Nov 272005

I recently bought a Harmony 880 remote control. Harmony is a Canadian company recently bought by Logitech. I bought my remote from Dell for about CAD$190 delivered. It’s a great unit. There is one problem I had: battery charging.

As long as the remote remained on the charging cradle, it would work. As soon as the remote was removed from the cradle, it stopped working. The problem was battery charging. The battery does not touch the charging contacts properly. In fact, the battery is too loose within the battery compartment. I solved this with a piece of paper. The battery needs to be forced towards the charging contacts.

This image should explain all (click on it for a larger image):

As you can see, I put the paper only in one corner. That made the battery cover easier to close.

I got a hint for this paper-solution at Audioholics forum. The problem I encounted was not quite the same as the ones mentioned there. My conversation with Harmony support staff indicated the problem was new to them too.

Hope this helps other Harmony owners.

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  97 Responses to “Harmony 880 Remote – battery problems”

  1. Thanks for the great tip! I thought my 880 was a victim of the defective cradle too, until I tried your solution. It worked immediately. One further piece of advice. DO NOT attempt to pry the battery cover off! Slide it out with a moderate amount of force, by hand only.

  2. James!

    Yes, a very valid point. Be careful when removing the battery cover. It slides…..

    BTW James, what led you to this tip? Google?

  3. Yep, Google! via this webpage:

    Thanks again!

  4. Ahh good, thanks. I posted this URL there.

  5. Thanks for the solution. I was just about to return my remote when I came across this page. The paper solved the problem, but I can’t say I’m all that pleased with having to make this modification on a $250 remote. It’s like buying a new dining room set and having to put a matchbook under one of the table legs because the manufacturers messed it up.

  6. Derek: it is a manufacturing defect. It could be as simple as a slight change in spec for the battery.

    At least the matchbook is out of sight.

  7. Thanks for the help on this. I just got a new 880 ($141) from Comp-U-Plus and I thought it had been charging overnight. No such luck. Frist hit on Google was the audioholics forum thread, which contained your first.

  8. Rob: glad it helped!

  9. I’m so glad that you made this post. I recognized that this was probably a battery issue, since it functioned fine in the cradle. Having just received the remote yesterday, I was frustrated with the thought of having to go through the hassle of doing a return with Amazon. Now I can just make the fix myself. Many thanks!!

  10. Dennis: Glad it helped. There’s nothing so frustrating as getting a new toy and being disappointed with it.

  11. Great tip. I thought my problem was the cradle, since my remote worked flawlessly otherwise. I added the paper behind the battery and now it charges without fail. I was on hold with Logitech when I came across this web page and tried the paper. By the time a rep had picked up the phone, my problem was solved. He said they now have a rubber spacer they will send you to use instead of the paper. I am now awaiting that spacer. You can contact them at 866-291-1505 to get a spacer yourself.


  12. Darren: Actually, I discovered the paper spacer solution while on hold with Logitech…

    When you get the rubber spacer, can you post some photographs of it? I’m curious. I don’t know if I’ll call for mine or not. It’s a time thing…

  13. Great tip. My 880 however is suffering from a failure of setting properly in the cradle to provide the charge. By shimming betwen the remote and cradle I can get it to charge. Very poor for a $249 remote. The matchbook shows.

  14. Bob: I had that cradle setting problem after we went away for a week and left a 16 year old at home…. Symptoms: unit beeps twice when you place it in the cradle. The first means: I’m charging. The second means: I’m not charging any more. I found that cleaning the cradle, remote, and contacts cleared up that problem.

    Can you take a photo of your shim solution, and I’ll post it here so others can use that solution.


  15. There is a known issue with certain early cradles not charging properly. If you call Logitech support, they will check the s/n of your cradle and see if it’s in the “bad” batch. They sent me a replacement and… problem solved!

  16. Thanks John.

    It sounds like Logitech support is very responsive in terms of these two problems (the battery positioning, and cradle recharging).

  17. English USA 1-866-291-1505 press 1 for tech support
    press 2 for returns

  18. Dan, Thank you!

  19. Our Harmony 880 remote quit charging. My husband was in a full leg cast so getting up to change the channel was not an option. I was searching on the internet for a battery replacement when I found your website. Your solution worked perfectly. Of course I told my husband that the remedy was very “high tech”.
    Thanks, you made our day.

