Samsung is probably the most well-known brand in the world for modern electronics. Their LCD and LED TVs are reliable and long-lasting, but they can also malfunction at times.
If your Samsung TV wont turn on for some reason, this detailed article will guide you through troubleshooting the issue.
But before we dive deep into troubleshooting, let’s try a quick fix called “power cycling” that usually works and will get your TV running in most cases.
Unplug the TV from the wall and wait for 30 seconds. Now, push & hold the power button for another 60 seconds. After that, plug the TV back in and turn it ON.
Pressing & holding the power button discharges all the capacitors and drains the circuit of any residual charges. After that, your Samsung TV will reboot fresh.
However, if your Samsung TV refuses to turn ON because of more serious software or hardware-related issues, you must go through this detailed troubleshooting guide below.
This troubleshooting guide is meant for everyday users and doesn’t contain repair instructions for more severe hardware issues.
Samsung TV wont turn ON – Possible reasons
Your Samsung TV is a complex machine with different parts working in unison to create a crystal clear picture on display.
This unison is often disturbed by software or hardware issues that render your TV unresponsive.
Main parts of Samsung TV
Before we troubleshoot the problem, let’s briefly discuss the main parts of your Samsung TV. As promised, this will not be over-technical but will help you better understand your problem.
Because malfunctioning parts can cause specific symptoms, it is important to know which one is defective. This makes troubleshooting very easy.
These are the major components of an LCD TV.
POWER SUPPLY A circuit board located on the back of your TV, just below the cover, supplies the required voltage to the main control or motherboard.
This board contains numerous capacitors and small transformers that can blow up with voltage irregularities.
MOTHERBOARD – This is the core of any TV. It processes video from outside and sends signals to the TCON boards (timing control board) for display on the screen.
Although it rarely fails, it will need to be replaced completely if it does.
TCON BOARDS: The Timing Control Boards are located at the top or bottom of the LCD panel. They control the horizontal and vertical lines produced by your TV to create an image.
Each TCON board controls half of the screen. If one TCON board fails, the picture will only show on one side of the screen.
BACKLIGHT: CCFL tubes or LED strips are used as backlights behind an LCD screen. They are used to illuminate the image. They can go bad quite often.
We now have a good idea of a TV’s main components. Let’s look at some common problems with Samsung TVs.
Samsung TV problems & possible causes
|Signs of malfunction
|TV won’t turn ON – no red light
|1. Power circuit failure (cord, wall switch)
2. Power board is fried
|TV won’t turn ON – red light flashing
|1. Power supply board is malfunctioning
2. External voltage supply is low
|TV won’t turn ON – red light ON
|1. Power supply is malfunctioning
2. Power button is broken.
3. Remote is not working/dead batteries
|TV turns ON – audio is coming, but no video
|1. TV backlight is fused
2. Bad TCON board
|TV turns ON but very dim picture on screen
|1. TV backlight array is fused
|TV turns ON but only half screen is black
|One of the TCON boards is faulty.
|TV turns ON but there are horizontal/vertical lines
|1. Bad TCON board.
2. LCD ribbon panels are damaged
|TV turns ON with logo but shuts off again
|The power supply is faulty
Samsung TV not turning ON – Troubleshooting
As I said at the beginning of the article, this is more of a troubleshooting guide than a repair guide.
I have kept it as simple as possible so that every reader can understand.
Here are eight different ways to troubleshoot the problem. After identifying the problem, you can either fix it yourself or hire a professional to do the job.
If you are a bit of a DIY person, do the simple steps and try fixing it yourself first before you can get help. That way, you might be able to save a few hundred bucks on repair costs.
1. Check the power circuit
This should be your first step for any electronic device that won’t turn ON. If your Samsung TV is not turning ON, first check if it is receiving power from the wall.
You would be surprised to know that half of the problems are due to a cut or loose cord or a shorted wall socket.
A simple but thorough check can save you money and headaches.
First, check the wall socket to see if it is providing the required current.
