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Why Does Your TV Randomly Turn Itself On? Troubleshooting Samsung, Vizio & More

It can be terrifying when you’re fast asleep in the middle of the night, but strange sounds wake you up in a room flooded with light from your TV. So, why does your TV randomly turn itself on? How can you fix this spooky issue?

Your TV could randomly turn itself on because of internal timers or maybe because the power button on a hidden/lost remote between the couch cushions or pillows is being pressed. Devices connected through HDMI with CEC functionality (like a game console) may also be telling the TV to turn on.

If your TV seems possessed, there are some simple ways to “exorcise” it’s apparant demons (but do remember it’s an electronic…don’t splash holy water on it lol). Now that we know this issue is routine and there are several solutions let’s get into the details and learn how you can fix it once and for all. 

Why is Your TV Turning on by Itself?

Woman using tv remote controller

A TV turning on by itself is a common problem caused by many issues, including:

Faulty Remote Control

Your TV could be turning on by itself since it’s receiving the command from the remote control. This could be due to the remote’s power button being stuck or the batteries running low. The power button on the TV’s control panel might also be damaged or pressed down. 

Voltage Fluctuations

The TV might also turn on automatically due to voltage fluctuations in the mains caused by destabilization of the power module or the outlet breaking down.

Damaged Power Source

The TV could turn itself on because the capacitors and other elements in the power source, like the surge protector, might have malfunctioned due to an overload. Your TV’s power supply might also be defective.

Dust and Moisture

Sometimes the TV might turn on automatically when moisture accumulates and oxidizes the contacts leading to a random power-up. In other instances, dust causes a short circuit making the TV turn on and enter protective mode.

Eco Mode is On

Rather than shutting down completely when you turn them off, most modern Samsung TVs enter the eco mode where they are at a low-power sleep state which could turn the TV on automatically when you cast a Youtube clip from your phone.

Timer Turns the TV On

Most TVs like Samsung and Vizio have a standard sleep timer for turning off the TV. In contrast, Sony Android TVs are notorious for turning themselves on due to the on-timers. 

How do You Stop a TV from Turning on by Itself?

Here are some solutions that could stop your TV from turning on by itself:

Inspect Your Power Source

You’ll need to unplug your TV and check the power cable for damages. If you notice the signs of damage, such as strange bends, carefully disconnect the cord and replace it. If the cable is okay, firmly plug it back into the TV.

It would also help to extend the inspection to the outlet. If you spot faultiness, try plugging the TV into a different socket. Additionally, if you usually use a surge protector, unplug it and connect the TV directly to the wall socket to see if anything changes.

Check Your Remote Control

Thoroughly inspect your remote control, especially on the power button. Check if it’s stuck. For example, the button might get stuck if you accidentally spilled something sticky on it. 

If it’s stuck, try cleaning your remote properly by removing the batteries and then shaking it to loosen debris between the buttons. Finish up by wiping the remote with a soft cloth dampened with alcohol and letting it air dry. You could also change the batteries if your current ones are old.

Disable the Sleep Timer

Sleep timers can be beneficial in turning off the TV if you fall asleep without shutting it down. However, if someone else enables it without informing you, the TV might turn on unexpectedly and scare you. To avoid this, go to the TV settings, find the timer and disable it if it’s on.

Power Cycle the TV

Power cycling can fix many issues affecting TVs, including a TV randomly turning itself on. To do it, unplug the TV from the wall, wait for around 30 seconds, then plug it back in while holding the power button. This refreshes your TV’s system allowing it to run smoothly.

Disable the “CEC” Setting

The Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature allows for HDMI controls on your TV. So, for example, if you turn on your Blu-ray player or gaming console, CEC will also turn on your TV. It’s a convenient feature but could also affect your TV’s normal functioning.

You can disable CEC via the TV settings, but it has a different name on every TV brand. On LG, it’s called SIMPLINK. On Samsung, you’ll find it as Anynet+, and on Sony, it’s BRAVIA Sync.

Ensure There’s No Signal Interception From Nearby TVs

While most TVs shouldn’t interfere with signals going to another, similar make TVs could intercept remote instructions from each other if they are nearby. For instance, if you have a TV in the living room and another in the room across the hall, remote signals from one could affect the other.

You could also check if your neighbor has a universal remote that could be sending commands to your TV from next door. It’s a rare case, but it might happen.

Disconnect Your TV From WiFi

If your smart TV is connected to a Google Home device or an Alexa, voice commands could turn it on. For example, the voice assistant might pick out the phrase “Turn on the TV” or something that sounds close to it from a random conversation and automatically power on your TV.

The TV could also turn on if you’re watching a YouTube video on your phone, and it starts casting video on the TV on its own. Turning off WiFi on your TV will prevent other programs from turning it on. 

Disable Eco Mode

To turn off Eco mode, follow these simple steps:

  1. First, go to Settings on your TV.
  1. Next, select General, then choose Eco Solution.
  1. Then, click on Disable Power Saving Mode, Eco Mode, and Motion Detection.

Disable SmartThings

Hand with tv remote aimed towards big 4k flat screen oled tv with blurred out tv entertainment system meny

The SmartThings app on your Samsung TV allows you to control numerous devices in your house no matter where you are. When the SmartThings feature is active, your TV automatically turns on if a smart device nearby, like the thermostat, turns on. 

This feature isn’t necessary; you don’t have to enable it if you don’t use it frequently. To disable it:

  1. Press the Home button on your remote.
  1. Next, go to Settings and select ‘General‘.
  1. Select ‘Network‘ then ‘Expert Settings‘.
  1. Scroll to ‘Power on with Mobile‘ and choose Off‘ to disable it.

Update Your TV’s Firmware

It’s essential to keep your TV up to date to ensure it always performs optimally. For example, these software updates could fix a TV that turns on automatically due to a bug. They could also add new features to your TV. To update the TV, go to the Settings, check if there are any available updates, and download them.

Factory Reset Your TV

If the TV still turns on by itself after trying out all the above solutions, you might need to factory reset it. This option should be a last resort as it wipes off any downloaded apps and custom settings. 

Every TV brand has its distinct steps for performing a factory reset, so if you can’t access the option in the settings, check the TV user manual for guidance.

If the issue persists after a factory reset, you’ll have to contact your TV manufacturer and schedule a repair, as the problem might lie deeper in your TV. If your warranty is still valid, you might even get a replacement.