  20. Is every one otherwise happy with the 880

  21. OK, now that you boys have gotten to know each other, where the ell can I get a replacement battery for my 880?
    I got two 1000s, four 890s, four 880s, and three 720s (all brand new, except for the one 880 that I thought I wou;ld use. It’s only three months old). But I need ONE replacement battery for ONE 880. Can someone help me… Please?

    Respond to the following (read the directions afterwards… ….—->>> remove the first “880” and the “123” and you have the correct email address).

    Please let me know. I really want to use it, but I left the unit on the charger for two mponths before I decided to give it a try.


  22. hey THANKS so much, I’d have gone and bought a replacement without your post.

  23. Keith: you are quite welcome. Glad to help. :)

  24. I need a battery for a Harmony 720, does anyone know a web site for this, I am not having much luck with google (found this site looking for battery)

  25. Thanks a bunch! I put in the shim, wouldn’t work still. Cleaned the contact, still no luck. Finally wiggled the remote around in the charging cradle the charging light stayed on. Without your mesage i would have thrown the d____ thing out! I have had it for about 16 months but havent used it lately. Thanks again!

  26. Wonder of wonders Logitech is going to send me a new charging cradle and a new battery. Thanks

  27. FWIW, when I first contacted Logitech regarding the problem (Nov 2005), they were ready to send me a whole new unit. Perhaps things have evolved since then.

  28. Hello,

    The tip with the paper in the battery is a good one. However it now appears the battery on mine has failed. The device fails to charge and after taking the battery out and putting back in the unit will no longer function because there is not enough battery life (I’m guessing?) The unit has served well for over a year now but I think I will need a new battery. I’m sure Logitech won’t send me a battery for an old unit

  29. Cory: Do you hear a beep when you place the remote in the recharging cradle?

    I hear a single beep when the remote is placed on the cradle, and two beeps when it is removed. The single beep indicates that the unit is now correctly positioned for charging.

  30. I have been getting by recharging my 880’s battery by cleaning/wiggling/etc the remote and charging dock followed by placing a ~1/2 pound glass drink coaster on the remote to get it to charge. Recently, though, despite this routine it is no longer working. Any other ideas?

  31. had the same problem and the paper trick worked like a charm.
    thanks a lot.

  32. I had problems with charging on my 880 too. I needed to wiggle the unit before it would start charging, and often it would stop by itself.
    the problem was not with the fit of the battery.
    finally I solved it by taking some sandpaper and sanding down the area around the contacts on the back of the remote. now it charges immediately when I drop it into the cradle.

    however, I have a second 880 with no battery because it was lost. I have tried everywhere but cannot find a replacement… :(

  33. What have Harmony/Logitech said regarding a new battery?

  34. Thanks for the tip. The internet is great.

  35. thanks so much! I thought I was going to have to wait weeks for a new cradle but your tip worked right away! You the man!!!

  36. I got this remote via for 109$ + shiping, this “deal” e-bay merchant has a poor customer support… they simply never reply for a credit verification problem. The remote was USED, and the serial number removed with a black marker!!! I will never buy from them again, By the way, my positive rating on e-bay is 100%, the goods are always great, except this USED remote from

    Anyway, I did try the battery fix since it look quite loose, the cradle seems to have problems too. I will see tomorrow if the remote is charged. Tks for the tip Dan!

  37. The battery problem is solved, GREAT, I used the same method as on the pic. I removed it from the cradle and the remote was working. The cradle issue is still there, I wrote to Logitech about it but I will try to find a solution that could be some sort of small metal pins that I could fix with a soldering tool. Feel free to come back to me with other solutions.


  38. I purchased my replacement battery on ebay, searching “Logitech 880 battery” from Seller: “the_sellution”. Fast shipping and works like a charm, under $25. It is a generic replacement battery for the Logitech Harmony 880, 890 or 720.

  39. Splasher – I bought two of those from the same seller. Mine won’t charge, but the replacement I bought last year from a guy in Australia charges fine. What model are you using it in?

    I’ve tried the paper shim, raising the pins on the charge stand, sanding the plastic off from around the pins on the remote, cleaning pins, etc… One battery charges fine, the other two do not. I have two stands and two remotes – same results with all combinations so I really think the battery is not compatable. I have a pair of 880s – is your battery working in an 880?

  40. Thank you very much for this excellent advice! We have had our remote for about 2 year. About a month ago it stopped working properly. It seems impossible to buy a battery that will fit the unit, so we were forced to use all the various remotes that we have laying around the house. Since we had passed the warranty deadline, I was choking at the thought that I would have to drop another bunch of cash on a replacement. Works like a charm now.

