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TV Changing Channels & Volume by Itself: Causes & Solutions

TV Changing Channels & Volume by Itself: Causes & Solutions

Does your TV randomly switch channels or even lower and raise the volume by itself?

I have experienced this a couple of times with my Toshiba 35″ tube TV. My TV would suddenly go a channel down and not back up until I pressed the up button on my remote.

It isn’t something to fret about, though, just a little glitch that can easily be fixed.

I will take you through some of the possible causes and the solutions you can try to get your TV to stop misbehaving.

Possible Reasons

Below are some possible causes why your TV is switching channels and volume by itself.

1. Faulty Remote Control

a girl uses remote control to adjust the sound setting of her TV

The first culprit of most TVs changing channels and volume by themselves is a faulty remote control.

What usually happens is that when the remote is defective, it sends unwanted signals, which the TV then receives and interprets as a command.

2. Stuck Buttons

If you recently spilled soda on your remote (accidentally, of course), check that the volume and channel buttons are not sticky.

Sticky buttons cause random switching of channels or increase/decrease of volume. They send out unintended commands to the TV.

If there are no sticky keys on the remote control, check the channel or volume buttons on the TV. They could be stuck.

Other times the buttons are not stuck, but compressed air is trapped inside the buttons or the spaces between the buttons.

This trapped air presses the buttons from the inside causing the remote to change channels or tamper with the volume setting.

3. Dead Batteries

Batteries for remote

If your remote runs on low battery power, it could send out wrong signals because of a power fluctuation.

Therefore causing your TV’s volume to go up and down or the channels to randomly switch.

4. Malfunctioning Television

Just as a remote control could malfunction and send out errant signals, the TV too can malfunction and “pretend” to receive signals and act upon the command. Although, there are no signals that were sent out.

If you’ve troubleshot your remote and found it to be working perfectly well, consider getting the TV checked for any hardware or software malfunctions.

It will most probably need to be repaired by a professional because of the complexity of the TV’s internal system.

5. Interference From Nearby TVs

a man controls the TV with a remote

Another possible cause is interference from nearby TVs.

While unusual, your TV could be picking up remote commands from a neighbor or the next room. This happens if someone nearby has a similar TV model or uses a universal remote control.

So, for instance, if you have a Toshiba 35″ tube TV like mine and your immediate next-door neighbor has the same TV model, there is a chance that your TV will pick up commands from your neighbor’s remote control.

6. Interference From Wireless Infrared Devices Nearby

Interference from wireless infrared devices is rather rare, but it is possible.

When your TV is near any infrared devices like headphones, printers, intrusion detectors, modems, cordless microphones, etc., it picks up unwanted signals.

These unwanted signals are then interpreted as commands for channel or volume change.

Try moving either of these devices to another room and see if your TV will behave normally. If it does, then you know what the problem is.

7. Software Update Issues

update TV

This is uncommon, but sometimes software bugs cause problems like this. Fortunately, it can be fixed with a simple software update.

Possible Solutions

If you are experiencing this problem, you can do a few things to solve the glitch. First, ensure that no obstructions are blocking the signals from reaching your TV.

Next, ensure that all cables are securely plugged into both the TV and the wall outlet. If these two don’t seem to be the cause, then proceed with the solutions below.

1. Replace the Batteries

replace batteries in a remote

If the batteries are running low, try swapping them with a new pair of good-quality batteries that are compatible with your remote.

If the power fluctuation from low battery power was the cause, the problem should be resolved.

2. Clean the Remote Buttons to Fix Stuck Buttons

If you’ve had your remote for a while, chances are the circuit board and the buttons are greasy or have dirt build-up. Greasy buttons can cause the channel/volume buttons to get stuck.

If this is the case, you may need to clean up your remote to unstick the stuck button.

  • First, remove the batteries. Then disassemble the remote using a screwdriver. Remove the back and top cover using a plastic prying tool, so you don’t damage the housing. Carefully remove the keypad and the circuit board and set them aside.
  • Next, take a soft microfiber cloth and clean the cover to remove any dust.
  • Then, using a Q tip and rubbing alcohol , carefully clean the buttons and circuit board to remove dirt or grease.

Feel free to watch this video tutorial by Random Fixes to learn how to clean your remote control.

How to Fix & Clean Your Remote Control Buttons

3. Turn Off the TV Remote Control App

If you have the remote control app on your phone or tablet, turn it off. It may be the one changing channels and adjusting the volume.

4. Reposition the TV

man is moving his TV

You may need to reposition your TV if:

  • Your TV is picking up signals from other devices whose remote controls are compatible with your TV’s remote. This can be your DVD, Blu-ray player, gaming console, or even another TV in a different room.
  • Your TV is located close to the window where it is getting direct sunlight. This is because the TV’s IR is picking up unfiltered infrared signals.
  • Your neighbor owns a TV model similar to yours.
  • Your neighbor has a universal remote control that has compatible codes with your remote.

5. Buy a New Remote Control

a TV remote with blurred TV background

If you’ve tried everything possible to fix the remote and nothing seems to work, it may be time to get yourself a new remote control.

You can opt for the same remote control model from the TV manufacturer or a universal remote control. Be sure to note the TV’s model number when ordering a replacement remote.

If opting for a universal remote control, ensure it is compatible with your TV’s model. Feel free to watch this video to learn how to configure a universal remote.

How to set up a universal remote

6. Update Your TV’s Software

For software bugs, all you need to do is run a software update.

Depending on your TV, you can do it automatically or manually.

  • For manual updates, you’ll need to install the update via a flash drive and then run it.
  • For automatic updates, first, check if an update is available, then click on the update to run it.

7. Perform a Factory Reset

woman using remote control to adjust TV setting

If nothing else seems to resolve the problem, you may be left with no other option but to perform a TV reset.

But first, restart the TV by turning it off, unplugging the power cord, and leaving it off for at least 60 seconds before powering it on again to perform a reset.

To reset your TV:

  1. Go to Menu on the TV > Settings > System Information > Factory Defaults > Yes . If your TV has a pin code, enter it when prompted to proceed with the factory reset.
  2. Your TV will automatically power off for a few seconds.
  3. Unplug the power cord
  4. Plug in the power cord again and follow the instructions to complete the reset process.

Keep in mind that these steps may vary since different manufacturers give different ways of resetting their TVs. I would advise referring to the manual or checking the manufacturer’s website.

Also, remember that these will change the TV’s settings to their original out-of-the-box values.

You can check out this video to learn how to reset an Android TV.

How to perform a Forced Factory Reset on an Android TV

9. Contact Customer Support

If you aren’t sure what is causing your TV to switch channels or turn the volume up and down, I would recommend contacting customer support.

Most manufacturers will have their contact details on the website or the instructional manual. You can often reach the customer support team via chat, email, phone, or social pages. Some respond pretty fast on their socials.

female customer support operator

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