TIP: Wait 5 minutes after rebooting DIRECTV equipment

When was the last time you had to reboot your DIRECTV box? I don’t know about you, but the ones at my home rarely need it. Maybe a few times a year, maybe even less. It’s rare but…

OK, it sometimes happens. 

Your DIRECTV equipment starts to act up and you think, it’s time to reboot it. I know people who go from month to month, sometimes from year to year, without even thinking about their DIRECTV equipment, and that’s pretty impressive. You have these devices working for you 24/7 and they just sort of fix whatever issues they have, automatically. Satellite information is constantly updated, hard drives are constantly checked and repaired, and the whole experience “just works.” At least most of the time. I’ll admit that sometimes it doesn’t, and that’s why the friendly red reset button is there.

You’ll find the reset button hidden behind a door on the front of older equipment, and placed on the side of newer equipment. On Genie 2s, it’s on the back. One push and your stuff neatly starts to reboot. A reboot can take from 1 to 5 minutes depending on what it is. DVRs take longer because the hard drive is checked for consistency and other hardware is checked as well.

But shouldn’t you use the menus?

Yes, you can reboot using the menus if you prefer. But, I’ve been told that while a “graceful reboot” of this sort is a little better, it doesn’t make much difference. It’s more important that you consider all the boxes being affected. If you have a Genie system, rebooting the DVR or server will stop live TV and recordings to pretty much your entire home. You might need to consider that if you’re not the only one there.

So, you reboot. And… something’s just not right, still.

Maybe your DVR playlist is empty or the whole device seems slow. It’s still not perfect. You get live TV, but other stuff… just doesn’t seem like it’s there. Rest assured this is normal.

The first thing to do is wait 5 minutes. Watch a little live TV if you like. The whole process of rebooting is designed to get you to live TV as soon as possible, and that means some things are actually still warming up while you’re watching. That’s a good thing, right? Even an empty playlist may magically fix itself within 5 minutes.

Generally, within 5 minutes you will get all your channels back and your playlist. If you don’t, there’s reason to be concerned, but don’t throw in the towel. An empty playlist is a drag but it doesn’t mean your equipment is broken, just that certain things had become corrupt and needed to be deleted. If you’re still missing channels after 5 minutes, you can go to directv.com/721 and learn how to refresh your receiver.

Within 4-6 hours you should have enough guide data that your to-do list will start to populate, and with 12 hours you should have on demand back if you lost it. Within 24 hours everything should be exactly the way it was. Long before that though, everything should seem fine; any sluggishness that happened right after the reboot should be gone and you can go back to simply enjoying your satellite TV.

Still having problems?

If your older equipment still isn’t working right, it’s time to call the experts. Reach out to the techs at Solid Signal and we’ll help you decide on the next steps. As they say in commercials, there’s no obligation and the call is free. Just reach out to 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. You’ll get a real expert in our corporate offices near Detroit who can help you in any way you need.

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.