What to Do When Your Fire Stick Remote Is Not Working

Two Fire Stick remotes and a Fire Stick.

The Fire Stick and other Fire TV devices use remotes that are a little different from most of the other remotes around your house. Since these remotes are different from the ones you're probably used to, figuring out why your Fire Stick remote suddenly stopped working can be difficult.

What Causes a Fire Stick Remote to Stop Working?

There are a lot of things that can cause a Fire Stick remote to stop working, or prevent one from ever working in the first place. The most common issues include problems with the batteries, obstructions that block the signal from the remote, and interference from other electronics.

Here are the most common reasons for a Fire Stick remote to stop working:

  • Batteries: The most common reason that Fire Stick remotes stop working is battery problems. Improperly inserted batteries, low battery charge, and other related issues can all cause a Fire Stick remote to stop working.
  • Pairing: If your remote isn't paired with your Fire Stick, it won't work. Replacement remotes always need to be paired before you use them.
  • Distance: Fire Stick remotes use Bluetooth, not infrared, so they have a theoretical range of about 30 feet. The actual range is typically lower.
  • Obstructions: You don't need a direct line of sight between your Fire Stick and remote, but obstructions can drastically reduce the range.
  • Interference: Devices that can interfere with Bluetooth connections can prevent your remote from working correctly.
  • Compatibility: If you've purchased a replacement remote for your Fire Stick, make sure they're compatible.
  • Damage: External damage, like water damage, and internal faults due to failed components can cause your Fire Stick remote to stop working.

Fire Stick Remote Battery Problems

The most common reasons that Fire Stick remotes stop working all have to do with the batteries. The main issue is that Fire Stick remotes use Bluetooth instead of infrared, and the Bluetooth connection can become erratic when the batteries get low.

Fire Stick and Fire TV remotes are fairly power hungry in comparison to other remotes. If you use your Fire TV device a lot, you can expect to go through batteries at a faster rate than you might expect. So even if you replaced your batteries recently, it's still worth checking them.

Here's how to rule out the batteries as a problem when your Fire Stick remote stops working:

  1. Remove the batteries from your Fire Stick remote.

    A photograph of the batteries in a Fire Stick remote.
  2. Pay attention to how the batteries were installed, and make sure they weren't backwards. If they were backwards, reinstall them and try the remote again.

    A photograph of the battery compartment of a Fire Stick remote showing how to install the batteries.

    Look inside the battery compartment, and you will see a diagram that shows which direction to install the batteries.

  3. Install new batteries.

    A photograph of new batteries in a Fire Stick remote.

    Since your Fire Stick remote uses Bluetooth instead of infrared, batteries that work fine in your TV remote may not work when swapped into your Fire Stick remote. Use brand new batteries if possible.

  4. If the remote still doesn't work, try different batteries.

    A screenshot of rechargeable and alkaline batteries with a Fire TV remote.

    Rechargeable batteries only provide 1.2V, compared to 1.5V from alkaline batteries. If you have trouble with rechargeables, try fresh alkaline batteries.

  5. If the remote still doesn't work, the batteries probably aren't your problem.

Pairing a Fire Stick Remote

When you buy a new Fire Stick or Fire TV device that comes with a remote, the remote should already be paired. That means when you first set up your Fire Stick, or Fire TV device, it should already recognize inputs from the remote without you having to do anything special.

In some cases, you may find that the Fire Stick and remote weren't paired, or that your Fire Stick and remote became unpaired over time due to a glitch. When that happens, repairing the remote usually takes care of the problem.

When you buy a replacement remote, you always have to pair it before you can use it.

Here's how to pair a Fire Stick remote:

  1. Plug in your Fire Stick and make sure that it's on.

  2. Wait for the Fire TV to boot up.

  3. Hold your remote near your Fire Stick.

    A Fire Stick and Fire Stick remote in close proximity.
  4. Press and hold the Home button on your Fire TV remote.

    Fire Stick remote Home button
  5. Continue holding the Home button for at least 10 seconds.

  6. Release the Home button, and see if the remote works.

  7. If the remote still doesn't work, try holding down the Home button again. It sometimes takes several attempts for this process to work.

Distance and Obstruction Problems With Fire TV Remotes

Fire Stick and Fire TV remotes use Bluetooth instead of infrared, so you don't need a direct line of sight between the remote and your device. You don't even need to point the remote at your device, because the orientation of the remote has nothing to do with the strength of the Bluetooth signal.

Bluetooth devices like the Fire Stick remote have a theoretical range of about 30 feet, but a lot of things can reduce that range. Any obstructions between the remote and the Fire Stick or Fire TV can drastically reduce the range of the remote.

Here's how to check whether distance or obstructions are your problem:

  1. Move your remote physically closer to your Fire Stick.

  2. Remove any obstructions between your remote and your Fire Stick.

  3. If the remote only works when you hold your remote behind your TV, or when you are very close to your TV, use the Fire Stick extension dongle to reposition the device.

    You may need a longer extension to move the Fire Stick out from behind the TV if the TV is mounted in a recess or an entertainment cabinet.

  4. If you have your Fire TV device placed inside an entertainment cabinet, or a similar enclosure, remove it from the enclosure and see if your remote works.

Fire Stick Remotes and Interference

Bluetooth has some benefits over infrared, like how not having a line of sight between the remote and the Fire Stick only reduces the range instead of preventing the remote from working at all. However, Bluetooth remotes are susceptible to interference that infrared remotes aren't.

Check to see if you have any of the following devices anywhere near your Fire Stick:

  • Microwave ovens
  • Wireless speakers
  • Unshielded coaxial cables
  • Wireless phones
  • Wireless speakers
  • Other wireless devices

If you have any wireless devices, or anything else that could cause Bluetooth interference, in the vicinity of your Fire Stick, try moving them. If that isn't an option, try shutting them down and unplugging them one at a time to see if that allows your Fire Stick remote to work. That should allow you to identify the source of the interference and deal with it accordingly.

Fire Stick Remote Compatibility

If your problem started when you purchased a replacement Fire Stick remote, and you were unable to successfully pair it, then you may have a compatibility issue. There are several generations of Fire Sticks, other Fire TV devices, and Fire TV remotes, and they don't all work together.

Amazon maintains a list of Fire TV remotes and devices, which you can use to make sure that your remote and device are even capable of working together.

Try Using the Fire TV Phone App

If you've exhausted all of your options, then your Fire TV remote may have malfunctioned, or it may have been damaged. The best option, in that case, is to buy a replacement remote. In the meantime, you can actually use your Android or iPhone as a remote for your Fire Stick or Fire TV device.

The Fire TV remote app running on an Android phone.

To control your Fire TV device with a phone, you need to install the Fire TV remote app. Here's where to get it:

Here's how to get it working with your Fire Stick or Fire TV device:

  1. Plug your Fire Stick or Fire TV device in and wait for it to boot up.

  2. Download and install the Fire TV remote app, and launch it.

  3. Sign into your Amazon account in the Fire TV remote app.

  4. Select your Fire TV device from the list of devices in the app.

  5. Wait for a code to appear on your television, and enter it in the app.

  6. That's it, your phone will now function as a Fire TV remote.