Firestick Remote Not Working? – How to Fix, Pair, Troubleshoot
The Amazon Firestick is the most popular Android TV streaming device in the world. The newest version features an improved remote control. Still, with inbuilt voice control from Alexa, you also can adjust the volume and mute.
Problems with the Firestick remote are common and in this guide, we show you different ways to fix and pair your device, and also a comprehensive troubleshooting guide to find out what’s wrong with your Firestick remote, what alternative you can use, and when it might just be time to buy a new one.
Truthfully, you are also probably just better off using the free Firestick remote application on your phone and saving yourself all the trouble!
What Stops Your Firestick Remote From Working?
No remote means no TV, so before we get into fixes, let’s find out what are the most likely causes to stop your Firestick remote working.
The problem is not always with the remote, it could just be that your Amazon Fire device is on the fritz and needs a look at, or just a simple restart to get it going again.
This is probably the biggest offender. You may chortle, but Firestick remotes are notoriously picky about having brand new batteries. No point nicking some out of the seldom-used DVD remote as it still may not work. No batteries mean no ability to connect and control your device.
You may come across this problem with a brand-new replacement remote, or when you first get your Amazon Firestick. If the remote hasn’t been paired with your device then it won’t work. In rare cases, this problem could also be related to your Wi-Fi channel.
Just like a normal remote, your Firestick remote needs direct and unobstructed line of sight with your device when it first pair. So, if you cannot see your Firestick because it’s tucked behind the TV then that would explain why your remote isn’t working. This could well be related to your pairing problem, particularly if you’re having this problem as a first-time user.
Your remote works using Bluetooth so loses connectivity if you’re sitting more than 10 metres away from the device. So, if your TV is all the way at the other end of a large room, it may be out of range to control your device.
An increasingly common problem with Bluetooth devices is interference. Bluetooth devices “talk” to each other on a 2.4Ghz bandwidth. Problem is, if you have a smart device close to your remote or the TV, then that devices signal may be interfering with your Firestick remote.
If you’re using a different brand of remote to the Firestick remote, then always make sure it is compatible with the version of your device. Firestick releases a new model every year, and some older remote may not be compatible with newer devices.
Perhaps your Firestick remote has just had too much of a beating, from being dropped, kicked and eaten by pets. Always a possibility in family homes where your Firestick remote may have been facing down in a glass of coke the night before.
What Do You Do if Your Firestick Remote is Not Working?
Luckily all these problems are dealt with in this guide, from simply changing batteries. As we move down through the checklist you can figure out what’s really going wrong.
We look at using the Firestick remote application on your phone instead, or even buying a Bluetooth keyboard if you want additional functionality and a keyboard.
Finally, if all else fails, and you just want the Firestick remote, it may be time to buy a new one, though be warned it will set you back about $20, so check if there is a newer Firestick available. That won’t cost you much more than just buying the remote.
Step 1: Reset the Power and the Connection
The greatest technology fix of our time. If in doubt turn it off and back on again. You can do this from the remote (to check if it works) by holding down the home and play button for 5 seconds.
Or just disconnect the Fire TV device and give it 2 minutes before plugging it back in.
The Technology Gods have yet to explain to us why this seems to have a 50/50 chance of working, but it’s always a good idea to try first.
This also helps us to check if the Firestick remote problem, is not just simply a Fire device problem.
Step 2: Batteries
This is the most probable cause for your Firestick remote not working. Make sure you replace the old batteries with brand new out of the box AAAs. If your remote still won’t connect then move onto the next step.
Note: There’s a reason why Duracell cost more than other batteries. You may have used cheap AAA batteries which leak battery acid and then corrode the metal connectors the battery fits into. If this happens you can use a screwdriver to scrape away the residue build-up on the connectors and the batteries should connect properly to the device.
Step 3: Pairing
The next most common problem for people who have never used a Firestick, is they haven’t paired their remote with their device yet. Once it’s done, the remote should remain paired.
How to Pair Your Firestick Remote?
Use these simple steps to pair your Firestick remote:
- Turn on your Amazon Firestick and your TV, so you can see the Amazon TV Home Screen
- On your Firestick remote hold down the Home Button for 20 seconds
- One your TV a message should see a message pop up in the bottom right-hand corner telling you that pairing is successful
- If there is no message, try for another 20 seconds. Be warned it can take as many as 10 attempts to pair, but this is rare
- If the device still doesn’t pair after 10 attempts, we advise returning the device to Amazon for a replacement and registering it as faulty
Checking if Your Firestick Remote is Paired With Your Device
You may want to check later when your Firestick remote isn’t working, whether it’s still paired to your device.
