How to Fix a TV That Turns On by Itself

There are some simple solutions to this common problem

There's nothing more startling than hearing the familiar sound of your TV in the middle of the night. Somehow, it powered itself back on, leaving you confused and frustrated. A TV turning on by itself is a common problem with some simple resolutions. Here are some reasons why your TV turns itself on and what you can do to prevent it.

This guide applies to all types and brands of TVs, especially those carried by Vizio, Samsung, and Sony.

Reasons Why Your TV Might Be Turning Itself On

A TV that turns itself on or off isn't necessarily broken. A simple, easily fixed problem is usually the culprit. There might be a stuck power button on the remote, or the remote's batteries are running low. An internal timer might accidentally be set to turn on the TV. A connected device, such as a router, network device, or USB wireless LAN adaptor, might be the cause of the problem. Additionally, an internal HDMI or CEC setting could turn on a TV.

Most of the time, a TV that turns itself on or off suffers from one of these generic fixes, regardless of the type or brand.

How to Fix a TV That Turns Itself On

Follow the steps below to diagnose and fix a television set that's mysteriously turning itself on:

  1. Check to ensure the remote's power button isn't stuck. If it is, take the remote apart to perform a good, solid cleaning.

  2. Check the batteries in the remote. Low battery power can cause random signals to be sent to a TV, sometimes turning it on. If you have to press buttons more than once on the remote, the batteries might be low. Change the batteries to see if this solves the issue.

  3. Look for an internal timer. For most TVs, it's easy to find one in the Settings section of the remote. Locate the timer on your Samsung Smart TV with the remote. Sony Android TVs are also known to turn on by themselves due to the On Timer. For all other models of Sony TVs, press the Home button on the remote, then select Settings > Preferences > Clock/Timers > Timer > Off.

    Vizio TVs come standard with a Sleep Timer for automatically turning a TV off instead of on.

  4. Check any connected devices or cords for malfunction. Unplug one device from the TV at a time and leave overnight. Continue until the TV stops turning on by itself. Once you find the culprit, you may need to purchase a new cord or device, depending on your needs.

  5. Check for an internal CEC or HDMI setting on the TV. During service provider updates, TVs can turn back on to apply the newly updated software. You can also disable HDMI CEC on a Samsung TV or Vizio TV, or check Bravia Sync on Sony Android TVs, which is known to cause the TV to turn on or off when an HDMI device is turned on or off.

  6. If nothing works, reset the TV back to its original settings. This process is different for all TV brands, but both Samsung and Vizio have easy-to-follow reset instructions. Sony Android TVs are reset through the Settings menu, and all other Sony TV models use a specific button sequence on the remote.

    Resetting a TV to factory settings removes custom settings from memory. Make notes of specific settings so you can update your TV after the reset.

  7. If a hard reset doesn't work, reach out to customer support. You can find the support numbers online for your specific TV brand. For Samsung, either call 1-800-726-7864 or chat with support online. For Vizio, call 1-855-833-3221 or chat with an agent online. To speak with someone from Sony, call 1-800-538-7550.

It could time to ditch your TV and finally open the pocketbook for a new one. If that's the case, LG and Samsung have some good options.

  • How do I turn on a Roku TV without a remote?

    Turn on your Roku TV manually by pressing the power button on the middle underside, front-left underside, or back of your TV. To control the Roku TV further, download the Roku app and control the TV from your smartphone.

  • How do I turn on Wi-Fi on an LG TV?

    Press your remote's Home button and navigate to Settings on the LG TV screen. Select Network > Wi-Fi Connection, and select your wireless network. Enter your password to finish enabling Wi-Fi on the LG TV.

  • How do I turn on an Apple TV?

    To turn on an Apple TV after it's been in sleep mode, press any button on the Siri Remote. The Apple TV will awaken, as will any other TVs you're using with the Siri Remote.

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