  41. Hey guys, not sure how all your battery issues are going. Had my 880 for over a year now after trading it in with one that would not charge :-) Never did put the new one in service though, but left it on the charger all this time. When I finally tried it, no battery power. The battery cover was difficult to remove and the battery was badly swollen. The tech at Logitech agreed that the battery overcharged and is sending out a free (yes free) replacement. Meanwhile, through the conversation, I asked him if he was familiar with the BLB-2 battery used in the Nokia phones. He said he had heard of customers using that battery but had been ‘instructed’ by Logitech not to recommend it. If you check that battery out on eBay, 2 things.
    1) you can find it rated at the same 950 mAh and 3.7 volt and
    2) It is dirt cheap since it is for a non current phone.
    Happy thoughts

  42. All I can say is you just saved me $400 plus trying to explain to the wife how a remote got lodged in the plasma panel. Thanks!

  43. I also hace a 880 remote and it will not charge. The battery logo is red and has a question mark through it. Any ideas.

  44. Hi, my name is Kate and I’m with Logitech. I just wanted to provide a quick update re: Harmony.

    Logitech Harmony recently made changes to our customer service policy and we wanted to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information for your readers. You may want to update your Web site to reflect these changes.

    Historically we have encouraged our customers to contact us by telephone when they have questions. As more and more people choose Logitech Harmony, however, we have developed more efficient ways to support our valued customers.

    Beginning December 1, new Harmony customers have free, unlimited access to phone support for the first 60 days after they’ve created an account to set up their Harmony remote. (With the purchase of each additional remote, Harmony customers will have 60 days of additional phone support from the date of purchase.)

    Those who’ve had an account for their Harmony remote longer than 60 days will continue to have access to online help, the forums and responses through e-mail submission in the Harmony software, but not phone support.

    To save time and provide clear answers to a whole range of questions, we’ve created an active community forum, bringing together Logitech employees and Harmony users to answer questions publicly so that everyone can benefit from the answers. The forums have already resolved hundreds of troubleshooting questions.

    We’ve also continued to build our online help, with user manuals and FAQs that allow people to find the answers to their how-to questions with a quick search – without having to wait on hold. And they’re all easily accessible through Harmony software.

    If you have questions about our customer service policy, join the discussion on our online community forum through your Harmony software or at

    • I find it interesting that the only response from a logitech employee, happens to be the longest written, and yet does not offer any advice on acknowledging or correcting the charging problem mentioned by 90% of the other posts! Instead, it mainly states restrictions on help via phone is now limited to 60 days ! That is a genuine failure in customer service. I also had a 880 remote. It had problems from the start, with taking several tries each time to get it to make contact to cradle, and start charging, then after maybe 8 full charges and very light use, it stopped charging after about 6 months of use. I spent several sessions messing with it. I assumed the shiny contacts may be oily from fingers, so I cleaned them. I then checked tention on them and made sure they were touching remote contacts. They were hitting fine. Finally after many frustrating tries and not being able to use my Tivo at all for months, tonight I searched it and found this forum. Thank you folks for the advice! The paper trick forcing the remote battery tighter to its contacts fixed it. My memory on unit is all gone now though. Will need to sink to computer again. A grade a big F to Logitech for designing a very expensive remote, with such a well known problem that I am sure they experienced before, yet allowed it to go to market. Bad, Bad, Bad. By ‘Well known’, I mean you know that remote developers have seen this problem before. It is not as if something new took place here. battery shape, and ot the plastic mold shape

  45. Kate: Thank you for the post. I appreciate it.

  46. I too was unable to charge my Harmony 880. The problem was not a loose battery, or failure of the contacts. It began right after the remote was dropped. I went to put it in the charger, nothing. If you have tried shimming the battery, and the contacts and it still doesn’t work you may have the problem I had – a loose connection between the contacts and the circuit board inside the remote.

    If you are willing to disassemble, it is easy to fix. Remove battery cover, remove small screw inside compartment and at other end of remote. Carefully pry apart the two halves. There are 6 “clips” that you must pop apart along the edges. Inside you will find a tiny plug with black and red wires connecting the circuit board to the charging contacts. My tiny plug had just barely worked itself loose of its plug. I pushed it back in, set it on the charger and everything is back to normal.

  47. Thanks for the tip. I have been fighting with my Harmony remote for about a week and pulling out my three varios remotes to trun everthing on and off. The piece of paper worked like a charm. I can now relax and enjoy my viewing and listening pleasure with one click.

