AT&T U-Verse is one of the most popular television and Internet service providers in the nation, with over 15.7 million active internet users and nearly 47 million video connections across U-Verse and DIRECTV, according to the company’s own data. With so many customers using the service, it clearly has many strengths, but no provider is perfect, and AT&T is no exception to this rule.

In this article, we’ll be looking into some of the most common issues users report with U-Verse service and equipment, as well as how to resolve them in step-by-step format. Let’s dive in!

What to do if your U-Verse Set Top Box (STB) freezes

A back of Set Up Box.
Image Source: Dave Winer/Flickr

By far the most common issue that we see and read about online stems from freezing set top boxes. This can be quite annoying, especially if you find yourself right in the middle of a particularly engrossing TV show, or perhaps midway through the playoffs. After all, these issues always seem to crop up at the worst times.

If you find yourself staring down a frozen U-Verse box, don’t panic. Instead, follow these simple steps to get yourself operational again:

  1. Try resetting the box by selecting and holding the power button for 10 seconds. This will usually solve around 90 percent of the basic issues that cause a freeze.
  2. If this doesn’t work, check to see if the area where the receiver is has sufficient ventilation. Remember that your U-Verse STB is essentially a computer, and thus it needs a little room to breathe now and then. Don’t stack it on top of or below other boxes if possible, and always be sure to dust it off every few months.
  3. Check to ensure all of your cables are firmly in place. Confirm that all HDMI, power, ethernet, and coaxial cables are securely inserted into the device. A loose cable can cause all manner of chaos, so always double check both ends, just to be certain.
  4. If none of these solutions work, it may be time to contact support. Your issue could stem from a fault in the wiring, which, believe it or not, can actually cause your system to overheat due to it constantly having to try and establish a connection with the network. Regardless, it’s best to leave it to the professionals beyond this point.

AT&T U-Verse remote control issues

If you are experiencing issues with your remote control, there are a few different things you can try before calling support directly. These tips apply to the S20, S10, Silver, and Point Anywhere remote control styles. If your remote control isn’t responding at all, ensure that the batteries are still good by clicking the power button on the remote. At the very least, it should light up momentarily; if this doesn’t occur, then it’s likely you’ll need to swap some fresh batteries into the device.

If this light does come on, but you still can’t seem to get the remote to work for you, check to ensure that there isn’t anything obstructing the optical sensors both on the remote and on the set top box. Anything in front of either device can cause issues. Also, be sure that you are within the 20 foot maximum distance.

If you still can’t manage to make your remote work despite having tried all of the above, it’s time to call support. Be sure to have your remote model number on hand before calling, and also, try to describe the issue you are having as clearly as possible. This helps the agent pinpoint your issue faster, helping you get back to what’s important; actually watching TV.

Fixing basic AT&T U-Verse picture & sound issues

SMPTE color bars.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Picture and sound issues with your STB can be among the most frustrating, because they often prevent you from watching (and enjoying) your TV at all until they are resolved, much like a freezing issue. If you are dealing with this, or even an issue of distorted picture or sound, follow these simple steps:

  1. Ensure your TV is set to the right input. Most modern TV’s have multiple different HDMI inputs available, so that you can connect more than one device at a time if necessary. The downside to this is that often we might forget which input our STB is plugged into, causing us to think there’s an issue where there really isn’t.
  2. Check and re-check your cables. Just like with a freezing STB, loose audio or video cables can cause intermittent cutouts, interferences, and other issues during normal usage, so be sure that those cables are all secure, and plugged into the correct spot on the back of your receiver.
  3. If you’re still having issues, try changing the channel. We know, this one seems obvious, but sometimes specific channels can experience issues on the end of the network, so try and confirm that you’re experiencing these issues on more than one channel before calling in for support.
  4. If all else fails, contact customer support. Sometimes, try as you might, you just can’t seem to fix the issue on your own. Stay calm, and give customer support a call. We know this can be frustrating, especially during times of peak demand, but remember: the person on the other end of the line is a human, too. Try to be patient as they guide you through the troubleshooting process.

Fixing U-Verse Internet issues

AT&T router.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In general, most Internet connectivity issues can be solved by simply turning off (or unplugging) your wireless router for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in. This “resets” your hardware and wireless networks, which should fix any minor issues you are experiencing.

If this doesn’t sort you out, you’ll need to call AT&T directly. There might be a service outage in your area, or even some planned downtime for maintenance reasons.

How to troubleshoot other common AT&T U-Verse issues

If you are dealing with any number of additional glitches, issues or hangups with your U-Verse equipment or service, your first stop should be HELP section within the menu, which can be accessed via your remote control. Once in the HELP section, click on Troubleshoot & Resolve.

From here, you’ll be given several different scenarios. Choose the one that most accurately describes the issue you are currently facing. If none of them apply, then again, it may be time to contact customer support.

Pro Tip

If you have to call in to AT&T’s call center, know that there is more than one tier of customer support agent. If you feel you have a more advanced issue, don’t be afraid to request an escalation to a second-tier specialist.

AT&T U-Verse is one of the most sophisticated and easy-to-use TV services out there, but it isn’t without its minor hiccups. Hopefully by following this guide, we’ve covered the most common issues that you might face, but if you’re experiencing anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment and we’ll see what we can do to help.

