Why Onkyo Receiver Turns on by Itself

I have recently borrowed an Onkyo receiver from one of my friends to set up my home theater. To my surprise, the receiver delivers excellent quality service for my setup. However, one night I was sleeping and woke up due to the sound of my TV in the middle of the night! What I saw really spooked me out.

My Onkyo receiver turned on by itself! The incident happened quite a few times after that. If you are here and suffering from the same weird problem, don’t worry, as I will tell you why the Onkyo receiver turns on by itself and what you can do to solve it.

5 Common Reasons Behind Onkyo Receiver Turning On By Itself

Why Onkyo Receiver Turns on by Itself

Like all other electrical equipment, it’s very common that your device might have some manufacturing faults. A faulty unit will never perform perfectly even if you try every other solution. However, your Onkyo receiver might turn on by itself due to HDMI CEC.

1. Your Devices Might Be Waking Up Due to A Feature Called HDMI CEC

HDMI CEC is a special feature through which devices that are connected via HDMI, can talk to each other. That means if you have connected your Onkyo receiver to your TV via an HDMI cable, both of the devices can pass signals to send information through the cable.

The feature is created for users like you to control everything by grabbing a single remote. Even though it is an amusing concept, it functions perfectly quite rarely.

If you find that your Onkyo receiver is turning on by itself often, it is probably happening because HDMI CEC told it to. Some other issues might also occur due to the malfunctioning of this feature.

For instance, you might have turned on your TV, but your Blu-ray DVD turned on. Or you turned on your TV and your Xbox or PlayStation came into life. Sometimes powering up the receiver can cause everything else to power up. All of these incidents are happening due to the feature HDMI CEC.

2. Are Multiple Devices Connected in Your System?

Even though HDMI CEC is the most probable cause of this issue, some other reasons can also be the culprit. For example, your Onkyo receiver might be looking for a firmware update. Various models of Onkyo receivers power on periodically to check for firmware updates.

However, apart from your receiver, any other device connected in the chain could also be looking for firmware updates. It can cause the receiver to turn on by itself as well. That means if HDMI CEC is enabled in any of the connected devices, it can easily cause all other devices to wake up periodically while looking for firmware updates.

3. Have You Checked Your Power Switch?

Onkyo Receiver Turns on

It might seem very unlikely but a very possible reason behind your Onkyo receiver turning on by itself is a faulty power switch or power strip. A faulty or dirty power switch can trigger the power to circulate and force any equipment connected to the socket to turn on.

It usually happens if you are using a very old power socket that has not been cleaned in many years. Another reason could be that the switch has a loose wire connection or dirt has accumulated in connection points.

4. A Faulty Remote Might Be a Culprit

Another possible reason behind the issue is a faulty remote. We generally keep the remote in the same room in an open place, sometimes facing toward the receiver. If the remote has a short circuit or faulty power button, it could send signals to the Onkyo receiver randomly. Thus, your receiver wakes up randomly and you have no explanation for it.

5. Too Much Heat Can Cause the Receiver to Function Abnormally

If you live in a hot climate, try to keep your electrical equipment in temperate conditions. Otherwise, too much heat inside can cause it to malfunction or behave abnormally.

In short, your Onkyo receiver is turning on by itself because:

  • HDMI CEC is forcing it to turn on
  • One of the connected devices has HDMI CEC enabled
  • A faulty or dirty power switch
  • A faulty remote

A Quick Fix Guide for Solving the Issue

Quick Fix Guide for Solving the Issue

Till now, we have explored the reasons behind why your receiver is turning on by itself. But knowing the causes alone won’t help to solve it. Now, I will show you some of the quickest ways to solve this issue.

  •  Firstly, turn off HDMI CEC in your Onkyo receiver
  •  The feature HDMI CEC is called under different names by different manufacturers. For instance, Sony calls it BRAVIA Sync and Samsung calls it Anynet+. You can quickly search on the internet for what your TV manufacturer calls it in the settings. Despite its different names, turn it off from the settings.
  •  Turn off HDMI CEC in all of the connected devices.
  •  Turn off automatic updates and scheduled updates
  •  Keep your remote in a drawer or keep its head covered up to find out if a faulty remote is a reason. Sometimes low batteries in the remote can cause it to send wrong signals. If so, purchase a new remote.
  • Try connecting your devices to a different power outlet. If the issue does not occur again, try to change the power socket, or clean the insides using isopropyl alcohol.
  • Try keeping the receiver under a fan or in an air-conditioned room. Sometimes too much heat generated inside can cause it to function abnormally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you reset an Onkyo receiver?

Yes. You can hold the VCR/DVR button and the standby button together until you see “clear” on the display. Then turn on the device again by pressing the standby button to turn on the device. It is now back to factory settings.

Which is the official Onkyo remote control application?

“Onkyo Controller” is the official Onkyo remote control application.


I hope you are now able to diagnose the reason behind your Onkyo receiver turning on by itself. You can follow the mentioned solution sequentially to get the best results. However, if you are still unable to fix the issue, you will require the help of a professional. Try contacting the seller or manufacturer to solve your issue.

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