Samsung Smart TV Remote Not Working? [Troubleshooting]

There’s nothing more frustrating than a TV remote that suddenly stops working. One minute you’re zipping through your menu and choosing the content you want to watch. The next minute, you can’t even turn off your TV from across the room. 

Even though each TV and remote is slightly different, some common troubleshooting steps apply to all models and brands. Following those troubleshooting steps can provide an answer to why a Samsung smart TV remote is not working. Samsung provides a few root causes, such as dirty buttons or non-working batteries. 

However, there are a few other reasons why your Samsung smart TV remote is not working. Let’s look at those reasons in-depth and what you can do to get your TV remote up and running again. 

Samsung remote controls

How a Samsung TV Remote Works

A Samsung TV remote works by pairing itself with the TV. You’ve seen how pairing between devices works if you’ve ever used a Fitbit. The Bluetooth technology that’s present in your smartphone and Fitbit tracker sends signals between the two. 

Typically, during the pairing process, the devices will send an identification code to each other to “match” or “pair” the connection. This occurs after the devices can “see” each other over Bluetooth. Once paired, the two devices have to be within range of each other to communicate. 

So, if you take the Samsung TV remote outside of your home, it won’t be able to communicate with your TV. At least not until it’s back within range of the set. When you first set up your TV and turn it on, the remote automatically pairs with the set.

Other TV remotes use infrared light to communicate. The remote must have a line of sight to the TV set to send commands. If the remote is not positioned within this line of sight, you’ll be pressing buttons on it to no avail. The on/off function of your Samsung TV remote uses infrared light while the other commands use the Bluetooth connection.  


Common Culprits

When your Samsung TV remote suddenly stops working, you naturally want to determine what’s causing the problem so you can fix it. The most common culprits are issues with the batteries, the Bluetooth and infrared signals, a programming problem, defective sensors, or a defective remote. 

If you can turn your TV on and off with your remote, but the other functions aren’t working, you can try the following steps:

  • Turn the TV off and disconnect the power cord. 
  • Wait 30 seconds and then plug the TV’s power cord back in.
  • Repair the remote with the TV set. 

Sometimes the remote becomes disconnected from the TV via Bluetooth and you need to reset the connection. Performing a simple reset and repair usually does the trick. Once you’ve gone through the reset and repair process, try all the commands on the remote to see if they’re working.

If for some reason, you find the Samsung smart TV remote not working, there are some other things to check.


Perform a Hard Reset of the Remote

The next thing to try is a hard reset of the remote. First, you’ll want to remove the batteries from your remote. Then unplug the power cord from the TV and wait 60 seconds. Plug the power cord back into the outlet and turn the TV back on. You’ll need to use the on/off switch on the TV itself. 

Once the TV is all the way back on, place the batteries back in your remote. Then try to use all of the functions on the remote. Hopefully, this corrects the problem. If not, the next thing you’ll want to do is eliminate the batteries as the source of the problem.


Replace the Batteries

To see whether the remote’s batteries are the problem, a lot of people simply remove the existing batteries from the remote. Then they place a new set in the remote and start going through different buttons. If the remote starts working or becomes more responsive, you’ve found your root cause. 

You’ll want to be careful and mindful of the batteries you swap out. If you’ve had spares sitting in your home for a while, they may have been drained of their power. You should also check rechargeable batteries to make sure they have a full charge. You want to swap out your existing batteries for a known good pair. Otherwise, you may miss the actual cause of the problem. 


Check Your Connections

Connection problems can cause your Samsung smart TV remote to stop working. You can start by troubleshooting your internet connection. Since a smart TV needs a working internet connection, if something is wrong or broken with it, your remote won’t respond to all commands. 

  • Turn off your TV. You don’t necessarily have to unplug it from the power source but it doesn’t hurt to do this.
  • Locate your modem and disconnect its power source. If you have a cable modem, disconnect the coaxial cable from the wall jack and the modem itself.
  • Wait 15 to 20 seconds.
  • If applicable, reattach the coaxial cable to the wall jack and the modem. Make sure the cable is tight and secure on both ends. You may also need to try a different coaxial cable or try removing and replacing any splitters. 
  • Plug the modem’s power source back in.
  • Wait until the modem boots back up and indicates it’s online.
  • Turn the TV back on and wait until it reconnects to your internet connection.
  • Try using the remote’s functions again.

If you determine the internet connection’s working properly between the modem and your TV, try cleaning the sensors. There should be a sensor on your TV and the remote itself. You can blow air on the sensors to remove dust or use a gentle cloth. After cleaning the sensors, try the remote again. 

Although the remote is supposed to automatically pair itself with the TV after a power reset, you can try repairing the two while the TV is on. To start the process, hold down the return and play/pause buttons on your remote. After holding them down for five seconds, your TV should start to sync with the remote.

Once the sync process is complete, try using your remote. You’ll want to check commands other than the on/off function. Try some of the menu commands instead. 


Check for Updates

If none of the above steps work, it’s possible the TV’s software is out of date. Access the settings from the main menu. You should see an option for software updates. Choose this and select “network” if it’s available. If your TV finds that there’s an update available, go ahead and select yes to install it. 

Once you’ve installed any pending updates, your TV should automatically reboot. Once it’s back on, try running through all the commands on your remote. 


When All Else Fails

If none of your troubleshooting seems to resolve the problem, you’ll want to check into your warranty and repair options. You could have a defective sensor on your TV or the remote itself is bad. See if Samsung will send a replacement or if there’s an authorized repair vendor in your area.     

Tim Wells

Tim Wells got his first computer at the age of ten and hasn't stopped tinkering ever since. After discovering Android TV boxes in 2013, he created a popular Android PC Review website and guided it to over 8 million pageviews before stepping away in 2018. After a brief hiatus from the industry he's back at the helm of AndroidTVNews.com to bring Android TV and TV boxes to the forefront of the streaming world. When he's not writing, he spends as much time as he can with his beautiful wife and his bulldog.

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