TV does not respond to the remote control: You can do that

TV does not respond to the remote control: You can do that

You want to relax and enjoy your favorite series on the couch after work, but the television does not respond to the remote control? We explain what to do.

Check if the problem is with the remote control

Turn on the television on the device itself and remove the cables from all external devices such as Blu-ray players or set-top boxes. Then press the "Home" or "Menu" button on the remote control.

If nothing happens, turn off the TV and unplug it. Then connect the TV to the power again, switch on the device and press the "Home" or "Menu" button on the remote control. If the remote still doesn't work, try the following steps:

Check batteries

It may sound trite, but if the TV doesn't respond to the remote, the first thing to do is check the batteries. These can either be (almost) empty or they may have been inserted incorrectly. You can tell that the batteries are getting weaker when you hold the remote control closer to the device. To be absolutely sure, you should insert new batteries in the remote control or test the old ones in another device.

The battery contacts in the remote control may also be dirty. To check this, you have to open the battery compartment and turn the batteries in the remote control. When the remote control works again, remove the batteries, clean the contacts with a cotton swab or soft cloth and head cleaning fluid, and reinsert the batteries.

Remote control with battery

If the TV does not respond to the remote control, the batteries should be checked first. Image: © Adobe Stock / PORNCHAI SODA 2020

Check infrared sensor

There may also be a problem with the remote control's infrared beam and the TV is not responding to input. Therefore, make sure that the path between the remote control and the sensor of the TV (at the bottom front of the device) is not blocked by indoor plants, furniture, soundbars or the like.

Infrared signals can also be disturbed by bright lighting or sunlight, especially if the light hits the TV's infrared sensor directly. Glass housings, neon lights or halogen lights can also prevent an infrared signal from reaching the television. By the way: energy-saving lamps can also interfere with the frequency of the remote control. Make sure that the distance between the lamps and the devices is as large as possible.

Remote controls Buy now at

You can use a smartphone, digital camera, or camcorder to check whether the remote control is emitting an infrared beam. The lenses of the devices see more than the human eye. So if you hold the remote control in front of the lens and press a button, a white light should be visible on the display. If no signal can be seen, the remote control is probably defective. However, the trick does not work with the cameras of current iPhones and iPads, as these have an IR filter.

Remote control and television

No obstacles should obstruct the infrared beam between the remote control and the television. Image: © Adobe Stock / Patrick Daxenbichler 2020

Exclude simple sources of error

Some remote controls can also be used to control other devices such as DVD or Blu-ray players. So make sure that, for example, you have also selected the television with the mode button if you want to operate it.

Check if the problem is with the TV

Of course, the problem doesn't have to be with the remote control. Alternatively, the television can also be the problem. If the TV does not respond to the remote control, then first try to switch on and operate the TV yourself using the buttons and switches on the device (volume, change channel). If the television cannot be switched on with the power button on the device itself, a software update, a reset or even a repair may be required. Alternatively, only the infrared sensor on the TV could be defective. Repair is also necessary in this case.

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