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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wii Remote - Why won't it sync?

This post is one of several on how to fix problems with your Nintendo Wii. To see the entire list, click here for the Nintendo Wii Repair Guide.

Wii Remote (wiimote) has problems syncing with your Nintendo Wii Once I received my new Wii Remotes from, I thought it was just a matter of plugging in the two "AA" batteries and the controller would fire up. That's the way it worked with my PS3 SIXAXIS controllers.

Boy, was I wrong. Finally, thirty minutes later and very frustrated I could finally use the Wii Remote again! The basic problem is that the Wii Remote would not sync to connect to the Wii system, even after several attempts.

Update: Based on the popularity of this post and other questions, I have put together a quick guide of common Nintendo Wii problems and fixes. The guide can be reached by going here:

Here is what I went through, hopefully it will save you some time.

The first thing I did while the Wii was turned on was that I tried to sync the Wii Remote by pressing the "1" + "2" buttons at the same time. The lights at the bottom of the controller flashed for about 30 seconds, but never received the signal from the Wii. Bummer.

The next step I followed was to hit the sync button on the Wii Remote (Wiimote). Then immediately opened the cover for the opening where the SD Flash card goes and pressed the sync button on the Wii. 30 seconds of flashing, and no result. Double bummer.

Finally, after some Google searching, I found a couple of message boards where people had to press the Sync button on the Wii (not the Wii Remote) for 15 seconds to reset it. I performed this step and then pressed sync on the Wii Remote. The 2nd controller synced up almost immediately. What a relief!

Apparently the problem lies in the fact that the Bluetooth technology being used has to be manually synced in order for it to connect to the Wii. It does not make much sense at all. You would think they could be pre-authorized in order to minimize time and ease of use. In addition, you really have to be careful that your other controllers are turned on while syncing or else the controller that you are trying to put on channel 3 might end up on channel 2! This happened to me on one occasion.

Good luck with getting your Wiimotes in sync with your Wii. Hopefully this helped!

If this helped you out, please let me know with a comment below!

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Anonymous said...

Yes it helped, thanks. So did reading the quick start guide which says to push BOTH sync buttons at the same time (one on the remote under the battery cover and the other on the Wii console under the card reader flap on the front). That's what did the trick for me.

Ken Hanscom said...

Glad to hear that worked for you. Unfortunately for me, it proved much more difficult as you can see from my post. Basically, I had to do the full reset, including shutting down the Wii several times, resetting by holding the sync buttons for 15 seconds and re-syncing all controllers. At least they work now!

Anonymous said...

well actually I tried all these things
still didn't work

so I simply restarte and it worked fine.. lol

Edwin said...

what seems to help in my case is to repeatedly press the sync button on the Wii as opposed to keeping it pressed all the time trying to sync. Once I gigured that out I could sync remotes easily.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!
I was almost about to return the wiimote because it wouldn't sync.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much ! This was extremely helpful & saved me so much time !

Chris said...

Press and RELEASE both buttons

Bret said...

My problem was that my original controller somehow got out of sync and would not sync after several attempts. I finally unplugged the unit for a bit, rebooted, and at the initial startup screen I was able to synch my original, then my second controller synched up pretty quickly after that. It would be nice if they included this tid-bit in the manual, otherwise under troubleshooting, but that finally worked for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you...Resetting from the Wii worked for me. What was weird is that the second controller was actually working with some games.

Anonymous said...

This does not work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mlass said...

Thanks alot. I was about to kill someone. Like someone else said the 2nd remote seemed to work fine with other games. Didn't know it had to be sync with the unit in order to work with Carnival.

Anonymous said...

The one that worked for me, was pressing the sync button on the wii alot.. then while doing so,press the sync on the controller.

Anonymous said...

The Nintendo site says to turn off the unit and restart. When you get to the start-up screen you push the snyc button ON THE CONTROLLER, then when the lights start blinking you press the sync button ON THE CONSOLE. They sync up immediatly. Guess you guys should have gone to the manufacturer's site in the first place, huh?

Ken Hanscom said...

That's nice that Nintendo has this posted on their site now. This post was created a year ago, before Nintendo had anything on their website in terms of the sync issues.

Also, check out the Nintendo Wii tips and repair guide on my site at:

Alyce said...

THANK YOU! This worked immiedietly, the wiimotes have given me trouble in the past on my own wii. But my sister just got a wii and the wiimotes on her wii were 10x worse. This solution (manully syncing the wii and the wiimote) worked like a charm. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

thx alot! my wiimote connected to the wii wen i synced the wii first and then the wiimote and if i didnt find yr answer i would of sold it on ebay!

jexe said...

