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Is LG TV Remote Universal? 5 Surprising Facts (2023 Guide)

Is LG TV Remote Universal

“C’mon. Please work.”

I say as I try every remote on our home after losing my Sony TV remote.

And the only one I’ve yet to try?

The LG TV Magic Remote.

Let me just press the Power button, and…

Nothing happens.

Guess it’s not universal then…

Or is it?

Keep reading to discover:

  • Which LG TV remotes are universal and which aren’t.
  • 3 unconventional ways to use your LG TV without a remote.
  • 3 swift steps to allow your LG remote to control other devices.
  • A step-by-step guide on using your smartphone as a remote for your LG TV.
  • And so much more…

Are LG TV remotes universal?

Not all LG TV remotes are universal. The Standard LG Remote that comes with most TVs works on select devices only. On the other hand, the Magic Remote only works on RF and Bluetooth devices. That said, LG does sell universal remotes that can be enabled for other devices. 

Can you use a new LG remote with an old TV?

You can’t use all LG remotes with an old TV.

What do I mean by that?

You see, LG primarily sells 3 types of remotes:

Among those 3, you can only use the LG Universal Remote to control any TV.


The Standard LG Remote uses Infrared (IR). The thing is…

All IR-enabled TVs only recognize a specific type of IR.

This IR depends on what TV you have.

That’s why you can’t use the Standard LG Remote for any old TV…

But you can use them on old LG TVs.

On the other hand, the Magic Remote uses Radio Frequencies (RF) and Bluetooth to connect to a device.

Although LG tells you that their Magic Remote is “universal…”

That’s not entirely true.

They’re only universal as long as your TVs have Bluetooth.

And dumb TVs (or non-smart TVs) aren’t Bluetooth-enabled.

Got it?

Now, let’s talk about which specific LG TVs can connect to your remote.

For that, you can use this website as a guide.

Can an LG remote control other devices?

LG remotes can control other devices…

As long as you do it properly.


Through HDMI-CEC.

What’s that, you ask?

It’s a feature on almost all smart TVs that allows you to control all your devices using 1 remote…

Provided, of course, that they’re connected through HDMI.

You might ask:

“Peter, I’ve gone through my entire settings page. I haven’t seen anything called CEC.”

That’s because it’s not called CEC for LG. It’s SimpLink.

In fact, it has a different name for each brand. These names are:

BrandCEC Trade Name
MitsubishiNetCommand or Realink
PanasonicVIERA Link, HDAVI Control, or EZ-Sync
PhilipsEasyLink or Fun-Link
SonyBRAVIA Link or BRAVIA Sync
ToshibaCE-Link or Regza Link

Now, before you enable HDMI-CEC…

There’s something you need to do first.

And that’s to enable your Magic Remote.

Step 1: Register Magic Remote

You can’t use the Magic Remote without registering it first.

This is how you can do so:

  1. Open your TV.
  2. Wait until the TV boots up completely.
  3. Point the remote towards the middle of your screen.
  4. Press the OK (Wheel) button.

If that didn’t work, just repeat until it does.

However, what if you’ve successfully registered your Magic Remote…

But it won’t work correctly?

In that case, you’ll have to re-register it.

Simply follow these 3 quick steps:

  1. Press the Home and Back buttons for 5 seconds.
  2. Once the prompt appears, press the OK (Wheel) button.
  3. Register your Magic Remote using the steps above.

Step 2: Configure Magic Remote

Once your Magic Remote is registered, you may notice something…

It’s that the pointer that comes with it feels clunky and delayed.

Not to worry. That’s normal.

After all, you still have to configure it to your preference.

And this is how:

  1. Press the Home button on your remote.
  2. Head to Settings.
  3. Go to Options.
  4. Tap Pointer.

Under Pointer, you’ll see 4 different sliders:

  • Size: Size of the pointer.
  • Alignment: Enables auto-alignment.
  • Shape: Choose a shape for the pointer.
  • Speed: Sets the speed and latency of the pointer.

Play around with each of these until you find the setting best for you.

Step 3: Enable HDMI-CEC

Lastly, all that’s left to do is enable SimpLink.

Just follow these directions:

  1. Press the Home button on your remote.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Head to General.
  4. Set SimpLink to On.
  5. Set Auto Power Sync to On.

Now, if you need visual instructions on how to enable SimpLink…

You can watch this video for a demonstration from LG themselves:

Can you use an LG TV without the remote control?

You can use your LG TV without its remote control.


There are 5 options:

  • Mouse.
  • With your smartphone.
  • Through voice assistants.
  • Using the physical buttons.

More on the smartphone method later, but for now…

For now, let’s focus on the other 3.

Voice assistant

LG TV Remote Voice Assistant

Sometimes, it’s nice to yell out your frustrations…

Like when you lose your remote for the nth time this month.

“If only there were a way to use your LG TV without a remote.”

Good news: There is.

Even better news: For this method, you don’t need to stand up or use any external device.

You just need your voice.

There’s a feature on your LG TV called “Hands-Free Voice Control.”

This option allows you to control your TV just by saying “Hi, LG,” followed by the command.

Cool, huh?

However, there’s a problem:

LG disables this feature by default. So, if you lost your remote already, you might not be able to use this.

But, if you have access to your Settings menu, all you need to do is follow these instructions:

  1. Press the Home button on your remote.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Head to General.
  4. Press AI Service.
  5. Tap Voice Recognition Help & Settings.
  6. Set Hands-Free Voice Control to On.

Physical button

Do you only need your remote to:

  • Edit settings?
  • Change inputs?
  • Adjust your volume?
  • Power or shut down your TV?

Well, you’re in luck…

You can do all that by standing up and pressing the physical buttons on your TV.

Since no LG TVs are the same…

Ensure that you feel around your TV to find these physical buttons.

They’re usually located at the side or the bottom of your screen.


Got a spare mouse?

If so, try to insert that into your USB port.

Does a cursor appear on your screen?

That means your LG TV is mouse-enabled.

Now, you can use that to navigate around your TV.

What’s that? You don’t have a mouse?

Then, you can also use a:

Note: Wireless and Bluetooth mice are only supported on LG TVs released during or after 2021.

You may also be interested in: How To Connect LG TV To WiFi Without Remote

How to use your phone as a remote for LG TV

To use your phone as a remote for LG TV, you need the LG ThinQ app.

It’s a handy app that allows you to control your smart:

  • TVs.
  • Refrigerators.
  • Air conditioners.
  • Washing machines.

…From the comfort of your smartphone.

Sounds good, right?

Now, let me guide you on how to use this app as a remote for your TV.

Step 1: Setup LG ThinQ app

  1. Download and install the LG ThinQ app. (Available on Android and iOS).
  2. Start the application.
  3. Register an account.
  4. Agree to LG’s Terms and Conditions.

After this, the app directs you to the dashboard.


Step 2: Pair with your LG TV

  1. Connect your phone and smart TV to the same network.
  2. Press Add A Device.
  3. Go to Scan Nearby.
  4. Select your TV.
  5. Enter the numbers on your TV into the app.

Congrats. Now you have a virtual remote on your smartphone.