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Dish Remote Won’t Turn Off The TV (Causes And Fixes)

As the owner of a smart TV, I was recently frustrated when I realized that my Dish remote wouldn’t turn off the TV. I decided to take matters into my own hands and did some research to find out what the problem could be and how to fix it.

In this blog post, I’m sharing what I discovered through my research and the various solutions I found. I’m hoping that by writing this post, I can help others who are experiencing the same problem with their Dish remote and TV.

Problems with Dish remotes not working, such as turning the TV on or off, are typically caused by dead batteries, a faulty remote control, or an issue with the Dish receiver unit itself. In most cases, a battery replacement and reset of the receiver will fix the problem.

ProblemPossible CauseSolution
Dish remote won’t turn off the TVDead batteriesReplace the batteries in the remote control. Ensure they are inserted correctly, with the negative side placed in the spring side.
Faulty remote controlClean the remote’s exterior with contact cleaner or furniture spray. If buttons are sticking due to a spill, carefully open the remote and clean the inside with a cloth and earbuds dipped in alcohol. If the remote is still not working, consider purchasing a replacement remote or a universal remote that is compatible with your TV and Dish receiver.
Issue with Dish receiver unitReset the Dish receiver by unplugging it from the power source, waiting for a few minutes, and plugging it back in. If issues persist, contact Dish Support for assistance.
Remote and receiver not communicatingReprogram the Dish remote and receiver according to your owner’s manual to reestablish communication between the two devices.

Remote Control Issues: What Are Common Causes?

Thanks to modern broadband technology and price competition, most of us are moving to online TV streaming applications such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple TV. 

The convenience of managing content and subscriptions without the hassle of cables and additional hardware installed in your home is a major advantage. Yet even in this modern age, access to internet services is spotty or non-existent outside major metropolitan areas.

Those still stuck in the age of the satellite dish will be familiar with the occasional stubborn remote control that won’t yield to your commands. Before you chuck your remote against the wall out of sheer frustration, read on to see the causes and how to fix them.

Reset Your Devices

Your TV will usually have an LED light on the front panel that burns red when the TV is off. When switching the TV on, it will change to green or blue. Check the user manuals for your equipment for precise information on the LED status in the on and off state.

It could well be the TV receiver that’s gone into a locked state. We often resort to rebooting our mobile phone or laptop, so why not reboot the Dish receiver? This will usually set the device to its original neutral state and fix any lockups.

The process of resetting your receiver can take 5 minutes or longer. If you reboot your receiver, take a break for at least 10 minutes before testing your connectivity again.


If you can’t remember when you replaced your batteries last, it might be a good idea to start your fault-finding process by replacing them. The remote uses a fair amount of power, and once the battery strength drops below a certain threshold, you will start experiencing intermittent issues.

When inserting the new replacement batteries, ensure they are correctly inserted. If you insert one of them the wrong way around, the remote will not work. The negative side of the battery is placed in the spring side of the remote. There will usually be a schematic diagram showing the correct battery placement.

Replacing your batteries will also have the added effect of resetting your remote if a lockup occurs, eliminating two possible causes for a faulty remote.

Most remotes use 1.5 Volt (AA) or (AAA) Alkaline batteries. In some cases, Lithium batteries are recommended instead. Do not use rechargeable batteries as these often leak and could damage the inner working of your remote. They are also mostly rated at 1.2V, which is insufficient for the remote.

If you are replacing the batteries with used ones that you’ve dug out of another battery-operated device, test them with a voltmeter to ensure they are fresh enough to power your remote control. If they test below 1.5V, discard them and buy some new ones instead.

It could well be that your battery contacts are corroded or dirty. These dirty deposits are usually acid based and need to be neutralized with an alkaline. Mix some baking soda with a little water to make a paste. Apply this paste to the contacts and wait a few minutes before wiping it off with a paper towel.

Dirty Remote-Control Buttons

Your remote is susceptible to dirt and grime due to constant handling. You may have spilled some coffee or a soft drink over it, seeping into the remote and causing a sticky mess under the buttons.

To clean a remote’s exterior, you can spray contact cleaner or furniture spray onto the remote’s surface and gently wipe with a microfiber cloth. A little rubbing alcohol or vinegar and a soft toothbrush can help get into the spaces around the buttons and remove any grime or debris.

If you have previously spilled some sticky liquid over the remote, and this is causing your buttons to stick, you may need to open the remote and clean it from the inside. Loosen the screws holding the remote together, carefully remove the keypad, and set it aside.

Taking care not to bend or break any parts, spray the keypad, PC board, and outer shell of the remote with a clean cloth and earbuds dipped in alcohol before reassembling. Do not try this yourself if you do not have the requisite skills. Rather get someone who does to help you.

Reprogram The Dish Remote And Receiver

It might be that your remote is no longer talking to the receiver due to a programming error. This is usually the case when the receiver has lost its settings. You will need to reassign the remote so that the receiver recognizes it. 

The process or steps may differ depending on your Dish remote model or type. Generally, for infrared remotes, you can press and hold the TV function button on the remote until the LED on the receiver blinks or goes dark. You may need to punch in a specific code to reassign the device.

Try pressing the power button once you see a confirmation signal from the receiver. You should now be able to switch the TV off without any issues. Remember to read your owner’s manual for specific steps to do this for your brand and model.

If this doesn’t work, it might be that your remote is faulty. In this case, you will need to head out and purchase a replacement. Many universal remotes available at most retailers will be compatible with your equipment. These universal devices are cheaper and easier to acquire than the original.


Remotes are the usual culprits when issues such as turning the TV on or off are concerned. There is no reason to panic or spend money unnecessarily unless you have tried all the steps in this guide and found none to work. All it takes is a little time and patience.

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