How to Troubleshoot Wii Remotes That Are Not Working

Released way back in 2006, the Nintendo Wii gaming system requires remote controls to navigate the system's menus, control the hardware and play your games. If you've had your Wii a long time, you might find that your Wii remote won't turn on or your Wii remote is not working as it used to. To get back to playing your favorite games, you can take some steps to check your hardware configuration, clean the remote and reset the remote control's settings. For additional help or to order a replacement Wii Remote, you can contact Nintendo's customer service department at (800) 255-3700.

How to Troubleshoot Wii Remotes That Are Not Working
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Fixing Wii Remote Not Working

If your Wii remote won't turn on or doesn't respond, try holding the Wii Remote upside-down with the buttons facing downward. Tap the remote firmly against the palm of your hand three times to remove any dust sitting between the buttons and the electronic circuit board inside the remote. Turn the remote upright and press one of the buttons. If the problem continues, you might proceed by checking the hardware configuration.

Checking Hardware Configuration

To check the hardware configuration, first open your Wii Remote's battery door. You'll want to check that your Wii Remote contains two new "AA" batteries or a charged battery pack. Also check that no corrosion is present on the battery's metal elements/connectors. If you do see corrosion, use a cotton swab to clean the remote's battery element/connectors.

You'll also want to check the Wii wireless sensor bar to ensure it's properly connected and places. First, check that the Sensor Bar cable is inserted firmly into the back of your Wii gaming system. The Sensor Bar also needs to be centered above or below your television so the Wii Remote can transmit signals to the gaming system.

To test the sensor bar, stand three feet away from the Wii gaming system/Sensor Bar, aim the remote and press any button to test the device. If the remote is not working, stand five to 10 feet away from the gaming system and try the device. Move any objects blocking the signal from the remote to the gaming system/Sensor bar – candles, other remote controls (TV/cable box) and wireless computer devices/cellular phones. Also, if any sunlight is coming in through a window, close the curtains or blinds to keep the light from interfering with the remote's signal.

Resetting Wii Remote Controls

You can also try resetting your Wii's remote control. First, turn off and unplug your Wii gaming system. Leave the unit unplugged for one minute and then plug the gaming system back in.

Turn the Wii system on. Press and hold the red "SYNC" button for 15 seconds when the "Health and Safety" screen appears on your television. The "SYNC" button is behind the small door on the front of your Wii unit. Release the "SYNC" button.

Remove the battery cover and batteries/battery pack from the back of your Wii Remote. Press and release the red button located under the battery compartment. The blue lights on the front of the remote will blink. Press and release the "SYNC" button on the front of your Wii gaming system. The "Player" light on the gaming system stops blinking and stays on, the resetting process is complete. You'll need to repeat these steps for each additional Wii Remote.

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