Follow these steps:
- Turn on your Amazon Firestick and navigate from the home screen
- Go to setting
- Click Controllers and Bluetooth Devices
- Then click Amazon Fire TV Remotes
From here you can see what devices are currently paired.
Note: In rarer cases, there have been some reports that the pairing problem was coming from their home Wi-Fi router. If you go through all the steps and still come up blank, it may be worth trying this before buying a new remote.
Login to your router from a laptop and find your Wi-Fi Channel, then change to a different channel to see if that makes any difference. If Google doesn’t hurt, or you’re a technophobe, then just look for “Wi-Fi analyser” in the app store and get an app to do it for you!
Step 4: Obstructions and Distance
The Firestick remote is no different from a regular tv remote. They both use infra-red beams which must have a direct straight line to the receiving device.
So just make sure there is nothing in the way between the couch and the Firestick. It could be anything from a vase to some papers. Clear the path and try again
As far as distance goes, the optimal distance to view your TV is 1.5-2.5 times the distance of the diagonal size of your TV (This is the size manufacturers always quote in terms of a 40-inch TV)
So, for your 40-inch TV, best distance is 60 – 100 inches away (1.5 -2.5m away), even jumbo 80-inch TVs would only need you to be a maximum of 5 metres away.
If needs to get a tape measure out and check, but honestly who sits more than 10 metres away from the TV?
NOTE: Your Amazon Firestick Remote only need line of sight for the initial pairing. After that, all communication between remote and device is done through Bluetooth
Step 5: Interference
Smart Homes are upon us. However, the chances are if you have a Bluetooth 3.0 device which was manufactured after 2010, you are unlikely to have this problem. An older Bluetooth device may be the cause for interfering with your signal. Around TV that would probably be Bluetooth speakers.
Worth moving these devices away from the Firestick and seeing if that does the trick.
Step 6: Compatibility and Damage
If after all these steps your Firestick remote isn’t working, then it’s our last step, before trying the app or another remote.
First, if your remote didn’t come with the Firestick, refer to the manual to see if it is compatible with that version. If it’s meant to work with your Fire device and isn’t then you may want to return and buy a replacement Amazon remote.
Lastly, if all else fails then your device is either faulty or damaged. Return in the hoped the refund Gods grant you a replacement or suffer the cost and buy yourself a new remote or use the Firestick remote app instead.
Using the Firestick Remote App Instead
What happens if you have tried everything to fix your Firestick remote and it still doesn’t work. Are you doomed to spend the next 2-3 days in limbo while you wait for a replacement?
Luckily there is a solution, which is also handy for checking whether your physical remote is paired with your device.
The free Firestick remote application.
You can find it on the Google Play or Apple App Store and download it onto your phone or tablet. To be honest you may just find it easier to use than your remote, as its one less device to worry about and your phone is touch screen capable.
You also don’t lose Alexa, as the phone app has an Alexa button.
You get all the buttons that you would with your physical remote including:
- Alexa voice button
- Rewind / Fast Forward
Honestly, there isn’t much difference, between this and the real thing. We love the phone app and can’t really understand why you’d want to use anything else.
Oh, one other thing. You get a fully functioning keyboard on your phone for when you’re looking for media, instead of five minutes to type out one title.
Just like the Firestick remote, the application needs to be paired with your device using these simple steps:
- From the app on your phone choose the Fire device that you want to pair with
- The Fire Device should be turned as well as your TV
- On the TV a 4-digit code will appear
- Enter that code into the application on your phone
- Once accepted the devices have now been paired
You can also easily see applications within the Amazon store. The app on the phone, kind of makes you wonder why you wanted a physical remote in the first place.
But if your old school and you just like to hold a chunk of plastic in your hands then we have a good alternative remote for you.
Buying a Bluetooth Keyboard Instead
Some people just like having a physical keyboard, luckily there are a few great remotes out there, but our favourite is the iPazzPort Mini Wireless Keyboard.
The keyboard will set you back less than buying a replacement Firestick remote. Though, you get tonnes more functionality from the device.
You can also use the keyboard on all your devices. The keyboard is platform-agnostic working with Windows, Android, iOS and Mac OS. And can then be used on TVs, PCs, TV Boxes and DVD and HD Players.
Useful mini backlit Qwerty keyboard that can be charged from the mains. Includes an automatic sleep mode after 3 minutes.