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My TiVo Remote Stopped Working Well . . .

We get this a lot by email and by phone: My TiVo is responding to my remote very slowly. I think my remote or my IR board is bad. I’ve changed the batteries and rebooted the unit.

We’ve got a strange answer for this, but it’s the right one almost every time: IR interference.

For some reason, TiVos are unusually susceptible to other IR waves. So other remotes, IR blasters, and other products can cause this behavior. Half the time, there’s a remote jammed under a couch cushion with a button stuck down.

So we tell people to just take all of the other remotes out of the room, and see what happens. That almost always does the trick.

The key way to know if this applies to you? “My TV still works fine with my TiVo remote . . .”

159 replies on “My TiVo Remote Stopped Working Well . . .”

I can’t see my problem here. My Tivo responds to about four of the buttons on my remote (Channel up, Thumbs down, 1 & 4). I checked out the room with a video camera and found no stray IR signals. The camera shows that the remote is sending a signal when any button is pushed. I have reset the Tivo (several times) and replaced the batteries in the remote numerous times.

This problem came on gradually (some buttons would work sometimes) and is just getting worse. Any suggestions? How do I tell if it is the box or the remote (without buying another one?)

That really sounds like a failing remote, to me. I can’t say I see behavior like that a lot, but the few times I’ve seen it, it’s just a bad remote.

I tried looking through this site for my unique problem and didn’t see it. Here is my situation:

I bought a new TiVo remote (the one with the keyboard) and it worked great. Controlled my TiVo and my TV. All of a sudden, it no longer controls the TiVo. It still controls the TV, so I know the remote is functional. My other TiVo remote controls the TiVo, so I know the TiVo unit is capable of receiving a signal. What gives? It is possible for a remote to lose connection with a particular box? Is there a way to re-sync them?

So, this worked for me. Very very strange but hey, if it works – who cares!!

Based on a recommendation from another site: Install the batteries backwards. Press and hold the pause button for five seconds. Then reinstall the batteries the right way around and see how it works.

Totally solved my problem!

It’s probably not any other remote. More than likely it’s your flat screen tv. I have a Samsung LCD and if it’s too close to the tv the remote won’t work at all. It also interferes with the VCR/DVD switching on my combo player. Since moving it away (about 3-4 feet) I have no issues. Weird, but true. I tested the theory just to make sure it wasn’t a coincidence. BTW, don’t call TiVo, they act like they’ve never heard of this problem. You can also shield your devices behind a cabinet with smoked glass (not tried, suggested). If you don’t believe me, google, “LCD IR interference” and you’ll see hundreds with the same problem.

dead as a doornail. no IR emitting from remote with new batteries. great trick with the camera btw. All remotes accounted for and removed. lights off – still dead dead dead.

Thanks to Sam – switch battery position, held pause 5+ secs and switched back. Now if I hold a button down long enough – I get an emission. enough to program a season pass – but it took me 10 minutes. I think when folks are saying they have to press real hard it is more of a press real long thing going on.

I must assume the remote is gasping its last breath. Should I buy a new one? Because this is not going to be acceptable for the long term!

And why does the reversed battery thing work? and if I do it again will the remotes performance improve further. hmmm… I sense an engineering study about to begin much to my husband’s chagrin!

Hi –

I have what I think is a unique problem, after reading through several pages of blogs. Tivo Series 2 w/upgraded memory.

My remote works only right after I reboot the Tivo. It works for some random period of time and then it starts not paying attention to the buttons I push. I push “up” iand it goes back to the “Tivo Central” Screen; in the “Now Playing” screen I push the “down” arrow button and it does anything but – goes to play the highlighted show, goes back to the “Tivo Central” screen, etc. Oftentimes, when a button is first pushed, the Tivo ‘bongs’ once before doing anything. I’m afraid all the times I’ve rebooted the Tivo are going to kill the harddrive.

I rid the room of other remotes, but I think the Tivo is getting the signal without interference and here is my reasoning:

1 – Tivo remote still controls the TV ON OFF and VOLUME, regardless of whether it works on anything else and continues to do so even when FUBAR for other things.
2 – I tried a friend’s brand new remote and the same problems happened
3 – The Tivo remote works just fine for some undefined amount of time (although that seems to be getting shorter – used to work for about 3 days and now seems to be down to about 24 hours) after rebooting the Tivo by unplugging and replugging.

Could it be I’m looking at needing a new one of the whatchamacallits that hides behind the black glass and receives the output from the remote?


