TCL Roku TV Turns On By Itself? (EVERY Fix)

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So, you TCL Roku TV turns on by itself whenever it wants (but usually at 3am when you’re trying to sleep)?

In my experience, this can be caused by a few different things but usually either indicates a software fault with the screensaver, HDMI-CEC or with the firmware itself.

I’ll cover each fix below, with plenty of detail on each so that you can get your Roku TV back running normally again, so you don’t have to keep telling your kids there’s a ghost in your house.

tcl roku tv turns on by itself

TCL Roku TV Turns On By Itself

Your TCL Roku TV turns on by itself because of a bug with the screensaver or the internal memory. To reset your TV you should power cycle it: unplug your TV, hold down the power button for 15 seconds, then plug your TV back in after waiting 30 minutes.

There’s further detail on this fix below, along with several other fixes that are known to make your Roku TV turn itself on, such as the screen saver being on, or HDMI-CEC being activated.

1. Power Cycle your TCL Roku TV

Although this might seem a basic step, power cycling your TV is often the best way to fix your TCL Roku TV.

Resetting 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 TCL Roku 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.
  3. Wait for at least 30 minutes for any residual power to drain from the TV’s capacitors (which are capable of storing charge for several minutes).
  4. Plug your TV back in and try switching it on. You should see a light if you have been successful.
tcl roku tv power button
The TCL Roku TV power button is often underneath the TV, by the IR receiver

Make sure you do wait for the full 30 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.

Most people will now have their TV fixed and back up and running, but if your TCL TV is still not working properly, then we’ll move onto the next step.

2. Switch Off HDMI-CEC

If your TCL Roku TV keeps turning on by itself, there could be an HDMI issue.

You can try removing all external devices, including those connected by Bluetooth and any coaxial or signal cables, so that the TV only has a power cable going into it.

tv hdmi cable

This is because a flaw with the HDMI-CEC settings can make your TV switch on if you have other devices, particularly games consoles, plugged into your TV via HDMI.

HDMI-CEC allows two-way communication between your TV and console and set-top box, allowing your console or box to switch your TV on and off automatically.

The problem is that if you do not switch inputs on your TV away from your console’s input before switching off your TV, then your TV will not “listen” to your remote, and it can switch itself on and off without your input.

Unplugging all cables will temporarily solve this, so if your TV is working as normal with no HDMI cables attached, then try switching off HDMI-CEC before re-instating the cables.

To switch off HDMI-CEC on a TCL Roku TV:

  1. Press Home on your remote.
  2. Scroll to the Gear Icon for settings.
  3. Then System.
  4. And Control Other Devices (CEC).
  5. And uncheck System Audio Control and/or switch off 1-touch play.
tcl roku tv hdmi cec

3. Restart Your TCL Roku TV Via Remote

Resetting your TV and remote can help resolve any issues, and with the Roku Voice remote this doesn’t require you to go through any on-screen menus.

On your remote, restart your TV using the button combination: Home – press 5 times; Up Arrow – press once; Rewind – press 2 times; Fast Forward – press 2 times.

roku tv remote reset

Your TCL Roku TV should then restart, and hopefully will not switch itself on again in future.

You can also run a system restart from the menu.

To restart a TCL Roku TV:

  1. Go to the Home screen.
  2. Then Settings.
  3. And System.
  4. Then Power.
  5. System restart.
  6. And click Restart.
tcl roku tv system screen

4. Take Out Your TCL Roku Remote’s Batteries

TCL Roku remote control problems, either stuck buttons or low batteries, can cause your TV to turn on without you doing anything, as the remote is sending the on/off signal on its own.

tv remote replace batteries

To make sure this isn’t the cause, switch off your TV, remove the batteries from your remote and see if the TV then stays off.

5. Disable Your TCL Roku TV’s Screensaver

Because the screensaver has a set ‘wait time’ before activating, when your TV is switched off a bug can cause it come back on again when this ‘wait time’ is reached, so the screensaver should be disabled.

To disable a Roku TV screensaver:

  1. Go to Home.
  2. Then Settings.
  3. And Theme.
tcl roku tv theme page
  1. Click on the Screensaver start time option and set this to Disable screensaver.
tcl roku tv screensaver

6. Switch Off Fast Start

Roku TVs come with a ‘TV fast start’ option which lets you wake your TV with voice commands through the Roku remote or mobile app.

It’s possible noises in your house are being interpreted as voice commands to wake your TV and switching it on.

To switch off Roku fast start:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then System.
  3. And Power Settings.
  4. Switch Fast TV Start to Disable.
tcl roku tv fast start

7. Run a Firmware Update

Firmware updates on Roku TVs should run automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection over WiFi or through an Ethernet cable, so first of all, check your TV’s WiFi and / or Ethernet cable is connected.

To switch on your TCL Roku TV’s WiFi:

  1. On your remote, press the Cog icon for Settings.
  2. Then go to Network.
  3. And Network Configuration.
  4. Check this says Network connected or similar.
tcl roku tv network

If you want to be double-sure that your TV is up to date, you can update it manually via USB.

  1. Go to the Roku update site on your computer and enter your TV model number or serial number and click Next. Both numbers are found at Settings -> System -> About, with the mode number being four numbers followed by a letter and the serial number twelve numbers or letters.
tcl roku tv update firmware usb
  1. Choose Download Software from the prompt to get your new firmware.
tcl tv download software
  1. Put a USB flash drive into your computer and copy the software your downloaded onto it, making sure it doesn’t go into any directories on your flash drive.
  2. Eject the flash drive from your computer and put it into the USB port on your TV.
  3. Go to Settings -> System -> System Update -> I can’t connect on your TV’s menu.
  4. If you see the error, “Contents of the update file are invalid“, then you are running the most recent firmware on your TV, and you can move onto the next fix.
  5. If your firmware needs updating, you will get a 12-digit code on your TV.
  6. Enter this code into the Roku update website, and you will get a 6-digit code that you need to enter into your TV.
tcl tv update software
  1. The update process will then commence.

8. Factory Reset Your TCL Roku TV

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 TCL Roku TV:

  1. Press Home on your remote.
  2. Go to System -> Advanced System Settings -> Factory Reset.
  3. Choose Factory Reset Everything.
  4. Enter the code shown and click OK to reset your TV.
tcl roku tv factory reset

You can also hard reset most TCL Roku TVs by putting a pen into the recessed Reset button, usually found on the side or back of the TV.

tcl roku tv reset button

TCL TV Support & Warranty

It goes without saying that if your TV is under one year old, then you should contact TCL customer support to get it replaced under warranty.

You can call TCL directly on:

  • 1-877-300-8837 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 12am ET, Sat – Sun, 9am – 6pm ET)

Or contact them via email.

Even if TCL won’t fix your TV, they might still offer you a discount off a future model if you pester them hard enough! This is always worth a try in my experience.

So, How Do You Fix a TCL TV That Turns On By Itself?

If your TCL TV turns on by itself, then to fix it:

  1. Power cycle your TV.
  2. Switch off HDMI-CEC
  3. Reset your TV using the remote.
  4. Take out your remote’s batteries.
  5. Turn off the screensaver.
  6. Turn off fast start.
  7. Update your TV’s firmware.
  8. Factory reset your TV.

Hopefully you’ve fixed your TV, but if not, give me a shout in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Read More:

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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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