How to Program a Universal Remote to a TV Without Codes

With a universal remote, you can control smart devices, video game consoles, computers, and more. But did you know that remote codes are not always necessary? It’s completely possible to program your universal remote without using codes. 

If all the codes confuse you, here’s how to program a universal remote to a TV without codes.

How to Program a Universal Remote Control Without The Use of Codes

Before you program your universal TV remote, make sure that your remote is functioning properly with full batteries. Also, check if your remote control is pointing towards the TV while programming. 

This is important because if the remote control and the TV are not connected, the remote programming process will have to be stopped.

setting up universal remote

You should also note that the programming options and steps for the universal remote may vary depending on the model and make of TV remotes.

Method #1

In programming your universal remote without a code, you’ll need to:

  1. Hold down the SET and Zero (0) buttons on your universal remote four times at the same time. This step is crucial, and this part is where most people fail. 
  2. You’ll then notice the LED light indicator (usually red) turns on steadily. Press the ON button intermittently and pause. Press and release (wait 1 second), then press and release again (wait 1 second). Repeat until your TV turns on.
  3. When you see your TV turned on, press the ENTER or OK button to confirm that this is the correct code. 

Method #2 (Auto-Scan) Method

If your remote doesn’t support the auto scan system, follow the steps below:

pressing set up button on remote
  1. Press the SET and the TV1 buttons simultaneously. 
  2. Once the red light turns on, press the SET button again, and the light should start blinking, asking for universal remote codes.  
  3. Then press the POWER button consecutively until your TV turns off.
  4. Make sure to do this operation slowly and follow the steps as-is. 
  5. When your TV is turned off, press the TV1 button to record the device code. 
  6. You’ll notice that the light will stop blinking and turn off, which means your remote control is now programmed.  

How to Find the Code for Your Universal Remote: 3 Methods

Method #1: Look for the Manufacturer's List

  1. Open the battery cover of your universal remote [1].
  2. In the battery compartment or cover, search for the model number of the remote.
  3. Search for the manufacturer’s website for the online instructions for the universal remotes.
  4. According to the instruction manual (or associated manual), list down the device codes or all possible codes you’ll need.
looking at remote's manufacturer's list

You’ll need to find their specific codes to make your universal remote compatible with your TV, multimedia centers, or multiple devices at home. 

Method #2: Find it on the Manual List

  1. Turn on your TV. 
  2. Press the TV button.
  3. Press and hold the SETUP button, and the remote light will blink twice, meaning it’s in learning mode. 
  4. Input the code from the manual that came with your remote.
  5. Press and hold the POWER button on your remote. With the remote control pointing towards your TV, wait until the latter switches off. 
  6. Release the button.

By now, you have successfully programmed your new universal remote with the use of the right code. But, if the functions still don’t work, go through the process again using the extra code (or several codes) given, depending on the TV brand. 

Method #3: Do an Auto Code Search

  1. Turn your TV on. 
  2. Using your remote, press the TV button.
  3. Press TV and POWER buttons at the same time, then release.
  4. Then press and release the PLAY button. 
tv button on universal remote

After releasing the button, wait a few seconds to see if the TV will turn off. If it does not, repeat the process until it turns off. The remote has found the right code for your TV.

After the TV has turned off, press and release the reverse arrow button until it turns back on. Finally, press the stop button and release. 

What to Do When the Remote Control Does Not Respond?

Before panicking, ensure your remote’s batteries are not dead or low. This could cause it to malfunction. 

It’s also possible that it has become deprogrammed, causing it to malfunction. You can replace the batteries or recharge them if necessary.

checking remote's battery

If you’re planning on getting a universal remote, you should consider its various features. One of these is its ability to program itself without the need for a remote code. 

This is because most of the popular remote brands in the US have built-in software that you can easily program and use.

What Can a Universal Remote Control Do?

Universal remotes, like the popular RCA remote models, can be used to control all your audio-video devices, regardless of their brand. 

There are many universal remotes that are a great alternative to replacing other branded remotes or consolidating multi-remote code lists. 

Bose Soundtouch 130 Remote

Benefits of a Universal Remote

A universal remote control is a great way to remotely control all your home entertainment devices using a single device. 

It simplifies the experience of watching TV by allowing you to switch between various systems at the same time. Its simplicity also allows you to keep track of all of your devices at the same time.


Universal remotes provide a practical resolution for operating any TV brand with a TV or DVD player or any other device at home. With the guide we provide above, you now know how to program a universal remote to a TV without codes. 

Also, our technicians have helped you find and provide model-specific codes for your TV. So try the steps above and enjoy watching TV without the hassle. 


Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.