Sony TV Remote Not Working? Fix in Minutes

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I know how annoying your Sony TV remote not working is, and that whatever you seem to do doesn’t fix it.

But it’s acutally very easy to fix a Sony remote, whether the standard Bravia or Android models, with just a few minutes of your time.

Because there can be a number of different reasons for your Sony remote to stop working, there’s potentially a number of different solutions that will fix your remote.

So in that regard, I’ve compiled every working fix for both Sony standard and Sony Android TV remotes in this guide, ordered from the simplest to most complex.

Simpy follow the steps in order and I’m confident you can get your TV remote working again.

sony tv remote not working

Sony TV Remote Not Working?

If your Sony TV remote is not working, remove the batteries, clean the battery contacts with 99.9% isopropyl alcohol, hit the remote against your palm a few times then try new a new set of batteries in the remote.

This should solve most problems, but if this doesn’t work, then follow the complete set of troubleshooting steps below to fix an unresponsive TV remote. You should take a look at the linked guide if your Sony TV won’t turn on.

For any steps below that require use of the remote, you can either use the buttons on your TV or download a Sony TV remote app if your remote is totally broken.

1. Check Your Batteries

The most common reason why your Sony remote doesn’t work is that the batteries are dead or dying.

This might seem like an obvious point, but it always pays to try changing your batteries, preferably first trying them in an appliance that you know works, so that you can confirm that they hold charge.

remove tv remote batteries

You can also try cleaning the battery contacts in the remote. As batteries age, they can leak and cause corrosion within your remote’s contacts.

A quick dab of 99.9% isopropyl alocohol is usually enough to remove any gunk that would otherwise prevent the batteries making a proper contact within your remote.

2. Check for a Stuck Button

If your Sony TV remote buttons are not working, but you are sure the batteries are ok, then try removing the batteries, holding down the power button for 10 seconds to drain any residual power, then forcefully mash every button on the remote, slapping it against your palm a few times.

press the buttons on your sony tv remote

You might have to repeat this several times.

You will also need to put quite a bit of force into pushing the buttons. Don’t be afraid of damaging your remote – as long as you are only hitting it against your hand and only using your fingers to push the buttons it will be fine.

Over time, your remote’s buttons can begin to stick, and just like with a computer keyboard there is a limit to how many simultaneous button pushes the remote will recognize.

So, one or more buttons stuck in the “on” position can prevent other buttons on the remote from working. You’ll know if this is your problem if some buttons on your remote work, but others don’t.

Typically, the volume button will stop working as this is one of the most used buttons and is therefore most susceptible to getting dirt stuck inside it.

3. For Infrared Remotes, Check the Emitter

Sony TV remotes come in two flavors: Infrared (IR) and RF (Bluetooth) models, with the RF type typically Sony Android TV remotes.

IR Sony remotes are the older type, and can be identified by a clear section of dark plastic at their end, and by a stylized IR symbol.

how to identify a sony tv ir remote

This clear section of plastic contains an emitter that sends an infrared signal directly to the TV.

Check that this IR emitter doesn’t have any obvious damage, and isn’t blocked by gunk.

tv remote ir emitter

To check that your remote is actually sending an IR signal, you will need a phone or digital camera as infrared is not visible to the human eye.

Activate the camera on your phone, or a live view mode on your digital camera and point your remote at your camera. Press a button and you should see a light appear in the IR emitter of your remote.

checking if a tv remote is working

Note that not all models of iPhone will be able to see the infrared beam, as they filter out IR signals. If you have to use an iPhone, then first check that you can see infrared by using a remote that you know is working.

If you don’t see an IR signal and you have confirmed that your camera doesn’t filter IR by testing it with a known working remote, and you have tried replacing the batteries, then you will need a replacement remote as it is unlikely that you can fix this issue at home.

If you’re really keen on fixing it, the most likely problem is that the diode which sends the IR signal has either burnt out or more likely has a failed connection. You can take your remote apart and use a multimeter to check the diode and the PCB it’s connected to, then re-solder any failed connections you find.

4. Check Your TV’s IR Sensor

For the IR Sony remotes, you should check that you have a clear line of site between your remote’s IR emitter and the IR receiver on your TV.

Locate your TV’s IR receiver and confirm that it isn’t blocked by ornaments on your TV shelf, and isn’t damaged.

The IR receiver is usually located beneath the red light on your TV.

tv ir receiver

Because the IR receiver on your TV is most likely to be at the bottom, it is very easy to accidentally cover it up when cleaning around your TV shelf.

