Remote control is such a simple yet powerful tool. Without this, simple tasks like switching between channels would become a chore. Can you imagine how stressful it would be to get up from your couch every time you want to pause your movie?
However, as powerful as they may be, they are not immune to malfunctions that cause them to perform poorly or stop working altogether.
8 Common Remote Control Issues
Remote control malfunctions happen all the time, and some remote control problems are more common than others.
1. Buttons stop responding
Everything has a useful life expectancy, and remote controls are no exception. Older remote controls are more likely to have problems with one or more buttons not working. This can be caused by prolonged use, misuse or damage.
2. Internal component failure or damage
Like other electronic devices, remotes have internal components that help them act like a computer’s motherboard. Once a part of this internal system becomes damaged, it can interfere with the remote’s working capabilities.
3. Battery problem
This is one of the most common problems that remote controls face. A weak or dead set of batteries can impair the performance of your remote.
This problem is more likely to occur with your frequently used remotes, such as your TV remote.
4. Interference from other equipment, objects or furniture
Has your phone ever accidentally paired with a random device that had Bluetooth on at the same time as yours? Sometimes, your remote control may not work because another device interferes with its signal.
Another possibility is that a piece of furniture is obstructing the signal between your remote and its device.
5. Remote control codes do not match the device
Some remote controls are universal and can control multiple devices across different brands. You can use these universal remotes if you program them by selecting the codes that match your device.
However, when you choose the wrong code for your device, it will not respond to the remote’s commands. You can check out our suggestions for the best universal remote controls for your home.
6. Wrong remote control for the device
Many electronic and electrical appliances are controlled by remotes, which means you may have more than one in your home. If you have a favorite brand (probably Samsung), most of your remotes may look similar, allowing you to point the AC remote at the TV.
7. Remote Control Software/Firmware Issues
Some devices, such as TVs, require you to update their software after an update is released. Sometimes, these updates apply to the remote control as well, and failure to update both may affect your remote’s ability to function.
Sony is an example of a brand that updates its TV software and requires these updates on the remote control as well. Usually, you will get a notification on your TV that an update is available.
You can either update immediately or do it later.
You may have experienced your Bluetooth speaker disconnecting from your phone once you leave the room with the speaker at the other end of the house.
Remotes work just like Bluetooth devices, as they need to be within a certain range to communicate with the device (your remote control uses infrared light instead of Bluetooth). If you are far away from your device, it may not respond to remote commands.
7 tips for troubleshooting remote control problems
Using an unresponsive remote control is one of the most frustrating experiences. The good news is that getting your remote working again doesn’t require rocket science knowledge. With these tips, you can have your remote control working again in no time.
1. Check the Batteries
Battery problems are undoubtedly the most common remote control problems you’ll encounter. Luckily, fixing them is a piece of cake.
First, confirm that your batteries are placed correctly. Most remote controls have a removable lid to store the batteries, and they usually have instructions in the battery slot. For example, you might have ‘+’ and ‘-‘, and you have to put the battery with the symbols exactly as they are on the battery.
Additionally, check whether the batteries are due for replacement—they are due if they are leaking or corroded. Replace them, and your remote should be working again.
2. Remove interference and adjust distance
If more than one device responds to your remote, it helps to keep such devices away from each other. Alternatively, you can turn off the devices when not in use. And make sure you provide a direct line of sight between the remote and the device within a short distance.