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Why Won’t My TV Turn Off?

As an owner of a modern flat-screen television, I’ve been frustrated with the issue of my TV not turning off properly. I’ve done some research and testing to figure out what might be the issue and have some solutions to share.

If your TV refuses to switch off, it’s most likely the remote control. Pry out the batteries, wait a few seconds and put them back in or replace them with new ones. Check the remote for sticky or dirty buttons, and clean with rubbing alcohol. Hard reset your TV by unplugging it from the wall socket.

Most TV not turning off issues are due to problems with the remote control.
Check and replace the batteries of the remote control.
Ensure there are no obstructions between the remote control and the TV’s IR port.
Clean both the remote control and TV’s IR port if necessary.
Consider using a universal remote control.
Perform a software update.
Try a hard reset.

TV Won’t Switch Off: What To Check For

All modern TV’s have an LED on the front panel that indicates whether the TV is on or off. Usually, a red LED indicates that the TV is connected to mains power and is switched off.

The LED will blink and turn blue or green when the TV is switched on either by pressing the TV’s power button or the button on the remote control. Check your user manual for specific information.

The Batteries

If the LED on the front panel of the TV blinks, it means the TV is receiving the remote’ signal. If not, it could be the batteries on the remote control.

Take the remote’s batteries out, clean the contacts if they are dirty or corroded, and swap them around before reinserting them into the remote.

This will also often temporarily help if the batteries are weak but not yet completely drained.

If this doesn’t work, replace the batteries with new ones. Most remote controls are designed to use either 1.5 Volt 1900 mAh (AA) or 750 mAh (AAA) Alkaline batteries. Although in rare cases, Lithium-Ion batteries are recommended instead.

Most remote controls take two batteries. Try to use the same brand of batteries and from the same batch.

If you don’t have two batteries from the same batch and are lucky enough to own a voltmeter, test the batteries to make sure they are strong enough. If you measure a lower voltage than the 1.5V needed, discard them and buy some new ones.

Rechargeable batteries can be used in remote controls, but in most cases, it is not recommended to go this route.

Most rechargeable batteries are rated for 1.2V instead of the usual 1.5V and may prove too weak to power your remote.

Also, you would need to remove and recharge them periodically, which can be inconvenient. On the flip side, it is more environmentally friendly to use rechargeables.

Depending on your TV brand and model, you may need to pair your remote control with your TV after a battery replacement.

In this case, refer to the TV’s user manual for more information on how to do this.

Remote Signal Obstruction

Your TV’s remote control uses an Infrared (IR) signal to communicate with other devices such as your TV.

This IR light is invisible to the naked eye and requires a line of sight to function effectively.

Point the remote towards the front panel of the TV, ensuring there are no objects such as furniture obstructing the signal between the remote and the TV’s IR port.

Your remote may also fail if the sensor is blocked due to dirt. Wipe both the IR sensor on the TV and the transmitter on the remote with a clean cloth.

Test again, ensuring that you stand no further than 10 feet from the TV. Remote controls are not designed to work over long distances, 30 feet being an absolute maximum.

Sticky Buttons

Another common problem could be that your buttons are sticking. This could be due to dirt or some other sticky liquid getting in under your remote’s rubber keypad.

Remember that sugary soft drink you bumped over and spilled on everything last weekend?

It could be that sweet stickiness has dried and is causing one of your other buttons to stick, and your remote can’t accept another instruction.

Try cleaning your remote with a microfibre cloth daubed in rubbing alcohol.

Use a toothpick to get in under the buttons but be careful. If all else fails, remove the batteries and open your remote by removing the screws and cleaning everything with cotton buds or microfibre and alcohol before reassembling.

Try A Universal Remote

If you have tried swapping your batteries out with new ones and checked your remote for dirt and obstructions, consider purchasing a universal remote control.

The good news is that universal remotes are cheaper than the original replacement models and compatible with practically every TV available on the market.

Refer to the user manual that comes with the universal remote for instructions on how to program the remote for your specific TV model. 

Try a software update

It might be the case that the issue is being caused by a software bug and it would help to try updating the software on your TV

Try a hard reset

A hard reset involves completely resetting the TV to its factory defaults. Most TV models have specific instructions. However, if you have a Samsung TV here are the steps to follow:

To perform a factory reset:

  1. Head to Settings > General.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. Enter your PIN > then select Reset.

Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000


It’s very rare for your TV itself to be the cause of issues preventing it from being switched off.

If you have a hard reset, the unit and the problem persists; in 99% of cases, it will be the remote control that is the source of all your problems. Luckily the fix for faulty remote controls is fairly inexpensive, even if you have to replace the remote unit itself.

Finally, in the rarest of cases, and once you have tried all the steps outlined above, check your warranty and contact the retailer from where the TV was purchased, and get it looked at by a professional.

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