SVG Icons

How to Program a DISH Remote

So you’ve got a DISH universal remote, and you want to get it set up to control your entire home theater, rather than just your Hopper or Joey receiver. Piece of cake!

Programming Your DISH Remote

There are two basic processes you’ll use to program your remote, depending on the model you have.

The programming process below works for DISH remote models 40.0, 50.0, 52.0, and 54.0, which is basically all of them from the last several years, including the Hopper Voice Remote. If you have an older model from the 20 or 21 series, use these other steps below.

DISH Remote Image

Not sure which model you have? The easiest way is to compare yours with these images.

All actions are performed on your DISH remote unless otherwise noted. No need to mess with any other remotes or fiddle with your devices. We like to keep it simple around here.

How to Program Your DISH Remote Control

  1. Press the Home button on your DISH remote twice. If your remote is model 40.0, which lacks a Home button, press the Menu button once instead.
  2. Select Settings from the on-screen menu.
  3. Select Remote Control from the on-screen menu.
  4. Use the on-screen menu to select the device you want to pair.
  5. Select the Pairing Wizard option from the menu. Of the choices, the wizard is the easiest because it guides you through the process.
  6. Scroll through the on-screen menu to find the brand of the TV or other device you’re pairing. It’s important that you choose the right brand because the process the pairing wizard walks you through involves testing pairing codes, and these are different for each brand.
  7. ​​​​​​​The pairing wizard will now walk you through testing a series of device codes for the device you want to pair. Follow the on-screen instructions to test each code. For most devices, this involves pressing either the Volume or Power buttons on the DISH remote to see if anything happens. If the code works, select Finish on the screen. If it doesn’t, select Try Next Code and repeat the process.
  8. Test your DISH remote thoroughly. ​​​​​​​Even if the pairing process worked, it’s possible things won’t function as expected. This is especially true if your device has a lot of unique or specialized features. Test your remote now so you know it’ll work in the middle of the big game or a tense movie scene.

If everything works as expected, congrats! Just repeat the above process for all the devices you want to pair with your remote. If you do encounter a problem, you can run through the process again and try a different code.

For Older DISH Remote Controls

If you have an older remote control from the 20 or 21 series, you’ll have to follow a different procedure called a power scan.

A power scan fires off device codes until it finds one that works. Here are the steps for programming an older DISH remote control using the power scan:

  1. Point your DISH remote at the device you want to pair.
  2. Press and hold the button on the DISH remote that corresponds to the device you want to program (TV, DVD, or AUX). After about 10 seconds, you should see all four Mode buttons light up. When they do, release the button and it will start blinking.
  3. Press and release the Power button on the DISH remote. The blinking Mode button should now be a solid light. This means the DISH remote is ready to program.
  4. Press the Up directional button on your DISH remote to send the first code.
  5. Keep pressing the Up button every few seconds until the device turns off. Once the device has turned off, you know you’ve found the right code.
  6. Press the # button (that’s pound, not hashtag!) to save the code to memory. The Mode button should blink several times.
  7. Test your DISH remote. Now you want to test the remote control to make sure everything works as expected. Better to test it now than to find out something isn’t working in the middle of your favorite sitcom.

If everything works, congratulations, friend. You’re all set. Repeat this process for any other devices you want to program to your DISH remote, and you’re good to go.

FAQ about Pairing a DISH Remote

How do I know which model of DISH remote I have?

Good question. One way to find out is to check the documentation that came with your equipment, but if you’ve thrown that out (like everyone else), you can compare it to the images on this page.

Each remote is pretty distinct in appearance, so it should be easy enough to determine which one you’re working with.

How do I pair my DISH remote with a Hopper or Joey DVR?

Your installation tech should have programmed your remote for your set-top boxes already, but if you’re having problems or need to pair a new remote with your Hopper 3 DVR or Joey, follow these instructions:

  1. Press the SYSTEM INFO button on the front panel of your Hopper 3 or Joey.
  2. Press the SAT button on the front or side of your DISH remote. The exact location of the button depends on the model you have, but it’s in one of these two places.
  3. Press the Cancel or Back button on the front of your DISH remote. The system info screen should disappear from your TV—this lets you know the pairing process worked.

And that’s it! You should now be set up to control your set-top boxes or Hopper 3 DVR, along with your TV, sound system, and other devices—all with one remote.

Now just kick back, relax, and enjoy all that great DISH programming.

About the Author

Dave is a freelance writer with a passion for tech and how it improves our lives. His work has been published on a variety of sites around the web.

This site is a U.S. Consumer site. You can learn more about our site and privacy policy here.

Share This