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How to Troubleshoot Wii Remotes That Are Not Working

Updated February 21, 2017

A gaming system that includes controllers for single and multiple players, the Nintendo Wii also lets you use special remote controls to operate the unit. The Wii Remotes include buttons for navigating through the gaming system's various menus as well as turning the device on and off. But like other electrical devices, Wii Remotes may not always work correctly. Problems include the devices not sending a signal to your Wii when buttons are pressed to the wrong commands being executed when buttons are pressed.

Hold the Wii Remote upside-down with the buttons facing downward.

Tap the remote firmly against the palm of your hand three times to remove any dust sitting between the buttons and the electronic circuit board inside the remote.

Turn the remote upright and press one of the buttons. If the problem continues, proceed to the next section.

Open your Wii Remote's battery door.

Check that your Wii Remote contains two new "AA" batteries or a charged battery pack. Check that no corrosion is present on the battery's metal elements/connectors.

Use a cotton swab to clean the remote's battery element/connectors if corrosion is present.

Check that the Sensor Bar cable is inserted firmly into the back of your Wii gaming system. The Sensor Bar needs to be centred above or below your television so the Wii Remote can transmit signals to the gaming system.

Stand three feet away from the Wii gaming system/Sensor Bar.

Aim the remote and press any button to test the device.

If the remote is not working, stand five to 10 feet away from the gaming system and try the device. The Wii Remote works best three to 10 feet away from the gaming system/Sensor Bar.

Move any objects blocking the signal from the remote to the gaming system/Sensor bar--candles, other remote controls (TV/cable box) and wireless computer devices/mobile phones.

Also, if any sunlight is coming in through a window, close the curtains or blinds to keep the light from interfering with the remote's signal.

Turn off and unplug your Wii gaming system. Leave the unit unplugged for one minute. Plug the gaming system back in.

Turn the Wii system on. Press and hold the red "SYNC" button for 15 seconds when the "Health and Safety" screen appears on your television. The "SYNC" button is behind the small door on the front of your Wii unit.

Release the "SYNC" button. Remove the battery cover and batteries/battery pack from the back of your Wii Remote.

Press and release the red button located under the battery compartment. The blue lights on the front of the remote will blink.

Press and release the "SYNC" button on the front of your Wii gaming system. The "Player" light on the gaming system stops blinking and stays on, the resetting process is complete.

Repeat steps for each additional Wii Remotes.

Tip

For additional help or to order a replacement Wii Remote, contact Nintendo's customer service department at (800) 255-3700.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 "AA" batteries or Wii Remote battery pack
  • Cotton swab
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.