Given the current technology, losing your smart TV’s remote control isn’t actually that big of a deal. You can still download applications compatible with your TV on your mobile phone and use them as an alternative. Typically, this method works as long as your TV and phone are connected to the same network.
The problem arises when your television gets disconnected from your Wi-Fi. How would you be able to use its companion app then? An easy solution that you can do is to connect a mouse and keyboard to your TV’s ports. Then, you can use them to navigate your television’s network settings to connect to your WiFi.
But this isn’t the only way to do it, and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article. So follow along as we explore four common workarounds on how to connect your TV to WiFi without a remote control.
Method 1: Use a Mouse and a Keyboard
Modern televisions are equipped with USB ports, which are typically used for connecting USB drives, computers, and similar devices to access multimedia content on the TV’s display. You can find these ports either at the sides or the rear of your TV.
In this method, the concept is to test whether your TV supports mouse and keyboard input. And one of the easiest ways to do that is to directly plug them into the said ports. If they are recognized by your television’s operating system, you can use them to enable the WiFi connection in its settings.
Remember to use mice and keyboards that require a USB connection to work, regardless of whether they’re wired or wireless, like a 2.4GHz dongle. Opting for Bluetooth® peripherals would make this method tricky. This is because you’d have to first configure the Bluetooth® connection on your television’s system interface, which you currently can’t access without a remote.
Method 2: Plug in an Ethernet Cable & Use Your TV’s Mobile App
You can also opt for a wired internet connection for your television in case it doesn’t support mouse and keyboard input. And in fact, plugging in your Ethernet cable provides a more reliable connection and better streaming quality.
It would, however, require you to do extra work in figuring out your cable management and even potentially require you to purchase a long-enough cord to reach your TV. But since the goal here is to set up a wireless connection via Wi-Fi, it suffices to just connect your Ethernet cable temporarily.
Here’s what you can do:
- Connect your TV through Ethernet to ensure that it and your mobile phone are on the same network
- On the mobile software, navigate your TV’s network settings to connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi
Note: You can’t use the companion app to control your TV when it’s not connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
While the user interface of each companion software varies depending on the brand, here are some tutorials for mainstream TVs.
LG allows consumers to control its television models through the LG TV Plus app, which is now called ThinQ. While there might be a few changes on the latest version in terms of usage, here are a few general steps that you can follow.
- Download the LG TV Plus app either from Google Play or App Store
- Once installed, launch the app and choose your TV model
- After the connection has been established, go to “Settings” > “Wi-Fi” in the app
- Tap on the name of your Wi-Fi, type the password, and you’re done
From the name VIZIO SmartCast Mobile, the brand has recently changed its official app name to VIZIO Mobile. Apart from being a remote control app, it can also be used to launch TV apps and browse movies.
To get started, simply follow the steps below.
- Install the VIZIO Mobile software on your mobile phone
- Inside the app, find your VIZIO television
- Tap on “Connect” and type the code that will appear on your TV screen
- Go to “Settings” > “Wi-Fi” and connect to your network
Available on Google Play, the SmartThings app isn’t solely a dedicated remote control app for Samsung TVs but it does work as one. Here’s how to connect Samsung smart TVs to Wi-Fi without a remote control.
- Install the SmartThings app on your smartphone
- Launch the app and tap on “Add” > “Devices” > “TV” > “Start”
- By now, your phone should be connected to your television
- Tap on “Menu” > “Settings” > “Wi-Fi and Connectivity”
- Simply pick your network and connect to it
Roku is a popular operating system used by many TV brands like Hisense, Philips, and more. Here’s how to connect Roku TVs to Wi-Fi without a remote using The Roku App.
- Given that the Roku app has been installed on your phone, open it and tap on “Devices”
- Your Roku TV should appear on the list, and you just need to press it to connect
- Go to “Settings” > “Network” > “Setup Connection”
- Select your Wi-Fi name and enter the password
Method 3: Configure Your SSID and Password
Smart TVs save the details of the networks that it has already connected to in the past, and you can take advantage of that to make yours connected to your WiFi again. Here are the steps to do it.
- Change the name of your WiFi connection, formally called the SSID, to its previous name when your TV was still connected to it
- Do the same for the password
Note: The steps here will differ depending on your internet service provider. But once these changes are made, your TV automatically scans the available networks nearby and should be connected to your router just like before. This method is most applicable when your old router just died, or you changed to a new one.
Method 4: Enable Your Mobile Hotspot
Alternatively, you can also opt to use your phone’s mobile hotspot. This works on a similar principle to the previous solution that we’ve discussed but is meant for a temporary connection. Here’s how you do it.
- Configure the hotspot name and password to something recognizable by your TV — the same SSID and key that it has been connected to previously
- Your TV should automatically connect to your mobile hotspot
- Connect a separate phone to the hotspot
- Once the connections are established, you can then access your TV’s settings using its companion app on the other phone
- Here, you want to connect your TV to your real Wi-Fi network.
You can also check out this video to see how it works. The example used here is for a Roku TV, but the method should be applicable to most brands in general.
If None of These Methods Work, Just Buy Another Remote
Depending on the TV brand and model, the methods we’ve presented here might not work for you. For example, you have no mouse and keyboard set at hand that connects through USB. Another scenario is where you don’t have access to your residence’s Wi-Fi network settings.
The easiest solution that you can do if none of these methods work is to just buy a replacement remote. Check whether your TV brand sells a standalone remote control to find one that’s truly compatible with your television. You can also opt for universal ones in case they don’t.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Use Your Phone as a Remote Without WiFi?
For smart TVs, the answer is no. Your TV and phone must be connected to the same WiFi network to use a compatible remote control app. Of course, you can abandon the WiFi in using your phone as a remote if your TV model uses an infrared (IR) connection. Do keep in mind that this only works for phones with an IR blaster.
How Do I Manually Connect My TV to WiFi?
The answer depends on the model of your television. In general, you should go to your TV settings and head over to your wireless network-related options. To connect to WiFi, simply select the correct SSID, enter the password, and toggle the OK (or any equivalent) button.
Losing your remote control isn’t a big deal — your TV disconnecting from the WiFi is. Fortunately, there are easy solutions on how to connect TVs to WiFi without a remote control: using a USB mouse and keyboard, plugging in an Ethernet cable, configuring your SSID and password, and enabling your mobile hotspot.
If you still can’t connect your TV using these four, buying a replacement remote would be the most plausible solution. Alternatively, if you’re looking to improve your WiFi knowledge, take a look at these online courses to learn the fundamentals of connecting to Wi-Fi and more!
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.