How to Fix a Vizio Remote That’s Not Working?

A Vizio remote may stop working due to power drained device batteries, blocked TV sensors, power residue from remote and TV, dirty power source, stuck memory on the remote and even issues with the TV itself.

Vizio Remote

Vizio remote is more critical for the usage of the TV as compared to other remotes as it provides ‘Smart TV’ controls which allow you to use and navigate to various applications.

Check if the Remote is Transmitting a Signal

To verify that an IR Vizio remote is transmitting a signal, use a digital camera or a smartphone camera.

  1. Activate the camera and view the remote-control unit through the camera’s screen.
  2. Aim the remote’s transmitting end at the camera and press/hold down a button on the remote.
    Check the IR of the Vizio Remote from a Phone's Camera
    Check the IR of the Vizio Remote from a Phone’s Camera
  3. On the camera’s screen, confirm if a light is emitting from the remote’s IR LED when a button is pressed.
  4. Examine each button on the remote to ensure they all cause the IR LED to flash when pressed.

If none of the buttons function, the remote may be defective. Consider the last troubleshooting step, otherwise, seek repair for the remote or purchase a new one.

If only some buttons are non-responsive, their contacts may be dirty or worn out from use. In such cases, the remote requires repair or replacement.

If all buttons appear to be functioning, proceed with the following troubleshooting methods:

1. Power Cycle the Remote and TV

A malfunction in the Vizio remote’s firmware or the TV’s operating system can cause it to stop working. Sometimes the charge present in the circuit capacitors prevents the remote or TV from resetting correctly. Here, power cycling both the remote and TV can be effective.

1.1. Power Cycle the Remote

  1. Extract the batteries from the remote and press/hold the remote’s power button.
    Remove the Batteries of the Vizio Remote
    Remove the Batteries of the Vizio Remote
  2. Hold the power button for five seconds, then press each button on the remote at least once. This action may help dislodge any stuck buttons. If any buttons seem jammed, gently free them.
  3. Reinsert the batteries into the remote and check for proper operation.

1.2. Power Cycle the TV

  1. Turn off the TV and disconnect it from the power source.
    Unplug the Vizio TV
    Unplug the Vizio TV
  2. Keep the TV’s power button pressed for 30 seconds.
  3. After waiting for a minute, plug the TV back in and turn it on.

2. Reset the Remote to Factory Defaults (Universal Remotes)

If the remote’s firmware is corrupted, it may not send the correct signals to the TV. Resetting the remote can resolve the issue. This step is applicable only to universal remotes; afterwards, you will need to re-pair the remote with the TV or other devices, such as a DVD player.

  1. Press and hold the SET or SETUP button.
    Press the Setup Button on the Universal Vizio Remote
    Press the Setup Button on the Universal Vizio Remote
  2. Release the button once the LED light blinks twice.
  3. Enter the reset code for your remote—typically, Vizio universal remotes use a reset code such as 981 or 977. Consult your remote’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for the specific reset code.
  4. The LED should blink twice again to confirm. Once this occurs, the universal remote’s memory has been successfully cleared.
  5. Now, pair the remote with the TV, ensuring to switch the bottom button on the remote to the TV option.

3. Check for IR Sensor Obstruction

Obstructions blocking the TV’s IR sensor can prevent it from receiving signals from the remote. The IR sensor on a TV is usually located on the bottom left or bottom right. Even transparent objects, such as the protective plastic film shipped with new TVs, can impede the infrared signal.

  1. Identify the IR sensor location on the TV and remove any obstructions.
    IR Sensor Location on the Vizio TV
    IR Sensor Location on the Vizio TV
  2. Additionally, clean the sensor area if there is any visible dirt or smudges. Use rubbing alcohol to clean the area carefully. Remember to remove any plastic wrapping if it is present on the sensor.
  3. Aim the remote at the IR sensor and press the power button. Ensure that you are within 10 feet of the TV, as the IR signal is effective only over a limited distance. If the TV responds, it indicates that something was blocking the IR signal.

4. Try a Different Power Source

Incompatibility between the power source and the TV’s required voltage, wattage, or sine wave can cause electrical interference, which may block the remote’s signal from being received by the TV’s IR sensor.

  1. Disconnect the Vizio TV from its current power source and relocate it to a different room.
    Connect the TV to Another Power Source
    Connect the TV to Another Power Source
  2. Plug the TV into a new power outlet and turn it on.

5. Check for Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic signals from nearby electrical or electronic devices can interfere with the remote’s IR signal. Eliminating such interferences can allow the Vizio remote to function correctly again.

  1. Turn off other devices and unplug them.
    Check for Electromagnetic Interference
    Check for Electromagnetic Interference
  2. Operate the remote to see if it functions correctly. If so, you can use blue painter’s tape or plain brown masking tape as an IR filter, placing it over the sensor of the receiver. This filter should help block unwanted IR signals from other devices. Once this is done, you can switch the other devices back on without risking interference with the remote’s signal.

6. Insert a Fresh Set of Batteries

Properly functioning batteries are vital for the operation of the remote. If the batteries in the Vizio remote are drained, or if corrosion or carbon build-up is present on the battery contacts, it can lead to connectivity issues.

  1. Remove the existing batteries from the remote.
  2. Inspect the battery terminals for rust or carbon deposits. If present, clean the contacts with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Place a new set of batteries into the remote, ensuring they are inserted following the correct polarity.

Further Troubleshooting

If the Vizio remote is still unresponsive:

  • Test whether the remote functions with another TV, or if another remote operates with this TV, to pinpoint the issue.
  • If the TV itself is malfunctioning, consult a professional for a hardware evaluation.
  • If the remote is defective, it should be examined for any physical damage or you might consider purchasing a replacement.
  • In the meantime, you can use a remote control app on your smartphone as a temporary solution.

For any suggestions or inquiries, please reach out in the comments section.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.