Why won’t my TV turn on? (Try these fixes!)


Did you just sit down to watch your favorite show, but your TV won’t turn on? Well, you are not alone. Televisions are notorious for being temperamental. The good news is that there are many easy fixes for a TV that isn’t working. So don’t throw it in the trash yet!

Most problems stem from broken cords, bad outlets, or replaceable parts. So, let’s look at all the reasons your TV won’t turn on and how to fix it. You’ll be watching your show in no time!

Why won’t my TV turn on?

Resetting your TV is necessary if it does not turn on. Wait 60 seconds after unplugging your TV from the wall. Press and hold the TV’s power button for 30 seconds while it’s not plugged in. After the minute has passed, reconnect the TV cable. It should restart without any problems!

Keep in mind that these troubleshooting techniques also apply to Vizio and Samsung TVs. Most of the time, a soft reset of the TV will do the trick!

Unplug the TV and check the cable pins

First, unplug the power cord from the outlet. It may sound silly, but it’s one of the most common ways to fix a TV.

Once unplugged, wait 60 seconds before plugging it back in. It’s important to wait the full 60 seconds to give the TV a chance to reset. You can also hold down the power button to make sure all the juice is out.

Before plugging it back in, check that the metal prongs of the plug are not bent or stained. Any kind of dirt or deformation can be the cause of the problem.

So make sure they are nice and clean. While you’re at it, try plugging in another device to confirm that the outlet isn’t the problem.

Go ahead and reconnect the TV.

Did that do the trick?

Damaged cords

Now let’s take a look at all the connected cords. Pushing your TV against the wall can bend and tear the cables, resulting in a TV that won’t turn on.

A common place to tear is near the end of a cord. If you see anything out of the ordinary, like frayed or bare wires, replacing the damaged cord could be the solution to your problem.

Dealing with exposed wires can be very dangerous. It is a good idea to turn off the power to the socket before touching the cable. We have enough problems as it is – no need to shock you.

Check the power strip

check power strip

If you’re using a power strip to connect your TV, make sure it’s turned on. Sometimes the solution is as simple as that!

Try plugging another device into the power strip to make sure it’s working properly. If not, you’re probably dealing with a faulty tape that needs to be replaced.

You can further confirm this by plugging the TV into the wall or another extender.

Check the power cord behind the TV

Behind the TV you will find a few different cables that you will want to investigate.

check the power cord behind the TV

First, find the main power cable and unplug it. Just like you did with the socket, look for any dust or debris that might be hiding in the cracks. If there is a lot of dust, try using a can of compressed air to clean it out.

If your TV is connected to a cable box, DVD player, or laptop, make sure the HDMI cable is fully plugged in. Note whether it is inserted into the “HDMI” or “HDMI 2” slot – this will be important in the next step.

Depending on the age of your television, there may be cords for audio and picture. Take the time to unplug and reinsert each one to cover all the bases.

Change TV input source

Does the red light come on when you try to turn on the TV? If so, you may need to adjust the input parameters.

check TV input source

Most televisions have at least two input options: HDMI or HDMI 2. You can look at the back of the device to see where your HDMI is connected. Make sure the correct input option is selected on the TV.

There are two ways to do this:

Adjust input parameter with remote control

  1. Turn on the TV
  2. Press the input/source button
    1. If your remote doesn’t have this, look for a Menu button and find the input source Of the
  3. Select the appropriate HDMI option

Adjust input setting with TV buttons

  1. Turn on the TV
  2. Find it Menu button on the side or bottom of your TV
  3. Use the volume up/down buttons to navigate the menu
  4. Find input/source parameters
  5. Select the appropriate HDMI option

Replace remote control batteries

Remove the batteries from the TV remote control

Open the back of your remote control and check that the batteries are correctly inserted. If everything looks good, you might be dealing with a pair of old batteries. Replace them with a new pair. Easy!

Keep your remote handy because there’s one more thing we can check.

Make sure the infrared remote sensor is not blocked

The TV and the remote can communicate with each other through an infrared sensor. Make sure the sensor on the front of the remote is nice and clean.

Make sure the infrared remote sensor is not blocked

Grab a rag or microfiber cloth to remove any dust or debris. It wouldn’t hurt to clean the whole remote by doing this.

You should also make sure that no clothing or decoration is blocking the TV sensor. A small book or box can interfere with the signal and make your TV look like it’s not working.

Likewise, if your TV is connected to a set-top box, you’ll want to check that nothing is blocking it as well.

If your TV still won’t turn on, let’s take more drastic action.

Check backlight problem

If the power light comes on but the screen remains black, you may be dealing with a backlight that has stopped working.

The backlight is used to illuminate the image on the screen. Without it, your TV will appear not to turn on. Let’s check if this is the case.

First, turn on the TV. Then grab a flashlight and shine it close on the dark screen. If you suddenly see images, your TV has a faulty backlight. Fortunately, it can be replaced!

Hiring a mechanic to repair the broken backlight will cost around $100 to $150, including labor charges. Thus, you will then have to decide whether to spend the money to fix your TV or buy a new one.

Factory reset the TV (no remote required)

You may be able to fix the problem with your TV by performing a factory reset. Most TVs will have a specific button on the back or sides to achieve this.

Consult the manual or look online to quickly identify the correct button. Then hold it down for at least 30 seconds. Give the TV a few minutes to recalibrate, and you should be good to go!

Keep in mind that a factory reset will erase all downloaded apps, shows, and movies. You’ll have to start from scratch, but at least your TV works, right?

Defective motherboard

The last possible reason for a TV not turning on could be due to a broken motherboard. There are a few signs to help you identify if this is the problem.

However, fully confirming that the motherboard is broken will require disassembly and a multimeter. If you don’t feel comfortable handling this yourself, call a TV mechanic.

Signs of broken motherboard:

The telltale sign of a broken motherboard is when a TV intermittently won’t turn on. Also, if a TV turns on but can’t be turned off, you’re probably dealing with a motherboard that needs to be replaced.

Check the motherboard with a multimeter

  1. Remove the back panel from the TV and set aside all the screws
  2. Identify the motherboard, which is usually green and on the left side
    1. Confirm this by consulting the manual (or online)
  3. Use the multimeter to test each voltage source
  4. Detect a dead voltage source to confirm a faulty motherboard

Here is a video to guide you through the process.

Youtube video

If you can confirm the problem is the motherboard, it will need to be replaced. Doing it yourself shouldn’t cost more than $50, or you can hire a professional

Call your TV manufacturer

If all else fails, call the manufacturer. A representative may be able to give you some additional steps specific to your model.

You can also find out about your TV’s warranty.

Final Thoughts on TV Won’t Turn On

When a TV won’t turn on, it can be frustrating – very frustrating. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to fix the problem. Let’s go through all the solutions we’ve covered:

  • Unplug the power supply and check the pins
  • Look for damaged cords
  • Test the power strip/extension
  • Check the cords behind the TV
  • Change input
  • Replace remote control batteries
  • Clean the remote control sensor/remove objects blocking the TV sensor
  • Check for a backlight problem
  • Do a factory reset
  • Check/replace motherboard
  • Call the manufacturer

Hopefully one of these solutions will be the answer to your problem and you can get back to your favorite show!


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