How To... fix Skybox problems

Have you been having problems with your Sky+ box? Have you found that it won't switch on or have become as unresponsive as a drunk pensioner?

Is it showing 'no signal' or barking at you, advising that you should get in touch with Sky or visit their website when you know damn well you have a signal?

Whatever you do, don't call an engineer or buy a new Sky+ box until you have read our How To guide. It could save you a lot of time and crucially, it'll save you money. Of course, if your Sky+ box has blown up or you've poured 3 litres of Apple Sourz into it, it may be beyond repair, but otherwise, let us try and help you out.

Soft Reset

If your Sky+ box's green light won't turn on and stays red or amber, you'll get an error message. Instead of spending 2 hours on the phone to Sky, just do a soft reset. Of course, Sky don't tell you about this because they'd rather charge you for a fix or, indeed, tell you something that will lose all your data.

Always try this fix before you do anything else.

a) The first thing you should do, is to unplug your Skybox from the mains.
b) Wait one minute.
c) As you plug your Skybox back into the mains, press the BACKUP button at the same time (not the one on the remote) and hold it down.
d) When all the lights come on at the front of your Sky+ box, release the button.
e) Now, wait 10 minutes (don't skimp on this) or wait until the lights go out, then turn your Skybox on from the remote. You might need to try the remote a couple of times at this point.

What should happen now, is that it'll show the "SEARCHING FOR LISTINGS" message and then, restore itself back to full service. Unless of course, you got impatient and skipped the 'waiting for 10 minutes' piece of advice', which means you will have lost all your saved programmes and the like.

Last Resort

This method will definitely get rid of your saved programmes and data and it also takes a little longer. However, this is the one that Sky will tell you to do, so instead of ringing them and getting stuck in a queue, just refer to this.

a) Unplug the box from the mains plug for 3 minutes.
b) Press and hold the buttons either side of the 'select' button on your Skybox while you plug the socket back into the mains.

After 30 seconds, the light will change colour and you'll have to wait for roughly 20 minutes until it goes back to being red. When that happens, press the TV guide to see if it is working. Basically, this resets your hard drive settings and should solve the problem.

Why Does This Keep Happening?

There's a number of reasons that this happens to your Sky+ box. It might be too full with your recordings. Another is that there's been a power cut. Sometimes, it just happens for no good reason at all.

The important thing is that you might be under the impression that your Skybox is dead and you need a new one, when that isn't necessarily the case. If you haven't upgraded to an XBox (there's an XBox Sky app on the console!), dometimes, you only need a reset!

One of the two resets will work, unless your Skybox is kaput, in which case, there's not going to be a light on the front is there? So try these out and save yourself a lot of hassle and money. And if all else fails, ya, hit up Sky for a new box.


