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Sky TV troubleshooting

Sky viewing card error messages

For help with Sky viewing card issues see the suggestions below.

  • "There is a problem with your viewing card"

    If you're seeing this error on your TV, you'll need to check your viewing card is inserted correctly and make sure it's not damaged. You can also try gently wiping your card’s chip with a clean dry cloth.

    To check your card is inserted correctly, watch our help video or follow the steps below.


    1. Switch off your Sky box by pressing the standby button on your Sky remote.
    2. Turn your Sky box off at the mains socket and check the power light on the box is off.
    3. Locate your viewing card and remove it from the slot. Check for any damage.

      Don't worry if you see a brown/yellow mark on the card. This is normal and won't affect the performance of the card.

    4. With the viewing card removed, switch your Sky box back on at the mains and wait for the power lights to come back on.
    5. Leave on standby for at least three minutes.
    6. Then press sky on your Sky remote and choose a Sky channel like 106. It can take a few minutes for features to start working again.
    7. When prompted re-insert your Sky viewing card into your Sky box, making sure the Sky logo is facing up and the card chip is facing down.

      After a few moments the Sky channel will reappear.

  • "This is the wrong Sky viewing card..."

    If you're seeing this error on your TV, you'll need to pair/link your viewing card to your Sky box. The message may appear if your box has been turned off for a long period of time or if you've recently replaced or upgraded your Sky box.

    To link your Sky box to your viewing card watch our help video from 01.04 minutes or follow the steps below.

    1. Insert the card into the slot on the front of your Sky box.

    2. Press services on your Sky remote then select Settings > Details.

    3. Make a note of the following details:

      Sky box Version Number.
      - 10 or 11-digit Serial Number.
      - 9-digit Viewing Card Number.
      - Receiver ID.

    Online

    1. Go to activatemychannels.sky.com, select Sign in to activate your channels then sign in with your Sky iD. If you don't already have one, you'll need to create a Sky iD first.
    2. Enter the details you made a note of earlier. Please note: if you have a Sky box with a 10-digit serial number, add a 0 at the start.
    3. Select Pair my card. If this doesn’t work, please contact us.

    Or in the My Sky app

    1. Open the My Sky app and, if you haven’t already, sign in using your Sky iD details. If you’re new to the app, visit our My Sky app page to find out more.
    2. Select Manage account > TV > TV settings.
    3. Select Activate next to Activate card and follow the on screen instructions.

    Make sure that your Sky box remains connected and switched on until your channels are active. Card activation usually takes a few minutes, but can sometimes take up to four hours.

    If you’re still seeing the "wrong viewing card" error message after following the instructions, please contact us for further assistance.

  • "Insert your Sky viewing card"

    If you’re seeing this error message on your TV then your viewing card may not have been inserted correctly or recognised by your Sky box.

    Things to try:

    • Check the viewing card has been inserted firmly into the Sky box.
    • Check the viewing card has been inserted correctly with the label/Sky logo facing up, the arrows pointing towards the Sky box and the card chip facing down.
    • Reset the viewing card by following the “There is a problem with your viewing card” instructions above.

  • "Insufficient credit on your viewing card"

    If you’re seeing this error on your TV when trying to purchase from Sky Box Office or Sky Store through your Sky remote, it’s because you’ve reached your monthly credit limit or your credit facility is unavailable.

    Sky boxes must be connected to an active phone line or broadband connection to maintain the credit facilities for Sky Box Office or Sky Store purchases.

    Older, non-compatible Sky+HD boxes must be connected to the phone line.

    Credit will also be unavailable if there’s an outstanding balance on your account.

    Please contact us for further assistance.

  • "Viewing card is not authorised"

    If you’re seeing this error on your TV and you can’t access Sky subscription channels try following the steps below to perform a call-back to check your service.

    Perform a call-back using your Sky remote:

    1. Press services on your Sky remote, then press 0, 0, 1.
    2. Select Install (which will change to New Install) and press select. You’ll see an on screen message.
    3. Press select. You'll see Signal strength and signal quality.  

      The Sky box will now perform a call-back. If your Sky box is connected to a telephone line please make sure the line isn’t busy before completing the following steps, otherwise the call-back will fail.

    4. Press select and you’ll see an on screen message “Call-back in progress”. If the call-back fails, press select to retry.
    5. After a successful call-back you’ll see another on screen message “Installation Complete”. Press sky to return to normal viewing.

    If you’re still having problems try and reset the viewing card by following the “There is a problem with your viewing card” instructions above.

  • "Initialising new viewing card, please wait."

    If your Sky box has frozen on this message follow the suggestions on our Sky box initialising help article. 

  • Replace your viewing card

    It’s normal for viewing cards to become discoloured (often a brown or yellow mark) caused by the heat in the Sky box. This won’t have any effect on the performance of the card and doesn’t need replacing.

    If the above steps haven’t fixed your issue, you’ll need to contact us to replace your Sky viewing card.

    While you wait for your new card, you’ll be able to view free-to-air channels and watch some of your subscription channels on Sky Go. If you’re not sure if you’ve set up Sky Go, you'll find more information in our Get started with Sky Go article.