  48. The vodka cure. Battery went dead two weeks ago. Would not charge. Bought a new cell-phone battery. It, too, wouldn’t charge. So, I ordered a new Logitech battey. It wouldn’t charge either. Tested the cradle. It was live. Tried the paper wedge trick behind the battery. No luck. Tried the two-pound weight on the charging remote. Still no charge. Went back to Logitech HELP. Plugged the remote into the computer. It lit up fine. Item No. 8: clean the contacts with rubbing alcohol. No rubbing alcohol in the house, so I dipped a Q-tip in vodka and cleaned the contacts. EUREKA! The remote now works fine and I have two extra batteries I didn’t need.

  49. Hey dude, thank you for the smart piece of paper tip. It worked for me like a charm. You saved me a lot of money, I was about to buy a new one. Thank you!

  50. Another happy customer! \o/

  51. Hey Dan. I have to join the chorus in thanking you for the paper tip. I just wowed my wife with my computer technical abilities. LOL!

  52. Mark: Glad to help out with the wow.

  53. I hate to say this, but this really ought to be something logitech is sued over. The very least they could recall the product or offer up some sort of solution for their bad design. It sucks to have paid this much money for something that is a failure for everyeone. It would be one thing if it only affected a few people, but this is terrible.

  54. Joe: Does it really fail for everyone? Do you have any stats on that?

    Clearly, the fix is easy and simple. I’ve been happy since. No big deal.

  55. I have the same problem as well as my son-in-law, the 880 will not charge in the craddle. I have been told to put paper or cardboard behind the battery, did not help. I now have to work for 10 minutes and place folded paper towel to eleviate the battery side high enough so that the contacts from the battery and the craddle make contact. This is very anoying for such an expensive product. More anoying is that Logitech is aware of this and has not made any effort to notify customers or provide a fix or replacement. – Rum1951

  56. Holy moley, I thought I was the only one having trouble with my Harmony 880, but now I see everyone’s having the same problems. Thanks, Logitech! You have my email address from all the dozens of times I’ve logged on, so why didn’t you ever advise me of fixes or options or tell me what you’re doing about it????

    Mine wouldn’t charge on the cradle either, so I went through all the cleaning and weights to try to make better contact. I always got a charge in the end, but now, although I can make it charge, the battery is kaput – it’s simply end-of-life.

    No problem I thought, I’ll just buy a new battery. Uh oh, I can’t find one anywhere in Western Australia. The only thing I can find is a Nokia phone battery at A$90 !! And now it appears that it’s lucky I didn’t buy it.

    Very, very unhappy, Logitech. I paid A$265 for this device, but since it’s now dead after only three years use, I wouldn’t recommend it to friends.

  57. I purchased two of these expensive Harmony 890s and initially was very pleased. However, both of the units developed problems charging. Logitech knows of the problem, but refused to help, only offering half price on $350 unit to buy a new one. I was told the new unit was redesigned with a better magnet to hold the charger in place. Now I have 3 Harmony 890’s and 3 bases, and no combination of chargers and remotes reliably charge. Some times I can wiggle them or press them to get a partial charge – or I can take my remotes to my brother’s house and get a full charge on his base. I’ve tried all the paper shims, contact cleaning with alcohol, steel wool, adding a 2 pound weight, now experimenting with rubber bands and various inclines to get the dang things to charge. I’ve tried all the ideas listed in the numerous FAQs and user troubleshooting of this charger. Sometimes I can get a partial charge, but usually the remote loses contact and fails to charge. Logitech refuses to help me beyond selling me another.

    It is a known design flaw – but all Logitech wishes to do is sell me another. It was a nice product, but not worth the recurring aggravation of a dead battery (proprietary battery design – not easy to replace and no known way to charge outside of the remote). It would have been much nicer if they designed the remote to charge through the mini-USB, at least I could find some way to recharge them.
    Flawed product, extremely flawed customer support. I do not recommend purchasing this product. I’ve spent almost eight hundred dollars buying 3 remotes have spent dozens of hours troublshooting, emailing Logitech, and waiting on their hold… Yet I still don’t have a working set. I have found elsewhere a suggestion of using Nokia BLB-2 batteries and an external charger. Way more hassle than one would expect, but I have not been able to get Logitech to do anything other that offer to sell me a new remote for ½ price ($350 to $175).

