Why Can’t I Change Channels on Insignia Smart TV

a smart tv in a living rooma smart tv in a living room

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Whether you have just purchased your Insignia TV or have had it for a while, you may have some issues with its operation. Electronics don’t always cooperate the way we want them to, but there are some things you can do to try and remedy the issue. 

A problem with changing channels on an Insignia TV can be caused by a variety of issues that can be narrowed down by testing various methods on both the TV and the remote.

So, where to start? Let’s take a look at the Insignia TV’s operational capabilities and start to figure out what functions are in working order and what controls are faulty. Then we can decide if something needs repaired or replaced or if there was just an operational error involved. Keep reading to find more about it.

TV Remote Communication

The process of changing channels on a TV requires communication between the remote and the TV. This is done through infrared technology, so if there is something blocking the infrared like a wall or object, it will prevent communication. Also, your TV remote has an approximate range of 30 feet to be aware of.

Many other things can prevent communication with your TV. Your remote’s sensors may not be recognizing when you push down the channel up or channel down button. It may be something as simple as the batteries needing replacement so that the remote can operate properly.


When tackling the problem of not being able to change channels on your TV, you can try some basic things that may be the solution. With a few steps, you will be able to narrow down where the issue lies and figure out if there may be a piece of equipment that needs replacement.

Turning the TV Off and On Again

Turning the TV off and unplugging it and then plugging it back in is one of the things you can attempt to fix the problem. It is recommended to wait at least a minute before plugging the TV back in. 

Stuck Batteries Or Buttons On Your Remote

lg tv remote

Taking out the batteries and putting them back in on the remote can be tried too. On one troubleshooting forum, it recommended giving a shot at pushing all the buttons on the remote before putting the batteries back in. You may have a stuck button preventing the use of the other buttons. Try giving the sensor area on your remote a cleaning also.

Remote VS. TV Issue

Next, you are going to want to figure out if this is a remote issue or a TV issue. If you can change the channel on the TV, but not the remote, you have isolated the problem to likely being a remote issue, unless there is a problem with the TV receiving the signal. 

Remote Issues

If it is the remote, one thing you will want to check is if the other buttons on the remote work. See if you can change the channel by using the numeric buttons instead of the up and down buttons. If one works and the other doesn’t, the issue most likely lies in the specific buttons sensor which would indicate a bad remote.

Another thing to look at is the options on your remote. Some remotes have different options to select such as TV, VCR, and Cable. You want to make sure that you press the TV button before trying to change channels on your TV. 

If the channels are changed through a cable box you may possibly have connected, you will want to press the Cable (or similar) button before attempting to change channels. If you have more than one source hooked up to the TV such as a cable box, try and see if the channel buttons work using that input.

TV Issues

If your remote is operating besides being able to change the channel, check and see if you can access the menu to your Insignia. Depending on the model, Insignia TV’s have an option located in the menu to reset the TV back to factory settings.

Universal Remote Needs to Be Calibrated

If you are using the remote that came with the TV, there should be no calibration that is needed. However, if you are using a universal remote, there are procedures in the manual that came with your remote that need to be done in order for the remote to properly communicate with your TV. 

After Troubleshooting — Conclusion

Hopefully one of these suggestions solved the issue of not being able to change channels on your TV. If you are still having issues, be sure to check and see if your TV is still under warranty. If your TV is still under warranty, this problem should be covered. 

If everything on your remote seems to be working except changing the channel, it very well might be time to get a new remote. You can order another remote through Insignia or you also have the option of buying a universal remote. If you choose to buy a universal remote, make sure it has all the options you need for any accessories you have connected to your TV. If you’d like to learn more about your Insignia TV, check out this article.

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