Help! I Can’t Find the Remote! Lost Remote Control Solutions for Everyone
So has this ever happened to you? You get ready to settle down and watch a movie for the evening. Drinks and snacks in hand, you head to your home theater. You settle into your seats and reach for the remote only to find that it has gone missing. You frantically pull cushions off your sofa – nothing! Under the sofa? Nope! You interrogate everyone in your house about the whereabouts of that **** remote!! Blank stares! Khaaaaaan! You need a lost remote control solution!
You eventually find your remote, but you vow never to feel the pain of losing your remote again. But how do you ensure this doesn’t happen again? Short of strapping it to your arm or gluing it to your coffee table? Well, get ready, we will give you some lost remote control solutions from utterly ridiculous to down-right simple and everything in between!
You need a solution and you don’t need a lot of hassle. Plus, you can only use what you can find in your garage. What lost remote control solution will work for you? We’ve got a couple.
Attach It To Something Big And Heavy
Ok, so this may not be a viable option for many reasons. But for those who don’t care about aesthetics or the ire of their spouse, it might work. For example, I have seen someone glue a remote to a piece of wood that was large enough that it couldn’t easily get lost.
I don’t think they thought it through because it was impossible to change batteries once attached. So rather than glue, I would suggest some 3M heavy-duty adhesive strips or some industrial-strength Velcro that is hard to get apart. But be warned. If you attach your remote to a piece of wood, you invite your doggo to make it their chew toy!
Tether It To Something
So I still consider this a brute-force solution, but it might be a workable lost remote control solution for those who want a more straightforward option. This solution also might mean some modification to your remote.
You can get a silicon cover for your remote with holes for a simple tether in an ideal world. With this scenario, you loop a thin piece of twine (or something similar) through the cover and attach it to your coffee table or sofa.
If you can’t get a cover, you can drill a small hole through the body of your remote and loop the twine through and attach it to your furniture of choice. However, be careful where you drill. If you drill through the PCB or some necessary wires, you will be out a remote!
Blocks of wood and twine not your thing? We’ve got some higher-tech lost remote control solutions.
AirTag or Tile
So this option will be more elegant, and it’s not near as expensive as you might think. AirTags and Tiles are small(ish) Bluetooth trackers that you can attach to items you wish to keep tabs on. If you lose them, you can use an app to track them and have them play a tone helping you locate them.
The basic Tile (they offer four types) has a three-year, non-replaceable battery, costs about $20, and works with Android and iOS. The AirTag is $30 and has a one-year, user-replaceable battery. It only has native support with iOS, so Android users are out of luck. There is a hack to make them work with Android, but it’s janky, and AirTag’s are more expensive than Tile. So I suggest you stick with Tile.
Neither is tiny, so expect some bulk will get added to your remote. Depending on the remote’s size, the tags might stick over the edges, making them harder to hold.
I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of apps on my phone for most of my components. I can use my TV, Shield TV, AV receiver, and Harmony Hub with apps. If you are tired of losing remotes, install the apps on family members’ phones, give them a crash course, and then tuck those remotes in a safe place.
Just be aware, there are some drawbacks. If you don’t have HDMI CEC enabled, you may not be able to control other devices from a single app, and you may need to switch. The second drawback is that the apps are all WiFi, which means that if you have a naughty family member, they can mess with you from anywhere in the house.
Use A Voice Assistant
I have had a Google Home integrated into my home theater for about three years now. Aside from my Harmony Hub, it’s the one piece of gear I wouldn’t want to give up. All the other voice assistants on the market should work as well. The Google Home allows me to control almost every aspect of my home theater with my voice. I can tell Google to turn on my Nvidia Shield, and it powers up my Shield, TV, AV receiver, changes the inputs for me, and dims my lights!
As with everything, there are some drawbacks. First, it needs some reasonably specific language to make things happen. It’s initially a bit of a pain, but you get accustomed to it quickly. The other issue is that when you have your AV receiver turned up loud, Google will have a hard time hearing you and probably miss your commands.
Use A Game Controller/Keyboard
For those with a gaming system, one of the better solutions is to require those most likely to lose the remote control (namely the kids) to use a game controller. While you’ll need to power on much of the gear with a remote, everything else (including playing discs, viewing streaming services, playing games) can all be done with a game controller. You’d be surprised how the same people that lose the remote the second they touch it nearly never lose their game controller. Sure, it might be because it is bigger. Or it might be because they care more. You decide.
The Most Fun
But what if you want a solution that may work, but is more fun than functional? We’ve got you covered!
Get A Comically Oversized Universal Remote
So I had one of those massive novelty remotes for a couple of years. After my kids had “misplaced” the remote more times than I could count, I found the largest remote sold and forced them to use it. We had it for several years, and they never lost it!
Sadly, they eventually weaponized it and found out that it had enough heft to be used as a club, and it quickly was retired. But I did enjoy a few years of not rummaging for my remote. On the plus side, if you throw some legs on it, you can use it for a coffee table!
Losing a remote control is always a pain, but hopefully, we have given you some creative and fun solutions to keep it from getting lost. While some are a bit hamfisted, they can work for desperate times.
Do you have a creative solution for keeping track of your remote? Let us know in the comments!