Wii remote not working

Updated: April 27, 2023
6 min read
Wii remote not working
by Judi Perez
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Everything can fail to operate. The cursor can not respond, for example. Wii controller is not an exclusion. If it's your case, read our blog post devoted to how to troubleshoot the Wii remote in minutes.

Before we start

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Possible solutions

Firstly, there are several causes why Wii remote doesn't work. It can be corrupted with dust, rust, or moisture. If it's unlikely in your case, check the software and licensing.

Checking hardware configuration

Unlatch the battery compartment on your Wii remote. The batteries should be new. Inspect the batteries for corrosion as well. If you notice corrosion, clean it with a cotton swab.

Check the sensor bar of the Wii. It should be properly placed, clean, and consistent. Additionally, check the connections. Also, there should be no hindrances on the way of the signal to the station as well.

Aim for the remote in several steps from the console, and press any button. If it does not work, step away and try again.

Remove other remote controls and wireless devices. Close the curtains or blinds if sunlight is coming in through a window. It will prevent the light from blocking the signal.

Resetting Wii remote

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If Wii controller not working, turn it off and unplug your Wii first. After one minute, unplug the unit and reconnect it to the station. Switch on the Wii, hitting the power button. Then push the red SYNC button for 15 seconds when the initial screen appears on your TV screen.

Verify license

An alternative way is to check the license of the game you're attempting to play. Some games require specific permits to work with the Wii remote. If the license is not valid, the remote may not function properly. Check the game's manual or packaging to ensure it works with the Wii remote.

Furthermore, for Wii remote troubleshooting, your Wii remote should be licensed. The model number of the licensed Wii Remote can be found on the bottom: RVL 003 or RVL 036 if Wii Remote Plus.

If any, replace your unlicensed remote with a licensed one. It may solve the problem.

Other solutions

If none of the above solutions work for Wii troubleshooting remote, there are a few more things you can try to examine the Sensor Bar cord for any physical damage and replace it if needed.

Re-sync the remote. Hold simultaneously the sync button on the console and the remote. If that doesn't work, try a different remote, as the issue may be with the Wii console itself if it works with other remotes, text Nintendo support. They will assist you in further actions like replacement.


Why isn't my Wii remote synchronizing with my console?

There is a problem with software or hardware. Reset the Wii remote controls or re-sync it by pressing the sync button on both the console and the remote simultaneously.

Can a dead battery cause problems with Wii remote?

A dead battery will cause your Wii remote to stop working. To ensure your remote works properly, ensure the batteries are fresh and fully charged.

What should I do if my Wii remote won't work?

Check the hardware, restart the remote, and double-check the permits and lenses. Moreover, try another remote or call the Nintendo support service.


In conclusion, if your Wii remote is not working, you have several options to try. Check the hardware part and ensure the remote is properly synced with the console. If that doesn't work, try resetting and re-syncing the Wii. Try another remote or contact Nintendo customer service if none of these solutions work.

In any case, believe the Howly team will gladly help. Comment on this article or contact us if you have any questions.

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