How to Program a Universal Remote

A universal remote control is a handy device that can operate multiple audio and video components, regardless of brand. With a universal remote, you don’t have to juggle multiple remotes for your TV, DVD player, stereo system and other devices. Universal remotes have become very popular in recent years, as home entertainment systems have gotten more complex. The ability to consolidate all your remotes into one makes things much easier.

Programming a universal remote may seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple if you follow the right steps. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to easily program any universal remote in 2023.

What is a Universal Remote?

A universal remote is a remote control that can be programmed to work with multiple devices, such as TVs, soundbars, streaming devices, and game consoles. Universal remotes typically have a code database that contains codes for hundreds of different brands and models of devices. By entering the correct code for your device, you can program the universal remote to control its basic functions, such as power, volume, channel up/down, and input selection.

Why Use a Universal Remote?

There are many benefits to using a universal remote, including:

  • Convenience: One remote to control all your devices.
  • Reduced clutter: No more lost or misplaced remotes.
  • Easy to use: Most universal remotes are easy to program and use.
  • Versatility: Can be programmed to work with a wide range of devices.

How Do Universal Remotes Work?

Universal remotes use infrared (IR) signals to communicate with audio/video components. They are programmed with libraries of IR control codes for various brands and models. The remote sends out a coded IR signal that is picked up by the IR receiver on the device you want to control. As long as the remote has the correct code for that device, it can control its functions.

Some universal remotes also include radio frequency (RF) capability. This allows them to control components that are hidden in a cabinet or entertainment center, without requiring line-of-sight. RF signals can pass through walls, doors and cabinets. However, IR is still more common and widely supported.

How to Program a Universal Remote

The specific steps for programming a universal remote will vary depending on the make and model of the remote. However, the general process is usually the same:

  1. Gather information: Collect the brand and model number of each device you want to control. You can usually find this information on a label on the device or in the user manual.
  2. Find the codes: Consult the code list that came with your universal remote or search online for codes for your specific devices.
  3. Enter the codes: Follow the instructions in your remote’s user manual to enter the codes for your devices into the remote.
  4. Test the remote: Once you have entered the codes, test the remote to make sure it is working properly.

Steps to Program a Universal Remote

Once you’ve selected a universal remote, following these general steps will allow you to program it to control your devices:

1. Turn On the Device You Want to Control

Make sure the component (TV, DVD player etc) you want the remote to operate is powered on. During programming, the remote sends signals and looks for a response from the device to confirm it has the right code. This 2-way communication is necessary.

2. Put the Remote in Programming Mode

There will be a specific key sequence to put the remote into programming mode. This gets it ready to pair with and control a device. Refer to the instruction manual for the proper method. Often there is a designated “Code Search” or “Learn” key.

3. Select the Device Category

While in programming mode, you tell the remote what type of device you want to control – TV, DVD/Blu-ray, receiver etc. There is usually a row of device mode keys.

4. Initiate Code Search

With the device powered on and remote in programming mode, start the code search function. This will automatically cycle through the pre-programmed codes in the remote’s library for that device category.

5. Try Controlling the Device

After initiating code search, try pressing volume or channel buttons to see if the device responds. Once the correct code is identified, the device will function properly. The search stops when successful.

6. Lock in the Code

When the remote takes control, lock in the working code by pressing a memory key like “Stop” or “Enter.” This confirms the pairing between the remote and device.

7. Repeat for Other Devices

Go through the steps again for each component you want to control – TV, DVD player etc. Once finished, exit programming mode. The remote should now operate all programmed devices!

While the general process is the same across universal remotes, always refer to your specific model’s instructions for the exact programming method.