Doing that is really easy – just get another appliance, plug it into the same socket, and check if it is working. It can be a juicer or your vacuum cleaner, or any other thing.
You can also check the power using a voltage tester or a voltmeter. The socket is working if the tester bulb lights up or the meter shows the correct voltage.
Next, check your TV power cord for any visible cuts or breaks. Power cords are notoriously unreliable.
Usually, when the wall socket and the plug don’t make good electrical contact, they become hot and end up damaging the plug or the socket (or both)
Check the power cord for any signs of aging or damage. If you find any, that means you have to replace your cord before you can do any further troubleshooting.
A clear sign of power circuit failure is that you won’t get any signs of life on your Samsung TV. There will either be no light, or the light will be flickering/flashing, indicating an insufficient power supply.
2. Power cycle your Samsung TV
If your power circuit is working fine, the next troubleshooting step is to power cycle your Samsung TV and see if it malfunctioned due to irregular electric charge build-up.
Power cycling is basically a fancy word for turning your TV OFF & ON again.
But unlike simple OFF/ON, we make sure to drain the circuit of the electrical charge during the process so that the system reboots fresh.
To power cycle your Samsung TV follow the below steps:
- Unplug the TV from the wall socket.
- Wait for 30 minutes
- Find the power button on the back side of the TV and press & hold it for 60 seconds.
- Plug your TV back in and turn it ON.
What does power cycling do exactly? You might be wondering.
Your TV is basically a collection state machine with different components with 0 or 1 state. Capacitors, flipflops, logic gates, etc all work together to output the programmed results (video on your screen)
When your TV is used for a long time, it will occasionally run into an unstable combination state. In simple language, it will develop a “bug”.
When you run your TV through a power cycle and drain all the capacitors off their stored charge, the system is reset to its zero states, where all the systems are stable, and the TV reboots fresh.
That’s how power cycling will eliminate all the “bugs” that the system has developed over time.
3. Check your Samsung Remote
Sometimes, the problem is not your TV but your samsung remote controller.
If you see a standby light ON on your TV, but it is not responding to your remote button input, it is possible that your TV remote is not working.
To troubleshoot your remote, go through the following steps.
a. Replace remote batteries
First, get a new pair of batteries and replace your existing ones. This seems like a no-brainer, but many people will look elsewhere for the problem when it is actually dead batteries.
Always remember not to mix old and new batteries as that will create more problems due to mismatch in cell voltages. Always replace the old batteries with a fresh pair.
Once the new batteries are in, check if you can turn your Samsung TV on now.
b. Clean your Remote
Remotes get in all sorts of places like below your sofa cushion, under the sofa, and in one of my cases, in the lawn under the bushes (thanks to my dog).
The remote picks up dirt and dust over time. This dust accumulates between the rubber buttons and the circuit board and prevents contact between the two; hence your remote button won’t work.
Cleaning your remote is quite easy. There are not many moving parts in your remote.
All you have to do is open the screws, remove the cover, separate the buttons rubber from the board, clean both surfaces, and reassemble.
Also, clean the remote’s battery compartment as it may also accumulate dust and dirt.
After thoroughly cleaning everything, put everything together exactly as you opened it and screw in the cover.
c. Check your remote IR sensor
This is an easy check to see whether your remote is producing signals. Almost all remotes have an IR blaster LED on the front end that produces infrared light when buttons are pressed,
This Infrared light is not visible directly to the naked eye, but your phone camera can record it, and you can playback the recording to see the light.
To do this, turn your room lights OFF and point your remote directly at your phone camera, press a few buttons, and record a video while doing so.
After you record the video, play it back and look for flashes of dim red light in your recorded video.
If you see the IR flashes, that means your IR sensor is good and working. If not, the IR LED is dead and will need a replacement.
d. Power cycle your TV remote
Just like your TV, your remote can also go into an unstable state where it will stop working correctly.
To fix this, you have to power cycle or power reset it to give it a fresh start. This will remove any temporary bugs or malfunctions.