Doesn't work for me. :-/ any other ideas? One of my controllers won't sync at all! what a disappointment.

Preet said...

Thanks a lot man. I was about to cry because my wii motes stopped working.

Anonymous said...

Seriously just keep pressing both buttons. Like after like an hour of trying to get them to connect (I almost fell asleep while holding the buttons down) I just got really pissed off and started mashing both red buttons on my console and controler and it kind of just synced. LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks mate. Yours was the first link I tried when I googled the issue. I pressed sync on both the wii and remote at the same time and worked like charm. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

omg...thnk you so much! i got frustrated after like 15 min but it worked in 30 min..again, THANKX

Jamar said...

I just pressed the red button on the back of the remotes and kept pushing the sync button on the console. They synched up fast.

Dave said...

thanks! ima try this after work.. i just dont get why the instructions that came with my second remote fail te mention either of the sync buttons

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! My daughter was near tears before I found your posting. We were able to sync the remote to the console in seconds! Made for a much happier evening:)

Blookazoo said...

Yes! Thank you soooooo much!!!!!!

Ken Hanscom said...

Not a problem, glad I could help!


Anonymous said...

Thanks! It was really frustrating, but now my wiimotes are working great!

Anonymous said...

I have four wiimotes and we could get three to sync easily. I tried the sync button sequence on the fourth to no avail. I shut the Wii down and then had to sync each remote by pressing both sync buttons (console and remote)at the same time one remote at a time. That did it for me! Now I have four happy "Party" players (if you block out the fighting over what to do next!) THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

Great post, thanks!! I thought I'd have to return the wiimote, you saved me a headache.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch, that got it working!

Anonymous said...

thanks, I am still having issue with one controller.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this helpful blog post and for all of the comments! The comment made by Jamar is what worked for me--though I had to keep pressing the red buttons on BOTH the remote and the console before it would sync.

Thanks again!!!

alex said...

THANK YOU SOOO MUCHH! this worked in less then a minute. your amazing!

Anonymous said...

hitting both syn buttons worked within 10 secs.... but had it not been for this little article it probably would have taken alot longer to figure that out

Anonymous said...

Mine will sync, but when i play the sports game or any other game that requires participation, it will unsync, i guess, blink for 20-30 secs and turn off. Soon as I turn the remote back on it catches right up where i left off. The Wii does not recognize that the controller shut off. BTW The problem started when i bought a battery pack for the controllers. Any ideas or do i need to go back to spending $20 a week on batteries?

Anonymous said...

My problem happened right after I bought the wii fit. My system prompted that it needed to be upgraded and after the upgrade, the remotes would not work! I was already panicking then I found your site. All is well in the world again. Thanks a bunch to all that posted! It really helped!

Anonymous said...

I've done everything Nintendo said and suggestions on this site but nothing works. In resetting everything now I can't get any of the remotes to sync at all. Nada. So any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

no it actually did the opposite and un-synched both remotes. tried it a couple more times, nothing. now not only do i have one faulty wiimote, but two.

cool that it worked for everyone else though i guess..

study_utsa said...

Thanks a lot, the reseting did the trick for me and it worked. I was so dissappointed with Nitendo cause PS3 proved it is so easy to get multi controllers in sync in no time. Anyways your hint did the trick.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Edwin. Repeatedly clicking the sync button worked for me. My situation was that when I tried to sync the 2nd wiimote, it not only wouldn't work, but cancelled out the 1st. I did exactly what the nintendo instructions (rebooting etc) said, but at best could only get one wiimote working. I did this over and over and over again and I was about to chuck the darn thing through a window in frustration. The repeated clicking method synced up both remote in seconds. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

well my problem is just bought 2 new games and my wiimote will only work on the orginal games that i have i dont no what to do if anyone can help please comment

HomeAlone said...

Thanks so much, this saved me! Emma

monkeyninja said...

well that didnt help me... my problem is that i waas using a sega saturn emu on the homebrew, then i quit it and it wont sync anymore. i did everything that u said and it just flashes, thanks

Ken Hanscom said...


Once you get into EMUs and homebrews, that is an entirely different story. ;-) There are already enough problems with syncing that you are almost asking for an issue. If you find the issue, please let me know and I would be happy to post for others.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, worked for me. 2 happy kids now!

taylor said...

thanks for the help!

Sheila said...

