I sure hope you didn’t whack your Insignia TV remote!
Believe me, I understand that a good old thump can sometimes do the trick with some remotes. Been there, done that. However, that’s just a band-aid solution and can actually create more issues with your remote in the long run.
I recently did a deep dive into the world of Insignia TV remotes.
My aunt, who owns an Insignia TV, reached out to me because her remote stopped working. No matter what button she pressed, her Insignia TV just wouldn’t respond.
Since I’ve never owned an Insignia TV, I had to educate myself about their remotes, the common reasons they stop functioning, and the potential solutions.
In the end, I was able to guide my aunt through the process of fixing her Insignia TV remote.
Realizing my aunt probably isn’t the only one with this problem, I decided to put together this guide.
In this guide, I’ll outline the possible causes and proven solutions for an unresponsive Insignia TV remote.
The Clever Fix
Power cycle the remote by removing the batteries for 2-3 minutes and discharging any leftover electrical charge by holding down the Power button for around 30 seconds.
Why is my Insignia TV remote not working?
Often, electronic glitches and worn-out batteries are the main culprits when an Insignia TV remote stops functioning.
Other reasons could include pairing issues, a jammed button, dust accumulation, interference from other devices, signal blockages, or external or internal damage.
How do I get my Insignia remote to work again?
1. Power cycle your remote
If your Insignia TV remote isn’t responding, try power cycling it.
Remove the batteries from your remote for about 2 to 3 minutes. While they’re out, press and hold the power button on your remote for about 15 seconds to get rid of any residual electrical charge.
After waiting for 2 to 3 minutes, reinsert the batteries and check if your Insignia TV remote is now functioning.
An Insignia TV remote that’s not functioning is typically due to electronic hiccups.
You might find it surprising, but power cycling your remote can actually resolve these glitches. It’s not just for computers or TVs, it applies to remotes too.
Power cycling eliminates any lingering electrical charge and gives your remote a fresh start. Think of it as a reboot, bringing your remote back to its original operational condition.
After a power cycle, your Insignia TV remote should be up and running.
But if that didn’t solve the problem, don’t stress. We’re just warming up. There are several more tried and true solutions you can employ to tackle the issue.
2. Replace your remote’s batteries
If power cycling your Insignia TV remote didn’t do the trick, your next logical move is to swap out its batteries.
Batteries lose their juice over time. If it’s been a hot minute since you last switched your Insignia TV remote batteries, it might be time for a replacement.
If the current batteries in your remote are completely drained, your remote won’t function, no matter how many times you power cycle it.
Before installing new batteries, make sure to clean the compartment and metal contact points using a cloth. When inserting the batteries, be sure to align the polarities with the symbols in the battery compartment.
With fresh batteries in your Insignia TV remote, give it a go and see if it’s working as expected.
3. Re-pair your remote to your Insignia TV
If you’re using an Insignia Fire TV, there’s a chance your remote has unexpectedly lost its connection with your TV.
An Insignia Fire TV remote functions using Bluetooth technology, meaning it must be paired with your TV to operate properly.
Occasionally, it can become unpaired, often due to glitches or bugs in your Insignia Fire TV’s system.
Luckily, re-pairing an Insignia Fire TV remote is a piece of cake.
To get your remote back in sync with your TV, press and hold the Home button on your remote for about 10 seconds.
Give it a minute, and your remote should be paired with your Insignia TV again. Once it’s reconnected, check to see if it’s back in working order.
4. Reset your Insignia TV remote
If your initial attempt at re-pairing your Insignia Fire TV remote didn’t sort out the problem, try resetting the remote before re-pairing it.
To perform the reset, follow these steps:
- Unplug your Insignia Fire TV for at least one minute.
- Press and hold the Menu button, Back button, and the left side of the navigation ring for 12 seconds.
- Release the buttons and wait an additional 5 seconds.
- After 5 seconds, remove the batteries from your remote.
- Plug your Insignia Fire TV back in and wait for 60 seconds.
- After 60 seconds, put the batteries back in your remote.
- Press your remote’s Home button.
A blue blinking LED indicator light will confirm that your remote has successfully paired.
If the remote hasn’t paired, try pressing the Home button for 10 seconds again.
Your Insignia TV should be successfully connected after resetting and re-pairing.
A jammed button could be another reason your Insignia TV remote isn’t operating.
If a button on your remote gets stuck, it will continuously send a signal to your TV, obstructing all other signals.
Not only will the other buttons fail to work, the continuous signal from a stuck button may also drain the batteries faster.
For example, if your Play button is stuck, hitting the power button won’t turn on the TV because the Play signal is constantly being transmitted.
To ensure no buttons are jammed, press each button on your remote at least once.
6. Clean your remote
Can you remember the last time you cleaned your Insignia TV remote?
