Sony TV remote not working? Here’s how to fix it.

A remote is an essential part of the Sony TV experience. It allows you to control your TV, navigate menus, record your favorite shows, and much more. So when it suddenly stops working, it can be quite frustrating.

This guide will help you find out why your Sony TV remote is not working or not working properly and what you can do to fix it.

And we’ll start with some steps on how to troubleshoot your broken remote. But don’t worry, if you’re here to fix your TV, we’ll help you with that too.

Troubleshoot Sony remote control

First, you need to identify the problem with your remote. Is it the batteries? Could it be the buttons? Is it the infrared sensor? This is how it is checked:

  1. Check the batteries: The first thing you should do is check the batteries. Clean the terminals first and then reinstall the batteries or just replace them with new ones and see if that solves the problem.
image of sony tv remote control batteries
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Clean the buttons: Another common problem is dirty or sticky buttons. To clean them, simply use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe away any dirt or grime. Press each button on the remote at least twice to make sure none are stuck.
tv remote control and cleaning
Image: KnowTechie

3. Check the infrared sensor: If the batteries and buttons are OK, then the problem could be with the IR sensor. Check if there is any obstruction in front of it.

A TV remote needs a clear line of sight to work properly. Make sure the remote is pointed directly at your TV’s IR sensor, and if there’s anything blocking the sensor, move it away.

You can use your smartphone camera to see if the infrared sensor on your remote is working or not. Just point it at the remote and press a button. If you see a light, then the sensor is working fine.

mobile screen displaying tv remote infrared sensor image
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Check for Bluetooth interference: In case your remote uses Bluetooth to connect to the TV, there may be some interference from other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity.

These can be wireless speakers, wireless keyboards, microwave ovens, etc. Simply turn off these devices and see if that resolves the issue.

bluetooth remote control and sony tv on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

If none of those solutions fix your problem, you can now start troubleshooting outside of the remote.

Remove external devices

Sometimes an external device, such as a sound bar, HDMI cable, or USB drive, can also interfere with the remote’s signal.

If you have any external devices connected to your TV, try removing all of them and connecting them one by one.

sony tv image and external devices
Image: KnowTechie

If the TV’s LED light starts flashing after connecting an external device, it means the remote is working fine. In addition to that, it confirms that an external device is the cause of the malfunction.

Turn the Sony TV off and on

If the troubleshooting steps above don’t work, you can try turning your Sony TV off and on. This will reset the TV and may fix the remote problem.

  1. Turn off your Sony TV by pressing the button Power button
sony smart tv picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Unplug the power cord from the outlet or plug
Unplug the power cable from sony tv image
Image: KnowTechie

3. Wait 1-2 minutes and then plug it back in

image of tv screen with power cable
Image: KnowTechie

After completing those steps, you can turn your Sony TV back on and see if your remote works. If not, you can do a factory reset on your TV.

Factory reset your Sony TV

If the power cycle doesn’t work, you can try resetting your Sony TV to factory defaults. This will remove all data and settings from your TV.

Since you can’t use the remote to navigate menus, you’ll need to use the physical buttons on the TV.

  1. Find the buttons on your Sony television that are usually located on the back or side of the TV
sony tv reset button image
Image: KnowTechie

2. Remove the power cord from the outlet or plug

Image of unplugging the TV from the wall outlet
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Hold down the button(s) for 5 seconds. While holding down the buttons, plug in the power cord and wait for it to ‘Reset/Clear’ screen to appear
sony google tv reboot screen
Image: KnowTechie

Once the ‘Reset/Clear’ screen appears, release the buttons. The TV will now be reset to factory defaults. Once it reboots, try your remote.

Update your Sony TV and remote

The final option is to force a firmware update for your TV and remote, and we’ll walk you through that.

Of course, you can’t use a dead TV remote to update the firmware on your Sony TV. Therefore, you would have to use a mouse or keyboard to navigate through the menus.

The latest Sony TV models usually come with Android OS or Google OS pre-installed. But the process for updating these TVs and their respective remotes may vary depending on the operating system your TV is running.

Here, we will show you how to update your Sony Google Smart TV without the remote. You can refer to the user manual of your respective model to find the exact process.

How to update your TV and remote

Now, we can dive into the actual steps to upgrade your TV. We’ll show the Google-based TV method first, followed by Android.

To update a Google-based Sony Smart TV, go to Settings->System->About->System Software Update

smart tv screen showing update instructions
Image: KnowTechie

To update your Sony TV remote, please go to Settings->Remote Control & Accessories->Remote Control->Software Update

remote software update instructions on smart tv screen
Image: KnowTechie

Once you have updated the firmware, restart your Sony TV and check if the remote is working properly.


Following the steps mentioned above will help you fix your dead or unresponsive Sony TV remote unless there is physical damage.

If none of these steps help fix your remote, we suggest you go ahead and replace it. A technician may be able to repair the remote, but that can be expensive and time consuming.

You’re probably better off getting a new remote that you know will work in the future.

Do you have any idea about this? Let us know below in the comments or take the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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I write about technology and gadgets, and in particular about smartwatches.

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