What to do if you lose your Android TV Box remote control

Whether you’ve lost your Sheild TV remote or forgot to bring your Mi box remote to your hotel, thankfully you can still use your Android TV Box without having to buy a new remote. Here I have listed 5 ways to use your Android TV if you ever lose your remote.

Before we start

First, it is important to understand the problem. When you set up the Android TV for the first time, you use the remote control to navigate the interface and save the WiFi credentials on the device. However, when you lose your remote, the Android TV still turns on and connects to Wi-Fi. But due to the lack of remote control, it cannot do anything. To fix this problem, you have several options, from using your keyboard and mouse to a remote third-party application. Let’s take a look at different use cases.

Read: Forgot or lost your FireStick remote? These are your options

Case 1. Use the remote browser button

This method will not work with Mi Box or any other Android streaming box as those devices do not have this feature built in. However, if you have a next-gen Sheild TV, this might be the easiest way to find the remote.

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV 2019 Y NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro both come equipped with a smart remote control. If you ever lose your remote at home, simply press the button on the SHIELD TV box to activate a loud beep. It will be emitted from your remote control and should be audible in the room. You can follow this guide if you need more information.

remote finder button

Case 2. Use a Remote Finder application

If you don’t use an NVIDIA SHIELD TV, you may not be able to use the remote finder button, but there are apps that can emulate the same ‘find my remote’ feature on another Android TV box like Mi Box.

Most Android TV remotes work with Bluetooth and the remote constantly outputs the signal that can be used to approximate the position of the remote. Miraculous find is an excellent application that allows you to find Bluetooth devices in the house.

Just install the application from the Play store and open it. It would start scanning nearby devices, tap on the remote and show you a radar-like graph and signal strength. Move slowly in different directions and see the percentage change. As the percentage increases, you move closer to the remote, and once it reaches 100%, you can randomly search for it to find it manually. The application is free on the Play Store.

wunderfind app

Case 3. Use a keyboard and mouse

Okay, this method won’t help you find your lost remote. But in the meantime, you can use this solution to use your Android TV, without a remote control.

While not all, some Android boxes like NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Mi Box, even cheap android tv box at amazon, etc. They come with a full-size USB A port that can be used to connect a keyboard or mouse. If you’ve lost the remote and have an extra keyboard or mouse lying around, you can use it to navigate Android TV.

connect a mouse

It works out of the box for most Android TV boxes. All you have to do is connect your USB or wireless keyboard and mouse. And you will be able to control your Android TV box using mouse pointer or arrow keys on keyboard.

However, if it doesn’t work, you can manually enable it in Settings. Use the following method to navigate using the Android TV app and go to Settings> Language & input,> Under ‘keyboard and input methods’, select ‘Default’ and a pop-up menu will appear. Set the ‘physical keyboard’ to ‘ON’.

This should offer temporary relief and can control most aspects of television. However, there is neither a home button nor an option to go back. Also, the new SHIELD TV Tube and Mi Stick don’t have a USB port, in that case you can jump to other options.

Case 4. Use the Android TV application

If you are sure that your SHIELD TV or Mi Box remote has been lost inside the house, you can still use your smartphone to control it. It is crucial that your streaming device and smartphone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Install the Android TV remote control app on your Android or iPhone. Once the app is installed, open it and it should automatically discover the Android TV streaming device. Touch the device and you are connected. Now you can slide the touchpad on the screen to navigate.

use the app to connect to Shield tv

The app is a decent alternative to the traditional remote and you can use it whenever you can’t find your remote or are too lazy to get up and look for it.

Case 5. Create a Wifi access point

If you packed your Shield TV, Mi Stick, Mi Box for a vacation and forgot the remote at home, there is still a choice. As I mentioned earlier, you can use the Android TV remote app to control your Android TV, as long as they are both on the same WiFi network. But assuming you have brought your Android TV Box away from home, it will automatically turn on and connect to your home Wi-Fi network. And since you don’t have the original remote control, you can’t change the WiFi network.

To solve this problem, you can create a WiFi access point with the same SSID and password as the old network. That will trick the Android TV into thinking it is the old network and it will automatically connect. Once connected, you can use the Android TV app for Android and iPhone to switch Wi-Fi.

To get started, you will need two devices: a smartphone to control Android TV through the app, and a computer or smartphone to create an access point. To create a WiFi hotspot, you can use a Mac, Windows, or Android smartphone. Unfortunately, the iPhone does not allow you to change the name of the WiFi network.

For the purpose of the demo, you would use two Android smartphones, one to control the television and the other to create a Wi-Fi access point. The Wi-Fi name and password are case sensitive, make sure you enter the correct details. Go to the Settings app on your phone> find Mobile Hotspot and Tethering> tap on hotspot credentials.

create an access point with the same name as the home wifi

Create a new access point with the same name and password that your Android TV box was connected to at home. Should automatically connect to the Wi-Fi access point you just created. Now you can use another phone to navigate the Android TV box using the Android TV app as shown in method 2.

two different phones, one for creating an access point and one for the application

Case 6. Use your TV remote control

Finally, there is a popular feature that most people don’t use every day, HDMI-CEC. It is an industry standard protocol accepted and implemented by most manufacturers. It allows you to control your Shield TV, Mi Box, Mi Stick using your TV remote control. It’s an incredibly useful feature for times when you don’t want to use multiple remotes or lose one.

The only caveat is that this feature must be pre-enabled both on your television and on your streaming box before losing the remote.

Most TVs have the feature turned on by default, but just to be safe, please check your TV before proceeding. Now each TV manufacturer brands this feature differently, so you may need to figure out what it’s called. For example, LG calls it SimpLink, Philips calls it EasyLink, Hitachi calls it HDMI-CEC, Sony calls it Bravia Sync, etc. Find the HDMI CEC option in the TV settings and turn it on. Now, you can use the arrow keys on the TV remote control to navigate Android TV Box. However, each television manufacturer modifies the technology and implements it in their own way, so the experience may vary and some functions may not work.

Last words

These were some of the ways you can try when you lose your Android TV Box remote. If you lose the remote inside the house, the official Android TV app is a great solution. However, it does not work if you are away from home. You can easily change the Wi-Fi by following the above methods and make the device work even without the remote control. Lastly, if all else fails, you can always purchase a replacement remote on Amazon. What do you think? Which method was the most useful and convenient for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Also Read: 20 Best Android TV Apps You Must Try In 2020

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