NICE AND EASY: How to reboot your DIRECTV receiver

Your satellite receiver sits there all day, plugging through complex equations and listening to the data coming through its cable. Cable boxes were once simple tuners, but today’s receivers and DVRs are more like complex computers. They even run a variant of Linux, that operating system that keeps many of the world’s largest servers running.

With all it does, it’s no surprise that your receiver or DVR becomes confused once in a while. When that happens, it’s time to find the red button.

Personally I only find that I have to reboot once every several months, if that. These devices have become so reliable that I rarely have to think about it. That’s what makes an article like this so important. If you only have to reboot once in a blue moon, you tend to forget how to do it.


On a DVR the red reset button may be hidden behind a hidden door on the front right. Press the top of the door and the panel will open.

Genie Servers

The reset button on a Genie 2 is located near the base. It’s easy to find if you know what you’re looking for, but it’s not near anything else.

Receivers and clients

Some receivers and clients will have the button on the front right like a DVR, while others will have it in plain view on the right side. In general, receivers will have it behind a hidden door while client boxes will have it on the side. On most client boxes, the button is recessed a little bit so it’s hard to find by touch.

The reboot process

To reboot your receiver, push the red button. It takes 5-10 minutes on some DIRECTV boxes for live TV to return. This simple procedure solves a lot of things and it’s easy.

If you’re using a Genie system, rebooting the client will fix some, but not all, of your problems. However, rebooting the Genie DVR or server will disrupt all your recordings and all live TV for everyone. If you’re going to go this route, it’s best to let everyone in the home know what you’re doing.

Rebooting a client often takes less than a minute. Rebooting a receiver, DVR, or server, can take between 5 and 20 minutes depending on the age of the equipment. Older receivers with slower processors will take longer to reboot.

Should you use the menus to reboot?

A lot of folks who have been with DIRECTV for a long time will tell you that it’s better to go through the menus rather than push the button. It’s true that the old method of going through the menus does give the box a chance to gracefully shut down but DIRECTV Engineering reports to us that it doesn’t hurt the box at all if you just push the button. Personally I don’t bother using the menus unless I just don’t want to get up out of my chair to push the button.

Still need help?

If your DIRECTV equipment still isn’t responding as it should, call the experts! The folks at Solid Signal have 20 years of experience with DIRECTV and offer free tech support! Real technicians at our offices outside Detroit are ready to take your call during East Coast business hours. Call us at 888-233-7563 and we’ll be happy to help!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.