How to program an RCA universal remote

Click away with our quick and easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

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Tired of fumbling around down the back of the sofa to find a different remote control when it’s time to switch input source or adjust the volume? An RCA universal remote could just be the answer to your prayers, letting you control your home theater — set-top box and all — using one clicker.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up an RCA universal remote using the automatic code search method, since it’s a relatively quick and painless way to pair your remote with other devices. But before you start, be aware that this can occasionally take some trial and error, so set aside a little time.

First, grab your new remote and make sure it has batteries in it, and that the components and devices you want to be synced are all hooked up just how you want them. After all, there’s nothing worse than spending five minutes trying to set up a universal remote only to realize it is lacking power.

All set? Now it’s time to link the remote control to the hardware. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on the component or device you want to set up.
  2. Press and release the button that corresponds with the component that you are programming. For example, if you want the remote to control your TV or Blu-ray player, hit and release the TV button or Blu-ray button. The remote’s On/off button will light up and should remain lit.
  3. Now, simultaneously press and hold the Component button and the On/off button. The illuminated On/off button will turn off. After a moment, it should turn back on.
  4. Release both buttons after the On/off button relights. It should remain on.
  5. Now, press and release the Play button on the remote. If the component that you’re programming does not turn off after five seconds, continue to hit the play button every five seconds until the component turns off.
  6. Next press and release the Reverse button. Wait to see if the component turns back on, and press it every three seconds until it does.
  7. Press and release the Stop button to save the programming for the device in the remote’s memory.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 for each additional device you wish to pair with your remote.

If you don’t press the buttons correctly, you might mess up the syncing process. This is the main reason why it might take some trial and error to get the remote set up. Struggling? Just reboot the hardware, pull the batteries out the remote and pop them back in again, then start from step one.

RCA’s remotes are great if you’re looking for something simple and functional, but sometimes you’re looking for something more — something that can act as the total command center for your entire smart home. If that sounds more your speed, check out our list of the best universal remotes.

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