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Jessica Sims

Jessica Sims

Jessica Sims is a technology blogger and broadband industry veteran. Her background as an administrator and customer support employee for a major ISP informs her passion for helping consumers understand their service options.

Questions & Answers


What does the gray gear that shows up on my screen mean?

The gray gear means that your AT&T U-Verse receiver is recovering. If you wait some minutes (10-30 minutes), it should disappear. If this keeps happening, try troubleshooting your receiver by following the steps suggested by the AT&T Community Forum.

My modem doesn't turn on and has a red light. What should I do?

Start by making sure that all cables are properly connected and try to reset the modem by pressing the reset button on the back of the modem for 20 seconds. If that doesn’t work, you might be dealing with a faulty modem. Reach out to AT&T support by calling 800.288.2020 and get a technician to come over to your home to take a look at the issue.

The lights on my receiver are blinking and the TV says "Autosource detected a new signal" but the TV has no picture or sound. What should I do?

The lights blinking on your receiver mean that it is not connecting online properly. You should be able to fix the issue by unplugging your receiver and waiting at least 5 minutes. After you’ve plugged it back on, restart the receiver and the problem should be resolved. If it’s still not working, try troubleshooting your issue through U-Verse’s TV support.

The HD channels are not working though the standard channels do work. If I reset the box the HD channels may work for 30 seconds -2 minutes but then lock up again. What should I do?

To be able to see HD channels on AT&T U-Verse, make sure you have an HD TV and and HD receiver. Make sure that all cables are properly connected and that you are subscribing to the HD package by accessing your AT&T Account Manager through channel 9910. If nothing works, contact AT&T TV technical support at 800.288.2020.

We bought a new DVR for our AT&T U-Verse in January 2018 and it is already full with only 35% or so space left. Shows that are recorded are automatically erased unless it is marked not to erase. Is there any way we can recover the shows we lost?

Try performing a non-disaster recovery as detailed in AT&T’s Community Forum. Note that a disaster recovery will erase all your recordings and settings.

My AT&T U-Verse DVR seems to be recording properly but when I try to see the recorded shows, I get a message that "The recording list is unavailable". I have tried resetting all the boxes, but nothing has worked. What did I need to do?

If you’ve tried resetting your DVR box and it didn’t work, you might need to also reset the modem and the WiFi box. Try to reset modem first, then the DVR and finally the WiFi box, waiting a few minutes in between reboots to allow devices some time to sync. After you’ve done this, make sure you wait about 10 minutes before you go back to the recordings list. It usually takes some time for the listings to appear after rebooting. If nothing works, you might need to contact AT&T support.

The picture on my TV screen turns multi-colors, black and white and shakes. I'm also having issues with sound. How can I fix it?

Start by trying the fixes suggested in our “Fixing basic AT&T U-Verse picture & sound issues”. If you’ve confirmed that the TV is connected to the right input and that all cables are properly plugged, try changing channels to see if it is happening on other channels as well. If nothing works, go through the steps on the video found on AT&T’s Troubleshooting page for picture and sound issues. It can also be that your TV is the source of the issues. If you have another TV, try connecting to a different one to see if the problems are fixed.

After storms, my AT&T U-Verse says that “The pause command is not available” and no recordings are available. What should I do?

The first thing you should try is to reset the set top box (STB) and the DVR box. This should fix most of your AT&T U-Verse issues. Hold the power button of the STB for 10 seconds. After it has finished resetting, press the DVR box’s power button for 10 seconds and then press the button again to restart. Resetting the DVR can take up to 8 minutes and will affect any recordings you have ongoing. If your recordings are still missing, you can also press the Recorded TV button on your remote control. If none of these work, try the AT&T DVR Support Troubleshooting Guide.

My AT&T U-Verse modem is overheating. What should I do?

Modems need room to breathe so check to see if the place where you have it set up has sufficient ventilation and the modem is not under direct sunlight. Don’t place it above or below other boxes and clear the neighborhood around it. Also, make sure you dust it off occasionally.

Our U-Verse guide is not showing channel information. How do I fix this?

Start by confirming that all cables are properly connected. If that doesn’t work, try rebooting the box by holding the power button for 10 seconds. You can also go to Menu > Options and select Restart. If none of these work, try contacting AT&T U-verse support.

The movie channels do not show up in the channel line-up in the app. What should I do?

Check the AT&T guide on hiding TV channels to confirm that the movie channels aren’t hidden. You can also try to access the channels by typing the number. If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. It might also be that AT&T doesn’t have the rights to broadcast these channels in the app.

Pressing the power button on my S20 remote does not actually turn the TV off. Instead, it shows a screensaver. How can I make it turn completely off?

The most effective approach here will probably be to reset and reprogram the remote. If you need online instructions, you can get them at the AT&T user forum.

When I press the guide button on the remote it just says "Getting Information" for every channel. It just started doing this on all 3 of our receivers.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem, and often has something to do with software updates. A software reload might do the trick (keep in mind it will delete any shows you have currently recorded):

Hold down arrow, OK, and power simultaneously. Hold until you see three lights flash on the front of the DVR. Should begin to load and be back up and running within ~20 minutes.

If that doesn’t work, try rebooting everything: unplug the RG, DVR, and STB. Wait a couple minutes, then plug back in in the same order. The green lights should be back on within a few minutes.

If that doesn’t work, call customer support. They will probably send a technician to repeat these steps and troubleshoot or replace your hardware if needed.

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