How to Program an RCA Universal Remote

Automatic and direct code programming options connect a TV or other devices

What to Know

  • Easiest: Use the auto-programming method to automatically search for compatibility.
  • Repeat the same process for programming the remote to your Blu-ray player and other compatible devices.
  • Alternative: The Direct Code Programming method uses codes found in the codebook included with your remote.

This article explains how to program your RCA Universal remote to work with your TV or other devices, allowing you to use one remote instead of multiple. Instructions apply to universal remotes made on or after 2016.


Be sure the remote has a working set of batteries before you start!

How to Use the Auto-Programming Method

Auto-programming is the easiest method for programming an RCA universal remote. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the TV or device you want to use with the universal remote.

  2. Press and release the TV button on the RCA Universal Remote. (The red light on the remote will begin to flash)

  3. Now simultaneously press and hold the Power and TV buttons on the RCA Universal Remote. The on/off button will be illuminated and then turn off. After a moment, the button will relight, it should remain on.

  4. Aim the RCA Universal Remote at the TV. Release both the on/off button and the TV button on the RCA Universal Remote simultaneously.

  5. Next, press and release the Play button on the RCA remote. The TV or component should turn off after about five seconds. If there is no response, continue to press the Play button until the TV or other device you are programming turns off.

  6. Now press the reverse button. If the TV or device does not turn back on, continue to hit the reverse button until it does.

  7. Press the stop button once the TV has turned back on, this will save the programming settings.

  8. Your RCA universal remote is now ready to use.

RCA Universal remote shown at an angle


If the auto programming method didn't work for you, move to the Direct Code Programming option.

How to Use Direct Code Programming

The auto-programming function is not always effective. Your RCA universal remote came with a codebook, which has thousands of codes from almost every TV manufacturer. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Read the TV device section of the codebook included with the RCA Universal Remote.


    The codebook included with the RCA Universal Remote has thousands of codes compatible with different TV's, Blu-ray Players, and Soundbars.

  2. Find your TV brand in the codebook.

  3. Circle the potential codes.


    RCA Universal Codes are numeric and vary in legth depending on the devices brand. For example an LG Television Universal Remote code looks like this. "11423"

  4. Hold down the TV button, the power light will become illuminated.

  5. Keep holding the TV button as you input the marked code using the numeric buttons on the RCA Universal Remote. An example code is 11423 for an LG Television.

  6. If the power light remains illuminated, you have entered the code correctly. If the light flashes four times, you’ll need to attempt another code.

  7. Once the proper code has been entered, release the TV button.

  8. Test the various functions, including volume, menu, etc.

There are some codes that will only control half of the remote. You’ll still need to test various codes until the remote functions correctly.

Where Is the Code Search Button on an RCA Universal Remote?

There are two code search buttons on the RCA Universal Remote. If you are doing the auto-programming method, the code search buttons will be the Play Button and Reverse Button.

How Do I Set up My Universal Remote to My TV?

You need to ensure that the RCA Universal Remote has batteries installed. Repeat the steps listed above to connect the RCA Universal Remote to your TV. There are two methods, the auto-programmed method and the codebook method. Depending on the age of your TV, you might have to try both methods to set up the remote.

  • How do I reset an RCA Universal Remote?

    To reset an RCA Universal Remote if it isn't working properly, remove the batteries and press and hold the number 1 on the remote for a few seconds. This action resets the remote's internal microprocessor. Release the number 1 key and reinsert the batteries (make sure batteries are fresh). Press the on/off key and the key should light up. Reprogram the remote as usual.

  • How do I program an RCA Universal Remote to a DVD player without codes?

    Power on your DVD player then and press and hold the DVD button on the remote; the light on the remote will blink once then stay on. Continue holding the DVD button and press the power button until the remote's light turns off and on. Release the buttons; the power button will stay lit, indicating that it's in pairing mode. Press the power button to scan through the available codes; when you come upon the correct one, your equipment will turn off.

  • How do I program an RCA Universal Remote to a Vizio TV?

    Turn on your Vizio TV manually, and then press the TV button on the remote for a few seconds until the LED light flashes. Enter your Vizio TV's programming code using the remote's number buttons, and then point the remote at the Vizio TV to control it. Visit Vizio's remote codes page if you're unsure of your Vizio TV's programming code.

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