Samsung Smart TV Remote Not Working? [Troubleshooting]

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 by Tim Wells

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, and you can’t even turn off your TV from across the room in the next minute.

Even though each TV model 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. In this article, I’ll take you through the process I use when my Samsung remote is not working. 

Samsung remote controls

How a Samsung TV Remote Works

A Samsung TV remote pairs itself with the TV, similar to pairing between devices using Bluetooth. 

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 TV.

Other TV remotes use infrared signal to communicate, and the remote must have a line of sight to the TV set to send commands.

If the remote control is not positioned within this line of sight, you’ll be pressing buttons to no avail. Your Samsung TV remote’s on/off function uses infrared light while the other commands use the Bluetooth connection. 

Samsung TV Remote Not Working: Common Issues

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 control. 

If you can turn your Samsung Smart 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, 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 must 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.

For the rest of these troubleshooting steps, it helps if you can control your Samsung Smart TV with a universal remote control or a smartphone app.

Perform a Hard Reset of the Samsung 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 into the outlet and turn the TV back on. You’ll need to use the power button on the TV itself. 

Once the TV is back on, replace the remote control’s batteries. Then try to use all of the functions on the remote.

Hopefully, this will correct 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 in Your Samsung Remote Control

To see whether the remote’s batteries are the problem, many people remove the existing batteries from the remote. Then they place a new set in the remote and go through different buttons.

If your Samsung remote control 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 ensure 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, your Samsung remote won’t respond to all commands if something is wrong or broken.

  • 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.
  • Reattach the coaxial cable to the wall jack and modem if applicable. Make sure the cable is tight and secure on both ends. 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 an IR sensor underneath the TV screen 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.

Hold down the return and play/pause buttons on your remote to start the process. After holding them down for five seconds, your TV should begin to sync with the remote.

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

Check for Updates

If none of the above steps work, the TV’s software may be outdated.

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 control. 

If there are no updates, you may wish to reset your Samsung TV back to factory settings.

When All Else Fails

If none of these steps help when your Samsung TV remote is not working, you’ll want to check your warranty and repair options.

You could have a defective IR sensor on your TV, or the remote is bad. See if Samsung will send a replacement or if there’s an authorized repair vendor in your area.     

Tim Wells