Many homes and businesses have a Vizio product. The brand is famed for making affordable quality products hence its widespread fame. Vizio TVs come with all qualities of modern televisions and still maintain a lower price than other brands like Samsung.
However, despite their popularity, Vizio TVs often malfunction, and there is very little information on troubleshooting even the most common problems. One such issue is that the TV’s menu can randomly stop working. This is inconvenient since you cannot use all the TV’s features and update essential settings.
Therefore, this article provides solutions on what to do if your Vizio TV’s menu is not working.
Power cycle your remote.
Replace the batteries.
Unstick any stuck keys.
Ensure that there’s a clear line of sight between your TV and remote.
Check your internet connection – a slow or lagging network tends to freeze the TV, especially when streaming content.
Restart your TV.
Reset your VIZIO TV manually (without a remote).
Get a replacement remote.
Get a universal remote.
Why is My Vizio Menu Not Working?
Your TV menu could not be working because of various reasons. The problem could be with the TV or the remote hence is important to narrow down the problem source.
The TV could have a software problem, or its IR sensor could be damaged or blocked. The IR sensor is responsible for receiving signals from the remote, allowing you to control the TV and access its menu.
Another cause could be the remote controller being damaged or worn-out batteries. Since Vizio TVs do not have a physical menu button, there is no other way to access the menu apart from using the remote. A key could also be stuck on the remote, making it impossible for the TV to accept commands from the remote controller.
The TV’s software could be glitching or outdated, causing the menu not to work.
Below, we look at how to overcome all these problems and get the TV’s menu working properly.
Power Cycle the Remote Control
The first step is to power cycle the remote since it is more likely that you have a malfunctioning remote. Fortunately, it is easy to power cycle the remote as it is likely already in your hand.
To power cycle the remote, you must take out its batteries and drain any residual power.
To remove the batteries:
- Turn the remote over and find a notch at the bottom. You can use a coin or anything that fits the gap to pry open the back cover of the remote.
- Then, remove the batteries and safely put them to the side
- Press and hold the power key for thirty seconds while the remote has no batteries to drain any power in the remote’s circuit boards.
- Reinsert the batteries and replace the remote cover. Ensure the (+) and (-) signs on the batteries match the (+) and (-) symbols in the battery slot on the remote.
- Use the remote to bring up the menu after restarting your TV.
If the menu still does not work, try other methods described below.
Power Cycling a VIZIO TV Remote
Unstick Any Stuck Keys
Since the only way to access the menu on a Vizio TV is through the remote, it can be challenging if the remote keys are stuck.
A stuck key would constantly be sending signals to the TV and interfering with any commands you press on purpose.
To ensure no keys are stuck, remove the batteries, then press every key on the remote. You can repeat this process two or three times to ensure the keys are unstuck.
It might seem tiresome, but it is necessary to have the patience to press every key.
How to Fix a Malfunctioning VIZIO TV Remote
Another issue could be that the remote signal is not reaching the TV because something is in the way. Infrared remotes require a line of sight to function since they use infrared signals to send commands to the TV.
Ensure the path between your remote and the TV is as clear as possible, and aim the remote controller towards the TV’s IR sensor. Most Vizio TV IR sensors are on the bottom left corner with the power indicator. If you are having trouble finding your TV’s IR sensor consult the user manual.
Image Credit – VIZIO YouTube Channel
While at it, ensure the remote controller’s infrared LED is clean and in good condition.
If the IR sensor and IR LED are dirty, you can use a clean cloth and isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to clean them.
Change the Batteries
It could also be that the remote is not working because the batteries have been drained. Vizio remotes use AAA batteries which can go for long without any problem, making them very easy to neglect.
It is important to replace the batteries to ensure the remote works. Therefore, if it’s been a long time since you purchased new batteries, this is an excellent time to replace them.
Also, ensure you insert them correctly with the + and – terminals of the batteries and remote matching appropriately. If there is another Vizio remote around you, you can try it on your TV to ensure the problem is not with the remote.
You can also use your phone camera to check if the remote sends signals to the TV (test the IR sensor on the remote). To do this:
- Turn off the TV and all the lights in the room. Ensure it is as dark as possible.
- Open your phone camera and point it towards the remote’s IR LED
- Press any key on the remote while observing your phone screen
- If the remote works, you will notice a soft glow from the LED on your phone screen.
If there is no glow, the remote could be damaged or need newer batteries.
Note that some phones might not perceive infrared light; therefore, this test might not work for everyone.
VIZIO TV Remote IR Sensor Test
Is the Internet Stable?
You should also ensure the internet is stable, as a slow or lagging network tends to freeze the TV, especially when streaming content.
If the TV has a frozen screen, it will not be able to process or respond to commands, which could cause the menu not to work.
You can use another device that can access the internet to run a speed test to see how reliable the speeds are. Sites like speedtest.net and fast.com are reliable when you want to check your internet speeds.
If the speeds are too slow, you can wait for them to improve or contact your service provider to resolve the issue. You can also restart the network devices in your home, like the router or modem.
Restart the TV
An effective way to solve problems with most electronic devices is to restart them. A restart ensures all the power is drained from the TV, and it starts its processes afresh, resolving any software glitches.
Effectively restart your Vizio TV by following the steps below:
- Turn off the TV using the power button, then unplug it from the power outlet.
- Remove all devices attached to the TV, i.e., HDMI or USB devices.
- Press and hold the power button on the TV for fifteen seconds to drain any power left.
- Wait for at least sixty seconds before plugging the TV into a power outlet. You can use a different one since some users have reported that working for them.
- Turn on the TV and check if the menu is working.
Factory Reset the TV
If the menu still does not work, it could be because of outdated software or a glitch. Fortunately, these are easy to overcome through a factory reset method that does not need you to navigate the TV’s menu. It goes:
- Press and hold the Input and Volume down buttons on the TV simultaneously while the TV is turned on.
- Wait for a “To reset to defaults, press and hold the input key for ten seconds” message to appear on the screen.
- Press and hold the input key for ten seconds or until the message “Memory is being cleared. The display will reset shortly” appears on the screen.
- Wait as the TV resets and restarts. Once it restarts, you would have to set it up as if it was new since the reset has cleared all previous settings and saved networks.
Below, you have a video illustration of resetting the TV without a remote control.
Get a New Remote
If the problem persists, it could be time to purchase a new remote. If you are certain the TV is ok, then the remote could be the problem.
Vizio remotes are available online, or you can get a universal remote like the one in the video below.
Universal VIZIO TV Replacement Remote
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Do Vizio TVs Have a Menu Button?
Answer: Vizio Smart TVs do not have a dedicated menu button. You have to use the remote to access the menu, and if you have no remote or it is damaged, the only option is to get a replacement.
Question: Can I Use the Smartcast App Without the TV Remote?
Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot use the Smartcast remote app to control your TV without accessing the TV’s menu.
The app requires the TV and phone to be on the same network for it to work. And, to connect the TV to the internet, you would need to access the menu and get to the connectivity settings.
The suggestions above will get your Vizio TV menu working properly. However, if they do not, your TV or remote could be damaged, requiring a professional to solve such cases. You can contact Vizio for a service visit or find a credible technician near you.
If the TV is still under warranty, you can exchange it for a working one if the problem persists. But if it is an outdated old model, consider buying a new one that is feature-rich and stable, thus less susceptible to such issues.