Universal Remote Not Working: Causes & DIY Fixes
Keeping a universal remote is advantageous as it can control various electronic devices. Leading remotes like Logitech Harmony 650 and SofaBaton U1 can control up to 5 and 15 devices simultaneously. But in some situations, the universal remote may stop working due to poor batteries, pairing issues, and signal blockage. Although you have many reasons, there are some troubleshooting methods to fix the issue.
Reasons for Universal Remote Not Working
If you can’t use the universal remote, it may be due to any of these reasons.
|1||The remote will not function properly due to weak or drained batteries.|
|2||If an IR sensor is blocked by any objects, your TV won’t respond to remote inputs.|
|3||When the remote is not programmed, it won’t work until you pair it correctly.|
|4||In case you forgot to disable the parental lock, you can’t use the remote.|
|5||Due to wear and tear, the remote may become defective and unsuitable to use.|
How to Fix Universal Remote Not Working
Try these workarounds if your universal remote is not working on Samsung, Vizio, LG, or any other device.
Check the Batteries
Open the universal remote’s battery compartment and check if the batteries are inserted based on their polarities. Else, eject the batteries and insert them according to their (+) and (-) signs. If the remote is unresponsive, it means that the batteries don’t have sufficient charge. To fix this, replace the old batteries with newer ones.
If your remote has charging support, plug in the charging cable and wait until the remote gets charged. Some remotes will have a battery indicator to show the battery percentage.
Note: If the Samsung TV remote is not working and shows a blinking red light, it indicates that the batteries are weak or the remote is not suitable to use.
Power Cycle Receiver
Power cycling helps if your receiver or TV is not responding to the remote buttons. Eject the power cord of your device and leave it unplugged for 20 seconds. After that, reconnect the power cord back to the source outlet. Turn on your device, pair the remote, and check if the universal remote is now working without any issues.
Enter the Correct Model Number
Entering an incorrect model number is also the reason for the universal remote not working. For instance, if your Sony TV’s model number is XR55X90J, but you mistakenly enter the model number as XR65X90J while programming the remote. As a consequence, some remote functions may not work or fail to pair.
For pairing the remote using remote codes, check for the updated codes on their website. Those with Harmony universal remotes can make use of the Harmony app to add the device.
Change Wireless Frequency
Many universal remotes can work by sending IR signals. But devices like DVR will receive only RF commands as per default settings. So, you have to tweak the settings on DVR and set them to receive signals using IR. Similarly, you can configure the settings to do the universal remote work for your device.
Clear the Obstructions
Normally, the IR-based universal remote requires a direct line of sight. If soundbars or speakers are placed in front of the IR sensor, then the device won’t receive any commands from the remote. So, you should relocate those objects immediately to fix the issue. Make sure to operate the remote in a range of fewer than 30 feet.
Disable HDMI CEC
HDMI CEC is a built-in feature on many televisions. By turning on this feature, you can control any devices connected to the TV via an HDMI cable. But it actually works if you are using a smart remote. If you want to control your device with a universal remote, it is better to turn off the HDMI CEC.
Based on the manufacturer, HDMI options will have different names, such as a SimpLink (LG), Anynet+ (Samsung), BRAVIA Sync (Sony), E-link (AOC), VIERA link (Panasonic), and EasyLink (Philips).
Reprogram the Remote
Sometimes the universal remote may get unpaired due to some errors. In such cases, you can reprogram the remote with your device to fix the issue. For programming, refer to the user manual that comes with your universal remote. Otherwise, you can visit the support webpage of the remote to get the detailed procedure.
Bonus Trick: Use the Remote App
If the universal remote is defective due to physical damage, you can use your smartphone to control your device. Surprisingly, universal remote apps are free to use and are compatible with Android and iOS devices. For this purpose, your smartphone should have an IR blaster or connect both devices to the same WIFI network.
This is because the battery terminals on the universal remote are dirty. You can use a soft cotton cloth dipped in an alcohol solution and clean the dirt area. After that, insert new batteries into the remote and use it.