  • Jessie J.
    Or just get a V+ box from Virgin. (you can record 3 shows at once) If that fucks up, they just give you another one. Sky, believe in being charged for repairs!
  • Tazzman B.
    Pure genius. This was doing my head in. The advice worked like a bomb and the box switched back on first go. Fortunately I have learned from previous experiences to avoid contacting Sky and search the web. Thanks
  • mason
    this is too long to read I rather figure it out my self but thank you for giving me all this imformation.
  • Jane h.
    What if all 4 lights stay on after the soft reset and never go away? Ours just says "updating system software Do not disconnect from Ian's supply or satellite dish. This may take up to 10 minutes". It's said this for days now and after disconnecting , the to just shows the same message. Thanks
  • Daren m.
    Brill took several attempts but got there in the end thanks
  • Donna M.
    Soft Reset worked at the third attempt. Thank you so much for the help, it is very much appreciated!
  • Darren H.
    Soft reset worked at the third attempt ! Thank you for your advice on here ! Saved us from calling sky and ending up paying them money for something that can be done without them! Once again thank you !
  • Martyn
    Followed your advice on the soft reset and it worked first time. Many thanks and saved me the hassle and cost of getting Sky to fix it !
  • Paul
    Worked first time :-)
  • martyn
    Nothing's happening when i hold the backup button down on the box,can you help?
  • eddy m.
    fu****g excellent the wife was sure the box was fucked.worked 2nd time so don,t give up just follow instructions.wife was already looking for new box so /{git it up u sky}. thanks.
  • Neil
    Both of these methods are available on Sky's website, what's the big deal? Who's kidding who?
  • Samantha
    I've soft reset and it works brilliantly...until a scheduled programme starts recording and it "loses" signal again. Will a last resirt reset make a difference?
  • Samantha
    Finally figured it out (I think
  • Nick P.
    I would like to thank you for a set of complete and easy to follow instructions. Just perfomed the delicate operation of a soft reset and we are back in business.
  • wayne
    thanks....had my dad in near tears on the phone as he was gonna watch the football and couldnt get the box on....took maybe 15 minutes and all ok again....i personally dont have sky find them way too pricey ..... BT supplies all i need net phone and tv (with sky sports package)
  • hannah
    Have tried all resets and box gives me a green light but then nothing on TV screen and box turns itself off. Any suggestions please, it's half term and I have 4 kids.
  • Steve h.
    You absolute legend. Came home box was overheated showing amber light and not responding carried the soft reset and boom sweet as a nut. Thank you kindly squire
  • Duncan
    Worked first time glad I read this posting. Thanks very much
  • M.k
    Thanks,worked, first time,,,,
  • Pav
    Can anyone help, The sky box is switching on but nothing happening on the TV! I've checked all the connections, no loose leads everything us plugged in, TV is picking up the DVD player ok. All the lights are on the sky box too
  • B.F
    Bazinga!!! Worked 1st time after soft reset.
  • Dotty
    Great fixed the problem, thank you
  • Charlie
    Tried both methods and it's not working. Amber light just comes back on on the Sky+ HD box. And remote still isn't connecting to the box either. (I've followed the instructions to the letter) either I must be doing it wrong, I'm stupid or the box is f****d. Have an engineer coming out in a few day, but need it fixed asap. What shall I do?
  • Charlie T.
    Tried the tried and tested way. Not worked after four times. Even the blackscreen with all the data is not showing???? I guess the box is screwed? Still has Amber standby light on however
  • David J.
    I don't normally comment on these sorta things but wanted to say thanks for this really useful guidance. It worked on my second attempt after a few tries turning on.c Thanks
  • John B.
    Note that during the 10 min restart it should show a message "downloading system update - please wait" blah blah blah in white lettering on a black background. When that goes away and the "welcome to sky" channel comes up the 10 mins are done and you can go on to the turning the box on step. Sky support were absolutely useless - this step is so easy and wasnt even suggested by them. Thanks for the info! Another happy customer (of you not Sky). J.
  • Dougie
    Great info, unfortunately, my Sky box is dead as it doesn't respond to any of the above hints.
  • G h.
    Tried everything the thing that worked was doing a remote recording on iPad sky plus
  • al
    Thanks for this advice. Worked perfectly.
  • Chris
    Sorted second time. Thanks
  • Janice T.
    Tried three times now the box can be turned on and off but refuses to come on screen it keeps saying no cable connected i know they are ok because i used then for the new box and not the old one that i am trying to get working. any other help.
  • Sarah D.
    Thank you so much for this it worked after a few attempts. It took about five minutes of pressing the power button on the sky remote but it finally worked. Thank you again without this my sky box was about to be in a million tiny pieces
  • jakie k.
    i love me
  • jakie k.
  • Stephanie C.
    Hi, I've had a sky box sat dormant for like 2+ years tried the reset 3 times, not working. For the other reset is it the TV guide and info button or arrows?
  • elisagrace

    Thanks for your valuable information. Last week I was also facing similar problem with my Sky HD box. When I switched on the Sky box and TV, Sky box was only showing orange light, I tried to rectify the problem by on/off switch but was unsuccessful. Thereafter I called Sky Customer Service here also told me the same process as given in the article. After trying two to three times, I was successful in my attempt.

What do you think?

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