Thanks for the info, but our problem goes further. We restarted the wii console and synced the first remote and it went to player 1. We then tried to resync the 2nd remote and the first remote's light went out, and the second remote was assigned the player 1 status. How do I get the second remote to go to player 2 if the first remote keeps turning off? ps. we put in brand new batteries because the (fully?) charged ones did not seem to work. Thanks for any help you can give us....

Anonymous said...

unplugging the wii, rebooting, and then pressing both red buttons at the same time; remote by remote worked for me. This blog is the shiznit. Thanks alot.

Anonymous said...

glad I found this before I threw my kids Wii out the window.
I had to

1. shut off the Wii
2. turn it back on
3. hit the Wii reset, and remote reset button at the same time...

It sync'd immediately...

thanks to all...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it worked... I was getting very frustrated... thank you all...


Anonymous said...

God Bless You! You just saved my sanity! I couldn't figure out why every time I synced a remote, the other ones would become "unsynced" was because I didn't leave them turned on after syncing. ;0)

Mario Luigi said...

Thank you very much! it worked straight away. After a week of frustration i can finally go on my wii again. I am eternally grateful

Mr. Fixit said...

if you take the back of the wii remote you will see a small red button and if you open the flap at the front of the actual wii you will see another button the same as this these two buttons at the same time and wait for a few seconds then that should connect the remote to the wii.


Anonymous said...

Thanks anyway.

Jeff said...

damn, that shiznit worked! it's not even my system, I don't play video games, was for my gf's son, and he is very grateful....and so am I cause I can get back to the CAVS game! Go Cavs, the L-train and give me some MO!

Thanks Bro!

Tina said...

Thank you thank you thank you! My 4 year old twins were supposed to get some Wii time when we got home for great behavior and the stupid remotes weren't synced for some strange reason. I followed the directions enclosed with the system and nothing worked. Holding the sync button on the console down for 15 seconds worked immediately. This article saved the day and saved me from a couple of hysterical four year olds

Damien said...

Hi, my son got a Wii for Christmas and we sync-d the remotes and all working well. Got the rechargable batteries and all was working well and all of a sudden last week both controllers stopped responding, the blue lights at the bottom flash for a few seconds when we start them then they stop and extinguish. Tried to re-sync but nothing.
Anyone experienced this problem and knows how to fix it I would really appreiciate their input.
Damien :)

Anonymous said...

I have the same as most, second controller as dead as Elvis. I cant get this to sync at all - Ive even unsynced the first and started all over, nothing. Im border line putting the whole thing in the drive and running it over, please somoeone any additional help would be great.
Nice one Nintendo! next time make them run on plutonium - it would be easier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. It worked for me after pressing the sync button on both the wii remote and on the wii itself. Now I can get a squardmate with me when playing call of duty...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous from 12/28/2007 who wrote about what Nintendo said to do worked immediately for us.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This actually works !! make sure you press the sync button on the wii remote for 15 seconds when its on the health and safety screen, not when it gets to the wii menu , otherwise it wont work !!! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

WOW - Thank you thank you.... by the time i tried the first two things on the list i almost lost hope.

But then i came across the comment to press the red button on the back of the wii remote as well as red button on the actual wii. (make sure you do this once you have turned off your wii and pressed the reset button.

YEAH! - by the way this all happened when i bought Wii Resorts and there was an up load to do!

Thank you everyone.

Anonymous said...

Had the same problem.

Pressed both sync buttons (Remote and Wii) and it worked.

I did have to re-sync the other remotes too though.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the help, we have had our wii for months and all of a sudden the remote just stopped working, the way we had sync the remote the first time didn't work, you saved me from three grouchy kids, thanks again

Anonymous said...

Read the Wii operators manual. Press sync button inside battery cover on remote first, then press sync button by the SD card slot on the consul. Worked like a charm. Have to do it for both remotes.

Anonymous said...

I tried what you said but the wii remote didnt stay working, it stopped when I tried to play a game or go to the wii shop channel.I tried putting in more batteries but it still didnt work. Please help!!

Anonymous said...

I did what you said but the wii remote didnt stay working, it just turned off when I tried to play the wii. Please help!!

Anonymous said...

You want to make sure that you press the red button on the battery compartment of the remote and the red button on the actual wii receiver and make sure they are in sync together. Also for this to work the remote has to have batteries to press that red button, it needs power to send a message to the wii receiver. If you are still having trouble I would exchange the remote. Good Luck, the wii is a lot of fun so don't get too discouraged. It will be worth the extra effort :)

Anonymous said...

wow you really helped thanks

Andie said...