I have seen this several times. It’s a coin toss to what will fix w/so many variables but one simple one is to remove your Bluetooth receiver from the back of the TiVo (or the black donagal if your using one) and resinsert it. Also press the reset button on the BT receiver. This process should re-pair the remote to the BT receiver. This maybe one of the steps to try before you give up.

Just got my Tivo3 Unit back from DVUpgrade and was so stoked to have it again – remote no longer seems to cooperate, however. Checked around for any other remote devices – none found. Put in totally new batteries (and checked each for power viability) – check. Tried resetting the remote following the instructions – no joy. Red light did not stay solid, only flashed. Tried reversing the batteries as noted above – no joy. After putting them back in the proper way, now I do not even get aflashing light when trying to reset the remote. tried to set the remote as well for TV operation – no joy. Depressing the buttons as instructed, I do not even get a flashing light at the top of the peanut, let alone a sold one. Any other suggestions?

I can’t believe it was a stupid lamp. It was weird that the yellow light came on when tv was off but stopped responding when it was on. Also just happened out of nowhere. Once I moved the lamp around it all started working again. Too weird.

Our remote will not work first thing in the morning, but as the day goes on more and more buttons start working. However, most of the time the only buttons that work are the channel down (not up just down). The red light on the remote works, however, the yellow light on the unit itself only lights up sometimes and when it does light up it obeys the command from the remote. Is the remote temperature sensitive? Will try all of the above suggestions and see how I go.

Has anyone figured out how to fix the sporadically working tivo remote. I mean for those of us who don’t buy the remote in the couch cop out. Too many similar posts to be coincidence. My remote will work perfectly one day and not at all another. Some days, push a button 20 times for a signal. Dont mention batteries or i will kill you. No lights or remotes or screens are the problem.

Yeah – can you believe we fooled this many people into thinking that a remote was stuck in their couch? Look at how many remotes we avoided selling! Brilliant, right?

I noticed after a brief power outage the other day that my TIVO remote would not change the TV channel on my cable box. The channel key into the remote gets displayed on the TV screen with the description of the current show but the channel doesn’t change. I rebooted the cable box – no effect. Rebooted the TIVO – no effect. Replaced the IR Control cable – no effect. Remote works for everything but changing the cable channel. Any ideas?

I could not get my volume or mute to work, but all other functions did work. I found my sony remote for the tv under the window blinds and it was hitting the buttons. Removed the remote and now my Tivo volume WORKS……THANKS !!!!!!

Great thread. My Sony peanut Tivo remote has several buttons (inculding the TV on/off, watch TV/guide) that have stopped working. Most others buttons work. I actually took the remote apart and cleaned the rubber keys and used a q tip with acetone to clean the contacts. While the remote is clean now, the same buttons do not work. Looks like used remotes on ebay are $50 bucks and not worth it. Any suggestions on how to fix the remote or is there a universal remote that might work?

The Sony remote model is RMT-V303 ( or something close to that from memory) I believe three keys stoped working the TV on/off, the Tivo on/off, and the Live TV buttons. When I depress those keys the red light does not light up. All other buttons seem to work and light the red light when depressed (and signals get to the TIVO or TV). All other keys seem to work (inculding vol and mute). I also tried a soft reboot of the TIVO box from the menu this morning, that had no effect. I think, something has gone wrong on the remote board, maybe a resistor fried or a trace line broke, highly unlikely, but I am open to other suggestions. I will also try another set a fresh batteries tonight (highly unlikely as the other buttons are all working). I could find no other remotes near the TIVO that may be interfering.

OK – sorry to say, that’s really the impossible remote to get these days. So, either a new box, or buy one of those remotes on eBay.

Sorry to hear that as I have a lifetime subscription and TIVO does not want to transfer the subscription to a new box. I think I will see if I can teach a universal remote to perform those functions.

Couldn’t find this on the thread so I thought I’d throw it on here. Just hooked up a new Westinghouse TV in place of an old Sony. Hooked up everything as it was on the old TV and everything works the same as always except two issues with the Tivo remote. The first is when Tivo is on and I hit the pause button it also controls the closed caption feature of the new TV. Second, when I hit fast forward on the Tivo remote it kicks the TV into TV input source and I lose the Tivo screen. I have to use the TV remote to get back to AV input for Tivo where I find that the Tivo is still fast forwarding. In essence, the pause and fast forward are working correctly but they are also controling the input source and closed caption functions at the same time. Have tried numerous codes for Westinghouse, Sony, and Samsung (per Tivo & Westinghouse tech suggestions. I’ve also done a global reset on the Tivo remote as well as restarted the Tivo. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Hi Michael, you are my hero and have saved what little hair I have left from being pulled out. Worked like a charm. Thanks very much.