To power cycle your Samsung TV remote, remove the batteries, press & hold your power button for 30 seconds to drain any residual charge from capacitors. Put the batteries back in and try your remote.
4. Remove all external devices
If you have power cycled your TV and your remote but can still not power on your Samsung TV, the next step would be to remove all external devices to ensure they are not the troublemakers.
Smart TVs are connected to various external devices, including a TV box, LAN connection for the internet, gaming consoles via HDMI, and maybe a streaming device like Roku.
Although these devices seldom cause problems but is a good idea to eliminate them as suspects.
One by one, remove all your external devices and make sure the only wire connected to your TV is the power cord.
Now, try to turn ON your TV and see if you are getting a static screen or menu option.
Any kind of display or sign of life is good as it confirms your TV is not totally broken.
5. Check external video source
Sometimes, your TV is fine, but it’s the video source that is not working properly.
Most users rely on several devices to run their Samsung TVs. I use a Roku stick for streaming which connects to my TV via HDMI.
If you are using an external video source, it is a good idea to check it and see if it is working alright.
The quickest check would be to disconnect all devices and put your Samsung TV in Live mode, where it can get signals from the Live TV source.
Even if you don’t have a Live TV connection, you will still get static and confirm your TV is okay.
If your TV is alive and showing even static, that means your external video source is faulty. It’s good to switch to another source while you figure out what is wrong with the current one.
In most cases, an HDMI or VGA cable is at fault. You can get a new one and see if that solves the issue.
6. Factory reset your TV
Factory reset will revert your Samsung TV back to its factory state and remove any and all custom configurations, apps and accounts.
Factory reset is usually done to remove any software glitches from your TV’s firmware and give it a new start. It is quite easy to perform.
First of all, look for a RESET button or hole on the back side of the TV. Most newer Samsung TV models don’t have a reset button, but older models do.
On some models, it’s a reset button that you can push with a finger, while on others, it’s a small pinhole that you can push with a pin.
Either way if you find the button, push the reset button for 30 seconds while the TV is plugged in. After 30 seconds, your TV should reboot itself, and you should see the Samsung logo on the screen.
If your TV is ON (you are hearing sound or seeing a dim picture), you can use your standard Samsung remote to perform a reset as well.
On the standard remote, press these buttons in order:
- Volume Up
- Volume Down
- Volume Up
If this hard reset also doesn’t solve your problem, it’s probably a hardware issue. We are going there next, so keep reading.
7. Check TV circuit boards for shorts
If nothing has worked so far in your troubleshooting efforts, it’s time to get a little more hands-on and remove the back cover.
Don’t worry. We are not going to do any actual repairs. We are just looking at the main components and seeing if they have visible signs of damage.
Place your TV face down on a soft surface (your bed or a tabletop with a towel beneath). Open up all the screws on the back cover and carefully remove the back cover.
Once the cover is removed, perform the below checks to see if you can find any abnormalities.
a. Check for blown capacitors heads
In any electric circuit board, capacitors are most prone to electrical damage. A slight surge in voltage can blow them.
Capacitor heads will bulge out when blown and are clearly visible upon inspection.
On the back of your Samsung TV, you will find capacitors on the power supply board. Closely inspect these capacitors and see if their heads are flat or bulging out.
If any of the capacitor’s head is bulged out, that means it is fried and needs to be replaced. This is also the most probable cause of your Samsung TV not turning ON.
b. Check for burn or scorching marks
Besides the capacitors, check for any signs of burn or scorching on the circuit boards.
When a circuit board element shorts, it produces a high temperature before it fully blows and melts away. This shorting sometimes leaves a visible burn mark on the circuit board.
Look closely for any black marks around the main components. The short circuit element also leaves a distinct smell of burning, so you can smell around the board and try to find any short circuit element.
If you find any such elements that are fused, you will have to replace them at a repair center.
c. Check for shorts using a thermal camera
A more sophisticated way of finding a short-circuited element is to use a thermal camera and see for any hotspots while the TV is plugged in.
