Sky+ Box – No Signal / Won’t Switch On Fix & *KEEP* your existing recordings

SkyMany of us have Sky+ boxes of all different varieties – old ones, new ones, white ones, black ones, Amstrad, Thompson, HD, wireless etc etc.  The majority of us will also have had problems with our Sky box from time to time – I don’t think I’ve met anyone yet who has had Sky for a year or more who hasn’t had any problems.

Of course you can ring Sky – or nowadays, do a LiveChat online, but this can be a frustrating experience to say the least.

One of the most frustrating problems has to be when your Sky box won’t power up (switch on) properly, it becomes unresponsive or you get a constant ‘no signal’ message – even though there is actually a signal.

But fear not – don’t be reaching for your wallet to pay £249 for a new Sky box just quite yet – 99% of the time following the simple steps below will resolve your problem.


The symptoms of this kind of problem are usually:

  • Constant ‘No Signal’ message – even though you are sure there is a signal.
  • Box won’t switch on or freezes during power up
  • Box light stays on red or amber and doesn’t switch to green in response to pressing buttons (like ‘Sky’) on the remote or the box.
  • Box is on and/or powers up but it is totally unresponsive to both the remote control and the buttons located on the Sky box itself.

How to Fix (in relatively easy and definitely cheaper steps!)

First up, it’s the old favourite – unless you’ve already tried it, in which case feel free to move on.

Switch it off (at the plug, don’t place it in standby), leave it 30 seconds and switch it back on – see if the problem is resolved.  I know you’ve probably already tried this but it’s always worth mentioning just in case!

Now, I’ll presume most of you are here because that hasn’t worked – read on.

Note: Sky probably would be able to help you fix this after a possibly long, expensive and painful telephone call – but, based on reports I’ve heard, they suggest a solution that will delete all your recordings and clear your planner (i.e. any scheduled recordings) – whilst you may have to ultimately do this, don’t try this as the first option – it’s probably unnecessary!

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to turn the box off again if you already have – we need it to have a cold start.  Unplug your box from the wall (or take the power lead out of the back of the Sky box – whichever is easier for you).

Give it a minute – make a brew, feed the dog etc.

Plug the lead/socket back into the power and, whilst doing this, ensure you are holding down the ‘Backup’ button on the Sky box itself (not on the remote control – that won’t work).

Keep holding.  After a little bit of time you’ll notice that the lights on your Sky box come on.  After this you’re free to take your finger off the button.

Now leave your Sky box alone for a bit.  Depending on various factors this could be 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes.  You’ll know when it’s done because the lights should go out on the box and eventually rest on the ‘Amber’ standby light that you normally see when you’re Sky box is plugged in but not switched on.

Press ‘Sky’ on your remote.

Hopefully, by this stage, you’re Sky box problem is well on the way to being fixed.  The light on the front of your Sky box should go green and you should see a message on screen – something like ‘Searching for Listings’.  Don’t worry, this is totally normal – we’ve performed what is known as a ‘soft’ reset – simply put, it’s reset the Sky box software but importantly it has retained your personal data – i.e. your planner and recordings!

After a couple more minutes a channel should appear on screen (probably the Sky Demo channel) and you are once again free to enjoy the wonderful delights of Sky.  Not only are you £249 better off but you’re also less stressed and have used less time than contacting Sky or buying a new box!

It Didn’t Work…

I’m sorry to hear that.  Unfortunately, at this stage, the next step would be to try – as Sky suggest – a ‘hard’ reset.  This will not only reset the software but it’ll also delete your recordings and planner.  This problem can usually be fixed using the method above but unfortunately, in a small number of cases, it’s gone past being fixed by a ‘soft’ reset.

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[…] There’s a hard option, but that’s going to can your recordings – and that’s not likely to be a popular thing with most people. But you can try a soft reset, as detailed in our other post regarding solving no signal issues with a Sky box. […]

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