How-To

Why Won’t My TV Turn On? (You Should Try This Fix FIRST)

For some reason most TVs eventually run into a similar problem of simply not turning on.

There are a ton of cases of TV owners who say they’ve had this problem – some say it’s been an issue they’ve dealt with for years!

Luckily there is a very easy fix that should resolve about 80% or so of TVs that won’t turn on.

Why Won’t My TV Turn On?

If your TV won’t turn on, you need to reset it. Unplug your TV from the wall and wait 60 seconds. While unplugged, press and hold the power button on the TV for 30 seconds. After the minute is up, plug your TV back in. It should power back on no problem!

This fix works whether you have a Vizio, LG, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Hisense, TCL, Emerson, Sanyo, Westinghouse, Insignia, etc – it doesn’t matter. A simple soft reset of the TV will work most of the time!

Unplug TV from wall

While this fix sounds obvious, unplugging your TV from the wall socket is the most common way to get it to turn back on.

Unplug TV from wall

The key here is to actually wait the FULL 60 seconds. Have a little bit of patience and make sure it’s been at least a minute before plugging it back in.

While you’re waiting, go ahead and press and hold the power button on the TV for 30 seconds. This will drain any let over residual power from the TV’s capacitors.

press and hold power button on tv

This simple step allows the TV to soft reset itself. This is different than simply switching the remote on and off!

Once you plug the TV back in, you should see it power back up no problem.

While this fix should work for about 80% of cases, the remaining 20% can be a bit trickier. If you’re still having trouble getting your TV to turn back on try the fixes detailed below.

Remove batteries from remote

If unplugging and re-plugging your TV in didn’t fix the problem try taking out your remote batteries.

Make sure to take both batteries completely out of the remote.

With the batteries removed proceed to hold down the power button on the remote for 15 seconds. Again, do this for a full 15 seconds! Not 5 seconds, 15!

Remove batteries from remote

After the full 15 seconds are up, put the batteries back in the remote and try to turn on the TV. It should power back on.

If either of the two steps above fix your TV power problem, but then a few days or weeks later you run into the same issue, you’ll want to try factory resetting your TV for a more permanent solution.

Factory reset TV

With the TV powered on (hopefully unplugging it or removing the remote batteries was able to temporarily power the TV) go ahead and find the factory reset option in the TV menu.

Every TV has a different process you need to follow in order to perform a factory reset.

I recommend you just Google your TV manufacturer, followed by “factory reset”. So for example, “Samsung TV factory reset“.

A factory reset will essentially restore your TV to the settings it had on the day you purchased the television.

Factory reset TV without remote

If for whatever reason you do not have access to your TV’s remote, you can likely still factory reset your TV.

To do this locate the buttons on your TV. Depending on the model you have these may be on the right hand side, left hand side, or very bottom of the device.

Again, you’ll want to Google your TV manufacturer, followed by “factory reset without remote” to find the exact buttons you need to press and in what order.

This will turn off the TV, reboot it and factory reset it. The reboot and reset process can take about a minute or so.

At this point you should have fully resolved your power issues but just in case you haven’t I’ve included some additional steps worth trying before calling it quits.

Reseat power cord in back of TV

Another pretty easy potential fix to your power problem is to unplug the power cord from the back of the TV.

Leave this unplugged for 60 seconds or so and then plug it back in.

Reseat power cord in back of TV

When you plug it back in make sure that the connection is snug! You don’t want this to be loose at all – a tight connection is important to ensure the TV is getting stable power.

With the power cord plugged back in, power on the TV using the TV power button, not the remote!

Hopefully you see the TV come back to life.

Select the Correct Input Source

Your TV might appear to not turn on because of an incorrect input source. You have to choose the proper input source for your TV to work correctly.

So whether you’re using a streaming device, DVD player, or a cable box, double check that your TV source/input matches the number HDMI port being used. In the example below, you’d turn the TV to “HDMI 2”.

