My Smart TV Turns on by Itself. Is It Hacked? 6 Quick Solutions

smart TV wiith person holding remote control
Image showing a smart TV turns on by itself.

It’s surprisingly common that a smart TV turns on by itself. What’s worse is that it tends to be at the most inappropriate times, like in the middle of the night. If your TV is acting up, you could wonder if something or someone is messing with you. When your smart TV turns on by itself randomly, is it a ghost or hacked? Experts say probably neither.

When your smart TV turns on by itself, it is likely a setting that has accidentally been changed. It could also be an HDMI-CEC fault, or the TV could need a reset.

First, unplug your TV power supply cable and plug it in again. If the problem persists, try increasingly invasive problem-solving strategies until it is resolved.

Hackers may get into many devices, software, and trouble, but could they be responsible for randomly turning on your TV? Is it even possible for your tv software to get hacked or get viruses?

We have put together some helpful information on this topic and cannot wait to share it with you, so stay tuned, switched on, and ready to understand why your TV is randomly turning on.

My smart TV Turns On By Itself – Why?

Our minds tend to race to the most horrific or bizarre explanations for unexplained phenomena around the house. However, it turns out there could be a simple explanation and fix for a TV with a mind of its own.

Although there is always a tiny chance a hacker has invaded your device, there are multiple ways you can figure out the issue and likely sort it out before calling in professional help.

Image showing smart TV and remote.

A few possible causes for why your smart TV turns on by itself include:

  • A setting that has been accidentally changed
  • An HDMI-CEC fault
  • Wi-Fi could be causing your phone to cast to the TV
  • Your remote control batteries could need changing
  • Your TV could be due for an update
  • Your neighbor could have a universal or similar remote

Let us look at these in detail:

1. A Changed Setting

Most TVs have a power setting that can be set to a timer. This setting automatically enables TVs to switch on or off according to your specifications. According to PC Mag, a power setting timer is likely the culprit if your smart TV turns on by itself at a regular, specific time each day or night.

Go into your TV settings to see what you can find and rectify. Then, ask around to see who has been sitting on or playing with your remote!

2. An HDMI-CEC Fault

CEC, or consumer electronics control, is a brilliant feature that helps devices speak to each other via HDMI devices. This nifty invention makes life easier by following prompts to turn specific devices on when others are triggered.

Sometimes, an HDMI device may send out misinterpreted signals that could be the reason why your smart TV turns on by itself. To troubleshoot an HDMI-CDC issue, turn off your CEC feature in your TV settings.

If the TV stops switching on, you have found your problem. Unfortunately, if you want to continue using CEC, you need to switch your TV’s CEC back on. Go through the connected devices systematically to see which one is causing the misfiring signal.

3. Wi-Fi Causing Casting

Another reason your smart TV turns on by itself in a seemingly random way is because of your Wi-Fi. If you have other smart devices like Alexa or Google Home connected to Wi-Fi, they could send signals to the TV and turn it on by mistake.

Phones can also connect to TVs via Wi-Fi. Your TV may automatically connect to the Wi-Fi on your phone and cast every YouTube video you watch to the TV, which would make your smart TV turns on by itself.

Try switching off the Wi-Fi for a few days to see if the problem stops. If your TV behaves with the Wi-Fi off, go through your devices to see which is causing the TV to turn on.

4. Remote Batteries Need Changing

When your smart TV turns on by itself, it could be a simple matter of needing to change your remote batteries.

5. Your TV Could Need An Update

When TVs are due for an update, they sometimes act strangely. Look into your TV’s settings to see if an update is due, and let it run its course. Keeping up to date with them can help if your smart TV turns on by itself.

4. Your Neighbour Could Have A Universal Remote

We admit that this option is a little far-fetched, but not impossible. For example, your TV could be receiving signals from another remote.

Do you have a TV of the same make in another room? The remote could be interfering with your TV. If your neighbor has a TV of the same make in their home or a universal remote, it is possible that their remote’s power button could be triggering your TV.

If you try all these suggestions and your smart TV turns on by itself for seemingly no reason, you might have to do a factory reset. This incredibly invasive option will delete all of your settings, returning it to default.

Life Wire suggests reading the reset instructions for Samsung TV and Vizio. They recommend going into the settings menu for Sony Android TVs. And say, other Sony TV models have a specific sequence of buttons to press on the remote for a factory reset.

How Do I Know If My TV Is Hacked?

Your smart TV can be hacked. While it is impossible to know every sign of this in your device, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for.

Image credit: ClubHDTV

Theme Scene TV provides a few signs to be aware of:

  • Your TV programming suddenly changes
  • The volume changes without your control
  • Apps show that they have been used when you have not used them

Although smart TVs can get viruses, they are not as common as you think. Viruses are typically caused by downloading unsafe Apps and not by hackers.

The main entry point for hackers is the Internet of things (IoT). Recently, a botnet threatened to kill off all IoT devices, leaving them empty shells. When this happens, hackers can launch attacks on internet services and cause significant disruption.

Sadly, even though a different botnet was deployed to dispose of the first, there is fear that the second one may also be capable of disrupting devices.

TVs and other IoT-capable devices are susceptible to hackers. In addition, smart devices like speakers, thermostats, and any made smart device can be accessed this way.

To learn more about how smart TVs can be hacked, watch this short video explaining the FBI’s warning about hackers’ use of smart TVs to spy on you.


If your smart TV turns on by itself randomly, it does not necessarily mean it is hacked. Instead, it is likely a setting that has been accidentally engaged or changed. Through a process of elimination, you should be able to find and rectify the problem.

Smart TVs can be hacked, however. It’s likely if your TV is behaving as if someone else is using it. So do your homework on how to protect your TV from being hacked or getting viruses, and enjoy your smart TV and other devices to the full in a safe way.

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