I need help. I have the slide remote, and two days ago the channel up and down button stopped working it dose not change the channels. I have a regular TiVo remote control so I tried it and the same thing every button works except the channel but to change the channels. I have done all the resets there is to do. Could it be a problem with the receiver? Please someone help

DirecTV Tivo remote was working fine when first installed. In last few weeks, the left arrow no longer operates as it should. E.g. when I’m on ESPN and press the red button for Scoreguide, the window comes up but pressing the left arrow to change from NFL to NCAAB will take me to the DVR recordings. Same thing happens on the Weather Channel and others; pushing left arrow acts same as pushing the TIVO button on that very top. Would appreciated any advice. Thanks.

My spouse should not post these ridiculous questions using my name! 🙂 Actually, a simple reset of the DVR solved the issue…sorry to waste space with that question.

My remote works fine except the top arrow direction. It’s very frustrating when making most selections in general! I hate to spend $40+ just to get this one feature to work.
Anyone else have similar problem?

Great thread. I think my remote is dying because when I use the camera trick there is no light for a few presses. I tried the reverse batteries trick and that seemed to help which is interesting. I just thought I would add a trick that I found along the way. I set up a lot of systems and have developed a button mashing habit when things don’t work. In this case I learned that by pressing the list button a moment before the command I want would get my tivo to work. I’m leaning toward it being a glitch with the remote in my case though but that is what I would do when it was acting up before I found this thread and it would get me enough control to finish what I was doing. The weird thing is the tv controls always light the IR up right away but the tivo specific buttons will require many attempts before the IR lights while using my phone camera to watch. Thanks for the great ideas.

My Tivo remote went haywire. Tried the global reset, worked for a few days and now it’s just won’t work. The red light on the remote is on all of the time. Tivo Support says get a new remote. If I didn’t have a remote on a Tivo app for my iPod, the Tivo would be completey useless! Do you think a new remote is the answer?

I have a TiVo Slide remote and a TiVo Series3 – it’s been reliable for years, running both my TiVo and the power/volume/input functions on my TV.
This week, it’s stopped working on the TiVo box **entirely**. (Still works fine on the power/volume/input functions on my TV.)

Interestingly, the activity light on the remote now lights up blue, regardless of what button I push

I’ve tried
• new batteries
• restarting TiVo
• powercycling TiVo
• removing and re-inserting the Bluetooth dongle
• re-pairing the remote and the Bluetooth dongle
• hunting rogue remotes
• even the “invert the batteries for 5 seconds” notion that was floated on the thread. Nothing’s worked.

Any suggestions?

Solution! After trying most of these suggested solutions (including buying a new TiVo remote). To fix the problem of my TiVo remote not working (i.e., can’t change channels), we simply covered the green indicator light on the TiVo unit… We draped a piece of paper towel over the front panel (a piece of electrical type or some other shield might work, too). We’ve had two weeks of no recurrence ; so this seems to be a viable solution. Good luck to everybody and I hope this helps.
Your ToiVo buddy in triumph, d Niel.

My remote menus were painfully slowing down. I read this and tried looking for remotes that might be affecting my S3 tivo. It drove me nuts. I changed the batteries and it fixed the issue and the menus were snappy again. Check your batteries guys if you have slow menus. Thanks for hosting this blog for people to share about tivo issues WK.

My remote has decided to do its own thing I have changed
the batteries but it has not change anything here is what it does.
! It has become very slow .
2 It only works some times.
3 I cannot switch T V on
4 I cannot control volume.
5 It was fine when we used it last night.

Can you please help

I have an original Humax TiVo remote that started working intermittently / sporadically. At first, you had to hold a button for about 5 seconds and then the red light would flash and the TiVo would respond. After a week of that, it would not work at all. It’s been very humid; 90% for a few weeks and my dehumidifier was bad. Well, I got a new humidifier and after a day, the remote started working fine again. I’m not sure that was the problem but easy to test if you’re having a similar issue.

My remote works perfectly 99% of the time. Every now and then it stops. I’m convinced there is another signal interfering. I don’t have other remotes in the room… it’s my home office. Batteries are fine. Eventually I’ll figure out what’s causing the problem. Always seems to be a week or two, then goes back to normal.

I have a *lot* of electronics! No recent changes, though.

I have a Series 3 Tivo showing the same problems with 3 remotes, no issues with batteries, other devices etc.

I borrowed another S3 and this performed flawlessly with the same remotes so the problem seems to be with the IR, sensor etc.. on my Tivo.

