How to Fix a TV That Turns on by Itself

There are some simple solutions to this common problem

In the middle of the night, there's nothing more startling than hearing the familiar sound of your TV. Somehow, it has powered itself back on, leaving you confused and frustrated. You may be surprised to hear that a TV turning on by itself is a common problem with some simple resolutions.

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 typically broken. A simple, easily fixed problem is usually the culprit. There might be a stuck power button on your remote, or the remote's batteries may be running low. An internal timer might accidentally be set to turn on the TV, or a connected device, such as a router, network device, or USB wireless LAN adaptor, might be causing a problem. Additionally, an internal HDMI or CEC setting could be turning on your TV.

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

How to Fix a TV That Turns 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 your remote. Low battery power can cause random signals to send to your TV, sometimes turning it on. If you have to press buttons more than once on your 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 timers in the Settings section of your remote.

    Locate the timer on your Samsung Smart TV with your 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 your remote, then select Settings > Preferences > Clock/Timers > Timer > Off.

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

  4. Check any connected devices or cords for malfunction. Unplug one device from your TV at a time and leave overnight. Continue until your 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 your TV. During service provider updates, TVs can turn back on to apply the newly updated software.

    You can also disable HDMI CEC on your Samsung TV or your 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 your 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, while all other Sony TV models use a specific button sequence on the remote.

    Resetting your TV to factory settings will remove all of your custom settings from memory. To remember specific settings, make notes 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.