How To Setup IR Remote Control Access In Windows With WinLIRC

WinLIRC, unlike its Linux-based sibling, is a finicky priss to get working. I tried to follow the setup guide on their website, but it was getting late and I could no longer make heads or tails of what they were trying to convey. Starting fresh this morning, I took to futzing around with the settings until I had it working correctly.

Installing WinLIRC is as simple as downloading the zip file from SourceForge and extracting it to any location on your computer. For simplicity, I stuck the application folder in C:\

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 12.17.00 PM
“Program Files”? Shit just gets lost in there!

When you first run WinLIRC, you will get this error message off the bat:


Okay, I haven’t even defined a configuration, so obviously nothing’s going to work! Thanks, WinLIRC! Click “OK” and you’ll be taken to the main Setup window.

10 In the top section, choose the Input Plugin that is compatible with your remote. Since I’m using the SIIG Vista MCE Remote, I’m going to choose one of the MCEVista* plugins, and since my copy of Windows is 64-bit, I need the MCEVIsta64.dll plugin to drive my remote.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 12.22.00 PM In the next section, you have to specify the configuration for the remote itself. Some fine folks have done a great job of writing a configuration file for almost every remote you might run across, so going to pop over to their website and grab /remotes/mceusb/lirc.conf.mceusb (right-click->”Save link as…”), saving it into the WinLIRC folder.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 12.29.50 PMClick “OK” at the bottom, and you will likely get this message:




tumblr_lcttnsi9AX1qb5bn1Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 12.43.25 PM



Rage_table_flipSo, how do you get it to work? The trick is that you can’t simply right-click->”Run as administrator”. Oh, no! You have to edit the properties so that it runs at elevated privileges all the time!

No, not here. One more step....
No, not here. One more step….

In the Properties dialog, click the “Compatibility” tab, and, at the bottom, don’t simply check “Run this program as administrator”. Click the button underneath that says “Change settings for all users”. THEN check “Run this program as administrator”!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 12.52.20 PM
Okay, NOW you can check the box.

Try running WinLIRC again and you should see the system tray icon come up and you should no longer get the dreaded “Error Window of Doom”.

Now that you have WinLIRC properly configured and receiving signals from your remote, you’re going to need some way to parse those signals into useful commands….


  1. Ian says:

    It’s because the MCE plugin requires admin support to talk directly to the hardware. Unfortunately there is no way around that, other than using a receiver which doesn’t require administrator support. Although, I am surprised ‘run as administrator’ doesn’t work.

    1. Atari says:

      Well, ‘run as administrator’ does, technically, work. One just has to make sure it’s done through the properties dialog instead of just the context menu, which is kinda odd.

      Despite the limitations, I prefer the MCE receiver due to the level of support available (by virtue of its ubiquity, I’m sure).

  2. Atari says:

    I played around with WinLIRC in Windows 10, and I’ve noticed that before WinLIRC can initialize, a signal from the remote must be received. I’m wondering if this has to do somehow with “toggling” the receiver as the driver is initialized already, but WinLIRC won’t communicate with it until it gets SOME signal from the remote.

    I want to find some way to solve this so I can have a completely automated startup procedure.

  3. Dave says:

    can’t get it to work under Windows 10.
    I always get the error message of doom despite having testet every available compatibility setting

    1. Dave says:

      works after installing the viewer application supplied with the TV Card

      1. Atari says:

        Which TV card/viewer application?

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