What to do if Dstv Remote is not Working

Trying to use a faulty dstv remote can be very annoying. But that should not make you shatter your TV screen with it. 

If your dstv remote is not working, that doesn’t make it completely useless. You can make it work again in a few, simple – do it yourself – steps.

Dstv remote not working

If your dstv remote is not responding, there are a few things you need to check before we proceed. 

Check For Infrared Signal
Check to see if the remote is still sending out signal. You can do this by using a smartphone. Remotes such as the multichoice remote send out infrared.

If the remote is working, the signal will be produced, but you can't see this with your naked eye. So we need to check for this infrared signal with a smartphone

Turn on your smartphone camera, point your remote at the camera and try to press some buttons. If the remote is working, you will see a white white light in the tiny bulb on the remote.

The video below shows you how to check for signal from your dstv remote control using a smartphone.

A DStv remote control uses infrared to relay signal to the dstv decoder. Unlike Bluetooth, signals transferred using infrared have – a straight – Line of Sight. This means that if there is any object blocking the imaginary straight line from your dstv remote to your decoder, you won’t get any response from the decoder even when the remote is working. 

So firstly, make sure there is no object blocking the imaginary straight line from your dstv remote to your dstv decoder. 

Replace the old batteries just to be sure the problem is not dead batteries.

Check the metals in the dstv remote that connect the batteries. If the metal is covered with rust, there won’t be any flow of current from the battery to the remote. If there is rust, scrape it off and put back the batteries. 

If you do all these but the remote won’t work, proceed to the next step. 

Opening your dstv remote
Dstv remote not working after trying to fix it using the steps above? Don't panic! There is still a way of fixing it yourself. 

Unlike other electronic devices, remotes don’t have complex structures. All you have in a remote is a rubber membrane on a flat board just like what you have in the image below.

The rubber membrane comes with the buttons but in rare cases, the buttons may be separated from the membrane. 

A typical dstv remote can be opened and recoupled by a 6-year-old. It's that easy! Here is how it's done.

Steps involved
Take a picture of your dstv remote. You need the picture in case you forget the way the membrane was placed.

Get a flat metal: you could use a small kitchen knife. Put the knife properly on the lining at the side of the remote and force it open. Be careful! It won’t be my fault if you wound yourself. 

Open dstv remote

Clean the board as shown in the picture below. Clean it with a kerchief or toothbrush dipped in methylated spirit. 

dstv remote

You could also use a kerchief or toothbrush dipped in water if methylated spirit is not available. Remove all the dirt on the board, the membrane and the remote buttons. Dry the parts.

Check the small metal springs and the soldered parts to make sure nothing is broken. If there is a fault, put back - join - the metals using a soldering iron. 

Once you are done, couple the remote, put in the batteries and t
est it. 

Related: DStv Compact Channels List

This does not only work on dstv remotes. You can use this method to repair any remote. 

The next time you hear someone say my dstv remote is not working, show them how to fix it. 

Replacing Your Dstv Remote

You may need to get a new remote or a dstv remote app if you still have your dstv remote not responding to decoder after doing everything mentioned above. But before you do that, drop your comments below – let us know how you are doing.

Related: DStv Access Channels List


  1. Enter your comment...My Dstv remote is working as it show some inflared lights when point on my phone camera, but the problem is, it does not respond to My Zappa Dstv derorder what can i do now??? please help me

    1. Hello Justine, please try restarting your decorder.

      I've go a few questions:
      When did the problem start?
      When last did you get a decoder software update?
      What kind of TV are you using?

  2. Hi there I cannot get a white light using smart phone. Does this mean a new decoder remote now?? It was working 1 minute then jammed the next and no buttons on remote would work. Thx

    1. Okay that means the remote is not working. You could try to fix it by following the instructions in the article. If you can't then you'll need to buy a new one.

  3. Thank you, my DSTV Remote is now working after i followed the steps above.

    1. You are welcome. You were able to follow the steps. You did great.

  4. hi my dstv remote is nnot responding

  5. My dstv explora remote stopped working today it doesn't show the green light when pressing buttons tried cleaning it inside still not and using new batteries

    1. If you have tried to fix it by following the steps in the article but it's still not working, then maybe you need a new DStv remote. I suggest you visit the nearest DStv service center. for more information.

  6. Changing channels does not work smoothly - brand new decoder and remote newly installed and all updates done. Sometimes it works other times have to press the chanel number several times. Decoder is quite high up on the wall in the bedroom. Any ideas please?. DSTV suggested rebooting, did not help.

    1. Take the remote closer to be sure it's not a line of sight issue. Visit dstv service center so they can fix it. This is not one of the issues. you want to solve alone.

  7. Replies
    1. You are welcome. Thank you too for the feedback. Enjoy your remote.

  8. My DSTV remote control is still not functioning after going through the steps above

    1. Well, if you have tried all the suggestions and followed the steps in the article then you need to get a new remote.

  9. Hi Im also having an issue I see the white light using my camera but the decoder doesn't respond.I noticed that the light on the remote face flashes red then green it didn't do this before.

    1. Hi, you should have included the kind of dstv remote you are using and the decoder. Also you could tell us if there has been any programming set on the remote.

      But you could try the following suggestions:
      1. Press ARC button, while pressing it, press and release STANDBY button. If red light blinks two times, you are done. Check remote again. If amber light blinks thrice, repeat the process to get three green blinks, then check remote again.

      2. If the above does not work, you may need to replace power supply. sometimes this is caused by power supply.

  10. Thanks so much for that advice..surprisingly some of the buttons that were not working are now functional..a miracle as well !! I was amazed with the smartphone infrared camera theory...you are a star my man!!

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. I'm glad it helped. Enjoy...!