How to Program a Universal Remote Ge

Here are the steps to program a GE universal remote:

  1. Turn on the device you want to control, like your TV.
  2. On the remote, press and hold the Setup button until the indicator light turns on.
  3. Press the button for the device type you want to control (TV, DVD, etc). The indicator light will blink twice.
  4. Enter the 3-digit code for your brand of device from the code list in your GE remote manual.
  5. Test if the code works by pressing Power once. If the device turns off, the code works.
  6. Try other buttons like volume and channel up/down to ensure the remote is controlling the device properly.
  7. Once the code is validated, press and hold Setup again until the indicator light flashes twice. The code is now locked in.
  8. Repeat steps 2-7 for each additional device you want to program.

Some tips for GE remotes:

  • Make sure to aim the remote directly at the device during programming.
  • Try multiple codes from the list if the first one doesn’t work.
  • If codes aren’t working, reset the remote and start over.
  • Refer to the manual for GE remote model-specific instructions.

The basic direct code entry method makes GE universal remotes quick and easy to program. Just lookup the codes and enter them correctly. Let me know if you need any clarification on the steps!

How to Program a Ge Universal Remote Without Codes

Here are some tips for programming a GE universal remote without needing the device codes:

Use the auto-code search function:

  1. Turn on the device you want to control.
  2. On the remote, press and hold the Setup button until the indicator light turns on.
  3. Press the mode key for the device (TV, DVD, etc). The light will blink twice.
  4. Press and hold the Volume+ key. The remote will start scrolling through codes.
  5. When the device turns off, press Setup to lock in the code.
  6. Test other functions like volume and channels.

Use the manual code search function:

  1. Turn on the device you want to control.
  2. On the remote, press and hold Setup until the indicator light turns on.
  3. Press the mode key for the device. The light will blink twice.
  4. Press Channel+ repeatedly until the device turns off.
  5. Press Setup to lock in the code.
  6. Test other buttons to confirm.

Use the learning function:

  1. Place the GE remote and original remote facing each other.
  2. Press and hold Setup button on the GE remote until the indicator light turns on.
  3. Press the mode key for the device. The light will blink twice.
  4. Press and hold the button on the GE remote you want to program for 3 seconds.
  5. Press and hold the corresponding button on the original remote for 3 seconds. The light will flash when it learns the code.
  6. Repeat to program other buttons.

So in summary, you can auto search, manually test codes, or learn commands from your existing remotes if you don’t have the code list. Refer to your model’s instructions for specific details.

How to Program a Logitech Harmony Remote

Logitech Harmony remotes are some of the most popular on the market. They can control up to 15 devices and come with touchscreen models. Here are the steps to program a Harmony:

  1. Create a Harmony account online and plug in the Harmony hub (for RF remotes)
  2. Enter your device details online to build an account profile
  3. Sync the remote with profile via USB or WiFi
  4. Turn on the first device to control
  5. Press the Activities button – Power On
  6. Point remote and test buttons – make corrections if needed
  7. Repeat Activities to add other devices

Harmony remotes take care of programming themselves once you create your online account!

How to Program a Philips Universal Remote

Philips is another top brand for universal remotes. Their affordable models are very popular. Here is how to program them:

  1. Manually turn on the device you want to control
  2. Locate the right mode key – TV, DVD etc.
  3. Press and hold Setup button until mode key blinks twice
  4. Press mode key again, then press 9-9-1
  5. Test codes by pressing channel up/down
  6. If code works correctly, press Setup once to lock it in

Philips remotes require manual code entry using the directions in the user manual. But the process is still quick and easy.

How to Program a Sony Universal Remote

Sony also makes quality universal remotes for home theater. Their remotes can control up to 12 Sony and non-Sony devices. Here are the steps for programming:

  1. Manually turn on component
  2. Press Home button
  3. Select “Add New Device”
  4. Choose device category
  5. Press Help button – remote searches codes
  6. Try power and volume to test control
  7. Press Back to exit, Save Changes to confirm

Sony remotes automatically search for codes and allow you to directly test control during programming. Very user-friendly!

