How To Change Channel on Insignia TV Without Remote

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Author: Kajal Singh

Losing or damaging your Insignia TV remote can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you want to change channels and enjoy your favorite shows. However, did you know that there are several ways to control your Insignia TV without the original remote? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods to help you navigate your Insignia TV with ease, ensuring that a lost remote never disrupts your viewing experience again.

Understanding Your Insignia TV Model

Before diving into the various methods to change channels without a remote, it’s essential to understand your Insignia TV model. Different models may have slight variations in their control options and button layouts. To identify your TV’s model number, look for a label on the back of the TV or check the user manual. Knowing your specific model will help you locate the manual controls and determine which alternative methods are compatible with your TV.

Using the Buttons on Your Insignia TV

One of the simplest ways to change channels without a remote is to use the built-in buttons on your Insignia TV. These buttons are typically located on the back, side, or bottom of the TV, depending on the model. The most common buttons include:

  • Power: Turns the TV on or off
  • Volume: Adjusts the volume up or down
  • Channel: Changes the channel up or down
  • Input: Switches between different input sources (e.g., HDMI, AV, USB)
  • Menu: Accesses the TV’s settings and options

To change channels using the TV buttons, follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the channel buttons on your TV (usually marked with + and – symbols)
  2. Press the + button to move up one channel or the – button to move down one channel
  3. Continue pressing the buttons until you reach your desired channel

If you need to access the TV menu to adjust settings or perform a channel scan, use the menu button and the volume buttons to navigate through the options.

Connecting a Universal Remote

If you find the built-in buttons inconvenient or want a more familiar remote experience, consider using a universal remote with your Insignia TV. Universal remotes are designed to work with various TV brands and models, making them a versatile solution for replacing lost or damaged remotes.

To program a universal remote for your Insignia TV, follow these general steps:

  1. Turn on your Insignia TV
  2. Find the appropriate code for your TV brand in the universal remote’s manual or online
  3. Press and hold the “Setup” or “Code Search” button on the universal remote
  4. Enter the code for your Insignia TV using the number buttons
  5. Test the remote by pressing the power, volume, and channel buttons to ensure it’s working properly

If you encounter any issues during the setup process, consult the universal remote’s manual or the manufacturer’s website for troubleshooting common issues with universal remotes.

Using Your Smartphone as a Remote

In the age of smartphones, it’s no surprise that you can use your phone as a remote control for your Insignia TV. Most Insignia TVs have built-in WiFi, allowing you to connect your phone to the TV and control it using a dedicated app.

To use your smartphone as a remote:

  1. Download the Insignia TV remote app for iOS or Android from the App Store or Google Play Store
  2. Ensure your phone and Insignia TV are connected to the same WiFi network
  3. Open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to pair your phone with the TV
  4. Once connected, use the app’s interface to change channels, adjust volume, and navigate the TV menu

While using a smartphone as a remote is convenient, it’s important to note that it may have some limitations and drawbacks. For example, you’ll need to keep your phone charged and within range of the TV, and the app may not offer all the features of a traditional remote.

Connecting a Keyboard or Mouse

Another alternative to using a remote is connecting a keyboard or mouse to your Insignia TV. This method is particularly useful if you need to input text or navigate complex menus. Most Insignia TVs have USB ports that support wired or wireless keyboards and mice.

To connect a keyboard or mouse to your Insignia TV:

  1. Locate an available USB port on your TV
  2. Plug in the wired keyboard/mouse or the wireless receiver
  3. Wait for the TV to recognize the device (this may take a few seconds)
  4. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard or the mouse to navigate the TV menu and change channels
  5. If needed, press the “Enter” key on the keyboard to make selections

You can also customize the keyboard or mouse settings in the TV’s menu to optimize their performance for TV control.