If you are using the RF TV remote, then check that any nearby applicances that could cause RF interference are switched off.

5. Check Your RF Sony Remote is Paired

If you are using a Sony Smart TV remote or Android TV remote, then your remote probably does not use IR, but instead relies on Bluetooth to connect to your Sony TV.

This enhanced Sony remote does not require a line of sight to your TV to work, but can be less reliable than a standard IR remote and can become unpaired from your TV.

RF remotes can be identified by the Microphone symbol used to activate the voice controls.

how to identify a sony smart tv remote

Sony Bravia TV Remote Not Working

You need to unpair and re-pair your Sony Bravia TV remote to get it working again.

  1. Press the Home button on your remote and select Settings, or the Cog symbol to quickly access Settings.
how to access settings on a sony tv remote
  1. Go to Remotes & Accessories -> Bluetooth Settings.
  2. You should see the name of your remote in the settings page.
  3. If so, select it, then choose Unpair and OK. If you don’t see your remote, you can move onto the next step.
  4. To re-pair your remote, go to either:
    • Remotes & Accessories -> Remote Control
    • Voice Remote Control
    • Remote Control
    • BRAVIA Settings -> Voice Remote Control
  5. And select Activate the Mic Button or Connect via Bluetooth to re-pair your remote.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions and a light on the remote will blink when your remote is successfully re-paired.

Sony TV Voice Control Not Working

If your Sony TV voice control is not working, you need to make sure your remote is paired as above, that voice control is turned on in your TV by going to Accounts & Sign In -> [Google Username] -> Google Assistant -> Voice Control -> On, and that your Sony TV has a working WiFi connection.

6. Update Your Sony TV’s Firmware

Software and firmware issues can often be the source of Sony Bravia TV problems.

As with any product, you should ensure that you have updated your Sony TV’s firmware to the latest version, even if it is new.

To update firmware on most Sony TVs:

  1. Press Settings on your remote control.
Sony Tv remote settings button
  1. Go to Customer Support, Product Support or Setup.
  2. If available, select Automatic Software Update or Automatic Software Download and check that this is switched on. (Note that you must agree to the Privacy Policy to receive automatic updates – go to Help -> Privacy Policy to find it).
  3. Otherwise, select Software Update.
  4. Choose your Network, then press Yes or OK to start the update process.

For Sony Android TVs:

  1. Press Home on your remote.
  2. Go to Help.
  3. Choose Status & Diagnostics.
  4. Then System software update.
  5. You can check that Automatically check for updates is switched on, and manually check for updates using the Software Update button.

For Sony Google TVs:

  1. Press Settings on your remote control.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Then About.
  4. And System Software Update.
  5. Confirm that Automatically check for update is On. You can also manually check for updates using the Software Update button.

Sony Android and Google TVs will automatically update firmware if connected to the Internet. If your connection is not stable, then your Sony TV may not have the latest firmware, which you will have to install manually via USB.

  1. Go to the Sony support site on your computer.
  2. In the Search box, enter your TV’s model name. (Take a look at Sony’s help page if you can’t find it).
sony tv usb update firmware
  1. Go to the Downloads tab and click the most recent Firmware update and download it to your computer.
sony tv manual firmware update
  1. The update process varies depending on your TV, but full instructions for each model are provided on the firmware update screen. Follow these to complete the update process.

7. Update Your Sony Google TV Remote’s Software

Sony Google / Android TVs have the ability to update the remote control’s software independently of the TV’s software.

To update your remote’s software:

  1. Press the Home button on your remote and select Settings, or the Cog symbol to quickly access Settings.
  2. Go to either:
    • Remotes & Accessories -> Remote Control
    • Remote Control
    • Voice Remote Control
  3. And then Software Update.
  4. If you see, “Do you want to update your remote control now?” then you can go ahead and update your remote. If you see, “Your software is up to date” then you do not need to do anything else.

8. Switch Off Service Replacement

Some models of Sony Bravia LCD TVs have an issue where the remote stops working following a software update.

If that’s the case for you, then you need to switch off Service Replacement:

  1. Disconnect all cables apart from the power cable.
  2. Disconnect the power cable, wait ten seconds then reconnect it.
  3. Press Home on your remote.
  4. Go to Settings -> System Settings -> Channel Setup -> Digital Setup -> Technical Setup -> Service Replacement and set this to Off.
  5. If you can’t access this menu, then factory reset your TV following the steps below.

9. Power Cycle and Factory Reset Your Sony TV

Resetting your TV and remote can help resolve any issues, particularly if you are using the newer smart TV remote.

