How to Troubleshoot a Universal Remote Control

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

A universal remote control is a great tool to use with your electronic devices. It's so much easier to use one remote than to have to find several individual remotes. However, from time to time a universal remote control can quit working properly. Here are a few steps to help you troubleshoot what might be wrong with your universal remote control.

Things You'll Need

  • New batteries
  • Digital camera

Step 1

Make sure the electronic devices that you are about to troubleshoot have power running to them. This first step is frequently the solution to the problem.

Step 2

Check the batteries. Make sure you install them correctly. Also, make sure the batteries have no signs of corrosion on them.

Step 3

Move closer to the electronic device as you troubleshoot the universal remote. You should be within 20 feet. Also, point the remote directly at the device. Try not to be more than 30 degrees off center for best results.

Step 4

Turn off the parental lock or key lock feature of the remote. This may be why it's not working properly.

Step 5

Remove any blockage from the infrared. Whether it's on the remote itself or on the electronic device this may be keeping the universal remote from working.

Step 6

Troubleshoot the infrared light. Turn on a digital camera. Point the infrared remote at the camera and push one of the buttons on the remote. You can see the infrared light working through the viewfinder of most digital cameras. If no light flashes, try another button.

Step 7

Read the owner's manual that came with the remote. Make sure the remote is properly set to work with your electronic devices. Make changes as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not attempt to open the body of the remote. There's nothing inside that you can fix unless you're a trained technician.