How to Fix It When Your TV Turns on by Itself

No, your house isn't haunted

Photo of TV turned on hanging on wall in empty room.

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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 questioning why. If your TV turns on by itself, you could be surprised to know that this is a common issue and has 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. In fact, some of the causes are simple, often overlooked when frantically searching for a solution. Some of the most common causes for both smart TVs and non-smart TVs include:

  • A stuck power button on your remote
  • Low batteries in your remote
  • An internal timer is accidentally set to turn the TV on
  • A connected device such as a router, network device or USB wireless LAN adaptor is causing a problem with the TV
  • An internal HDMI or CEC setting is turning your TV on

There are many different versions of TVs, depending on the type, brand, etc. 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 power button isn't stuck or sticking on your remote. If it is, you can take the remote apart to perform a good, solid cleaning.

  2. Check the batteries in your remote. Low battery in your remote can cause random signals to be sent to your TV, often resulting in turning it on. If you have to hit buttons more than once on your remote, it could be getting low. Change the batteries in your remote to see if this solves the issue.

  3. Look for an internal timer. For most TVs, it's easy to find the timers in the Settings section of your remote.

    Locate the timer on your Samsung Smart TV by simply using 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, on 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. Reset TV back to factory settings. If you find that nothing works, you can attempt to reset your TV back to its original settings. Again, 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. Reach out to customer support. If a hard reset doesn't work, it's time to reach out to customer support. You can find the necessary support numbers online for your specific TV brand. For Samsung, either call 1-800-726-7864 or chat with support online. For Vizio, call 855-833-3221 or chat with an agent online. To speak with someone from Sony, call 1-800-345-SONY.