  58. I just had the same poor experience as MCV with Logitech support. I’ve had intermittent problems trying to recharge and have had some success with the rubbing alcohol, but that solution doesn’t work for me anymore. I’ve bought 2 replacement batteries since then, but neither will recharge on the cradle. Logitech support recommends buying a new cradle. I’m not sure if that’s going to work given the trouble MCV and others have had with their new remotes and cradles, and I’m reluctant to spend any more money on a product that is known by many and the manufacturer to be defective. The Logitech support rep tells me that it’s their new policy now not to send out replacement cradles, but to direct customers to their Sales department for either a 50% off a new remote from their online store or to buy a new cradle. I can not find any one selling just the cradle, so you’ll have t buy direct from them.

    Logitech, please step up here. If you know it’s a defective design, then you need to correct it. This is supposed to be your high-end product. Stand by it! It’s ridiculous to have your customers go through various gyrations to make a $200 remote work the way it’s supposed to. I for one will think twice before buying any more Logitech products.

  59. Not sure if this will help anyone but it helped me out. Was just about to buy a battery and charger on ebay, decided to give an offer and wait. In the mean time I decided to take it apart (ya I am that stupid). None the less this remote guts are very simple and it was easy to take apart. Turns out that my ‘can’t charge’ issue was caused by a loose connection between the board and contacts. All I had to do was push the white plug in a little further and now it works like a charm. I know I’ve dropped mine a few time and thought maybe one of the wires came loose. Luckily I was right for once.

  60. Hi, I also had a battery charging problem. I think that MAY be fixed, but I managed to break off the battery cover clips in the process. I know, anger management classes! Anyone know where to find a battery cover replacement? Thanks for any help.

  61. How do you get the cover off… does not slide with any type of ease.

  62. Push down hard on the notch on the battery cover and slide it toward the bottom of the remote. I wish I knew this before I broke mine. Good luck.

  63. Nothing was working for me: Alcohol on the contacts, no. Wedging paper on the battery, no. checking for a loose wire, no. Finally, in desperation, I used the point of my philips screwdriver to push down hard on the INSIDE of the metal contacts on the remote itself, to dent them outward a bit–not too much. (you have to disassemble the remote to do this). Now it is charging, but I still have to put something in the charger to tilt the remote so it makes better contact.

  64. I will try this tip and see how it works, but for now I’m going to use this space to complain about Logitech customer support. Not only does my 880 have this charging problem, but it has another very common problem, the Volume Up button no longer works. Just doing some searching online will show these two problems are very common with this very expensive remote (well, at least its expensive compared to any other remote I’ve ever purchased). Today I went in circles just trying to contact Logitech support, and wasted about two hours. First, I saw online that there was no longer email support, so I called the non-800 number listed on the Logitech/Harmony website (hopefully it won’t be two expensive). I was forced to push a button to say if I was Windows or Mac, so I pushed the button for Mac. After being on hold for 82 minutes, I was told I had not reached the people who deal with hardware problems. I was told I could get email support via the Harmony application (on my computer), or talk to them directly. I had him transfer me to them directly. After 20 minutes of being on hold again, I had to leave, and decided to try using my application to contact Logitech Harmony support. But now I see the only support form the application is searching knowledge base, online forums, or PAYING to talk to Logitech on the phone. So to some up the reasons for my anger (vent, vent, vent), Logitech built a device with hardware flaws, they charged a ton for this device, and they put up every kind of wall possible to not have to support the device any longer. I have many (cheapo) universal remotes that are much older than my Harmony, and they still work like they did the day I purchased them. If anyone from Logitech wants to respond, you’ll find my website by clicking my name, then you’ll find a “contact” button at the bottom of my website.

  65. First, I enjoyed reading about the vodka cure (above).

    Second, thank you for the “paper solution”. Another victim here.

    Third, I am tired of pointing the 880 – thinking about getting an 890 (RF version). I would be interested in any comments/experiences with the 890 – pro or con.


  66. Success!!! Took remote apart, pressed contacts on remote outward with screwdriver, used rubbing alcohol on all 6 contacts (remote and cradle). Works as good as new!

  67. Great idea Thanks alot. Works like a charm. I thought the cradle or the metal connectors between remote and cradle was the problem. All along it was a loose battery! Go figure.

  68. My 880 remote started to have problem charging 3 years into its life, and I mistakenly thought the rechargeable battery had aged prematurely. The cheap Chinese battery replacement I got just made the problem worse. After reading the article above, I grew more suspicious of the electrical contacts. I re-installed the original battery with the paper pad as suggested, but this was not sufficient. It was only after I put a rubber band around the cradle and the remote sitting on it that I obtained reliable charging.

