If you have a Samsung TV, you may have experienced the inconvenience of manually switching to an HDMI source after turning off the TV. This is incredibly inconvenient if you always use HDMI as your primary signal source. By default, TVs are set to receive signal from the antenna input, and if you unplug the TV, it will forget which input was last used and turn on the antenna input as specified by the OS. However, on Samsung TVs, you can set one of the HDMI ports as the default input.

You can set a specific HDMI port as default in the service (secret) menu, and here’s how you can do it.

Samsung TV, default source via secret menu

The secret menu allows you to assign a specific HDMI port as the default port in the TV settings. This port will be automatically selected every time you turn on the TV, whether in standby mode or after unplugging the TV. This feature is borrowed from the hotel mode concept for TVs, where you want to show one video in all rooms. This mode is actually more useful when using TVs as advertising screens.

If you need to enable this mode, here are instructions on how to set HDMI1 or any other available HDMI input as the default:

Enter the secret menu: Go to the TV’s secret menu. To do this, press a sequence of buttons on the remote control (you need a remote with buttons 0-9). Our article “Samsung TV Secret Menu, Login, Setup, Features” describes in detail how to access the Samsung TV’s secret menu. Here is a brief instruction on which buttons you need to press when you turn on the TV to open this menu.

  • Method 1: INFO → MENU → MUTE → POWER 
  • Method 2MUTE → 1 → 8 → 2 → POWER – suitable for TVs in the USA.
  • Method 3: DISPLAY → P.STD → MUTE → POWER.
  • Method 4: SLEEP → P.STD → MUTE → POWER.
  • Method 5: DISPLAY → MENU → MUTE → POWER.
  • Method 6: MUTE → 1 → 1 → 9 → POWER.

Briefly how to set up HDMI in the service menu, and then the setup in pictures: SM (secret menu) >Control>Hotel Options>Hospitality Mode (ON)>Power On Source>HDMI/DVI (On)

  1. Select “Controls” to customize the basic operation settings of the TV.
How to enable HDMI by default
How to enable HDMI by default

2. Select “Hotel Options”, this is the setting that will access the TV mode settings.

How to enable HDMI in Samsung TV secret menu
How to enable HDMI in Samsung TV secret menu

3. In some TVs you should choose ‘Hospitality Mode‘ (but that’s optional)

How to enable HDMI by default in Samsung TV secret menu
How to enable HDMI by default in Samsung TV secret menu

4. In almost all TV models, you should select “Power on”. This mode determines the TV settings when the TV is turned on, including from which source to show video when the TV is turned on.

Power On
Power On

5. Now you should select the “Power on Source” mode. In this mode you select the source from which the video will be displayed on the screen.

Samsung TV HDMI enabling
Samsung TV HDMI enabling

6. Then you need to set the source from which the video will be shown, you can choose any HDMI port, the default setting is TV.

Power on Source HDMI
Power on Source HDMI

To exit the secret menu, you can press the off button, and the TV will turn off; after turning on, the selected HDMI input will always be active, regardless of signal presence. You will get a black screen if nothing is connected to this port. If you want to select a different signal source, you can change it with the remote control. But when you turn on the TV, this source will always be selected, no matter what signal source you used before.

After HDMI setup, Samsung TV launches TV Plus

TVs have now become smart and have many settings. Since most users use the TV to watch streaming services, Samsung has added the ability to launch the last active application. If you enable this setting, the TV will automatically launch the app when you turn it on, and if you haven’t watched the app before turning it off, the TV plus service will be loaded by default. Disable this setting, as described in detail in the article “How to disable Samsung TV Plus autostart by default.”

Selecting a source in the main menu or HDMI CEC

If you do not want to make settings in the service menu, you will not be able to set HDMI as the default. It is possible to select a source through the user menu, but the TV will only remember this selection until it is unplugged. You can also set HDMI-CEC to automatically select a source when you turn on an HDMI-connected device; this is also an option, but it may not work properly with devices from different manufacturers, and it’s not a default setting, just automatic source selection, the same as turning on automatic selection in game mode. Auto select in game mode is the same HDMI CEC protocol, only the TV not only automatically switches to the HDMI input, but also opens the Game Bar.

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  1. I don’t know what’s more frustrating: dealing with this ongoing issue or continually finding websites with information that takes me nowhere. My Samsung Qled TV QN55Q60RAFXZA was purchased two years ago and absolutely none of these settings apply to what I have my TV’s menu. I don’t have any main category in my menu called ‘System.’ I have a ‘System Manager” under the General category and the Anynet menu is listed under “External Device Manager.” I’ve adjusted the HDMI CEC numerous times with no change in the unit continually defaulting from HDMI1 back to TV when I turn it on (it works for about about five days before reverting back). I don’t have any setting whatsoever under General labeled ‘Start setup,’ or anything in my menu that even resembles or applies to that sub-menu. This is the fourth or fifth website I’ve looked at that doesn’t take into consideration that the menu systems on all Samsung TV’s are not identical. After dealing with this problem for almost two years I’ve pretty much resigned myself that it’s not fixable. I’ll know better than to buy another Samsung TV when this one eventually gives out.

  2. This was extremely well done. I was on Samsung chat and asked about assigning a specific HDMI port as default. He never mentioned Anynet+ but he did seem to sneak in a comment about needing to “verify” the default port upon turning on the TV. What I need is an absolute default AUTOMATIC HDMI port that will open my FireTV stick and NOTHING ELSE…unless I do it.

  3. The model number is only printed on the back of the TV. (Thanks Samsung.) It’s permanently mounted on the wall. How can I ever find the model number?

    Without the model number… how can I find the “start setup” or “default source” menus? (They are totally different than the ones shown here.)

    • You can find the model number of the TV in the menu. This information is in the TV’s menu about the system or TV info.

  4. But I have four HDMI inputs, Fire Cube, DirecTV Genie and Blu-Ray Player with the HDMI2 (ARC) going to a Sound bar. The TV comes on ok using HDMI3 which is the satellite box but then changes to HDMI2, the ARC Sound bar and I have to tell it to go to HDMI3. I’m okay telling it to go to HDMI4 if I decide to use Fire Cube and it will switch to that when I hit Home on the Fire Cube remote anyway. How do I get it to go to a specific HDMI on Startup?

    • You have HDMI-CEC enabled on your TV. At Samsung it is Anynet+. The TV switches when it detects a signal from a device connected with HDMI. Turn off Anynet+ mode.

  5. I have aQ80A , it has no setup option in the menu. Been chasing this issue for 2 weeks and have spent many hours with samsung support and searching on line with no resolve. Thinking taking it back will be quicker. Samsung dropped this ball back in 2017 and still have no fix.

    • I’ve been dealing with numerous fixes for this issue for almost two years. I have an Nvidia Shield connected to my HDMI1 port and I even had Nvidia support trying to help me with it with no solution. Remaining on a fixed port is a pretty basic setting for a tv, but I would say at this point that just being able to do that went way over Samsung’s head. I spent another hour today trying to get Samsung’s SmartThings app working with both my TV and Alexa… it’s completely useless and unresponsive as many of the reviewers of the app re-iterated. Samsung was at the top of its game a few years ago, especially in re: to tv’s. It’s too bad, because their manufacturers are pretty much just producing junk now.


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