How to program a GE universal remote to your TV

If your TV remote is lost or broken, you can replace it with a GE universal remote.

An advantage of universal remote controls is that they are not brand specific. Therefore, you can program them for any TV model from almost all electronic manufacturers.

Apart from using it for your TV, you can program a GE universal remote to control your cable box, DVD players, and streaming devices.

You can program a GE universal remote by finding the correct GE CL3 universal remote codes. Then, you will use the numbers on the remote to enter the code to complete the setup.

Although the process seems straightforward, it can take time, depending on the type of TV you own.

Furthermore, you may encounter some errors while programming a GE universal remote.  This guide aims to help you program the remote correctly and avoid common mistakes.

How to find the 4-digit code for your GE remote

Before you can program a GE remote to your TV, the first step is to find the 4-digit code for the GE remote. Here is how:

  • Flip the GE remote
  • Open the battery cover
  • Remove the batteries
  • Find the sticker showing the Mode and code list version

The sticker has three code list versions, CL3, CL4, and GE CL5 codes. After locating your remote’s version number, you will find the 4-digit code.

Also, you can find the 4-digit code by:

  • Checking the code on your TV’s user manual
  • Conducting a web search by your TV’s brand

Another option is to use the code search to locate the 4-digit code. Here is how:

  • Switch on your TV
  • Click on the code search button on the remote
  • You will see an indicator light
  • Click and hold the TV button until the TV switches
  • Save the code on the remote by tapping on the Enter button

If successful, you can go ahead to complete your programming. But if not, the simplest way of getting the 4-digit code is to call your TV’s manufacturer.

How to program a GE universal remote

GE Remote

To program a GE universal remote:

  • Open the battery compartment of your GE universal remote.
  • Remove the batteries.
  • You will see a white sticker inside the battery compartment.
  • Find the version number of your remote. Depending on the remote, look for values V1-V5, none = V1 (older), newest = CL3 or CL4.
  • Reinsert the batteries and replace the compartment.

At this point, you must get the specific code for your remote. Therefore:

  • Go to
  • Scroll through the page and click on GE Universal Remotes to get a full list of programming codes for the GE Universal Remote.
  • Click on the button corresponding to the version number inside the battery compartment. In most cases, the version number could be CL3, CL4, or CL4.
  • Select the correct device category. You will get it from the Device Category drop-down list. Your device category should be TV.
  • Go to the Brand Name menu and select your TV’s brand.
  • You should see GE CL4 codes for your TV.

Once you have the codes for GE Universal remotes, the next step is to program your device. Do the following:

  • Turn on your TV.
  • Press and hold down the Setup button.
  • You will see a red light at the top of the remote or power button.
  • Release the button after the red light becomes more visible.
  • Next, press the TV button on the universal remote.
  • Release the button once you see the red light blinking and remaining solid.
  • Enter the TV code.
  • You will see the red light turning off after entering the code.
  • Point the remote at your TV and press the Power button.

Your TV will turn off, indicating you have entered the correct code. Therefore, you can use the remote to control your TV.

Sometimes, you will get several GE codes, making it challenging to determine the correct one to choose.

Ideally, you have to select the first code on the list and enter it. Then, if it does not work, use the second code and repeat until you get the right one.

Here’s a video detailing the procedure:

How to program a GE CL5 universal remote without codes

It is possible to program a GE CL5 universal remote without codes.

The best way is to conduct an automatic code search if you do not know the specific code for the type of brand or TV you own.

Once you perform a code search, the GE CL5 universal remote will scan the GE universal remote codes list in a provided database and complete the setup.

Here is what to do:

  • Find the version of your GE programmable remote.
  • Turn on your TV.
  • Press the Setup button for at least five seconds.
  • Check if the LED button on the remote turns on.
  • Press the alternate device button. In this case, press the ‘TV’ button.
  • Press the Power button to turn off the TV.
  • Wait for at least five seconds.
  • After five seconds, press the Power button again.
  • The device will turn off.
  • Press the Enter button on the remote to lock up the code.

The indicator light will turn off, meaning you have entered the code successfully. Your remote will also be ready to use.

What if codes do not work for universal remote?

If the codes do not work, you can try several troubleshooting steps to find a solution.

  • Replace the batteries since a low battery can prevent the proper programming of the device. Also, replacing the batteries is necessary if the red light is not working as per the instructions. Even if the batteries are new, the issue can still occur. Therefore, consider buying new batteries and try again.
  • Remove any obstacle between your GE universal remote and the TV. Any physical obstacle can prevent the remote from contacting the TV.

One thing to understand is that there are no specific codes for specific TV models. Most codes’ programming is based on brand name device type only.

Therefore, you must conduct an automatic Code Search to find the correct code or use your TV’s user manual.   

How many devices can the GE universal remote control?

The GE Universal remote can control between two and eight devices. However, you can know more by locating and counting the device buttons on the remote.

The buttons are in the top two rows of the remote. You will know them because of their labels, including TV, DVD, AUX, STRM, B-RAY, AUD, SAT, etc.

Why are there no codes for my TV?

It is not unusual to find no codes for a device since each is different.

In this case, you have to do an automatic code search following the instructions on the user manual that came with the GE Universal remote.

An advantage of the automatic code search function is that it will try every code built into the remote until it finds the right one.

Why are some GE Universal remote buttons not working?

GE CL5 universal remote

You may encounter an issue whereby you have programmed the remote, but only a few buttons work for your TV.

That happens because the code you entered has partial functionality. In other words, you have programmed the remote with a code that can only control specific functions of your TV.

Furthermore, some TV manufacturers reuse a few parts of their remote codes for different models.

That means a working code may be stored in your universal remote, ensuring the best functionality. Usually, the issue happens when you get several codes for one remote.

You can locate the working code by reprogramming the remote using the rest of the codes from the list.

The automatic code search function can be handy in ensuring you get the right code.

Can the GE Universal remote work with streaming devices?

Many people who use the GE universal remote encounter an issue when controlling Amazon and Roku streaming devices.

Generally, universal remotes only use infrared sensors to control video and audio devices.

But streaming devices like Amazon and Roku streaming sticks use radiofrequency. On the other hand, the GE universal remote uses infrared frequency.

Therefore, the mismatch in frequencies and sensors means your remote will not control the streaming devices.

In other words, you cannot use the GE universal remote to control any Roku boxes, streaming sticks, or Amazon streaming devices because of their radio frequency.   

Wrapping up

Before programming your GE universal remote, you must first find its code. It is usually located on the back of the remote, but you can locate it after removing the batteries.

After finding the code, enter it, power your TV, and test to see whether it works. If the remote does not work, check to ensure the batteries have enough power or you entered the correct code.

But also understand that the code used may only control specific buttons on the remote and not all of them. Therefore, you will have to reprogram the device to find a new code.

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