How to Program a UEI Universal Remote

UEI manufactures remotes under the brand names One For All and Radio Shack. Their remotes can control 4-16 devices. Here are the UEI programming steps:

  1. Manually turn on equipment
  2. Find 3 digit code for brand in manual
  3. Press and hold Setup button until indicator stays on
  4. Press 3 digit code from manual
  5. Test by pressing Power – continue if it shuts off
  6. Try volume and channel up/down to confirm
  7. Press Enter to finish programming

UEI remotes require using the device list in the instruction manual but are still easy to program.

How to Program an RCA Universal Remote

RCA is a popular budget-friendly universal remote brand. Many people have RCA remotes for basic control of 3-4 devices. Programming them is very straightforward:

  1. Turn on device you want to control
  2. Press and hold Setup button until light remains on
  3. Press Mode key for device
  4. Enter 4 digit code from device list
  5. Test power button – light will blink if accepted
  6. Try volume and channel control to confirm
  7. Press Enter to complete setup

RCA remotes aren’t fancy but get the job done without any hassle. Just look up the right code and enter it!

Programming Tips and Tricks

To ensure successful universal remote programming, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always consult your remote’s manual for specific procedures
  • Fresh batteries will ensure strong infrared transmission
  • Position the remote 8-12 inches facing the component during programming
  • If codes don’t work, slowly go through the list again from the beginning
  • For newer devices, search online to find the updated programming code
  • If using direct code entry, double check model numbers
  • Repeat code searches 2-3 times before resetting remote
  • When testing, make sure TV input is correct for each device

Taking the time to program a universal remote properly will give you maximum control of your home theater or smart home devices. Follow the brand-specific steps closely while incorporating these helpful tips. With some trial and error, you’ll get your remote working with all of your components.

How to Using a Smartphone App For Programming

Many new universal remotes now offer the option to program and control devices through a smartphone app. This provides an easy, interactive way to set up your remote without needing the instruction manual. Here are the advantages of using a mobile app for universal remote programming:

  • Intuitive programing interface – Simple menus and graphics walk you through the programming process step-by-step
  • Searchable device databases – Just enter your device model/number and the app looks up the code
  • Code libraries regularly updated – New device support is added via app updates
  • Cloud syncing – App connects seamlessly to the cloud to sync settings
  • Virtual remotes – You can control devices directly from touchscreen buttons in the app
  • Additional features – Apps provide extra options and customizations

Top universal remote brands like Logitech Harmony, Philips, Sony, Control4 and others have free apps to enhance programming. Using these apps provides the easiest and most enjoyable programming experience for your universal remote.

How to Reset a Ge Universal Remote

Here are the steps to reset a GE universal remote:

  1. Locate the Setup button on the remote. It is usually near the mode buttons (TV, DVD etc).
  2. Press and hold the Setup button for 5 seconds. The indicator light on the remote will turn on.
  3. While still holding the Setup button, use your other hand to press the following sequence of buttons:

Power -> TV -> Volume Up -> Volume Down

  1. The indicator light will flash several times once the reset is successful.
  2. Release the Setup button. The remote is now reset to factory default settings. All device programming has been erased.

Some additional tips for resetting your GE remote:

  • Make sure you are pressing the right buttons in the correct reset sequence.
  • The remote has to be in programming mode via the Setup button for the reset to work.
  • Point the remote away from devices when resetting to avoid accidental commands.
  • A reset will restore the remote to original out-of-box condition.
  • After a reset, you will have to reprogram any devices and custom settings.

