Fix an Unresponsive Remote Control





Introduction: Fix an Unresponsive Remote Control

There is nothing more annoying than having an unresponsive remote control!! You have tried everything, changed the batteries but your remote is quite old and you are about to replace it!

You don't have to though, just a few basic tools and matterials we all have in our houses and 20 minutes of your time is all you need to make your remote control better than new!

Tools and materials:

• Screwdrivers (flat and philips, although it depends on what your remote control requires)
• Some rubbing alcohol
• Some cotton
• A piece of foil
• Superglue
• Scissors
• Tweezers
• 20 minutes of your time

Here is a video of the repairing proccess step by step:

Step 1: Disassembly

Disassemble your remote control. Some of them have screws and some don't. Mine didn't have any so using a flat screwdriver I disassembled it quite easily.

Step 2: Clean Everything Up

This is an important step.

Pour some rubbing alcohol on a piece of cotton and gently clean the main board.You will be amazed to see how much dirt is built up on the main board.

Now take all the other pieces of your remote control and give them a good wash using some mild soap. Wash all the plastics and also the rubber keypad. DO NOT wash the main board!

After that use a towel or a hair dryer to dry them!

Step 3: Fixing the Unresponsive Button

Generaly once you clean the mainboard and the keypad you are ready to assemble the remote control and use it again. But there are cases where one or more keys are still unresponsive. This happens when the under side of the keypads buttons is worn out. In that case cut a small piece of foil and glue it under the unresponsive key as shown in the video.

Step 4: Finished!!

Thats it. Reassemble your remote control and you are good to go!

Tip: To see if your remote control works properly open your phones camera, point the remote towards the lens of the camera and press and hold any button on the remote while viewing the screen on the camera. If you see a bluish light blinking then your remote is transmitting as it should!




    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest
    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    My very old adjustable remote needs a total tune up AND a new IR bulb soldered on. I dont know where to start, or where to get a repair person.

    Hi imnew to this forum but i am impressed by the skills of you all ,I did the digital camera trick on my remote ,its abit strange because when i press the buttons it stops flashing when there are no buttons pressed it flashes quite fast is this correct ,i dont think so any ideas please would be most welcome ,i cant find another remote that will do the trick. Davomatic

    1 reply

    Hi my friend. You used tin foil on one button or more?

    My children are rough on everything.

    They dropped my TiVo Remote; the protector lens cap fell off and disappeared. It still worked.

    Until they could not resist sticking their fingers inside and breaking off the exposed PURPLE LED's.

    I'm fairly good at soldering, and could solder replacements in.

    They sell IR LED's on eBay, but they identify the PURPLE ONES, as the TiVo Remote has, as RECEIVERS.

    To me that makes no sense.

    The CLEAR LED's on eBay are called EMITTERS.

    Would not the TiVo Remote be using EMITTERS ?

    If so, why are they PURPLE ?

    The foil idea definitely works: I have used it to fix our TV remote volume buttons. The only problem is that I have not been able to get the foil to stay stuck on.

    I've used both superglue and UHU with the same results. I have a feeling that this is possibly because our foil is "non-stick" as I realised today. Ordinary foil may be better

    Having seen Antzy Carmasaic's comment (and then DabeAltis's) in, I've just applied a dab of UHU to each button's pad and sprinkled powdered pencil graphite over them while the glue was still wet. I then tamped the powder into the glue with the graphite end of the pencil. Experimentation proved that one needs to carefully remove all the powder fromeverywhere except the pads (using acetone or isopropyl alcohol rather than water).

    The remote now works perfectly again. We'll see how long it lasts...

    Your very Welcome mate and I'm looking forward to more Instructables from you...

    I never knew about pointing the remote at your phones camera to check.

    Great ible and thank you... John :)

    Awesome! Thanks. You might consider using a hole punch on the aluminium to create the pieces to glue to the bad keypad buttons. I am all about anything that helps fat fingers :-)

    3 replies

    Never thought of it. Thats a really cool idea

    Great tips, thanks for posting. I have some remotes that need attention!

    I use a pencil eraser to clean the button contacts on the main board.

    1 reply

    Wicked, I bought a tv with an unresponsive remote last week. Thanks chap!

    1 reply

    If your tv is brand new then you should probably ask for a new remote.

    Awesome ible! I've got a remote that I'll have to do this on, thanks! Just a minor note, the light on my remotes are more of a red-violet. Thanks again!

    1 reply

    Thanks for your comment. I have noticed that red violet light a few times. I dont know if it has to do with IR technology or the camera lens. But in any case you see light is a good thing.