR sensor… 

Your controller’s signals won’t be able to reach your cable box.

Because the dirt build-up will also be a barrier between your devices. 

So, to ensure that nothing’s blocking the IR signals of your Xfinity streaming setup… 

Clean your remote and cable box’s sensors:

Step 1: Grab a dry microfiber cloth

Other types of fabric leave lint or tiny fibers. 

So I recommend sticking to microfiber towels for efficient and easy cleanup.

Step 2: Wipe the front tip of your Xfinity remote 

Do so gently for 5-10 seconds. 

Step 3: Remove dust from your cable box 

Similar to the previous step…

Use your microfiber cloth to wipe the front part of your Xfinity streaming device. 

After doing so, test your controller. 

And if it’s still not working… 

#5: Move your remote closer 

Officially, IR remotes can work within 30 feet (10 meters). 

But based on experience… 

These controllers sometimes lose effectiveness once you exceed 15 ft (5 m) distance. 

So, the easiest way to ensure that your Xfinity system detects your remote’s signals is to… 

Bring your controller as close to your cable box as possible. 

Specifically, you should use your remote within 3 feet of your streaming device. 

This way…

You can verify if the usual distance between your cable box and controller is causing this issue. 

Now, if your remote works after bringing it closer…

Take a few steps back to know your controller’s furthest working distance.

Then, mark the specific spot. So you always know how close you need to be to use your remote. 

However, if your Xfinity system still doesn’t detect your controller’s signals after this fix… 

#6: Factory reset your remote 

Note: This solution only applies to controllers with a Mic/Voice button. 

The current connection between your Xfinity system and the remote may be glitching.

Hence, the 2 can’t communicate efficiently. 

Luckily though…

Fixing this problem only take minutes to do. 

See, all you have to do is factory reset your controller. 

In other words, you should make your remote completely forget your Xfinity cable box. 

Then, reconnect the 2 afterward. 

Note: The exact steps for this process depend on the type of Xfinity remote you have. 

So, before factory resetting your controller, follow these steps to… 

Figure out your Xfinity voice remote’s model:

Step 1: Check the color of your remote 

If it’s primarily white…

You own Xfinity’s XRA large-button voice remote.

But if your controller is black…

Proceed to the next step. Because you own 1 of the 3 black Xfinity voice remotes. Which I’ll cover in the sections below. 

Step 2: Locate the Microphone icon on your controller 

If it’s above the arrow buttons…

You have an XR11 Xfinity voice remote.

But if it’s under the navigational keys… 

Step 3: Observe if your remote has a numeric keypad

If you see numbers on your controller…

You have the XR15 remote model.

But if your controller doesn’t have a numeric keypad…

By default, you own the XR16 model.  

And now that you know the exact voice remote you have, here are the…

Simple steps to factory reset your Xfinity controller:

  1. Locate the Home and Page Up buttons on your remote.
  2. Press and hold both keys.
  3. Let go when your controller’s status light turns green. 
  4. Press these numbers consecutively on your remote’s keypad: 9, 8, then 1. 
  1. Find the Setup button on the bottom-left corner of your remote. 
  2. Press and hold this key.
  3. Let go when the LED light turns red to green.
  4. Click the numbers 9-8-1 on your remote. 
  5. Wait for your remote’s LED to blink green twice. 
  1. Hover your fingers over your remote’s triangle and diamond buttons. 
  2. Press and hold both keys for 3 seconds.
  3. Tap the numbers 9-8-1 consecutively. 
  4. Wait for your controller to blink blue thrice. 
  1. Locate your remote’s Info (i) and Home buttons.
  2. Press and hold these keys until the LED flashes. 
  3. Tap these buttons: Power, Left arrow, and Volume Down. 

And now, don’t forget to… 

Pair your voice remote with your cable box again:

  1. Turn ON your TV and Xfinity cable box. 
  2. Long-press the Home and Info (i) buttons on your remote simultaneously.
  3. Wait for the controller’s light to turn green.
  4. Enter the 3-digit code you see on your screen. 
  5. Follow further instructions. 
  1. Ensure that your streaming device and TV are ON. 
  2. Point your remote to your cable box.
  3. Press and hold the Setup button on your controller. 
  4. Let go when the LED turns green. 
  5. Tap the XFINITY button on your remote.
  6. Enter the 3 numbers on your screen. 
  1. Turn ON your cable box and TV.
  2. Locate the Xfinity and Info (i) buttons on your controller.
  3. Long-press both keys until the LED turns green.
  4. Enter the 3-digit code you see on your TV. 
  5. Follow further on-screen instructions to set up your remote. 
  1. Point your controller to your cable box. 
  2. Tap the Voice button (mic) on your remote.
  3. Continue following the instructions on your screen. 

Editor’s pick: (11 Fixes) Xfinity Cable Box Not Working (Updated)

#7: Contact Xfinity support 

Here’s 1 of my favorite things about being an Xfinity user:

Replacement remotes are free! 

Yes, even if you’re not under warranty anymore. 

So, if none of the fixes above could fix your controller’s issue… 

Just bring your faulty controller to a local Xfinity server center near you. 

Or go to the company’s official support website. And talk with 1 of the brand’s representatives to get the replacement delivered to you instead. 

Note: Xfinity’s agent will likely ask you to troubleshoot your remote first. So, inform them that you’ve already tried the fixes above. This way, they’ll only offer solutions you haven’t done yet.