So you’ve pressed the life out of the auto-scan option on your TV but it’s still not able to find any channels. Take a look at the 8 tips in this article that will help you get back to your normal TV viewing.

Here are 8 things you can do if your TV is not able to find any channels

  1. Make sure you plug the antenna in well
  2. Check what channels you should be getting
  3. Search for channels manually
  4. Restart the TV
  5. Restart the cable box
  6. Check your tuner
  7. Ensure your coaxial cable is not faulty
  8. Align your antenna well

If your TV is struggling to find channels, there are a few things you can do to help it. Take a look at these 8 tips in more detail below.

8 Things You Can Do if Your TV Can’t Find Any Channels

So your TV can’t seem to find any channels. Don’t despair, as you won’t have to look for any board games or books for this weekend’s entertainment. Coming up are 8 things you can do to help your TV find the channels you love to watch.

#1 Make Sure You Plug the Antenna In Well

Our first tip is, make sure that you’ve plugged the antenna in well. Now, I know that this sounds obvious. But it is so easy for something to jolt the cable and for it to become loose without you noticing. If your home is anything like mine, with dogs, cats, and children running around, this is an important step.

You should ensure that you plug the antenna firmly into the TV’s tuner. You should plug it into the “Antenna In” jack. If you’ve plugged yours in properly and you still can’t find any channels, move on to the next tip.

TV antenna connection
Make sure that you plug the cable well into the antenna jack

#2 Check What Channels You Should Be Getting

Are you seeing some TV channels on your TV screen but perhaps not all the channels you hoped you would? Then it is important you check which channels you should be getting.

The channels you are offered will vary according to your location. You can find a bunch of free channel checkers online. These services will provide you with a list of the channels you should be seeing in your area.

If you are missing some of the channels from the list you see online, you should perform a rescan. Sometimes stations change the frequency they use to broadcast. A rescan will help you to find the station’s new signal.

Ok, but what can you do if you’re not sure how to perform a rescan? Then here are all the instructions you will need to do so.

  1. Press “MENU” on your remote control
  2. Navigate to “CHANNEL SCAN” in your TV’s options
  3. You should then be able to press “RESCAN”.
    • NOTE: The “RESCAN” option could show up as “TUNE” or “AUTO-TUNE” on some TVs.

If you are not seeing any of the channels in the list you see online, move on to some of the other fixes in this article.

#3 Search for Channels Manually

Using the auto-scan button is the most convenient and fastest way of looking for channels. But if your TV is having difficulty, you can also perform a manual scan. This scan should restore the list of channels that are available for your TV.

Here’s everything you will need to perform a manual scan.

  1. Your digital transmitter
  2. Your frequency number

These numbers vary depending on where you live. If you are not sure what yours are, you will have to contact your service provider.

#4 Restart the TV

Restarting your TV is a good way for you to clear it of any problems that might be stopping it from searching for channels.

You can restart your TV by doing the following.

  1. Turn the TV off using the power button
  2. Plug the TV out at the mains
  3. Wait for 2 minutes
  4. Plug it back in at the mains
  5. Turn it back on using the power button

After restarting your TV, try to perform an automatic channel search. If the TV is not successful, move on to the next fix in this article.

Restarting TV
To restart your TV, first press the power button

#5 Restart the Cable Box

One of the most common reasons why TVs are not able to find channels is because there is a problem with their cable boxes. Restarting your cable box could clear it of any glitches that are stopping it from working as it should.

But how can you go about restarting your TV’s cable box? Here are all the instructions you need.

  1. Unplug the power cord from the cable box. Or, remove the power cord from the main power outlet.
  2. Leave the cable box unplugged for 20 seconds
  3. Plug the power cord back into the cable box. Or, plug the power cord back into the main power outlet.

There’s nothing like seeing a job being completed with your own eyes. So take a look at this handy tutorial video that will walk you through this step.

After performing a cable box reset, you should try to auto-scan for TV channels. If the auto-scan doesn’t bring up any results, you can conclude that there isn’t a problem with the cable box itself. You can now move on to the other fixes in this article that will help you solve the problem.

#6 Check Your Tuner

Checking your TV’s tuner is a really important step that will help you find out if it is working correctly.

You can check your TV’s tuner by doing the following.

  1. Plug your coax cable out of your TV
  2. Plug the cable into a different TV
  3. Try to run an automatic channel scan on that TV

Did running the scan on a different TV prove difficult? If the scan didn’t work, then you may have a problem with your TV tuner.

What if you didn’t have a problem auto-scanning for channels on another TV? Then the problem most likely lies with the TV itself. To solve this issue, you may need to contact a technician.

#7 Ensure Your Coaxial Cable Is Not Faulty

A damaged coaxial cable will not show any results when you search for TV channels. You should check your cable for the following signs of wear and tear.

  • Fraying
  • Bending
  • Cracking of the cable

If your coaxial cable is showing any of these signs, you will need to replace it. After you have replaced the cable, try performing an auto channel search. If the channel search is successful, then you will have solved the problem.

#8 Align Your Antenna Well

Aligning your antenna well is really important. If your antenna is facing the wrong direction, you might not be able to find any channels whatsoever. This is especially true if you live in an area where there is a lot of signal interference.

Ok, but which direction should your antenna be facing? This will all depend on where you live and where your broadcast towers are. To find out, you can check a station locator online. The station locator will tell you the following information.

  • Which stations are available in your area
  • Where the broadcast towers are located

Once you know where your broadcast towers are, grab a friend and follow these steps.

  1. Find the bearings of the TV broadcast tower
  2. Use a compass to locate those bearings. (You can also use a compass mobile app).
  3. Have a friend operate the TV channel search whilst you turn the antenna. When you are able to find channel results, stop.
TV antenna
Make sure that you align your antenna well to find the full channel listings


Is your TV struggling to find any channels? Is the auto-scan option failing to bring up any results? Then I’m sure the 8 tips in this article have shown you that you are not doomed to an evening of 19th-century entertainment. I’m sure the tips have helped you to find the TV channels that are available in your area.

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Have a great day!