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How Do I Program My Universal Remote Control?

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 4/6/2011

A universal remote can make your life a lot easier, allowing you to ditch the four remotes and return to one, but the question "how do I program my universal remote control?" still stands in the way. This covers the basic ways in which universal remotes are programmed.

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    How Do I Program My Universal Remote Control?

    Although every universal remote is going to have its own options and abilities, the question “how do I program my universal remote control?” is one that can be answered in most cases easily enough. There are three basic ways of setting a universal remote: you can enter the code for the device you want to control; scan for the frequency of the device you wish to control; or on higher-end universal remotes, learn from other remotes allowing you to program a universal remote very quickly and easily.

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    How Do I Program My Universal Remote Control by Inputting Codes?

    Although not as universally available as one might hope for with the bigger name electronic devices, a universal remote control code is going to be the easiest way to program it. In most cases you will simply need to hold down the button for the type of device you want to program, such as TV, until the light flashes or the remote beeps. You will then enter in the four digit code for your device. This is generally found in the manual for your universal remote, but if you do not have the manual there are a number of sites that have lists of these codes. One of the best is Remote Codes. Be aware though, these codes may be different based on the manufacturer of the remote so if this doesn’t work, try the website for your remote control manufacturer.

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    How Do I Program My Universal Remote Control Using the Code Search Function?

    Nearly every universal remote has the ability to scan through codes. Putting the remote into code search is not always the same, but the most common is to press and hold the device button - such as TV, VCR, Cable or Other - and then push the power button. If it is scanning it will not do anything immediately; instead, every time you push the power button you will go to the next code until it turns off the device. If this works, once it turns off the device you will be able to control it. Again, both the manual and the website of the device should have the exact process to start searching for the code or a button clearly marked code search.

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    How Do I Program My Universal Remote Control Using the Learning Function?

    logitech remote 

    Many of the higher-end remote controls have a learning function. This can guarantee the ability to control any device which you already have an IR remote for. In order to do this you set the remote to learning mode and then simply point at the learning remote and it will learn the frequency. The value of this is that the remote is going to be valuable longer since new devices will be able to teach the universal remote new codes.

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    Every universal remote is going to be different, but mostly all will use the first two methods for setting the code, while nearly all higher-end universal remotes will have access to the learning function as well. It is simply a matter of discovering the codes you need either by putting them in manually, scanning for codes or hopefully learning from other remotes.

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    Source: Author's own experience.

    Images, Logitech,