    The rubber band is a bit of a pain but now the remote gets a full charge like new.

  69. Thank you all for your tips: I had the worst of all and used every trick. plus one more critical one.

    -Harmony 880 bought at Sharper Image like 3 years ago
    -Just took out of drawer after being in there for 2 years and 11 months
    -Dead off cradle
    -Put on cradle:
    -Screen Blank
    -Beep (maybe two)
    -For less than a second “Battery low, place on cradle press –>”
    -Cycles slide show
    -NO battery indicator

    -Clean all contacts with alcohol and cotton swab (I used the alcohol from Walgreens)
    -Installed battery using paper trick to push battery forward
    -Opened cradle and pushed contacts DOWN (pulling up made them actually come through less
    -To open cradle, remove rubber feet, screws, then pry in the middle for two tabs on each side
    -Then, the most important thing that actually fixed it:
    -Download the latest program from,en
    -Connect the remote through USB

    I thought the battery was dead and everything else, but IT LIVES!

  70. I just went through the 880-Not-Charging dance. I got a constant low battery message. Multi-tester confirmed that the cradle was producing 8.7 volts. I cleaned the contacts at the battery and used folded paper to tighten the fit. No change. Then I removed the battery and put it on a high-quality universal charger. It charged fine. When installed in the remote everything worked normally. Then I used extra fine sandpaper and solvent to clean the contact connection between the charger and the remote. That seemed to solve the problem. Apparently in some cases the accumulation of hand oils on the contacts is the problem.

  71. Thanks for this. I’ve had my remote for about 4 years now and just today it started acting funny and constantly shutting off, wouldn’t charge, etc. I thought it finally bit the dust but nope! A little piece of paper and it’s good as new! Thanks a bunch!

  72. I was just getting ready to go get another battery when I seen this thread. Tried the paper trick and presto, the unit is working great.

    Many Kudos, you saved me about $35

  73. My H-880 lasted about 19 months and started acting up on the cradle. It all began with the swollen battery and this is apparently from over charging. ‘I beg your pardon’ I told the sprite on the phone, ‘Why use a charging base if it has no control of the charge, why not use disposible batteries’? Why do users have to shove wads of ‘ass-wipe’ down the poop-chute to hold a battery tight, place the remote on ungodly soft pillows and that is in hope of getting the unit to charge when you ‘Monkey the Contacts’ with uncontroled abandon and hold your tongue the right way. The bottom line is, Logitech will do anything to sell you more components, and even less to help you fix a component you already own that should work. Through the entire conversation I held with a mildly candid corporate molded answering machine of an individual, nary a’once came up the offer of a service repair center. Harmony was purchased from Canada by Logitech some years ago. Logitech cheeaped out on tech support, manufacturing is now from China and now you see the results. I have also been ripped off at the till for a minutae of electronics surrounded in plastic and rubber, with a price tag that will make even my Doctor wince. The tech support is next to hidden and side steps the support issue with coupons to purchase more plastic and rubber from China. Give me back my North American made goods and an ear to bend when the buttons stop buttoning and the bells and whistles go silent. I for one have given up on cheap, disposible Chinese Junk and a smart consumer may also want to think the same way. At the top of the list is Logitech, I can hardly wait for other Logitech products I have purchased to start discombobulating. Then I will really tell them what I think of their products.

  74. Before you go out and buy a new cradle…READ THIS FIRST. I bought my Harmony 880 about 2.5 years ago. It worked great for about a year, and then the cradle started getting very finicky about charging. We moved to a new house shortly thereafter, and the remote has spent the last 1.5 years in a box. I pulled it out the other day to reprogram it and the battery was dead (or so I thought). I bought a new battery, but it wouldn’t charge either. I tried the paper method on the battery to no avail.

    The problem with my cradle seems to be that it’s contacts are not making good enough contact with the remote. I took the remote apart n hopes of pushing it’s contacts “downward” to extend them. That is not very feasible. Eventually, I came up with my own fix that I’m extremely happy with. I took apart the the cradle (by removing the rubber feet and screws) and bent it’s contacts “upward”. But when I put the top of the cradle back on, the contacts hadn’t raised enough to make a difference. So I opened it back up again and noticed that there is a raised ridge of plastic right in front of the holes on the underside of the cradle TOP. This ridge pushes the contacts downward when you put the cradle top back on during reassembly. So I took a small file and some sandpaper and completely removed that plastic ridge. Now my cradle contacts sit up nice and high, and the cradle works better than ever. In fact, my old battery is now charging just fine.