Can the faceplate be taken out to see if this makes a difference ?

Even certain channels are pixellating compared with the TV tuner itself so I think it is gradually dying.

Is there anything we can change on the Tivo to bring it back to what it used to be ?


Our TiVo started scrolling up or down on it’s own.
Our Grandson’s Thomas The Train remote controller was staying on and giving the TiVo fits.
Read this site for the tip and remembered I had put in new batteries for his controller today. Removed the batteries and our TiVo no longer has a mind of it’s own.
Thanks so much for the post!

Like so many others, I’m so thankful I stumbled across this article.

We have two remotes, and I tried various remote and new battery combinations. Still experienced inconsistent response from the TiVo unit. I rebooted the machine, still same behavior. I was getting very sad, because a remote is easy to replace, but the unit itself is a significant cost. I went online to see about replacing the IR sensor which I was thinking was the problem. Came across this article.

I turned off the TV. No change. I turned off my wife’s laptop. No change. I turned off the Christmas lights. No change. I didn’t think the Christmas lights would matter, but I was turning everything off one by one at this point. I looked around the room, pretty depressed because it didn’t seem like IR interference was the problem after all.

But then I spied the recharging unit for our Roomba. It is the kind that has a sensor and/or beacon so the Roomba can find its way back home. *And* there was a correlation to the recent problems we’ve been having. The past few days, we haven’t had the Roomba in the recharger because I’m waiting to get the brushes replaced and didn’t want anyone to run it in the meantime.

Somehow, having the Roomba in the recharger makes a difference. Either it’s blocking the signal between the recharger and the TiVo, or else the recharger knows not to broadcast because the Roomba is parked in the recharger. Whatever the reason, I unplugged the recharger and boom, everything was back to normal.

I’m so thankful. 🙂

You were absolutely correct. I removed all the other remotes from the room and it started function properly. It stated acting up when my Grandkids were here. They used another remote to watch streaming shows. I suspect that was the culprit. I returned all of the remotes to the room and everything still works OK.

My S3 glo remote to constantly sending signals to my tivo, causing the remote not to function normally.

Can the remote be “reset” or do I need a new one?


My peanut TIVO/DIRECT TV remote stopped working. It still operates the TV that I have programmed (sound, mute, input) but does not operate my tivo box (Old Philips DSR6000R) to access the menu, change channels, etc. I have changed the batteries but no success. I have rebooted the TIVO Box, no success. Any idea? How can i reset the remote maybe? thanks. There is no other remote in the room that interfere with it.

hi, my remote red light is working but no amber yellow light shows up on TiVo. just the power green light. I have rebooted TiVo, unplugged TiVo, changed batteries, left batteries out and did the trick of tuning the batteries around the other way holding down pause button, nothing. checked all other remotes in the house they all seem. no other remotes in room or indifference of other things. checked with a digital camera, did also a global reset of remote. did what TiVo support people said to do turn tv off and use TiVo remote to see if yellow light comes on. still nothing. and haven’t heard back from them since. oh! I have also tried the trick someone suggested bounce the signal off a wall like a pool shot. no change. TiVo is just over 5 years old. no new TV everything in the room is the same no changes of any. even drawn curtains to see if it was sunlight. does any body have any ideas if its the TiVo machine not receiving the remote or is it time to buy a new remote. thank monique

TV and ABB Tivo and Router plugged into strip. Turned strip off when going away. Now remote will not let the guide appear on the live tv. How to fix?

THANK YOU!!! I was ready to buy a new box. Read this and found my ceiling fan remote was stuck. Problem fixed.

Just got a new Roamio model TiVo, replacing my Premiere. My setup is a Panasonic TV with a sound output directed to a Zvox unit. The Premiere’s remote worked just fine controlling the TV and the volume of the Zvox. However, the Roamio’s remote cannot access the Zvox, although it does control the Panasonic TV. I am using the Roamio’s remote in the IR mode and I have tried the codes listed for the Zvox (2026, 2027, 2065). No luck.
Any help?

Many thanks

I have Xtream mediacom TIVO with the peanut receiver. Almost daily my remote stops working with the TiVo box. I have to use another remote to get into settings to re-pair my nonfunctional remote to the TiVo, which works, but jeez is it getting old. There are no other remotes in use and it sometimes stops in the middle of scrolling through channels when nothing else is happening in the room. I have gone to my cable provider and traded in my remotes and it keeps happening. It’s just weird how they can pair again and be fine, so maybe it’s an unknown source of IR somewhere. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

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