If you’re having trouble with your Insignia Fire TV remote, you’re in the right place. We love the Fire TV around here, and when they build it right into the panel, that’s even better. It allows you to sidestep any crummy TV manufacturer’s OS to use something quicker and easier. But what if the remote stops working??
To fix an Insignia Fire TV remote that isn’t working, start by replacing the batteries and restarting the TV. Next, reset and re-pair the remote to the TV before considering replacing the remote–either with the Fire TV app, a stock replacement remote, or better: a new universal remote.
Below we’ll start with the easiest ways to fix this, giving a few quick options that may get you back up and running without any fuss. Past that, there are a few more involved fixes, and we’ll also address what replacement remote we recommend if you have to take that path. Let’s get started!
Three Quick Ways To Fix This
Here are the first 3 things you should try, in this order. We see these steps solving this problem a majority of the time, so, fingers crossed you have the same experience.
Replace the Remote’s Batteries
The first thing you should check is the remote’s batteries. Dead batteries can cause the remote to stop working. To replace the batteries, follow these steps:
- Open the battery compartment on the back of the remote.
- Remove the old batteries.
- Insert new batteries into the compartment, making sure to match the polarities.
- Close the battery compartment.
After replacing the batteries, try using the remote again. And when you have it open, note if the battery contacts are clean or corroded. You can clean them off with some rubbing alcohol if you need, and note that when you store the remote for a long time, you should take the batteries out to prevent this.
Power Cycle the TV + Update
If replacing the batteries doesn’t work, try power cycling the TV. This can help reset the TV and the remote. To power cycle your TV, follow these steps:
- Turn off the TV.
- Unplug the TV from the power source.
- Wait for at least 1 minute.
- Plug the TV back in and turn it on.
After power cycling the TV, try using the remote again. This is going to clear up any glitches on the TV’s operating system side that may be causing the issue, but if a restart doesn’t fix it auto-magically, you can quickly check for an update on the TV before moving on to attempt the next step.
Typically the TV will have been connected to WiFi and updated itself automatically, but if there’s an update ready, install it and try again.
Reset and Re-Pair the Remote
If the above methods don’t work, you may need to reset and re-pair the remote. Here are the steps to do this:
- Remove the batteries from the remote.
- Wait for at least 2-3 minutes.
- Put the batteries back in the remote.
- Press and hold the “Pairing” button on the back of the remote for at least 20 seconds.
- Release the button and wait for the remote to pair with the TV.
If your Insignia Fire TV remote still isn’t working after trying these methods, then you’re in a bit of a pickle. We’ll look at a couple other things this could be, but you should start getting comfortable with the idea that the remote is probably dead or busted in a way that means you’re going to need a replacement.
A Note on Placement of the TV
For those who may not be familiar with the difference between IR and RF remotes, IR stands for infrared and uses light waves to transmit signals between the remote and the TV. RF, on the other hand, stands for radio frequency and uses radio waves to transmit signals.
Generally, Fire TV remotes use RF signals to navigate the Fire TV operating system, but the variant of the remote with the Fire TV’s has an IR blaster. This means you could block your IR blaster and the remote will appear to only be half broken, because some commands will still work.
The IR blaster is used for channel up/down, power, and volume, so if the IR receiver is blocked due to TV placement, you may have a remote that seems to only partially work. This is because the RF signals can still reach the TV, but the IR signals cannot. If you imagine a TV on a mantle over a fireplace, it’s easy to understand how the angles could block the IR receiver, which is typically at the base of the TV.
To ensure that your Insignia Fire TV remote is working properly, make sure that the IR receiver on your TV is not blocked by any objects or furniture. Additionally, try to position your TV and remote in a way that allows for a clear line of sight between the two.
Pro-Tip: The Insignia (and other) Fire TV remotes are different than the Fire TV stick or box remotes. They aren’t interchangeable, so if you get a replacement, you can’t just get a simple Fire TV remote.
Other Control Options
So, if you can’t get the remote to work, we’re at a new point: you need to figure out how you’re going to control your TV, at least until that replacement arrives. Luckily, the first option here can get you back up and running nearly instantly!
Using the Fire TV Remote App
The Amazon Fire TV app is a great option for replacing your remote, or, if we’re being honest, for if you’re just feeling especially lazy and don’t want to get up to go find the remote! It’s a very simple, stripped-down app that gives you all the buttons you’ll need to manage video content, adjust the settings on your FireTV, and even use the phone’s microphone to ask Alexa questions, tell it to search for shows for you, etc.
With just a swipe, you can control your Fire TV Stick from your phone’s app, meaning you don’t need to get a replacement if you use yours. So, on your smartphone or tablet, just navigate to the app on the Android or iOS app stores and install it. Once you have it installed, log in and make sure your phone is on the same WiFi as the Fire TV, then you’ll be able to control it.
One thing the app can’t do is act as a remote for playing games. Alas, if you want to play games on your Fire TV Stick, you’ll have to get a dedicated video game remote controller for it. The good news here is that most modern controllers are compatible.
We have a longe article looking at controlling your Fire TV without a remote if you’d like to read more.
Upgrading To a Universal Remote
There’s also the classic route of getting a universal remote control. Universal remotes are the original brute-force option of synchronizing all your devices to one remote, but how do you know if a given remote works with the Fire TV Stick? The good news here is that compatibility is going to be listed on the product description, so you shouldn’t have to do too much digging to figure out an option that will work for you.
Specifically, we recommend the Phillips 6-Device Universal Remote (on Amazon) for it’s low cost and broad compatibility. You can find other remotes for a little less, but they typically only control 3 devices, and for a real home theater enthusiast you’re just going to want more than that.
Do yourself a favor and get one remote that can control your Fire TV, your Audio system, your Soundbar, and any other set-top boxes you have plugged in. If you go with our pick, be sure to see our article on Phillips Universal Remote Codes.
Last Option: Reset The Fire TV Itself
If all else fails, resetting the Fire TV itself (as opposed to just the remote) to its factory default settings can be a last resort. This will erase all of your data and settings, so be prepared for some setup time on the other side.
- Go ahead and unplug any HDMI devices or Storage you have connected to the TV (this isn’t a typical reset step, but Amazon does specifically call it out on their site).
- Press and hold the “Back” button and the “Right” directional button (or the right side of the navigation “circle”) on the Fire TV remote for about 10 seconds until the reset screen appears.
- Select “Reset” and confirm by selecting “Yes.”
- Wait for the Fire TV to reset to its factory default settings. This may take a few minutes.
If you want more on this, check out our guide on resetting a Fire TV stick without a remote. We address the Stick model in this article, but it applies to Fire TVs as well.
Final Thoughts and Tips
To ensure optimal performance, we recommend that you regularly clean the remote and the TV sensor. This will help prevent any dirt or debris from blocking the signal. Additionally, it is always a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand in case the current ones run out. It may sound silly to clean your remote, but if you have kids or you’ve recently gotten your remote wet ot spilled something on it, you won’t be surprised to find a little housekeeping is in order.
If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and your remote still does not work, you may want to consider purchasing a new one. There are many options available on Amazon, such as the stock Insignia Fire TV Remote (on Amazon) (but like we said, we favor a universal option instead).