The thermal camera picks up abnormally high-temperature zones on the board, usually signs of a short circuit.
However, not everyone owns a thermal camera. They are quite expensive, but if you have one lying around, you can use it.
You can also find a mobile phone mount thermal camera for a few hundred bucks. FLIR ONE makes great thermal camera units that you can attach to your iPhone and scan anything.
d. Check for loose connections
Another visual check you can do is look for any loose or broken connection between the boards and the screen.
When you open the back cover, you will see a few cables running between the different boards and to/from the screen panel.
Just quickly check and see if any of them is loose or cut.
If you find one such connection, it might cause your Samsung TV to malfunction.
Here is a good video of inspecting the TV board and replacing faulty components.
8. Check for faulty backlights
All modern displays are backlit using either CCFL (Cold Cathode Florescent Lamps) or LED arrays. CCFL tubes are a bit older technology compared to modern LED TVs.
Like any light bulb, these light sources can go bad. Especially if you have an older model of Samsung TV that uses CCFL tubes, it has a higher chance of fusing.
Modern LED-backlit TVs are more reliable, but they too go bad from voltage surges and prolonged use.
Checking faulty backlights is easy; you don’t even have to open your TV cover.
One clear sign of a bad backlight panel is that you will get sound, but you won’t see a picture on your screen.
To confirm this, just turn ON your TV, dim your room lights and point a flashlight at your TV screen from a few-inch distance. You will see a very dim picture and words on your screen.
This indicates that your TV is working fine, and it’s just the backlight panel that is not illuminating the picture on the screen.
Here is a good video explaining how to properly check for backlight issues using a flashlight.
However, fixing your backlight is not an easy task if you are not a DIY person. You will have to order the exact type of backlight panels and replace them.
If you are not a technical person, your best chance is to take your TV to a repair shop and let the professional do it correctly.
Contact Samsung support
Samsung offers great customer and after-sales technical service. If your TV is still not fixed after trying all the troubleshooting methods, its a good idea to reach out to Samsung for help.
Samsung offers three types of repair services:
- Repair at home
- Walk-in service at one of their repair centers
- Mail in service if you don’t live in a big city
To book your repair service, visit their Repair service page.
You can also contact Samsung support in the US via message or call.
Message Support: Text “SUPPORT” to 1-800-726-7864 (available 24/7)
Call Support: Talk to Samsung Care Pro at 1-800-SAMSUNG (726-7864) between 8 – 12 am EST, 7 days a week
Samsung TV Troubleshooting – Conclusion
Samsung TV troubleshooting is not an easy task, but if you follow the steps outlined in this article, you can get to the bottom of your issue in most cases.
To summarise the discussion above:
- First, check if the TV is getting adequate power from the wall.
- Run your TV through a power cycle to resolve any bugs
- Check your remote and make sure it is working
- Remove all external devices to see if they are the problem
- Check if the external video source is working fine
- Try factory resetting your TV
- Open the back cover and check the circuit board for any shorts
- Check if your TV LCD backlight is ON and working
After running through all these troubleshooting steps, if you get your TV working, great. If not, you should then contact the Samsung technical support team for help.
Frequently Asked Questions
TV is not turning on and making a clicking noise. Why?
The power supply unit of your TV is faulty. The clicking sound is coming from the electronics in the power unit when it tries to turn on but can’t.
Samsung TV not turning ON no red light
If your Samsung TV has no red standby light, that means either your TV is not getting power from the wall or your TV internal power supply is bad.
Samsung tv not turning ON red light flashing. Why?
The common cause of Samsung TV flashing red light is because it is not getting enough voltage from the wall. Check your mains supply.
What’s the difference between LCD and LED TV?
LCD TVs are backlit using fluorescent lamp (CCFL) tubes, while in LED TVs, the LCD panel is backlit using an array of LEDs. So, an LED TV is just an LCD TV with LED backlighting.