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

2 People Made This Project!

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84 Comments

0
jmp61616
jmp61616

4 months ago

Thank you so much! I had a remote that never worked right. I must have spilled coke on it at some point. I tried universal remotes but the codes never lined up right. So I took the old remote apart, cleaned it with alcohol and almost all of it worked. One button did not, so I took it apart again, put the tin foil on it and now it all works properly! Again, thank you for your article.

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 4 months ago

My pleasure. :)

0
mykranili
mykranili

5 months ago

Thank you so much for this guide. I was able to resurrect two forgotten remotes. One for a TV and another for a stereo receiver. I had been using an iPad to control the devices but nothing bears the original remotes. Thanks again...

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 5 months ago

You're welcome. Thank you so much for your kind message. :)

0
ToddS89
ToddS89

8 months ago

This is the second time I've had to do the alcohol swab fix with my DirecTV remote, as the play and FFW buttons had become virtually unusable. When I opened the remote, there was an oily substance on the buttons in question. It was about a large drop in volume, which is a lot considering the remote is sealed. Where does this oil come from?

0
PeterS675
PeterS675

1 year ago on Step 4

In stead of Al foil, one can also restore the pads as follows: mix 4 drops of superglue with 4 drops of acetone (nail polish remover) and some pure graphite powder coming from a lock lubrication bottle. The acetone will dramatically slow down the setting of the superglue allowing you to put a drop on the damaged buttons. To finish off each button put your finger in graphite powder and push it down on the pad being repaired.
After an hour or so clean the refurbished pad and start using!

0
Mikeywales
Mikeywales

1 year ago on Step 4

The aluminium foil really works. At first, tried cleaning the PCB and button pads many times and it didn’t work. And give up trying. A few years later, something just relight my fire to try the fixed again now with the help of eraser to remove the carbon. Still doesn’t work. Ask Google and found your tip amazingly. Really thank you (Makerturker) for solving my years of suffering with the bad contact buttons. Cheers

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Delighted to hear that. Thank you so much for your feedback :)

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Delighted to hear that. Thank you so much for your feedback :)

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Delighted to get this feedback. Thank you so much :)

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Delighted to get this feedback. Thank you so much :)

0
Itzel Dominguez
Itzel Dominguez

1 year ago on Step 4

Omg yes thank youuuu the first one worked! It is a fairly old tv from year 2009 or so it was very dirty. Thanks again

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Perfect :)

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

I'm very happy to hear that. I hope you will use it for a long time. :) Thank you

0
sudhi-68
sudhi-68

1 year ago

In my remote three button not working related with surround sound.(DSP on button, So rear left and right button not working). I tried all these step.. still not working. Suppose to buy new one but not available in the market.

0
ralpnmedina
ralpnmedina

1 year ago

Foil worked !!!! Awesome thanks for the idea !! 😊

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Thank you :)

0
Jonathan Tafler
Jonathan Tafler

1 year ago

Thanks for that. Very clear instructions and it worked.

0
makerturker
makerturker

Reply 1 year ago

Very happy to hear that. Thanks a lot.

0
DaleBb
DaleBb

1 year ago

Thanks for the aluminium foil tip. I tried all sorts of cleaners after my granddaughter spilled lemonade on the remote control but 2 buttons refused to work. Today, after using some aluminium foil, we have a fully functioning remote control. Thanks again.