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Having trouble with your Vizio soundbar remote not working properly? You’re not alone. Many Vizio soundbar owners have experienced issues with Vizio remotes at one point or another. The good news is that most Vizio soundbar remote problems can be fixed with some simple troubleshooting steps.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the top reasons your Vizio soundbar remote may stop working and walk through different troubleshooting methods to try getting it functioning again. Read on for tips on fixing common Vizio remote problems with power cycling, replacing batteries, checking for obstacles, updating firmware, and much more.
Common Reasons a Vizio Soundbar Remote May Stop Working
There are a few key reasons why your Vizio soundbar remote suddenly stops working:
- Dead batteries – The simplest issue is that the batteries in your remote need replacing. Over time batteries can drain and die, causing the remote to stop functioning.
- Obstructed signal – If there is an obstruction between your remote and the soundbar’s IR receiver, this can interrupt the signal and lead to the remote not working. Furniture, walls, cabinets, etc. can all block the signal.
- Outdated firmware – Vizio remotes are programmed to pair with specific firmware versions. If the soundbar’s firmware becomes outdated after an update to your TV’s software, this can cause connectivity issues with the remote.
- Incorrect input mode – If your sound system is set to Bluetooth or analog input rather than IR, the remote will be unable to control it. Cycling through the inputs can reset this.
- Damaged remote – Physical damage, water exposure, or drops can break inner components of the remote and stop it working suddenly.
Understanding what’s causing the problem is the first step towards getting your Vizio remote fixed. So first we need to diagnosis the possible cause before taking action to resolve it.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fix a Vizio Sound Bar Remote Not Working
If your Vizio soundbar remote isn’t responding or operating, don’t panic. Here is an 11 step troubleshooting process to help get your remote working again:
1. Check Batteries and Power Cycle the Remote
The first troubleshooting step is to power cycle the remote control. This clears any software glitches that could be preventing operation. Here is how you power cycle a Vizio remote:
- Take the batteries out of the remote
- Press and hold the power button on the remote for 5-10 seconds (this clears any residual charge)
- Put the batteries back in properly
- Press power again and try using the remote
While you have the batteries out, inspect them for corrosion or damage. If they seem worn down, go ahead and put brand new batteries in to see if that resurrects the remote.
2. Check for Obstructions Blocking Signal
Infrared remotes like Vizio soundbar remotes require line-of-sight to transmit signals. Make sure there aren’t any objects directly in front of the IR sensor on your soundbar blocking signals from the remote.
You’ll often notice issues arise after moving furniture if something is now obstructing the sensor. Check behind, above, below, and on the sides of the soundbar for any objects that could block signals.
If wiring, furniture, etc. seems to be obstructing signal between the remote and soundbar’s IR receiver window, try moving devices so there is a clear path between them.
3. Adjust Positioning and Test Various Angles/Distances
While you are checking for obstructions, also check the positioning between devices. Point the Vizio remote directly at the IR sensor of the soundbar and test functionality at various angles and distances:
- Try pointing remote directly at soundbar from 5, 10, and 15 feet away
- Attempt using the remote at off-center angles from the left, right, above, and below
If the remote fails to work when pointed directly at the device, this indicates a transmission problem. But if it works at some angles/distances and not others, positioning is likely the issue.
You may need to reposition devices so the remote signal has a clear, straight-line path to the soundbar’s IR receiver window. The signal can bounce off walls but performance is best within line-of-sight up to 15 feet.
4. Make Sure Remote is Paired Properly
Vizio soundbar remotes utilize IR signals, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi depending on the model. Check that your remote is properly paired with the soundbar.
If it is a Bluetooth remote, try unpairing it then repairing to reconnect. Go to Settings > Remotes & Accessories > Add Accessory on Vizio sets to pair it.
For Wi-Fi remotes, you may need to sync them directly from the soundbar using sync buttons on both remote and soundbar.
IR remotes don’t require pairing but still need aligned line-of-sight positioning for best functionality.
5. Verify Soundbar Input Mode
One simple issue that could render remotes unusable is the input mode on the Vizio sound system. IR remote signals are unable to control the soundbar when it is set to Bluetooth mode or certain digital audio inputs rather than standard IR/TV input.
Double check that your Vizio unit is set to IR mode by cycling through Inputs on the soundbar or using the Input button on an operational remote. Set input back to TV Audio or Optical/HDMI ARC to enable IR control again.
6. Check for Low Battery Warnings
Most Vizio remotes will flash an LED light when batteries run low. Pay attention for these low battery warnings, as well drained batteries will fail to transmit adequate signals to operate the remote soon after.
Swap out the batteries if you see flashing LEDs or erratic remote performance. Use new, high-quality alkaline batteries instead of cheap zinc carbon alternatives that drain faster. You may need to replace Vizio remote batteries 2-3 times per year with frequent use.
7. Update Vizio Soundbar Firmware
Vizio remotes are designed specifically to integrate with your soundbar’s firmware during manufacturing. When the TV or soundbar firmware updates after you bought your remote, this can sometimes create compatibility issues.
- Go to Settings > System > Check for Updates on your Vizio TV or directly on some soundbar models via USB update.
Updating to the latest firmware often resolves remote connectivity problems after major TV platform changes. Make sure firmware on both TV and soundbar match latest versions with regular checks.
