My Dish Remote is Not Working: Here’s How I Fixed It

My Dish Remote is Not Working: Here’s How I Fixed It

Recently, I upgraded my Dish receiver to Hopper 3 and thought to catch up on some News headlines on it.

When I tried to switch to the Fox News channel, I realized that the receiver wasn’t responding to my Dish remote. I pressed various buttons on the remote but only the volume buttons were working properly. 

I switched to the solution articles and forums online to confirm if other people may have faced a similar issue with their Dish Remotes. After going through discussion threads for over an hour, I figured that a lot of folks had to replace their remote to fix the issues but I had recently bought this one with my receiver. 

I finally got my Dish remote running properly in no time without replacing it and also found the best way to program the remote to any device. Here’s how:

If Dish Remote is not working, set it to the correct function mode by pressing the mode key to control your TV or Receiver. 

Use the Correct Function Mode

Most Dish remotes allow you to control several devices including the TV, AUX, and set-top box with a single remote control. These universal remotes are equipped with function mode keys on the side of the remote labeled with each input. 

If the mode is set on a different device, while you try to control the TV, it won’t work or respond to your commands. Press the TV button on the side of the remote to start controlling it perfectly. 

If it still doesn’t respond, try pressing the TV button multiple times. In case you’re trying to use a different device, use the specific function mode key and repeat the process. 

Replace Dish Remote Batteries 

The most common reason why Dish Remote won’t respond after you press any key is due to the discharged set of batteries. Before trying any other troubleshooting method, make sure that the batteries are working and providing enough power to the Remote. 

It’s also possible that the batteries may not be inserted properly. Check if the + side of the battery is connected to the +  slot of the Dish remote and vice versa. If the batteries are correctly inserted but the remote is still not working, try replacing both batteries with new ones. Try using the remote again and check if it’s working now. 

Program the Dish Remote

Though you may have paired your receiver or TV with the remote, it’s possible that it may have lost the pairing. This will prevent the remote from working properly with the receiver, TV, or any other device. 

While most Dish Remotes can pair automatically with your TV but in case yours requires a code, you can refer to the remote’s user manual. 

Guide to program Dish Remote to your Receiver

For 40.0, 50.0, 52.0, 54.0 Dish Remote series:

  • Find and press the System Info button on the front panel of your receiver
  • On the front or side of your remote based on the model, press the SAT button
  • Now press the Cancel or Back button located on the front of your remote 

For other Dish Remotes:

  • Press the System Info button on the front panel of your receiver.
  • Press the SAT button on the remote
  • Now, press Record
  • Finally, exit the system info page by selecting Done 

Guide to program Dish Remote to your TV or other devices

For Hopper, Joey, or Wolley:

  • Press the Menu button once or the Home button twice based on your remote model
  • Go to Settings from the menu
  • Navigate to Remote Control
  • Choose your desired device from the list (TV in this case)
  • Now select the pairing wizard
  • Choose your TV brand and click on Next
  • The receiver will begin pairing codes to test your remote
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and check if the remote is working properly
  • If it is, then select Finished to exit the pairing wizard 

For ViP Receivers:

  • With the remote pointing directly at the desired device to be programmed, press and hold the Mode button on your remote for that specific device (TV in this case)
  • Wait till all the mode buttons light up
  • Enter the 3-digit remote control code, which can be searched from the Official Dish Website based on your remote model
  • Now press the # button, the mode button you selected should flash 3 times now
  • Finally, press the Power button on your Dish remote, if the remote was successfully programmed, the selected device should turn off

Important Note: In case you’re programming the remote in AUX mode, you’ll need to press a specific number based on the device before entering the 3-digit code:

  • 0 for a TV (if code is 500, enter 0500)
  • 1 for a DVD player or VCR (if code is 617, enter code 1617)
  • 2 for any other device (if code is 639, enter code 2639

Once you’ve programmed your Dish remote to the desired device, it should start working properly. 

Reset Your Dish Receiver 

If reprogramming the remote didn’t help fix your issue, try resetting your Dish receiver. 

Follow these instructions:

  • Unplug the power cord of your Dish receiver (it’s typically the one with a red tag attached to it)
  • Wait for about 10-30 seconds
  • Now plug the power cord back in and try using the Dish remote again 

Get in Touch With Dish Support

If none of the above fixes got your remote working again, prefer getting in touch with Dish Support for further assistance. Their technical experts would provide you with the best possible solution to troubleshoot your remote based on your problem description.

  • Ensure that you mention your Receiver model, TV model, and manufacturer along with the Remote series to help them provide a specific solution. 

Get the Dish Control At Your Fingertips

Dish Remotes are equipped with a lot of useful functions and they can be used as a universal remote control. You can easily program the Dish remote to work with multiple devices including the TV, AUX, receiver, etc. 

However, it’s possible that your Dish remote may not work at all or only respond when specific keys are pressed. In that case, the best option is to use the Mode Key available on the side of your Dish remote to set it on the device you want to control. 

Using a fresh set of batteries can also help if the Remote is not working at all. 

Alternatively, if your Dish remote has unpaired from the device you’re trying to control, or if you’ve upgraded your receiver/TV, prefer reprogramming it to that specific device. 

If the volume button on your Dish remote isn’t working, program it to your TV or any other device. 

If only the Power and Volume buttons are working while none of the other buttons are responding, program the Remote to your Dish Receiver. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What to do when the Dish remote is not working?

There are several steps you can take to troubleshoot a Dish TV remote that is not working, such as replacing the batteries, checking for obstructions, and resetting the remote. Make sure that the Dish remote is set to the correct mode based on the device you’re trying to control. Check the side of your remote for function mode keys. If these steps do not resolve the issue, try contacting Dish customer support for further assistance.

How do I reset my Dish remote control?

To reset a Dish remote control, remove the batteries, press and hold the power button for 15 seconds, and then reinsert the batteries. This should reset the remote and allow you to pair it with your receiver. Follow the proper steps mentioned in the remote manual to program it with your receiver or TV. 

Can Dish Remotes be used as a universal remote control?

Most Dish remotes can be used as a universal remote control including the 40.0, 50.0, 52.0, and 54.0 series. However, you need to program it properly with the device you want to control. Additionally, make sure that the mode key is set to the correct device after the programming is complete to avoid any control issues with the remote. Based on your Dish receiver and remote model, the steps to program the remote with a specific device may vary. 

What are the different types of Dish Receivers? 

There are several types of receivers offered by Dish with different features and functionality. These include the Hopper, Joey, and Wolley series. Additionally, there are other DVR and Non-DVR ViP receivers available. 

How to reset a Dish Receiver?

Resetting your Dish receiver can help fix some technical glitches or bugs that may cause issues with the remote functionality when you program it with your receiver. To reset your receiver, simply unplug the power cord that usually has a red tag attached to it. Wait for at least 10-30 seconds to pass. 

Meanwhile, you can also reset your remote by taking out the batteries and holding the power button for at least 15 seconds. Now plug the receiver back in and turn it on. Insert both batteries in the remote firmly and try using it to control the receiver. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.

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