How to find a lost remote control

June 17th, 2015

Humour TV, Audio & Electronics TVs

Picture this: You’re settling in for a lazy evening at home. You’ve ordered some takeaway, got a few relaxing drinks standing by, and tossed some extra-comfortable cushions onto your couch in preparation for a prolonged sitting session.  Only one thing is missing…

Where’s the TV remote?

576px-Remote_control2 source:

You swear you had it just a second ago. The TV is on, its volume still turned obnoxiously loud from the other night, and an irritating ad jingle is blasting out its speakers. You look across the couch and the coffee table to no avail . Another ad comes on, even more annoying than the last. You resolve to get up and change the channel or the volume by hand, but you don’t actually know where the manual controls are on your stylish and sophisticated new TV, or even if it has any at all. Now a particularly obnoxious re-run of The Nanny has started playing, and there’s nothing you can do about it because WHERE IS THE REMOTE?!?!

Sound familiar?

It’s all too easy to have a relaxing TV session ruined by such a tiny, yet critical issue like a missing TV remote. Here are a few tips to making sure this never happens to you again:

Prevention is better than cure

This advice is no good if you’ve already lost your remote, but a bit of pre-planning can prevent a lot of headaches in the future.

Rather than just plonking down your remote any old place, think about designating it a particular spot of its very own. Maybe set up a little cup or bowl on the coffee table, or invest in one of those bag-thingies that hang over the side of the couch to form a remote control holster.

remote keeper source: lisaclarke on Flickr

Once you’ve chosen your remote’s Spot, make sure that it always ends up back there, and don’t let anything else take its place. Get highly protective of the Spot, to the point of being slightly aggressive, a la Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.


The very essence of frustration is having something you desire snatched away from you by the fickle hand of fate. Getting mad about a lost remote control is 100% understandable, but it’s not going to make it any easier to find.

Keep Calm And Carry On

So take a deep breath and let go of your anger, Jedi-style. Once you’re in a calm state, open your mind and approach this logically.

Check underneath the clutter

If you can’t spot your remote with the naked eye, it must be concealed behind something. As x-ray specs continue to be fictional, you’ll need to start moving objects around if you want to look underneath them.


If your coffee table is used to hold pretty much everything but coffee, it’s entirely possible that your remote could be lurking underneath some stray magazine, leaflet, or book.

If you’ve already designated a Spot for your remote, start your search near there and expand outward. If you’re lucky, you’ll not only find the remote, but those other lost doodads that’cve ben missing for far too long.

cat with remote source: Aaron Weber on Flickr

Do you share your home with a cat? Look under the cat. Seriously. Cats have a sixth sense for detecting the focus of a human’s attention (e.g. a lost remote control, a computer keyboard when you’re trying to get work done), and do their best to get in the way and steal back the spotlight for themselves.

Retrace your steps

A distracted human mind is capable of some very dumb things. If you were multitasking while getting your home theatre ready, the remote could have ended up in some very odd places.

Remember when you organised that takeaway? Try looking for the remote near your phone, or the computer if you ordered online. Maybe in the bag where you store all the takeaway menus that just keep arriving in the letterbox.

Remember when you got those drinks? Check near, or even inside, the fridge. If you made a snack, do the same thing with the microwave.

800px-Special_Agent_Adam_Deem_of_Air_Force_Office_of_Special_Investigation_Detachment_219“Nope, it’s not there either.”

Don’t be afraid to search in some odd, even ridiculous places. You’ll thank me when the remote turns up in your umbrella stand or power tool chest.

Clean up and check the bin

Right, so the remote still hasn’t turned up. Try giving your living room a quick tidy. Getting rid household clutter is almost always worthwhile, plus, this can expose some more potential hiding spots for your remote.


But what if you’ve already tidied your home? In this case, it’s possible that the remote could have been accidentally swept up in the cleaning whirlwind and be making a new home in the bottom of the bin. It may be gross, but it’s worth taking a look before the bin gets emptied and the garbage trucked away.

Turn to the paranormal

If all of the conventional search techniques are failing you, it wouldn’t hurt to try something unconventional. There are all manner of paranormal methods for finding lost objects, from pendulums to Ouija boards to divining rods.

800px-Fortune_teller,_Albert_Anker,_1880“The cards fortell great misfortune if you don’t set the PVR to record Home & Away…”

Even sceptics and non-believers can still find some value in these unorthodox techniques – consider them a ritualised way of searching your memory and organising your thoughts.

Use something else

No remote? No worries!

samsung TV gesture control

Certain Smart TVs offer a range of alternatives to the remote control, from voice activation to motion control. While some of these methods also require the remote (e.g. speaking commands into a remote-mounted microphone, or gesturing with a motion sensor built into the remote control), others require nothing more than the human body.

LG smart TV remote app

Also, some TV brands also have apps available for transforming your smartphone or tablet into a remote control. And as our hyper-connected society means that our phone is almost always within arm’s reach, it’s far less likely that you’ll lose it. And even if you do, you can always ring it.

And if all else fails and it looks like the TV remote is gone for good, you may be able to pick up a replacement at Appliances Online. Different TV remotes are compatible with different models and brands, so be sure to double check before you buy.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve found a lost remote control?  Please let us know!

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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