    RANT STARTS HERE: Now I have to say something about Logitech Support. When I found this website, I contacted them to see if they would replace my cradle. They said my product was out of warranty and offered me a 50% discount on a new product. I argued with them that this was not a “warranty issue” because the product wasn’t defective by age, but by design. When Logitech redesigned the cradle and offered it as a replacement, they basically admitted that the product was defective. If it were a warranty issue, they would send you the exact same model that you bought. This is very different, and they should have had a recall. At the very least, they should honor all claims for a new cradle.

    They finally gave me a new case number and told me that they would escalate my claim to the RMA department, and that I would be contacted in a couple of days. After a week, I called them back and provided them with the new case number. The support person I spoke with was very embarrassed, because he told me that the RMA department does not call customers, my new case number was simply a record of my complaint that had gone nowhere, and that he could guarantee me that I would never get a new cradle. I thanked him for his honesty and decided right then that (a) I would fix it myself if possible, and (b) that I would never buy another Logitech product again. END OF RANT.

  75. Hi all,

    I was just about to post about how I fixed the whole thing, but Budge beat me to it. I started with the paper method on the battery, no luck. I opened up the charging base, noticed that ridge and let Mr. Dremel do the rest (I’m sure a file/pocketknife/sandpaper would do just as well, but I wanted to try out my new Dremel).

    Thanks, Budge!

  76. Amazingly simple yet effective solution. I love the Internet! Thanks!

  77. Lots of good info; I love the internet, too! But I have a somewhat different problem. (I have sent logitech an email, but after reading this thread am pretty sure there will be no response to question 100107-005910!). The battery in my 880 (about 2-3 years old) is swollen, although the unit continues to operate (yes, and charge, too) as well as ever (I have had very few cradle problems that weren’t fixed with a light wipe of the contacts every few weeks). I cannot get the back on unless I dremel some plastic off the back of the cover, which I am reluctant to do. A genuine replacement battery in Australia is about $60!!! But if the swelling is due to overcharging, I may destroy the replacement as well – the battery and charger are simply not supposed to let that happen. Any suggestions?

  78. I had this same problem and it was definitely an issue with the contacts on the base. Logitech sent me a brand new remote and base and 9 months later the contacts went bad again. I tried cleaning them with Isopropol alcohol (rubbing alsohol), hydrogen peroxide, vodka, etc. but nothing worked.

    Use fine-grained sand paper to sand off the surface from the 2 (or 3 depending on your model) little metal contacts on the base unit. After they are nice and rough, use steel wool to polish them until they are mirror smooth. If you have any problems reaching the contacts, you can remove the rubber feet of the base and remove the 4 screws and pop the bottom off; this will give you better access to the contacts.

    After the contacts are nicely sanded and re-polished, put everything back together and your remote should charge properly again.

  79. I’m very pleased with all the various help. Very nice. Thank you.

  80. I have multiple Harmony units in my house. One 720 and two 890 Pro units. All of the units are presenting problems charging. I also have used the coaster method, book method, etc., of weighting down the unit to help create a charge and it worked for some time but no longer.

    The method of placing a piece of paper to push the battery toward the contacts is creative but not safe. Lithium batteries get very hot when recharging and are in a near explosive state during this period. Adding paper to this situation is unsafe and should not be considered as a fix.

    Contacting Harmony was a waste of time. My call went to the Phillipines and the best they could do was send me to RMA which as we all know is a blow off. I also have written (email) Harmony and they do not respond.

    When it comes time to purchase new Logitech Harmony Remote you are better to look at the competiton. There are others out there, a little bit higher in price and with my research it is obvious they do not have these sort of problems.

    Compaq and Dell took this approach toward their customers and look wihere it got them … Good luck to Harmony because you will never have any of my future business.

  81. Paper doesn’t burn until 451F. As for ‘near explosive state’: that sounds like a gross exaggeration to me.

  82. I’d like to thank all of the posters. I have been able to fix my remote thanks to your comments. I’d like to especially thank Budge, because I had just about the exact same experience he did. My battery stopped charging completely. I didn’t know if the cradle was bad or the battery wasn’t able to hold a charge anymore. LOGITECH CUSTOMER SERVICE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO HELP AT ALL. I got the same out of warranty, 50% off coupon speech that Budge got. So I read the reviews and used Budge’s solution. It worked perfectly. The contacts in the cradle were not touching the remote’s contacts. So when I opened the cradle (remove the 4 screws under the feet), I used a nail file to file off the the plastic ledge that was preventing the internal charging contacts from being raised high enough to make contact with remote. Now it’s charging as if it were brand new. Thanks Budge!