I can't believe it is THREE YEARS since you posted this and it is STILL a problem. Mine when to hell in a hand basket when adding my wii fit plus. I have given up. I'm waiting for my 5 year old to get home from school to help me follow these directions. Pressing reset on both did not work, nor did the battery tricks or restarting the machine.

tim_alien_95 said...

It just doesn't work. I've tried just about everything, your method, unplugging the whole wii, holding in all sync buttons at the same time.. nothing wooorks :(

Wulfys outpost. said...

hey thanks for giving the advice had to do it on my little sisters wii, now she's happy and i can finally go game it up for her.

Roger said...

"Edwin said...

what seems to help in my case is to repeatedly press the sync button on the Wii as opposed to keeping it pressed all the time trying to sync. Once I gigured that out I could sync remotes easily."

Thanks Ken for starting this thread and thanks Edwin and the others who posted this tip.

It worked immediately for me and I had tried a lot of stuff before, powering off and on, reseting the wii as explained here, pushing buttons and more but when I finally tried pressing the wii sync button repeatedly it worked just fine.

My problems started when the batteries I was using died. The new batteries made it lose sync while switching back to the old seemed to still keep it in sync (only the first blue light was on) but I couldn't do anything of course since the batteries were dead :)

Cassidy in Texas said...

Thank you!!! Was hoping I would not have to return this to the store. I knew I could find some great help online! We are smiling and playing now
Merry Christmas and thanks again for the info.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your help this worked for me.

Anonymous said...

I eventually read the instructions wich say to turn on the Wii then press the sync button on the Wiimote then while it flashes press the sync button on the Wii. Repeat this for all remotes and they will stay in that order for multi player games.

Oggynosh's Blog! said...

Hey guys I've tried everything an haven't been able to sync a brandnew 3rd remote that I just received today. It was bought thru Ebay to a seller in Hong Kong, and I've seen the feedback of other byers they haven't had any issues, the nun-chuck it came with works perfectly. But the remote won't sync at all. Any new tips?

Anonymous said...

My controller is on, but my serioues problem is that the hand won't show up on the tv! I can't do a thing about it!

Anonymous said...

Finally it works after 1 hour of not checking the computer. thanks. It really works.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help. We woke up this morning and neither of our remotes would sync. My husband started freaking out, so I googled the problem and got you. After about a minute, they where both working. Thanks.

Alexko said...

That was quite helpful, thanks!

Anonymous said...

FINALLY. The one that worked was holding down the sync on the remote and pressing the sync on the wii repeatedly. None of the other suggestions worked INCLUDING the one that anonymous said was posted at the wii site. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

orophin said...

Thank you so much.
I had this problem from the day i bought my wii. One of the controllers would connect but the other wouldn't untill i was in the game and had told the game to search for controllers. But your advice helped. although i wasn't sure if you had to have your wii on or off?
But thanks anyway, Big help

Anonymous said...

I have two problems:

1. I have four Wii remotes. They have to be re-synced if we go more than a week without using the Wii system. Why is this and is there anything we can do to make them stay synced?

2. One of the four remotes just won't sync at all and won't even give any blinks or lights when ANY buttons are pushed, including the power button. I've put in brand new batteries a couple of times, reset the system, unplugged the console, etc. and nothing works. The remote used to work and now just won't do anything. How can I further troubleshoot?

mlass said...

WOW, 2007 and it is still gettng post in 2010.

Jazzy said...

Thank you, this as helped me very i can enjoy my Wii!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this article, I was able to troubleshoot my nephews' Wii problem over the phone. So you helped me keep "hero" status with them.

Anonymous said...

OMG thank you! I was going without a 2nd Wiimote for a while till I found this.

Anonymous said...

well so far nothing has worked for me, stop calling them wiimotes please its annoying its wii remote, and im about to try what nintendo said, if it dont work imma shoot somebody >:(

Anonymous said...

Thank you good sir.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the help, but nothing here worked for me.
No matter what I do they won't sync up... And I just want to play Mario Kart, which doesn't even need the wiimotes!
But apparently you MUST use the wiimotes to get through the menu... they should've made it so you can use the GC controller in the menu screen...

Anonymous said...

I ended up pressing the sync button on the Wiimote first, putting it down more than 3 feet away, then pressing the sync on the Wii console. Nothing else would do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Hello, opening the door on the front of the wii console while the console was on and my first wii remote was linked and 1 was lit, i held in sync on front of console for like 10 seconds and then hit sync on new wii remote for like 2 seconds and it sync'd up great. after multiple attempts and many failures and almost taking back remote, this link really helped. Thanks from one gamer to another.