Refer to the instruction manual of your specific GE remote model for any variations in the reset procedure. But in most cases, holding Setup plus the Power-TV-Volume sequence will successfully reset the remote. Just follow the steps carefully. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Ge Universal Remote Codes

Here are some common GE universal remote codes to control popular brands of TVs, DVD players, audio devices, and more:


  • GE – 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107
  • Samsung – 10178, 11314, 10812, 11060
  • Sony – 10069, 11903, 11930
  • LG – 10017, 10707, 11973
  • Vizio – 10748, 11478, 10060

DVD and Blu-Ray Players

  • Sony – 70413, 70625, 71026
  • Samsung – 70255, 70115, 70232
  • LG – 70495, 70619, 70014
  • Panasonic – 70426, 70037, 70665
  • Toshiba – 70030, 70589, 70903

Audio Receivers and Sound Bars

  • Sony – 91721, 91896, 91735
  • Onkyo – 92509, 92705, 92035
  • Yamaha – 92899, 92081, 92241
  • Vizio – 94035, 94250, 94719
  • LG – 94225, 94521, 94000

Cable and Satellite Boxes

  • DirecTV – 00003, 00014, 00023
  • Dish Network – 50550, 50001, 50263
  • Comcast – 10060, 10463, 10178
  • Time Warner – 30163, 30753, 30500
  • Cox – 20001, 20002, 20265

Always refer to the manual that came with your GE remote for a full list of original codes. If the codes listed here don’t work, try searching online for an updated list or use the automatic code search function on the remote to find the correct code for your brand and model of device. Let me know if you need any other help with GE universal remote codes!

Troubleshooting Universal Remote Issues

Sometimes universal remotes fail to program correctly or lose their settings. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common issues:

Remote doesn’t control device:

  • Check for dead batteries
  • Make sure you are in proper programming mode
  • Try code search again, go slowly
  • Factory reset and reprogram from scratch

Some buttons don’t work:

  • Buttons may be mapped to wrong commands
  • Try learning untested buttons from original remote

Device functions intermittently:

  • Batteries might be running low
  • Replace batteries and reprogram
  • Make sure remote is aimed correctly

Remote stops working:

  • Factory reset and reprogram
  • Update remote firmware through app
  • Contact manufacturer support for repairs

With some simple checks and retries, you should be able to get an unresponsive universal remote working again. Always refer to factory provided instructions for resets and troubleshooting.

Advantages of Universal Remotes

The main benefits that make universal remotes so indispensable for home theater include:

  • Consolidates multiple remotes – Reduces remote clutter and confusion
  • Controls all devices from one panel – Change TV, stereo, streaming box etc. seamlessly
  • Programs devices from different brands – Unifies control for mix and match systems
  • Reduces lost and misplaced remotes – Just one remote to keep track of
  • RF models control hidden devices – No line-of-sight required
  • Touchscreens offer more flexibility – Large button grids and menus
  • Intuitive activities – “Watch Movie” controls multiple devices
  • Smart home integration – Control lights, thermostat, security in one remote
  • Customization – Tailor buttons, menus and macros for your setup
  • Universal search – Find content easily across hardware platforms

Investing in a quality universal remote simplifies home entertainment control into one easy-to-use device.

The Future of Universal Remotes

Universal remote technology will continue advancing in 2023 and beyond. Here are some innovations we can expect:

  • Enhanced connectivity – Built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI-CEC for smarter control
  • Next-generation RF – Longer range, through-wall transmission
  • Advanced voice control – Built-in mics for expanded voice command capabilities
  • Full smart home hub integration – Control security, lighting, climate in one interface
  • AI learning – Remotes dynamically adapt to user habits and behaviors
  • LCD touchscreen improvements – Larger, higher resolution displays with intuitive UIs
  • 3D motion sensors – In-air swipe and point control for media navigation
  • Cloud syncing – Seamlessly sync settings across devices
  • Miniaturization – Micro remotes through chip and nano tech
  • Subscription models – Regular remote updates and new features for a monthly fee

Universal remotes will shift from simple channel surfing to acting as full smart home hubs that provide complete, customized control of your connected experiences and devices.

How to Buying a Universal Remote in 2023

When shopping for a universal remote, you’ll find there are many options available at various price points. Here are some things to consider:

1. Number of Devices Supported

Entry-level universal remotes can control 3-5 devices while higher-end models can handle 15 or more. Consider how many components you need it to handle like a TV, receiver, DVD player, streaming device, game console, etc.