Using Voice Control

If your Insignia TV is compatible with voice control systems like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to change channels and control other functions hands-free. To set up voice control:

  1. Ensure your Insignia TV is connected to the internet
  2. Enable the voice control feature in your TV’s settings menu
  3. Link your TV to your Alexa or Google Assistant account using the respective mobile app
  4. Once set up, use voice commands like “Alexa, change the channel to ESPN on my Insignia TV” or “Hey Google, switch to channel 42 on my Insignia TV”

Keep in mind that voice control may have some limitations and privacy concerns, so be sure to review the terms and conditions before enabling this feature.

Insignia TV Features for Easy Channel Navigation

Many Insignia TV models offer built-in features that make channel navigation easier, even without a remote. Some of these features include:

  • Channel List or Guide: Access a full list of available channels and quickly browse through them to find your desired content.
  • Favorite Channels: Create a customized list of your most-watched channels for quick access.
  • Last Button: Easily switch between the current channel and the previously watched channel without having to remember numbers.
  • Sorting Channels: Organize your channels by category or genre for easier browsing and discovery of new content.

Explore your Insignia TV’s settings menu to discover and utilize these convenient features for seamless channel navigation.

Accessibility Options for Changing Channels

Insignia TVs also offer accessibility options that can help users with visual or hearing impairments navigate channels more easily. One such feature is the Text-to-Speech function, which reads on-screen text aloud, including channel names and numbers.

To enable and use Text-to-Speech:

  1. Open your TV’s settings menu
  2. Navigate to the Accessibility section
  3. Enable the Text-to-Speech option
  4. Adjust the Text-to-Speech settings, such as voice speed and volume, to your preference

Additionally, you can use the Closed Caption button on your TV to display channel information and other on-screen text, making it easier to follow along without relying solely on audio cues. Explore other accessibility features like high-contrast mode or audio descriptions to find the best setup for your needs.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even when using alternative methods to control your Insignia TV, you may encounter some issues. Here are a few common problems and their solutions:

  • TV not responding to button presses or remote control: Check if the batteries are dead or if there’s an obstruction blocking the TV’s IR sensor. If using the built-in buttons, ensure you’re pressing them firmly.
  • Channels not changing or getting stuck: Perform a channel scan to ensure your TV has the most up-to-date channel list. Check your input source and make sure your cable or antenna is properly connected.
  • Sound or picture issues related to channel changing: Double-check your TV’s audio and picture settings, and make sure the issue isn’t related to a specific channel or input source.
  • Factory resetting your Insignia TV as a last resort: If all else fails, you can reset your TV to its factory settings. Keep in mind that this will erase all your custom settings and preferences.

Tips for Optimizing Your Insignia TV for Channel Surfing

To ensure a smooth channel surfing experience, consider these optimization tips:

  1. Update your TV’s firmware: Regularly check for firmware updates and install them to improve performance, fix bugs, and gain access to new features.
  2. Customize audio and video settings: Adjust your TV’s picture mode, brightness, contrast, and sound settings to your liking for the best viewing experience.
  3. Organize input sources and channels: Remove unused input sources and rearrange your channels in a logical order for quicker navigation.
  4. Utilize picture-in-picture or split-screen features: Some Insignia TV models offer multitasking features that allow you to watch two channels simultaneously, making channel surfing even more efficient.

By optimizing your Insignia TV’s settings and features, you can enjoy a more seamless and enjoyable channel surfing experience, even without the original remote.

Preventing Remote Control Issues in the Future

To minimize the risk of losing or damaging your Insignia TV remote in the future, consider the following tips:

  1. Proper storage and handling: Always place your remote in a designated spot when not in use, such as a remote control holder or tray, to prevent misplacement or accidental damage.
  2. Invest in a durable remote case: Protect your remote from drops, spills, and other hazards by using a sturdy remote case or cover.
  3. Keep spare batteries on hand: Regularly check your remote’s batteries and replace them as needed to ensure uninterrupted functionality. Keep a set of spare batteries nearby for quick replacement.
  4. Consider a remote control finder: If you’re prone to misplacing your remote, invest in a remote control finder device that emits a sound when activated, making it easier to locate your lost remote.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing remote control issues and ensure that you always have a reliable way to control your Insignia TV.

