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How to Program a DISH Remote

We've researched how to program your DISH universal remote to control your entire home theater—not just your DISH stuff.

If you’re looking to program your DISH remote or reset your remote’s controls, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve used and researched the DISH remote for hundreds of hours, so we can help get you clickin’ in no time.

Programming your DISH remote

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

The process below works to program 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 DISH 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.

Pro tip: All the actions we describe in our steps 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 newer DISH remote controls

  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. Often there are multiple codes to program your DISH remote to your TV model.

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How to program 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.

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.

How to program a DISH remote FAQ

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 DISH 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.

How do I reset my DISH Network remote?

You can’t technically “reset” your DISH Network remote, but you can “re-link” it to your receiver. Here’s how ya do it:

  1. Press SAT on your remote.
  2. Press System Info on the receiver.
  3. Press SAT again on your remote.

Will DISH replace my remote for free?

It usually depends if your DISH remote falls under warranty or not. You can always try your luck by visiting DISH’s customer support page and asking for a replacement.

How do I set my DISH remote to TV?

Press the “TV” button located on the side of your remote. This lets the remote know you’re trying to control your TV.

How do I program my DISH remote without a code?

If you have a newer DISH remote, you may not need a code—the Pairing Wizard process will help you find the TV code you need. Just follow these directions and you should be good. But don’t be surprised if you have to test a few different codes before you find the right one.

If the Pairing Wizard doesn’t work for you, follow the instructions for older DISH remotes—the Power Scan step will help you find the right code for your TV.

Why is my DISH TV remote volume not working?

Try first pushing the “TV” button, located on the side of your DISH remote control. This should switch your remote over to using TV control functions, like the volume buttons.