2. IR and RF Capabilities

As mentioned, IR is the standard but RF allows for controlling hidden devices. Make sure the remote has the connectivity you need.

3. Programming Methods

Universal remotes are programmed one of three ways:

  • Autocode search – The remote scans through its code library to find the code that works with your device
  • Direct code entry – You enter a device code from a list in the instruction manual
  • Learning – The remote learns commands directly from your existing remotes

The most convenient and common method is autocode search. Learning can also be useful for integrating existing remotes.

4. Display Type

Simple universal remotes have membrane button pads while higher end models have full color LCD touchscreens. Touchscreens provide more flexibility but are not necessarily better.

5. Smart Remote Features

Many new universal remotes offer “smart” features through WiFi and app integration. This allows you to program and control your devices from your smartphone.

6. Ergonomics and Layout

Consider the remote’s size, shape and button layout for ease of use. Make sure it fits comfortably in your hand.

7. Brand Reputation

Stick with recognizable brands like Logitech, Philips, Sony, UEI, Control4 etc. for reliable performance. Avoid generic no-name models.

With so many options, it’s good to read online reviews to determine the right balance of features and value. Expect to spend $25-100 for a quality universal remote.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips for using a universal remote:

  • Keep the code list handy: Keep the code list that came with your remote in a safe place so you can refer to it if you need to.
  • Update the code list: Some manufacturers release updated code lists periodically. Check the manufacturer website for updates.
  • Use the correct mode: Some universal remotes have different modes for different types of devices. Make sure you are using the correct mode for the device you want to control.


After reading this guide, you should now feel confident in your ability to program any universal remote control. The key steps are: selecting the right remote for your needs, putting the remote into programming mode, initiating code searches, testing device functions, saving codes and repeating the process for additional components. Follow the programming specifics provided in your remote’s manuals while applying helpful tips for troubleshooting any issues.

Taking the time to set up a universal remote properly will greatly simplify and consolidate your home theater or smart home control experience. In just an hour or two, you can seamlessly operate devices from different brands and utilize advanced universal remote features. So don’t be intimidated by the programming – with today’s universal remotes it’s easier than ever to enjoy unified, intuitive control of your entire system!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common FAQs about how to program a universal remote:

What is a universal remote?

A universal remote is a programmable remote that can control multiple audio/video components from different brands. This allows you to consolidate all your remotes into one.

How do I put my universal remote into programming mode?

To program a universal remote, you first need to put it into programming or learning mode. There will be instructions in your remote’s manual, but often there is a designated “Code Search” or “Learn” button that you hold down. The remote LED may flash signaling it is ready to be programmed.

What equipment do I need to program a universal remote?

You need the universal remote, brand new batteries, the device you want to control like a TV or DVD player, and the original remote or manual with codes for that device. The equipment must be in the same room during programming.

How do I know which mode button to select?

Universal remotes have mode buttons like “TV” “DVD” or “Cable Box” – select the one matching the type of device you want to program.

Why do I need to turn on the device first?

The device you want to control needs to be powered on so the universal remote can send signals and get feedback to confirm when it has found the correct programming code.

How do I know when the universal remote is programmed correctly?

If the corresponding device turns off or on when you press power on the universal remote, the programming was successful. Test volume and channel buttons too for full functionality.

How do I resync or reprogram the remote if it stops working?

Try replacing batteries, power cycling the equipment, and reprogramming from the beginning. If issues persist, you may need to factory reset the remote and program from scratch again.

Can I program a universal remote using my smartphone?

Many modern universal remotes have a programming app that connects your smartphone to the remote via Bluetooth. This provides an easy interactive way to program instead of using codes.

How many devices can I control with one universal remote?

The number of devices depends on the model, but universal remotes can control anywhere from 3 to 15+ components. Higher end remotes support more devices.

What If I lose the manual and codes for my universal remote?

You can often find programming manuals and code lists for major universal remote brands online if you’ve lost yours. Or use the automatic code search function.

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