Alternative Methods for Controlling Your Insignia TV

In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are a few other ways to control your Insignia TV without the original remote:

  • Using HDMI-CEC: If your TV is connected to another device (like a cable box or gaming console) via HDMI, you may be able to use that device’s remote to control your TV using the HDMI-CEC feature.
  • Controlling your TV through a gaming console or streaming device: If you have a gaming console or streaming device connected to your TV, you can often use their respective remotes or mobile apps to control your TV’s basic functions.
  • Third-party remote control apps: There are several third-party apps available for iOS and Android that claim to work with Insignia TVs. However, compatibility and reliability may vary, so be sure to read reviews before downloading.

Advanced Insignia TV Remote Functions and Settings

For those who want to take their Insignia TV remote control to the next level, consider exploring these advanced functions and settings:

  1. Programming your Insignia TV remote to control other devices: Many Insignia TV remotes can be programmed to control other devices, such as soundbars, cable boxes, or Blu-ray players, eliminating the need for multiple remotes.
  2. Customizing your remote’s button functions: Some Insignia TV models allow you to reassign button functions to better suit your preferences, such as creating shortcuts to frequently used settings or features.
  3. Adjusting your remote’s sensitivity and responsiveness: If you find your remote to be too sensitive or not responsive enough, you may be able to adjust these settings in your TV’s menu for a more tailored experience.
  4. Troubleshooting remote pairing and connectivity issues: If your Insignia TV remote isn’t working properly, try repairing it with your TV or replacing the batteries. If issues persist, consult your TV’s manual or contact Insignia customer support for further assistance.


Losing or damaging your Insignia TV remote doesn’t have to be the end of the world. By familiarizing yourself with alternative control methods like built-in buttons, universal remotes, smartphone apps, keyboards, mice, and voice control, you can easily change channels and navigate your TV without the original remote. Additionally, utilizing your TV’s built-in features, accessibility options, and advanced settings can further enhance your channel surfing experience. Remember to experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for your needs and preferences, and implement preventive measures to minimize the risk of future remote control issues. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to master your Insignia TV and enjoy uninterrupted viewing, no matter what happens to your remote.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I purchase a replacement remote directly from Insignia?

Yes, you can usually find replacement remotes on the Insignia website or through retailers like Best Buy.

Are there any Insignia TV models that don’t have built-in buttons?

While most Insignia TVs have built-in buttons, some newer or more compact models may not. Always check your specific model’s specifications to be sure.

Will using a universal remote affect my TV’s warranty?

No, using a universal remote should not affect your TV’s warranty, as long as you follow the proper setup instructions and don’t physically damage the TV.

Is it possible to control my Insignia TV using a smart home hub?

Yes, if your Insignia TV is compatible with smart home systems like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can often control it using a smart home hub or speaker.

How can I prevent losing or damaging my TV remote in the future?

Consider using a remote control holder or tray to keep your remote in a designated spot. You can also invest in a durable remote case or cover to protect it from accidental drops or spills.

Can I program my cable or satellite remote to control my Insignia TV?

In most cases, yes. Check with your cable or satellite provider for specific instructions on programming their remote to control your Insignia TV.

What should I do if my Insignia TV is unresponsive to all control methods?

If your Insignia TV is unresponsive to all control methods, try unplugging the TV from the power outlet for 30 seconds, then plug it back in. If the issue persists, contact Insignia customer support for further assistance.

How do I find my Insignia TV’s model number?

You can usually find your TV’s model number on a label on the back of the TV, in the user manual, or by navigating to the “About” or “System Information” section in your TV’s settings menu.

Can I use my Insignia TV remote to control my soundbar or other devices?

Many Insignia TV remotes can be programmed to control other devices, such as soundbars or Blu-ray players. Consult your TV’s manual or the Insignia website for instructions on programming your remote to control other devices.

What are the best universal remotes compatible with Insignia TVs?

Some of the best universal remotes compatible with Insignia TVs include the Logitech Harmony series, the GE Universal Remote, and the RCA Universal Remote. However, compatibility may vary depending on your specific TV model, so be sure to check the remote’s specifications before purchasing.

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