8. Reset and Reteach Remote
If your Vizio soundbar remote was working fine historically and now has issues, resetting it can overwrite any software glitches causing functionality problems.
- Hold down the Reset button on the back of the remote for 10+ seconds until light on remote blinks
- Open the profile for the devices it controls in the Vizio SmartCast App and re-pair remote to overwrite previous settings. Teach commands one by one on some universal Vizio remotes.
Resetting and re-pairing forces the remote to freshly reconnect and transmit signals which often fixes any software issues.
9. Contact Vizio Support to Replace Defective Remote
If troubleshooting steps don’t resuscitate the remote, it may have a hardware defect causing permanent failure. Contact Vizio support about options:
- Within Warranty – Vizio provides 1 year limited warranty on new soundbars, so devices ≤12 months old qualify for free replacement of defective remote or device.
- Outside Warranty – For older devices no longer under warranty, Vizio sells replacement remotes directly around $10-25. Or choose compatible universal remotes.
- Call Vizio support at 877-698-4946 or chat with sales agents online to check warranty status and order replacement remotes if needed.
While waiting for a replacement remote to ship, try using Vizio SmartCast app on your phone or a universal remote as a temporary workaround.
10. Consider a Universal Remote Alternative
Rather than replacing the remote directly through Vizio, you can also choose to upgrade to a universal learning remote instead. Popular options like Logitech Harmony remotes have advanced features and customization options compared to Vizio stock remotes.
Universal remotes let you consolidate control of a TV, soundbar, disc player, game console, and more into one smart programmable unit. They are more versatile and come recommended as an alternative solution to replace faulty proprietary Vizio remote controls long-term.
11. As a Last Resort, Factory Reset the Soundbar
If no other troubleshooting fixes your remote connectivity problems, resetting the Vizio soundbar itself to factory default settings can serve as a last resort:
- Unplug all cables from soundbar and press & hold Reset button on back (or side) of unit for 10-30 seconds until it reboots
- Re-run setup process to repair remote from scratch
Factory resetting can force the device to re-establish the remote connection from the start as issues arise from aging device software. Backup settings before resetting then reload them after repairing the remote.
Be patient troubleshooting Vizio remote issues through each step and your patience will usually be rewarded with an operational soundbar remote once again.
Final Verdict: Stay Diligent in Troubleshooting Unresponsive Vizio Soundbar Remote to Stop Working
Vizio soundbar remotes failing is a reasonably common annoyance owners face at one time or another. But while a unresponsive remote can be infuriating, nearly every case can be resolved with diligent troubleshooting using the tips above.
The problem typically boils down to bad batteries, positioning issues, programming errors, or outdated firmware in 80% of cases. Replacing dead batteries, eliminating signal obstruction, repairing remote pairing, factory resetting devices, and updating firmware will solve most problems permanently.
In cases of physical damage from drops or liquid contact, replacement may be the only long-term solution. Thankfully replacement Vizio remotes are inexpensive to order directly around $10-25 depending on model. With some models still under 1 year factory warranty, replacements can even be free if registered properly.
Stay persistent applying troubleshooting tips to resuscitate your remote. But if attempts fail after multiple thorough tries, replacement Vizio remotes provide reliable fallbacks to restore normal operation of your sound system. Just run setup again carefully when installing the new replacement remote control.
FAQs: Fix a Vizio Soundbar Remote That is Not Working
Still having issues getting your Vizio soundbar remote to work after troubleshooting? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
Why does my Vizio soundbar remote work only sometimes?
If your Vizio remote works intermittently, it likely has positioning issues where signal is periodically blocked. Battery power may also be inconsistent if it’s low or corroded.
Why won’t my Vizio remote turn on soundbar?
If the power button fails, first check firmware, input mode, batteries, and positioning. Failing hardware buttons would require replacing remote.
Why is Vizio TV remote not controlling soundbar volume?
Separate TV and soundbar remotes are needed. Or use SmartCast app as a universal remote instead to control both TV & soundbar functions.
How do I get my Vizio soundbar remote to work again?
Check batteries, positioning, input mode, firmware updates, repair remote pairing, replace batteries, or buy replacement remote until normal function is restored.
Can I use a Roku remote on a Vizio soundbar?
No, Roku remotes lack Vizio soundbar codes. Use official SmartCast app as a universal remote instead or get replacement Vizio remote.
Why does my Vizio soundbar remote have a flashing LED?
A flashing LED on a Vizio remote indicates low battery. Promptly replacing weak batteries can rescue a remote on verge of stopping operation.
How to fix Vizio soundbar when remote not working?
Fixes include checking for obstructions blocking signal, toggling input modes, trying device repair, updating soundbar firmware, replacing remote batteries, or buying replacement remote.
What can you do if the remote stops working?
Fixes to try when remote stops working include checking batteries/positioning, power cycling devices, eliminating signal interference, updating firmware, repairing/resetting remote, replacing it if defective.
Where is the model number on a Vizio remote?
Flip Vizio remote over to the bottom or back sticker for the model number, starting with letter prefix XR or RM typically. Model numbers help match replacement parts.
Why does my Vizio remote not turn soundbar off?
If power button turns unit on but not off, low batteries could be the issue. Failing power switches would require replacement or use alternative power button like on TV.