Fixing Non Working Buttons of Any Remote Control

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Introduction: Fixing Non Working Buttons of Any Remote Control

Remote control buttons have a conductive thin layer beneath. As time goes by this layer may get damaged because of friction and loose conductivity. As a result, although the batteries are full and you apply great pressures on the button they do not function. Annoying, isn't it?

Most of the people prefer to buy a new replica device as they are much more cheaper than the original ones. But there is very easy way to save your non-working original remote control.

Here is how:

Step 1: Open Up the Remote Control

Most of the remote controls have a screw inside the battery cover. Unscrew it and then separate the two halves of the control (the top and bottom plastic parts) gently. Be careful not to crack any plastic parts.

In general the remote control devices have 3 main parts:

1. Plastic covers (bottom and top)

2. Circuit board

3. Uni-body rubber buttons

Step 2: Clean the Circuit Board and the Rubber Buttons

The best way to clean circuit board and the rubber buttons is cotton + alcohol. Never use water.

After cleaning both the circuit board and rubber buttons you should check if the buttons are working before proceeding. The reason is; cleaning the circuit board and rubber buttons most of the time solve the issue.

If it's working. Welldone! :) I strongly advise you to clean your remote control periodically. (Especially for the ones used in dining room)

If the problem persist, don't worry. We will get over it. Follow the next steps.

Step 3: Fix the Non-working Buttons

All you need is some cyanoacrylate (super glue), aluminium foil, scissors and tweezers.

First cut very little pieces of aluminium foil that will exactly fit the size of the rubber button's conductive area. This foil is going to act as a conductor and when you press the button it will close the circuit.

When you're ready, drop a tiny amount of glue on the back of the rubber buttons that are not working and place the aluminium foils that you have prepared. Gently apply pressure on the foil with the tweezers but avoid sliping or damaging the foil.

Step 4: Final Check...

If you do follow the instructions and no other problem exists, you have a perfect working remote control again. :)

Congratulations

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    50 Comments

    That's weird...i found the one screw and removed it and still cant separate the remote...fear of breaking it, and lose the few buttons that still work. Its a Coby remote.

    Dear Anthony, you have to be patient and gentle not to crack any parts. Using a thin screwdriver to seperate the remote control works most of the time. One more suggestion, if there is any sticker behind the remote control try removing it because sometimes they hide some more screws below the stickers.

    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 below (and then DabeAltis's), 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 from everywhere except the pads (using acetone or isopropyl alcohol rather than water).

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

    There is a much easier trick I discovered many years ago and it works flawlessly almost 100% of the time. After cleaning the conductive pads and mating circuit with alcohol and Q-tips, simply apply a coat of graphite to the conductive face of the pads by using an ordinary #2 pencil. A small piece of fine sandpaper is handy to help powder the graphite. It should make a shiny coating on the pad, and it conducts better than the pads did when they were new. Try it, if done correctly you will never go back to any of these other methods.

    Hi again. I tried to find your ordinary #2 pencil. It gave no clue. What exactly do I need to look for or what does it mean anyhow. Thanks for your time and explanation.

    Hi Albertv3, The #2 is a designation of the hardness of the graphite rod in the pencil, what we in the US call pencil lead although it's not really lead. In truth, probably any graphite pencil will work, or even the carbon rod from from an old carbon-zinc battery. Do not confuse this with a charcoal pencil which is not nearly as conductive and probably would make things worse! Hope this helps.

    Yes you are right I use the same trick and is very good almost like new

    Yes you are right I use the same trick and is very good almost like new

    Sadly Alu folie most times doesn't stay glued on the rubber moving knobs. So better way is to buy and use silverglue. Much Better but quite expensive ! Graphite and other solutions are no good !! It is only a temporary fix.

    Actually, graphite properly applied will work much better and longer than any of these other solutions, including conductive silverglue. You don't need need glue, just apply the powdered graphite to the face of the conductive pad. It works, and it works well, and it lasts. I have repaired lots of remotes and other keypads in this way for many years. People often comment that they work better than they did when they were new.