How To Fix a TCL TV Not Turning On
You’ve popped some popcorn, have a nice drink waiting for you, and you’ve settled down to watch a new movie on your TCL TV. But something’s wrong. No matter how often you press the power button, your TCL TV isn’t turning on, and your movie ends up going unwatched because you can’t figure out how to make the device work again.
That frustrating experience is made all the worse if you have to send the TV off for repairs, especially if it’s outside its warranty and you have to pay. But before you call the repairman, there are a few things you can do to test your TCL TV and potentially get it powered back up again.
Check the TCL TV’s Status Light
Every TCL TV has a status light, which is a little LED light that’s somewhere along the bottom edge of your TV. You’ve probably noticed the light blinking whenever you press a button on your remote. When your TV is in standby mode, you’ll see the light takes on a white hue, only for it to turn off completely when your TV is on. Once on, the light only blinks whenever you press a button on your remote.
That status light can indicate if the problem with your TV lies somewhere other than the power running to it. Press the “Power” button on your remote and watch the light. If it turns off, that means the TV is on, and there’s power running to it. Press a few buttons to see if the light blinks. A blinking light means there’s power running to the TV, and your problem lies elsewhere.
If the light stays white (or goes off but doesn’t blink when you press buttons on your remote), try one of the below fixes.
Fix 1 – Check the Power Cord and Outlet
A simple cable fault might be the underlying problem if your TCL TV won’t turn on. Do the following to check the connection:
- Check that the plug end of the cord is secured firmly in the socket. Any looseness may sever the connection (or cause it to be intermittent) and cut power to your TV.
- Examine the end of the cord that plugs into your TV.
- If the cord is built into the TV, look for fraying or any other signs of wire damage that suggest you need a replacement.
- If it’s a standalone cord, check that it’s plugged in securely.
Assuming the cord is secure, try the plug in a different power outlet. Hold the power button for 10-15 seconds after switching outlets to see if your TCL TV turns on. If it does, you likely have an electrical fault in the socket you used previously.
Fix 2 – Power Cycle Your TCL TV
A buildup of electricity inside your TV could create interference (or cause minor faults) that lead to it failing to turn on. You can run a power cycle to essentially empty any electricity that’s in the TV using these steps:
- Unplug your TV from the power socket.
- Locate the power button on your TCL TV and hold it down for at least two minutes to drain any residual electricity from the capacitors inside it.
- Plug the power cable back into the socket and try turning the TV on again.
Note – You have to use the power button that’s physically located on your TV as the button on your remote doesn’t drain the electricity.
With the residual electricity drained, you may see your TCL TV spark back into life.
It’s also worth pointing out that the physical power buttons on TCL TVs are in different places, depending on the model. You’ll usually find it somewhere on the back of the TV, often with a collection of other buttons, of which the Power button is at the bottom.
For TVs that are 32 inches or lower in size, the button may be at the bottom of the TV, under the edge. Run your hand along the TV’s lower edge to see if you find any buttons or nodules.
Fix 3 – Check the Input Source
Every TCL TV has multiple input sources, usually including multiple HDMI ports, an antenna, and an AV source (in older models). It’s surprisingly easy to accidentally change the source to one that isn’t active, giving the impression that your TV isn’t turning on when it actually has full power running to it.
You can try switching the source to an active one to try and get the TV running again:
- Turn on your TCL TV and press the “Source” or “Input” button on your remote.
- Look through the list of sources and select the one you usually use.
Note that inactive sources are typically greyed out, with active sources (i.e., ones with something playing through them) being white.
Fix 4 – Replace the Batteries in Your Remote
Sometimes, the simplest fixes are the ones that don’t immediately come to mind. If you exclusively use the power button on your remote to turn on your TCL TV, you may have a battery issue. Try switching the batteries out for a fresh batch (most require a pair of AAA batteries) and press the power button again. If the TV turns on, you’ve solved your problem.
Incidentally, this test can also reveal if there’s an issue with your remote rather than your TV. If you switch the batteries and your TV still doesn’t turn on when you press the power button on your remote, but it does when you press the device’s physical power, you may have a broken remote. Thankfully, most electronics stores that sell TCL TVs also stock replacement remotes, plus you can find them at Amazon and similar online marketplaces.
Fix 5 – Clean Out the Dust
If you’ve lagged on your cleaning schedule, or your TCL TV is in a place where dust accumulates, dust buildup could interfere with the electronic connectors inside the device. These connectors are often sensitive, meaning any interference is liable to cause your TV to stop working.
Using a small brush or specialized electronics cleaning kit, brush out any dust from the TV’s exposed ports and power points. If you want to take things further, you could unscrew the back of the television to dust inside, though doing so may void your warranty. After dusting, try to power on the TV to see if it works.
Fix 6 – Run a Hardware Reset
If all else fails, you have one more option before you send the TV out for repair. A hardware reset wipes the TCL TV’s slate clean, returning it to the factory settings it had before you bought it. This fix should be your last resort because running a hardware reset also wipes all of your data from the TV. Furthermore, this fix only works if the TV powers on but doesn’t display any visuals or play audio. You need to be able to access the TV’s “Settings” menu to do a hardware reset.
Assuming you can do that, use the following steps to wipe the TV:
- Press your remote’s “Settings” button and head to “More Settings.”
- Choose “Device Preferences” and select “Reset.”
- Press “OK” on “Factory Data Reset” and choose “Erase Everything” to restore your TCL TV to its default settings.
- Try turning on the TV after the reset is completed.
Turn On Your TCL TV
A TV that gives you nothing but a black screen, no matter what buttons you press, is clearly a TV with a problem. The fixes in this article confront that problem on multiple fronts by allowing you to check for power, source, technical, and electrical issues. Try each in turn (saving a hardware reset as your last resort) to get your TCL TV up and running again.
Now, we want to hear from TCL TV owners. How long have you owned your TCL TV, and have you had many problems with it? Would you recommend your TV to a friend, and why (or why not)? Tell us in the comments section below.