  83. No way !!

    I found the remorte at a back of a drawer today while cleaning. It has been there for two years, as when it stopped working I did not have the heart to hrow it away. I said: let’s give it another try”. First post I fin is yours, I put the little piece of paper and voila !

    Thanks a million, excellent tip


  84. Thanks to all the posters. I’ve had my 880 since 2005 and as long as I made sure it was sitting properly in the cradle, I never had any problems until recently after we moved. The remote dropped on the floor a couple of times since we haven’t unrolled the rug yet, and suddenly, one day the screen just went dead, and no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t get the charging screensaver to show. The Activity screen just kept flashing and flashing. I did manage to restart it in Safe Mode and update the firmware (which I hadn’t done in years), which at least got the frozen screen off. I thought I had fixed it but no, then I could not get the battery to charge. Tried the paper trick discussed in this thread and that did the trick. Pushed the battery forward into the contacts and it was good to go. I’m very happy now!!

  85. I am also having charging issues. This remote used to work and all of a sudden started beeping. Now longer works???

    Also I can not figure out how to open battery door for the life of me…Please help!!!

  86. Same problem with cradle as each of the other posters. I also have tried several methods for fix but intend to attack the cradle next. Big ups for all the tips.

    Moreover, I have had the WORST possible customer service experience with Logitech. Run-arounds and denial! Phooey!

    Never again. Logitech has lost my business and I will steer anyone I meet away from their products. It’s a shame, really. The unit is valuable when it works, but I cannot abide a company that doesn’t stand behind it’s products.

  87. I have had my Harmony 880 for about 3 years. It charged properly and functioned great up until about a year ago. About a year ago I noticed that it wasn’t charging when in the cradle, so I lifted it up some. So if I placed a quarter under the remote, it would charge. Lately it’s gotten to two quarters and a wooden wedge to charge. So I contacted Logitech to see if they could repair it. There is no repair service for Harmony remotes and my remote was out of warranty so they offered to sell me a new remote fro 50% off MSRP. This is the second remote that I have had that failed due to this issue.

    I figured what the heck, since it was out of warranty, why not try to repair it. I noticed that the terminals on the back of the remote were starting to push inward. So I took out 4 screws (2 in the cover and 2 in the circuit board), unplugged the charging wires, then used a small diameter metal punch and rubber mallet to tap the terminals flat and back in place. It took about 10 minutes and a little CorrosionX on the terminals and wow it is working like new! It blows me away that Logitech doesn’t offer a repair service on a remote that costs so much. I emailed them back and told them that if that’s how they treat repeat customers, then they have lost a customer even though I really like the remote.

    The only thing is be careful when opening the remote. There are small plastic tabs that can bust when opening the remote. Don’t worry if they do, because the screws hold it together.


  88. Thanks to everyone for their different ways of solving their charging problems. Like many other’s my 880 had stopped charging and was 3 yrs old. I didn’t want to have to order a Harmon One so I figured I’d take the chance and search online for ideas. After using a rotary tool to clean the contracts on my remote I was still having some issues with it charging. I took the base apart and fond it to be dirty inside. I used rubbing alcohol to clean all the contacts and straigthen them back out and with fingers crossed all seems to be working again.

  89. Now that’s impressive – 3yr+ old 880 remote just recently started repeatedly beeping when we placed it on the charging cradle, Googled ‘beeping harmony remote’ – found this, didn’t think the paper wedge in the battery compartment would work, tried it anyways, remote back in the cradle & voila !!! Remote stopped beeping & is charging merrily !!! Thanks for the post even if it’s 6yrs old !!

  90. Chris: I am glad that something which took so little time to write has helped so many people. :)

  91. awesome tip, was just about to order a new battery and separate charger, then I found this tip. thanks worked like a charm!

  92. The tip about opening the dock and filing off the little ledge was AWESOME. My wife used a utility knife and had it off in no time. I put the dock back together and the rmote docks and charges perfectly. I use my 880 as a remote for my secondary TV and receiver and I’m thrilled to be able to use it regularly again.

    Thanks for the tip!!

  93. I used vinegar on Q Tips to clean the contacts on both the remote and cradle. It worked like a charm!!!

  94. It is with a tinge of sadness that I report my Harmony remote, the impetus of this blog post, is now longer in use. If you want it for parts, please reply within the next 7 days and you can have it for the cost of shipping.