Fire Stick remotes are, like many devices, susceptible to damage or issues that aren’t always foreseen. There’s a level of expectations that these small devices are going to work for as long as you need them, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
The problems Fire Stick remotes face are plenty, most of which are easy fixes, while others are a death sentence for the remote itself. Best case scenario is that your signal is being interfered with or your batteries are dead. Worst case scenario? Your remote is damaged or incompatible. Let’s break these issues down.
Your Batteries are Dead/Dying/Incorrectly Installed
It may seem like a no-brainer to check the batteries, but it should always be your first attempt at fixing your Fire Stick remote. Believe it or not, it goes further than “batteries are dead,” although that’s part of it, you also have to consider the way the batteries were installed as well as the power they’re giving out.
Batteries are Incorrectly Installed
- Take out the batteries to your Fire Stick remote by removing the panel in the back. You should see a lip of sorts that you can pull back on or, alternatively, a back panel that slides off.
- Now, with the batteries removed, you should see a diagram that shows how batteries are supposed to be placed. Line the batteries up to match the diagram on the inside. Then try to use the remote. If that solved the problem, you’ve discovered what the issue was. Hey, it happens to the best.
Batteries are Dead or Dying
In the event that the placement of batteries wasn’t the issue, then chances are likely that your batteries are dead or dying. Before you jam another pair of batteries into your Fire Stick remote, consider the batteries you’re using, not brand-wise, but voltage. Here’s the rub: Fire Stick remotes don’t use infrared signals, they use Bluetooth. Why does that matter? Well, because it takes more power to produce a Bluetooth signal compared to an infrared signal.
If you choose to use rechargeable batteries, you could be selling your Fire Stick remote short on power since, generally speaking, rechargeable batteries only put out 1.2V. Your run of the mill batteries usually output at 1.5V. Swap your batteries out for ones that put out 1.5V and see if it makes a difference.
If you’re still experiencing problems, then your batteries aren’t the issue and it’s time to think outside the box.
The Remote’s Signal is Blocked
It was mentioned in the previous section that Fire Stick remotes use Bluetooth rather than your standard infrared signal. Infrared devices tend to be very sensitive to objects in the way of the signal and receiver. Have you ever tried to change the volume on your TV, only to realize it wasn’t working because of something was blocking the infrared receiver on your TV?
For Bluetooth, while a much stronger signal and doesn’t need a direct line of sight to work, is still subject to the same problems. Infrared, on the other hand, is absolute crap with its signal and needs to be babied, especially with the line of sight.
A Fire Stick remote is known for having a range of about 30 feet, which is way better than infrared, but that range takes a hit if you put a bunch of stuff between the remote and the Fire Stick dongle. Each object reducing the strength of the Bluetooth signal until it is too weak to function correctly or stops working altogether.
What you need to do is examine your environment between the Fire Stick remote and the Fire Stick dongle, like so:
- First, examine your space. If there’s several objects between you and the dongle, move closer to it to see if those objects are causing problems.
- You should also try pointing the remote directly at the dongle.
- If your Fire Stick has been placed inside of a cabinet, covered by a door, then you need to place it somewhere else.
What was the outcome? If your remote started working again, then your signal was being weakened or blocked entirely. This problem can be compounded if your batteries are dying. You should consider this solution, as well as switching your batteries out with a fresh pair for a much higher rate of success.
Interference From Other Devices
As great as Bluetooth is and easily trumps infrared any time of the day, it does have an itty bitty problem, one that you usually don’t have to deal with, but it can be a factor. Bluetooth can and has been known to get all tangled when up against interference from other devices.
Again, you usually don’t have to deal with such a problem and only becomes an issue when you’re surrounded by other Bluetooth devices frequently being used. However, they aren’t the only devices that can interfere with the signal, devices like:
- Microwave ovens
- Wireless devices like speakers and phones, to name a few
- Coaxial cables missing the proper shielding
The fix to this problem is to simply alleviate some of the interference or all of it. A really good method is to shut down any and all devices that are working wirelessly, but keep your Amazon Fire Stick turned on. If your Fire Stick remote starts to work again, then you may have too many devices working wirelessly and should turn off ones that aren’t necessary at the moment or, alternatively, move those devices to other corners of your home.
Devices like phones, which can work wirelessly and have Bluetooth, should be removed from the area or, at the very least, away from the vicinity of your remote and Fire Stick. You can also turn off the Bluetooth on your phone or wireless device by opening its Bluetooth settings, usually found in a mobile device’s Settings app.
Your Remote isn’t Paired or Paired Improperly
In order to make use of the Fire Stick remote, you have to pair the remote with your Fire Stick dongle. That’s how Bluetooth devices work. However, in this case, you may be experiencing a problem with the pairing, whether it’s due to a lack of pairing or the pairing was done improperly. At any rate, pairing the two can fix any connectivity problems you’re experiencing.
1. Double check that your Fire Stick has been properly plugged in. It can send a signal if your Fire Stick isn’t plugged in. If it wasn’t, let it boot to the menu.
2. Now, point your Fire Stick remote directly at the dongle, preferably while you’re right next to it. On the remote, press and hold the Home button–the icon that looks like a house–for 10 seconds.
3. Use the remote to see if the pairing was successful. You should consider using this solution in conjunction with the other solutions presented here, like new batteries and removing any objects between you and the dongle.
Fire Stick Remote Compatibility Problems
It would be nice, and would save a lot of money, if all Fire Stick devices and peripherals worked together seamlessly, but unfortunately, they don’t. You see, it’s advantageous for companies to provide some compatibility, but also create incompatibility somewhere else. If a customer could use, in this context, a Fire Stick remote from several generations ago on the current generation, then that customer could save themselves money. But that’s the keyword “themselves.”
There’s a few different generations of Amazon’s Fire Stick, and that means there’s different generations of Fire Stick remotes. They don’t all work together nicely and, admittedly, it isn’t entirely based on a company refusing to create a bridge to old technology. Some software and hardware refuse to work together. It can be cumbersome–and costly–to cater to all generations.
With that being said, you may have bought a Fire Stick remote that isn’t compatible with your current Fire Stick generation. Amazon has a help page on compatibility. In the meantime, you should consider using the Fire TV phone app as your replacement remote until you can procure yourself a Fire Stick remote that works with your generation, available for Android devices, iOS devices and Kindle devices.
Your Fire Stick Remote is Damaged
What’s worse than an incompatible Fire Stick remote? A damaged one. If you are currently staring into space because every solution above didn’t work for you, then the changes are good that your remote is damaged, whether it was due to water damage or internal hardware was damaged is a moot point.
Getting your remote repaired is meaningless, considering you’ll probably spend more, if not as much, to get it repaired when you could buy a new one for much cheaper. Or, alternatively, you could use Amazon’s Fire TV phone app for now or until you get a new remote.