Nils said...

I was just about to buy a new controller when I decided to do some Googlin'. You saved my skin and the Wii controller works just fine. Thanks a ton for posting this!

Anonymous said...

thanx so much this worked and it took a whole like 30 seconds(not really more less then that) to work and every thing thank you so much


Blake + Sarah Liend said...

this worked for me... you are a life saver!

Ather said...

None of that works for me. Once reconnected it drops it the moment any button is pressed.

Anonymous said...

I tried everything that was said to sync WII remotes to the console and nothing is working at all.

Anonymous said...


smurphmurph said...

UNPLUGGING makes a huge difference, people!

I tried everything mentioned here and none of it worked, but I turned off the console AND unplugged it and everythin synched up the normal after that.

If nothing is working, try it!

Anonymous said...

SMURPHMURPH-THANK YOU!!!! Nothing and I mean Nothing worked for me-I was beyond frustrated, how simple to turn of my Wii console and unplug it for about 10 sec, plug it back in, turn on the Wii, Hit the #1 button on one remote DING! and #2 on the other remote DING! PERFECT! BOTH ARE WORKING! and I didn't need to mess w/all the synk(ing) THANK YOU! We've owned our Wii for a year and never had this problem up until yesterday when I finally invested in a Wii remote charger.....apparently putting in these rechargeable battery packs and the initial 24hr charge messed up our synk...hopefully we won't run into this again...if we do we have a solution! Again Thank you for taking the time to post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks this really helped!!

Anonymous said...

so our remotes synch up alone just fine, but when we try to synch them up one after the other to play a two person game, the system doesn't recognize the second remote. any ideas? we've tried the synch buttons and power cycling and unplugging the system, to no avail. thanks

A Special Character said...

Yes this if most helpful. I did the last step, which is press the console sync button for 15 seconds. Then pressed the remote's sync button. It immediately synced after. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hey this really helped and i got my remotes to sync almost immediatly. thanks so much. i was getting very frustrated and was about to give up

Dman said...

it doesnt work

Anonymous said...

when i push the sync button on the wiimote it doesn't flash HELP

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting it about the bluetooth thing. i battled my wii for a week off and on til i was determined to sell the whole lot on ebay with games and everything! someone surely knew more than me. i think MY problem stemmed from my kid wanting to play gamecube games and the wii remotes..killed off since u cant USE those for game cube

Satya Suraj Nair said...

I did what u said both the remote was synced,but after switching the wii console on the asked me to click A and i did it then a set of languages came when i tried clicking A for english nothing happend
why does that happend????????

tade said...

Seriously, you are beautiful, i was like 3 hours today trying to fix my controllers and the only thing that i had to do was to press a button.
Thank you very much.
saludos desde argentina ;)

Amy said...

this was a life saver! i thought i'd have to throw them out! thank you soooooo much!!!

Anonymous said...

ahhh thank you so much! I thought I broke my sisters wii but I did what you said to do and it worked! your a life saver! :)

ladybug31400 said...

thanks sooo much for your help your a wiimote saver and you saved a trip to the garbage can thx again

ps find me on twitter ladybug31400

Anonymous said...

thank you so much! i couldn't figure it out myself but this worked like a charm :)

Anonymous said...

This was a time saver indeed. I have a new Wii and several old remotes from another Wii. Talk about frustrating. My little one were going nuts trying to play their new game, but only the remote that came with the new system would work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot this was doing my head in

Forest Princess said...

This did not work at all and I've tried everything I can think of and it still won't work. I'm so frustrated!

cleanasyougo said...

Yes!!! It worked ~ thank you very very much. Richard, Edinburgh, Scotland

Anonymous said...

On the verge of purchasing three new remotes I found this site. I first tried holding the sync button on the Wii for about 15 seconds like you said but it didnt work. So next I held the sync button on the Wii for about 15 seconds and then hit the reset button just above it. Worked like a charm. :) Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! It worked imediately had to press the sinc button next to sd slot, thanks again ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm blot sure how u did this exactly so can you post a video on YouTube how you did it if you do thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

thank you! you fixed my wii for me! thank you!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The only thing that would work for me is to unplug everything from the console for ten minutes and then plug it back in and then it synced no problem

Anonymous said...

EDWIN, lol without ur post, i would've never got it working XD

Anonymous said...

Good advice, did the job nicely! Thanks for that :-)

Anonymous said...

Worked. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Try unplugging the WII unit. Turn back on and then push the red sync buttons as directed in the other posts.