Dust and dirt can accumulate in your remote over time, particularly in the tiny crevices around the buttons.
If this build-up isn’t cleaned occasionally, you might end up with unresponsive buttons, or worse, an entirely non-functional remote.
Before you begin cleaning, remember to remove the batteries from your remote.
If you have some extra time and the necessary tools, you could even disassemble your remote for a thorough cleaning, as demonstrated in this video:
But if you’re not keen on taking your remote apart, you can use the following items that you likely have around the house:
- a microfiber cloth
- 70% isopropyl alcohol
- cotton swabs
- an old but clean toothbrush
Spritz some alcohol on your Insignia TV remote’s surface. Take the toothbrush and scrub away any built-up dust or grime. With the cotton swabs, attempt to dislodge any gunk caught around each button on your remote.
Once you’ve successfully removed the dust, use the microfiber cloth to dry off the remote.
Let your Insignia TV remote air dry for a bit before checking if it’s sprung back into action.
7. Remove sources of interference
Insignia Roku TV remotes, like some older Insignia TV remotes, operate using infrared (IR) technology.
In contrast, Insignia Fire TV remotes use IR only for the power button and Bluetooth for all other buttons.
Regardless of the technology used, TV remotes can be prone to interference.
Interference occurs when radio waves from other devices or appliances disrupt the remote’s IR or Bluetooth signal.
IR remotes are sensitive to light sources (including lamps and direct sunlight). So if your Insignia TV is positioned near any light sources or in direct sunlight, think about adjusting the location of the lights or the TV.
Bluetooth remotes, meanwhile, should be kept away from interference sources like Wi-Fi routers and microwave ovens, since these devices emit radio waves at the same frequency, which can weaken Bluetooth signals.
Ensure you remove any potential sources of interference that may be affecting your Insignia TV remote.
Once you’ve addressed these issues, check to see if your remote is functioning correctly.
8. Ensure there are no obstructions
If your Insignia TV remote operates on infrared, it needs to be aimed directly at your TV’s infrared receiver to function (unlike a Bluetooth remote, which doesn’t need to be pointed straight at the TV).
However, if there’s something in the way, the signal won’t get through properly.
Make sure there’s a clear path for your remote’s signal to reach your Insignia TV. Shift any furniture or items that could be blocking the infrared signal.
It might seem like an incredibly obvious solution (because it is!), but you’d be amazed at how many people have thought their remote was broken, when it was simply an obstruction blocking the path between the remote and the TV’s infrared receiver.
9. Buy a replacement remote
If you’ve cleared the path and your IR remote still isn’t working, you might want to check if it’s actually emitting an infrared signal.
While the infrared light isn’t visible to the naked eye, you can use your smartphone’s camera or a digital camera to detect it.
Switch on your phone’s camera and aim the top of your Insignia TV remote at your phone camera’s lens.
Press any button on your remote and look for a flash or light emitting from your remote.
If there’s no flash or light, your Insignia TV remote might be broken. In this case, your best bet is to purchase a replacement remote or consider using alternative remote options (explained in more detail below).
What are the alternatives to an Insignia TV physical remote?
There’s no need to shell out cash for a new Insignia TV remote.
Instead, you can transform your smartphone into an Insignia TV remote.
All you need to do is download and install free mobile apps that allow you to control your TV right from your smartphone.
Both Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV have mobile apps available on the App Store and Google Play. However, Insignia’s Universal Remote app is only available for Android users.
Here are the links to the mobile apps:
To pair your Insignia Roku TV with your Roku app, follow these steps:
- Open the Roku app on your smartphone.
- Select your Insignia Roku TV from the list of devices.
- On the bottom menu, select Remote.
- You can now use your smartphone as a remote.
For Insignia Fire TV owners, you can pair the Amazon Fire TV app by following these:
- Open the Amazon Fire TV app on your smartphone.
- Select your Insignia Fire TV from the list.
- Follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.
- Use the keyboard and other button options to control your Insignia Fire TV.
Keep in mind: For these apps to operate, your Insignia TV and smartphone need to be connected to the same wireless network. If they’re on separate networks, the pairing won’t work, and you won’t be able to control your Insignia TV using the apps.
There are a variety of reasons why Insignia TV remotes might stop functioning. The good news is, most of these issues are minor and can be easily resolved at home.
If your Insignia TV remote isn’t responding, try power cycling it first.
If power cycling doesn’t solve the problem, consider these fixes:
- Replace your remote’s batteries with fresh ones.
- Re-pair your remote to your Insignia TV.
- Reset your Insignia TV remote and pair your remote again.
- Press all the buttons of your remote at least once.
- Clean your remote.
- Remove sources of interference.
- Ensure there are no obstructions.
- Buy a replacement.
If you’d rather not invest in a new remote, you can download the Insignia, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV mobile apps and use your smartphone as a makeshift remote.