Power cycling your TV will clear out any issues with non-permanent memory and reset your main board without losing your personal settings.

This is quick and painless and won’t cause you to lose any of your saved settings.

To reset your Sony TV:

  1. Make sure your TV is switched off and unplug it.
  2. Hold down the physical power button on the TV for at least 15 seconds.
sony tv power button
The power button is usually beneath the Sony logo or on the side of the TV
  1. Wait for at least 2 minutes for any residual power to drain from the TV’s capacitors (which are capable of storing charge for several minutes).
  2. Plug your TV back in and try switching it on. You should see a red light if you have been successful.

Make sure you do wait for the full 2 minutes before plugging your TV back in – you would be surpised how long the components within your TV can hold charge, and you want to make sure it has fully reset.

Although this seems a very basic step, don’t overlook it because in the vast majority of cases a simple soft reset fixes most issues.

Returning your TV back to its factory settings is a more extreme step, as it will delete any personalization features, downloaded apps or connected devices, but it’s always worth a shot when other methods haven’t worked.

To factory reset a non-Android Sony TV:

  1. Unplug the TV.
  2. Wait for 1 minute, then plug your TV back in.
  3. If it doesn’t switch on automatically, press the Power button on the remote or TV itself.
  4. Once switched on and fully loaded, hold the Up arrow on the remote and at the same time, hold the Power button on the TV until “Reset” appears on-screen.
sony tv factory reset
  1. Once you see “Reset” on-screen, or after a count of ten, release the Up arrow and then the TV’s Power button.
  2. Your TV will now reset itself and return to the initial setup screen.

You can see these steps in the video from Sony below.

To factory reset an Android Sony TV, if your remote is working:

  1. Press Settings on your remote.
  2. Go to System.
  3. Then About.
  4. And Reset.
  5. Choose Factory data reset.
  6. And Erase everything, and confirm you want to do this. If asked for a PIN, use 9999.

You can see details for how to reset other models of Sony Android TV in the video below.

If your remote is completely broken, then you can factory reset your Sony TV using the guides for TVs that have either one or three buttons or four or more buttons.

10. Take Apart Your Remote

If none of the other fixes have worked for you, then it’s likely that there is some mechanical damage within the remote. This is particularly true if some buttons work but others do not.

To fix this, you can disassemble your remote, clean the components with isopropyl alcohol, and confirm that there is no damage to the circuit boards.

Although this seems a fairly extreme step, the only other option is to order a replacement remote, so why not give it a go?

To disassemble your Sony TV remote:

  1. Remove the batteries.
  2. If there are no screws to open the remote’s case, use a flat head screwdriver with the tip pushed in between the two halves of the remote.
  3. Twist the screwdriver and the case should pop open.

Then carefully remove the circuit board and buttons, swab with 99.9% isopropyl alcohol and remove any dirt or gunk that might have got caught under the buttons.

Check that the battery leads are not corroded and once you have given all parts a good clean, put it back together again and test.

TV remotes are actually very simple devices and this is unlikely to take you more than a couple of minutes even if you’ve not done anything like this before.

Take a look at the video below for a demonstration of how to open and clean a Sony smart TV remote.

And the next video if you have a Sony IR TV remote.

What if Your Sony TV Remote is Still Not Working?

If your Sony TV remote is still not working, then you have two choices:

  • Use the Sony TV app.
  • Buy a replacement Sony TV remote.

There are a variety of Sony TV remote apps which all work well for controlling your TV.

Simply download the App from the Android Play store or the Apple App store and install on your phone.

As long as your TV is on and connected to the same local WiFi network as your phone, you will be able to easily control it using the app.

There are also plenty of generic Sony TV remotes available to buy from any of the big box stores if you would prefer.

Sony Smart TV Not Working? How to Fix

If your Sony TV is not responding to your remote, then to fix it:

  1. Remove the batteries, clean the contacts and replace with a fresh set of batteries.
  2. Slap the remote into your palm a few times and mash the buttons in case any are stuck.
  3. Check the IR works using a digital camera (or some models of smartphone).
  4. Restart your Sony TV.
  5. Check for any obstructions or conflicts that could stop the remote’s signal reaching your TV.
  6. Try to re-pair your RF TV remote, if you have this type.
  7. Update your TV and remote’s firmware.
  8. Turn off Service Replacement.
  9. Check for liquid damage.

If your Sony TV remote is still not working, then you can either use the Sony app or buy a new generic remote from most big store retailers.

Or let me know if you still have a problem in the comments below and I’ll try my best to help.

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Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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