How to Unlock a V-Chip

By James Clark

A V-chip is an electronic locking mechanism built into modern television sets to restrict access to certain programming. The feature is designed to help parents prevent their children from viewing inappropriate content. On almost all TV models, locking and unlocking the V-chip requires a 4-digit code created by the user. Unlocking a V-chip takes only a minute with the code, but if the code is lost or forgotten, there are still steps that can be taken to reset the V-chip, which will unlock the feature.

Things You'll Need

  • Television with V-chip locking feature and remote control

Step 1

Turn on the TV and press the "Menu" button on the remote control.

Step 2

Use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the on-screen choices to locate the V-chip, then press the right arrow key to go to the V-chip menu.

Step 3

Use the numeric keypad on the remote control to enter the 4-digit V-chip code, then press the down arrow key to unlock the television and watch programming that had been blocked.

Step 4

Unlock and reset the V-chip code on some models by unplugging the television from the power outlet for at least 10 minutes for the memory to reset. This is useful if the code is ever lost. Restoring the power while pressing the "Power" button on the TV will unlock the V-chip on some TV models.

Step 5

Refer to specific instructions in the TV owner's manual for unlocking and resetting a V-chip without the code, as the procedure varies. A list of TV models and V-chip codes specific to each type is linked in the reference section (below) for resetting the feature and starting over with a new code, which is the only option if the old code is lost or forgotten.

Tips & Warnings

  • Write down and store the V-chip code in a secure place.
  • Resetting a V-chip code will require the creation of a new and different code in order to reactivate the feature.