Select the Correct Input Source

You can select the correct input source using two different methods:

Method 1 – Enable Input Source using a Remote Control

  1. Turn on your TV
  2. Press the Source button on your remote control
  3. Select the desired input mode

Method 2 – Change Input Source without Remote Control

  1. Turn on your TV
  2. Press the MENU button on the side or bottom of the TV
  3. Use the volume button to navigate to the source option
  4. Press the menu button to select the desired input source

Note: Some TVs have a source button at the back or side that you can use to select your preferred input source.

Try a different power outlet

While unlikely the cause, if you’re still having no luck up until this point then I would try plugging your TV into a different power outlet in your home.

Sometimes outlets have a short or a blown fuse and we just don’t know it.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to lug your TV around, you could simply grab another smaller appliance and plug it into the outlet you’re trying to use for your TV.

If you see that device power on then you know that particular outlet is working and that’s probably not your issue.

Again, this is likely not the cause but a worthwhile troubleshooting step that should be quick to eliminate as a suspect.

Power supply replacement

If nothing has worked to this point but you really want to keep your TV, you can try removing the TV’s power supply and sending it in for repair.

Before you do this check to see if your TV’s stand-by light is on. If it is this means your power supply board is probably working and this step should be skipped.

If you have no power and no standby light this likely means your power board is defective or dead. This could easily be caused by a power surge.

Many TVs are known for faulty/weak power supplies but the good news is they only cost about ~65 bucks or so to repair (if you’re willing to do the work of removing it from the TV yourself).

I’ve included a nice tutorial on how to remove the power supply below.

Keep in mind this process is a bit time consuming as you’ll need to remove every single screw on the back of the TV to get the casing off and ultimately the power supply.

It’s also a bit risky of a step because this may not necessarily be what’s causing your power issues!

Backlight is broken

If nothing has worked to this point it is very possible that the backlight of your TV is broken.

An easy way to determine whether or not this is the case is to power on your TV and then take a flashlight and bring it very close to your TV screen.

Look very closely to see if there is any image on the screen when you flash the light.

check if tv backlight is broken

If you see a picture appearing, but it’s extremely faint, it’s probably because the backlight of your TV failed and it needs to be replaced.

Motherboard is fried

If there was a storm recently, it’s possible that your motherboard got fried. Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to take the back panelling off of your TV.

Once you do this, you’ll see a few boards – the motherboard is usually on the left and the power board on the right.

To be sure that the issue is not the power board, you want to plug your TV in and turn it on and then detach the cable that links the motherboard to the power board, from the power board side.

If the TV still lights up, then you know the power board is fine, and you have a bad motherboard.

Motherboards are pretty cheap to replace, just make sure you get the exact replacement by checking the numbers on the board itself.

Or, if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, go ahead and have a TV repairman assist you.

Check your TV’s warranty

This is always a last-ditch effort, but if you simply cannot get your TV to turn on, you should see if you have an active warranty on your TV.

After you describe what the issue is and the manufacturer makes their determination of whether or not it is covered under warranty, they will either repair or replace your TV.

Some even offer in-home services if this ends up being covered under your warranty. It’s worth a shot!

Conclusion

TV’s can be finicky when it comes to power. If your TV won’t turn on try these fixes in this order:

  • Unplug your TV from the wall and wait 60 seconds
  • Remove the batteries from your remote and hold the power button for 15 seconds
  • Factory reset your TV with or without your remote
  • Reseat the power cord in the back of your TV
  • Make sure your TV is on the correct input source
  • Try plugging your TV into a different power outlet
  • Replace the TV’s power supply
  • Fix the TV’s backlights
  • Replace the motherboard
  • Check your TV’s warranty

If none of these fixes work you might want to pull up your warranty and see if it is still valid, otherwise you’re stuck buying a new TV.

Let me know if this helped fix your TV. If you found success doing something else, leave me a comment down below!