How To Fix A Remote Control That Doesn't Work (Or Almost Doesn't) 5 Easy Steps

How To Fix A Remote Control That Doesn't Work (Or Almost Doesn't) 5 Easy Steps

Did you know that the main reason your remote control would stop working is because it needs to be cleaned? The reasons it would need to be cleaned are from using the remote with dirty hands, a small child gets ahold of it, or small crumbs/particles get into the buttons. Another super common reason, the batteries have corroded and there is acid in the compartment.   

Step 1: Test the remote.

Remote control infrared light

To properly test your remote, get any smartphone or digital camera and point the remote sensor at the camera.

If it works perfectly fine, you should see a Purple Infrared Light emitted every time you push any button.

If you don't see any light, double check the batteries and verify that the battery compartment is clean. If no buttons work and there is no corrosion, your remote needs to be replaced. If there is corrosion, chances are you can clean it out and it will work fine. Sometimes the springs get destroyed by the corrosion.

If most of the buttons emit the purple light, and some don't, still move on to step 2!

Step 2: Disassemble the remote. 

Sony remote control taken apart completely

First, remove the battery cover and any screws holding in the back. There are often no screws at all. Now, with a very thin flat head screwdriver, unclip all clips holding the remote together by going in the crack on the sides of the remote. There is almost always a good spot where the clip will pop out. Be careful not to break anything, though this shouldn't be too much of a worry. Once open, there may be additional screws to remove in order to complete the disassembly. Separate all parts and keep them in a designated area for reassembly.

Step 3: Clean

cleaning supplies for fixing a broken defective remote control

Everything except for the electric/control board should be rinsed and cleaned completely. The control board should only be very lightly cleaned with a Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol, which are also good tools for cleaning the rest of the remote as well. Always be careful with the control board, for it is sensitive and contains all the data for your remote to work! Make sure everything is looking clean and clear!

Step 4: Reassembly 

Once the remote is clean and dry, reassemble it. Make sure that everything is lining up properly before clipping it back together.

Step 5: Test Again

Check the remote again with a camera to verify the repair was successful. If it still isn't working at this point, the remote will need to be replaced. Don't worry! If the cleaning attempt was unsuccessful you can still check out SpenCertified and our hundreds of OEM remotes! Contact us to find out or search our store.

At SpenCertified, we offer a remote repair service for only $99.99! If you decide that you don't want to open your remote, this is a great option. Click here to learn more!

We hope to have helped you solve your problem! We have more FAQ articles for all sorts of electronics questions at SpenCertified. Get access to exclusive deals and information by joining our email list from our home page.


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Mesa, AZ 85204
(480) 207-1511
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