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Why Can’t I Change Channels on My Samsung Smart TV?

Last Updated Mar 28, 2022
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With a Samsung smart TV, you will only need one remote to control both your smart TV apps and your cable box. Although this is intended to work seamlessly, there’s still a chance your remote could give you some trouble working with your cable box. For example, you may not be able to change channels as normal.

If you cannot change channels on your Samsung smart TV, first double-check to ensure your Samsung remote is programmed with your cable box. If afterward, you have confirmed your remote and cable box are connected, you will need to reset your remote.

The Samsung TV has a lot to offer when it comes to streaming, applications, and cable. Smart TVs have been on the rise in recent years, and Samsung has been one of the leading companies in providing quality products. Even with this being the case, you still may run into an error once in a while. Continue reading to learn more on how to deal with your Samsung remote errors.

Why Are My Channels Not Changing on Samsung Smart TV?

The Samsung TV has made the need for multiple remotes a thing of the past. The Samsung smart TV’s remote can work as an all-purpose remote and control the smart TV and your cable box.

If you are experiencing difficulty with your remote working with your cable and changing the channels, there could be a few reasons for this. According to Samsung Support, these reasons could include:

  • Your remote is not programmed to your cable box.
  • Your batteries are dead.
  • Your remote isn’t sending an infrared signal.
  • Your remote needs to be reset.

Programming Your Remote to Your Cable Box

If you are using cable with your Samsung TV, you will need to connect the cable box to the television itself and program the remote to it. Your remote will not work with the cable box unless it is programmed to it. This could be the problem you are experiencing if you have yet to do so.

Programming your Samsung remote to control your cable box is simple. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Make sure your cable box is off.
  2. Depending on which version of the Samsung remote you have, press “cable” or “mode” on the remote (This putting your remote in the right mode to sync with a cable box).
  3. Press the small, indented “set” button on the remote using a paper clip or something similar to one (this prepares the remote to accept programming code).
  4. Enter your remote code using the number pad on the remote (you can locate this code by referring to this site).
  5. Point your remote at the cable box and press “power.”
  6. Your remote should now be programmed to the cable box and be able to change your channels.

If your remote still does not program to the cable box after following these steps, repeat them using a different code from the Samsung TV codes list.

Resetting Samsung Remote

If you already know your remote is programmed to your cable box, then you may need to reset your remote. One definite indicator that you need to reset your remote is that it is not sending an IR (infrared) signal.

You can easily tell if your remote sends off an IR signal by using your phone camera; hold your remote in front of it and press any button on the remote. If you see a colored light coming from it, that means your remote is sending a signal. If no colored light appears when you click your remote, that means there is no IR signal coming through.

Whether your remote is sending an IR signal or not, if you have already attempted all other options for finding a solution to your remote not working with your cable, resetting your remote is still a possible solution. Sometimes, technology can just become out of whack, and a quick reset can do the trick.

Samsung Support explains how to easily reset your Samsung remote:

  1. Remove the batteries from your remote.
  2. Hold down the “power” button on the remote for a complete 8 seconds.
  3. Place batteries back into the remote (use new batteries if you believe they could be dead or have been in your remote for a long time).
  4. Your remote should now be reset.

Resetting your remote is a good solution if you have already been changing your channels on your Samsung smart TV, and it has suddenly stopped working.

However, if you are just setting up your Samsung Smart TV with your cable and are figuring out how to change your channels, go back to programming your remote according to your cable box instructions. That will most likely be an effective solution for you.


Your Samsung remote is very helpful when it comes to controlling all the features your smart TV has to offer. If you have trouble changing channels, though, it may mean that you still need to program your remote with your cable box. Although your remote automatically works with your television, it still requires setup to work with your cable box.

If you already know your remote is programmed with your cable box and you are still experiencing this issue, you should reset your remote.

Once you troubleshoot this problem, your remote should be able to control your applications on your Samsung smart TV as well as your cable channels.

Did you know you could connect your smart TV to your phone to control it too? Check out this article to learn more!

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