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Instructions for a Universal Remote Control

Updated April 17, 2017

Universal remote controls are remotes that may be used to control nearly any type of audio or video electronic device equipped with an IR (infrared) sensor. To use the universal remote to control different devices, it has to be programmed to transmit the proper radio frequency.

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While the details of how to program a universal remote control vary depending upon the brand and model number, in many cases the same general programming formula applies.

General Guidelines

Manually turn on the device you are programming the remote to control. Place the remote in programming mode. This is usually accomplished by pressing and holding one or two particular on buttons remote, the TV mode key and the "Mute" button for instance, until an indicator light begins to flash. The button(s) which need to be pressed to place the remote in programming mode vary depending upon the model of the remote. Use the remote control's number pad to enter the code assigned to the brand of the device the remote is being programmed to control. Press the "Power" button on the remote to see if the device shuts off. If it does shut off, the universal remote is programmed with the right code to control the device.


Look in the remote control's user's manual to locate the device code assignments for specific brands. Device code assignments vary depending upon the model of the remote. If you don't have the manual for the remote, you may be able to look up the codes you need on the remote's manufacturer's website.

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About the Author

Maya Austen began freelance writing in 2009. She has written for many online publications on a wide variety of topics ranging from physical fitness to amateur astronomy. She's also an author and e-book publisher. Austen has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the New England Institute of Art and currently lives in Boston, Mass.

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