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Vizio Soundbar Remote Not Working: Causes and Solutions


You just put on your favorite TV show, and for some reason, you can’t raise or lower the volume using your Vizio soundbar remote. You check the soundbar and TV components, and everything seems to be working just fine. 

In that case, what could be happening with your remote? 

There are several reasons why your Vizio soundbar remote may not be working. 

It could be that your batteries are drained, or the soundbar sensor has been blocked. It may even be that your TV is experiencing some sort of malfunction. 

Whatever the case, this guide will walk you through some of the most common causes of Vizio remotes not working. We include a solution for each issue listed, so carefully read through each section for answers. 

1. Vizio Soundbar Remote Batteries Are Drained

The Vizio soundbar remote can stop working if the batteries are empty or nearly empty. You can temporarily replace the batteries with some from a different device. Yet, you still need to buy a replacement from a store ASAP.

Unlike most remotes, the Vizio soundbar batteries don’t need AA or AAA batteries. Instead, it uses a button battery, usually the CR2025 

a CR2025 button lithium battery

If you’re unfamiliar with button batteries, they look exactly how their name describes them: like buttons. 

To check what type your Vizio soundbar remote uses, open up the back and inspect the battery for its label. You can also consult the Vizio soundbar manual or call the customer support line for more details. 

WARNING: Button batteries may come in similar sizes; however, they might not possess the same qualities and power. Check your Vizio soundbar remote manual to determine the recommended battery type and avoid equipment damage. 

2. Vizio Soundbar Sensor Is Blocked

A blocked sensor may also be why you can’t control the device’s volume using your remote. 

The included Vizio soundbar remote is normally IR-powered (infrared-powered). Infrared signals from the remote need a clear pathway to connect to the sensor on the soundbar or TV. 

Unfortunately, dirt, dust, and grime can interrupt these signals. The result: Your Vizio remote won’t connect to the soundbar. 

To fix this issue, you need to clean both the sensor on your remote and on the soundbar. Get a cleaning wipe  and swipe it across your soundbar sensor and your remote.

close up on disinfecting wipe

Objects like flower vases on coffee tables and figurines on TV stands can also prevent the IR signals sent by your remote from reaching your TV or soundbar. 

Remove these items from your remote’s field of vision. Removing obstructions gives IR signals a clear path to travel to the receiver. 

If the issue persists, you can try the next solution. 

3. Electronics Are Interfering With Your Vizio Soundbar Remote

The Vizio soundbar remote uses infrared signals to send messages to the TV and soundbar sensors. 

If you have home appliances that emit radiation (microwave ovens, smart meters, cellphones, computers, etc.) near your TV area, it can interfere with the IR signals coming from your remote.

The signal interference may be the reason why your remote is “not working.” Remove other appliances and gadgets from around your TV and soundbar to fix the issue. 

a TV and soundbar in living room

If the issue continues, there are other things you can try. 

4. Vizio Soundbar Remote Has Power Residue

Residual power is energy stored in gadget powerlines that linger long after the gadget has been turned off. Power residue on your TV, soundbar, and remote can prevent it from translating IR signals correctly. 

Power cycling all three devices can drain residual power and allow your devices to start fresh. 

How to Power Cycle the Vizio Remote

VIZIO M-Series 5.1.2 Premium Sound Bar
Click image for more info

Step 1: Remove batteries from the remote. 

Step 2: Press the power button for five seconds on the remote and then release. This action should remove all residual power from the device.

Step 3: Make sure that none of the remote buttons are stuck by pressing them each once. If you notice any buttons stuck in place, use your finger to loosen them from their stuck position. 

If the button is permanently damaged, it may be time to get a new Vizio remote. 

Step 4: After inspecting all the buttons, you may now reinsert the batteries into the remote. Test it out on your soundbar and see if that fixed the issue. 

How to Power Cycle the TV

TVs can also become unresponsive if they have residual energy stuck inside. To power cycle  your TV, perform the following steps: 

Step 1: Unplug the TV from its power source. 

Step 2: Press the TV power button for 30 seconds to drain excess energy from the device. 

Step 3: Release the button and wait another minute or two before proceeding to the next step. 

Step 4: Plug the TV back into its power source and turn it on. Test it out with your Vizio soundbar and remote to see if this fixes the issue. 

How to Power Cycle the Soundbar

VIZIO M-Series 5.1 Premium Sound Bar
Click image for more info

To power cycle the soundbar, perform the following steps: 

Step 1: Disconnect the soundbar from its power source. 

Step 2: Press and hold the power button for about 30 seconds; then release. 

Step 3: Plug the soundbar back into its power source, test it out with your TV and its remote. 

If the issue continues, it might be due to a broken Vizio soundbar remote. 

5. Vizio Soundbar Remote Is Broken

If none of the four solutions we shared above work for you, it may mean that your Vizio soundbar remote has reached the end of its life.

The Vizio soundbar remote can break if dropped or exposed to liquid. It can also break due to normal wear and tear. 

Regardless of the reason, replacing it with a new remote is your only option at this point. 

If your Vizio remote is less than 12 months old, your warranty policy should still be active. You can contact their customer support line for assistance in finding a replacement or perhaps getting a repair. 

If your Vizio soundbar is more than a year old, your warranty has probably expired. Not to worry; you can buy Vizio remote replacements in various retail stores and A/V shops. 

Last update on 2022-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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