How to Clear Codes in Universal Remotes

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Universal remote controls are designed for flexibility to receive codes that operate a number of entertainment devices. Then one remote will control the TV, cable box, DVR, VCR and DVD player. Three- or four-digit codes are used to program a universal remote to send signals that different brands of equipment recognize. Most remotes will erase previously entered codes for particular devices when someone keys in a new code. All the codes can be cleared from a remote control at once to make room for an entirely new entertainment setup.


Step 1

Remove the batteries from the remote control. Take the battery compartment panel off the back and pull out each cell. Most remotes use two to four AAA cells.

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Step 2

Leave the battery compartment empty for at least two minutes. A universal remote stores power in a capacitor that keeps its memory intact while the batteries are being changed. The stored power will begin to drain in two minutes.

Step 3

Press and hold the power button for three seconds to force the remote to drain all power stored in the capacitor. Press the power button again to be sure no signal light comes on. All stored codes for operating equipment will be cleared once the capacitor power is drained.

Step 4

Replace the batteries and program new codes into the universal remote to work only the desired devices.


Some remote units have a reset button in the battery compartment. Press this button before entering new programming codes.

Specific models of entertainment components may have several remote codes listed. Some of these codes may only operate certain functions for the device. Enter different codes listed for a product until finding one that lets the remote control operate all functions.