You’ve settled into your favorite couch corner with a bowl of popcorn, ready to binge-watch your new obsession. But then you notice your Google TV remote not working! This annoying problem has many potential solutions, and this guide explains them concisely so that you can get back to Netflix in no time.
Also helpful: before you host your next tailgating event and stream with your Google TV, check out these best outdoor televisions.
Basic Troubleshooting Checks
Before we explain how to troubleshoot more difficult-to-solve scenarios involving your Google TV or Chromecast remote not working, let’s go over the most basic (but often overlooked) checks to avoid wasting time on complex fixes:
- Battery capacity: your Google TV remote is designed to run on two AAA 1.5 V batteries. When the battery level dips below a certain point, functionality can become sporadic. To check the battery capacity, either use a multimeter or replace the current batteries with fresh ones to see if that solves the issue.
- Battery fit: ensure that the batteries are properly seated in their compartment and that the polarity is correct. The “+” and “-” signs on the batteries should align with the corresponding symbols in the battery compartment. If they’re misaligned, not snug, or inserted with incorrect polarity, your remote won’t function as it should.
- Line of sight: the Google TV remote contains an IR blaster, allowing it to control some functions of your TV, like power and volume. For the IR blaster to work effectively, it needs a clear line of sight to both the Google TV or Chromecast device and your TV’s IR sensor.
- Range limit: the Google TV remote communicates with the Chromecast device via Bluetooth, which has a limited range: usually up to 30 feet in open space. If you’re experiencing issues, make sure you’re within this range. Obstacles like walls can also impact Bluetooth connectivity.
- Physical damage: inspect the remote for any obvious signs of damage, like cracked casing or loose buttons. If you spot any, you may need to consider getting a replacement.
If these basic steps don’t solve the issue, and your Chromecast remote is still not working, it’s time to dig deeper. Keep reading as we explore specific scenarios and their respective solutions. Also, you may want to check whether you set up a VPN on your Google TV that is causing issues.
Scenario 1: Remote Not Working Despite New Batteries
Swapped out the batteries and still staring at a non-responsive remote? Frustrating, right? Fortunately, your Chromecast remote features an unmarked LED below the Power and Input buttons, and it can tell you a lot about what’s going on.
If the LED flashes when you replace the batteries, that’s a good sign – your remote isn’t completely dead. If it doesn’t flash, it’s a bit more complicated. Here are the steps you should follow:
Take out both batteries. While keeping an eye on that LED, pop them back in. No flash? Move to the next step.
Remove and reinsert the battery closest to the volume button. Watch for the LED to flash twice. Still nothing? You need to play the waiting game.
Take out the batteries, and give it five minutes for a coffee break. Replace the batteries and check for the LED flash.
If you’ve seen the LED flash, your remote isn’t dead, but you may still need to reset it and pair it with your Chromecast device. To do that, press and hold the Back and Home buttons for three seconds.
Scenario 2: Volume Control Not Working
Everything else on your Google TV remote is okay, but the volume buttons have decided to stop working? Don’t despair! Your Chromecast remote’s volume control buttons can be set up to manage different devices, such as your TV, soundbar, or receiver, so it’s possible that they need a bit of reconfiguration:
Turn on your Chromecast, go to the “Settings” menu, and navigate to “Remotes & Accessories -> Set up remote buttons.”
Choose “Volume control” under “Google TV remote buttons.”
Make sure the correct device is selected. If the device isn’t listed, go back to the previous screen and add it.
Test whether the volume control buttons work.
Tip: Looking to enhance your Google TV listening experience? Don’t miss our guide comparing soundbars and speakers. It’ll help you make the right choice for your setup.
Scenario 3: Solid White Light on Remote
Have you picked up your Google TV remote and noticed a solid white light that won’t go away? A solid white light generally indicates one of two things: either the microphone is on, or a firmware update is being applied. Follow these steps to address both potential causes:
Wait at least 15 minutes before doing anything to avoid interrupting a firmware update in progress. If the LED is still on, proceed to the next step.
Press the Google Assistant button once to deactivate the microphone. No change? Then it’s time to factory reset your Chromecast voice remote, so move on to the next step.
Remove the batteries from the remote, press and hold the Home button, and while still holding it, reinsert the batteries.
Note: always make sure your device’s firmware is up to date. Outdated firmware can contribute to your Google TV remote not working properly.
Scenario 4: Pulsing Light on Remote
Usually, the LED on your Google TV remote will pulse slowly when the remote is ready to pair with your Chromecast device. To pair it, you must press and hold the Back and Home buttons on your Google TV remote for about three seconds.
If pairing fails after multiple attempts, consider rebooting your Chromecast device. A fresh start can sometimes clear any bugs or issues causing the pairing to fail. Check out our detailed instructions on how to reset your Chromecast for more information.
Scenario 5: Mobile Remote Isn’t Working
The Google Home app makes it possible to control Google TV right from your smartphone, offering a handy alternative to the traditional remote. But what if this handy mobile solution isn’t working? You need to follow these troubleshooting steps:
Ensure your smartphone and Google TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
Update the Google Home App. Sometimes outdated app versions can cause functional issues.
Quit the app altogether, then relaunch it and try again.
Restart both your smartphone and your Chromecast device.
Open the Chromecast device settings in the Google Home app, and select the “Remove device” option. Add the Chromecast device to the app again, and tap the “Remote” button to initiate the pairing process.
Good to Know: if you’re unsure what the difference is between Google TV and Android TV, check out this in-depth Android TV vs. Google TV comparison.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy a new Google TV remote?
You can buy a new Google TV remote from the official Google Store.
Can I use third-party remotes with Google TV?
Yes, you can use third-party remotes with Google TV. Options include the Shield remote, the Logitech Harmony remote, and even universal remotes with Bluetooth connectivity.
How do I know if my Google TV remote needs a firmware update?
Firmware updates for the Google TV remote are downloaded automatically when the remote is connected to Wi-Fi.
Images and screencaps by David Morelo.
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