Harmony Tips and Tricks: Troubleshooting Your Harmony Remote Updates on Mac Snow Leopard

Hi, my name is Omar Echevers and I am a product specialist on the Harmony team. Although this is my first time on the blog, I plan to be back frequently (along with my colleague, Dane Kalinic – you’ll get to meet him soon) with tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Logitech Harmony remote.

We’ve heard from a number of customers who are having problems with updating their Harmony 900, 1000 or 1100 remote on Mac Snow Leopard (10.6), so that’s the topic I’d like to tackle today.

If you’ve experienced this issue, you probably saw the following message displayed on your Harmony remote software when you tried to update your remote:

There are 3 possible causes which could be preventing your Harmony 900, 1000 or 1100 from communicating with the Harmony remote software.

1. Firewall is Enabled

The firewall included as part of the OS will interfere with the communication between the remote and Harmony software. To resolve this issue you will need to stop the firewall before attempting to update the Harmony Remote. Once you have updated your Harmony remote you can re-enable the firewall.

For steps on how to disable the firewall, refer to this article.

2. USB Drivers Are Not Configured

Unlike other Harmony remote models which use standard USB drivers included in the OS, the Harmony 900, 1000 and 1100 include their own USB drivers which allow the remote to communicate with your Mac as a network device.

During the installation of the Harmony remote software, the USB drivers for your Harmony 900, 1000 or 1100 remote are installed and configured, however there are times when this does not happen which will require you to manually configure the USB drivers.

To manually configure the USB drivers, refer to this article.

3. 64-bit Mode Has Been Enabled

The USB drivers for the Harmony 900/1000/1100 remotes are not compatible with 64-bit mode and therefore will not allow the remote to communicate with the Harmony remote software. If you have enabled 64-bit mode on your Mac, you will need to boot your Mac into 32-bit mode.

For steps on how to do this, refer to this article.

Once you have completed the troubleshooting steps, your Mac should then be able to communicate with your Harmony remote. If you are still experiencing issues, I encourage you to contact Harmony Support or visit the Logitech community forums.


Product Specialist, Remote Control Business Unit


  • Hi, the remote works just as you say and you can do a lot more as well. Also using the star in the bottom right you can jump into individual menus for each and every device you have. As well as have custom buttons for specific things you may use regularly. Best remote I have had and I have had a few. Also the hard buttons can be configured to so you don’t need to use the touch screen for everything. And the help function is great.

  • Hey Omar. Super finding this blog. With the most recent firmware and software update to my 720, it displays my time as t+5 hours. For example, my 6:30 PM EST is showing on the remote as 11:30 PM. My account settings are for EST and my computer time is correct, so can’t figure out what’s causing the problem. The actual time on my remote has always fallen behind after a few days, but I’ve never had problems with it initially setting incorrectly.


    • Hi Chris,

      The Harmony remote grabs the time from your PC. You mentioned that the time on your PC is set correctly. Ensure the time zone is also set correctly on your PC.

      You also have the option of manually setting the time on your Harmony 720. To do this, press the “Activities” button, then select “System Options”. In System Options select “Set the Current Time”.



  • Pity that in starting the blog Logitech kept the same awful combination of colours, fonts, and font sizes as their forums. People coming here will surely be as put off by this as they certainly are by the forums.

  • My harmony 900 powers up to the Logitech Splash Screen and stays there. Does not recognize USB. Any ideas?

  • I have the problem like described above that the software (v. 7.7.0) doesn’t update my 885 anymore. And I’m *not* using 10.6.x but 10.4.11 and it used to work. I almost said flawlessly but that’d be a lie – after a few tries I succeeded most of the times – not always though.

    After a while it displays “unable to display content”. This also happens when trying to remove a device.

    any ideas how I might be able to update my remote again?

  • I am having problems configuring my 880 remote. I am running v7.7 of the software, and it can’t seem to communicate with the remote. I am using a cable that is known to be good, and both the remote and my PC recognize that the USB is connected. I have hear of instructions saying to disable all firewalls, but I am not willing to do this while still connected to the internet. I have had my system attacked to many times to run without a firewall. I tried disabling the internet connection, but then the configuration software does not run. Is there some why to configure my firewall to allow the logitech software to work. I am runnin Comodo, but I don’t recall the version.

    • Hi Kenneth,

      Based on your response, it certainly sounds like the firewall is preventing your computer from communicating with our servers.

      You don’t need to disable your firewall, but you will need to configure your firewall to allow access to the following sites:


      Since every firewall is set up differently, we recommend that you review the owner’s manual or any documentation that came with your program in order to change this setting. You may also want to check out the Comodo forums.



  • Hi, i have a problem with my Harmony 785 the software at start up, i get the page saying please log in your details and when i do so it get a screen saying unable to display content. I tried everything from forgotten password and create new account, every time i receive a error saying unable to display content. I am using a mac with snow leopard version 10.6.2 what this got to do with java update. please assist me. Thank you

  • I am going CRAZY here setting up this 1100 remote with my Macbook Pro running 10.6 (snow leopard) and the tech people are not that helpful or knowledgable. I’m stuck at that 0% screen. We’ve “manually created the USB driver but all that does is turn off my internet. I’m really getting frustrated now and thinking about returning this expensive gadget that is supposed to be “compatible” with Mac OS. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

  • OK, tried calling tech support again and spoke to a person who was much more tech savvy. Thanks!

  • i have a 1100 and when i want to switch off all equipment when im finished watching tv, the remote refuses to switch tv, amp and such off. evn though i have set it up to do so in the activities setup

    please help as i am so close to finally ditching all the remotes.

  • I am running snow leopard, have tried all 3 things that you have mentioned and i still get that same error message.It worked when i first used it but now, it just isn’t updating.

    • Hi Jason,

      To better assist you I need to know the error message that you are get when you try to update your remote.



  • I have a Dish VIP722 DVR and a Samsung HDTV and use a Harmony 510 remote. Recently the Dish DVR started to switch channels, pop up menus and a lot of things. Dish asked me to change the remote address to another one (address 1 to 15 available). When I changed the remote address, the Harmony did not work for the DVR ONLY. Have read this is a problem a lot of people are having. Does Logitech have an answer for this problem? Dish doesn’t.

    Otherwise, I love the Harmony 510!

  • went to shut off tv, then put remote in holder. scdreen on tv went ff but receiver and sound still on. the remote in holder shows a half green line and a yellow lightening bolt. After 2 hours it appears to not be charging and still has no function. thank you cindi

  • Hello,
    Last night we pushed a button that took away the sound from our receiver. It’s not on mute, but the TV won’t play sound anymore.
    If I play a DVD, it sounds fine.
    Is there a button on the Harmony 900 that will take away sound from the receiver that is not the mute button?
    the Help feature does not help.

    • Hi Mark,

      The Mute button sends the signal to the device that controls the sound on your receiver. Ensure your receiver is set to the correct input and check the cables on the back of your receiver to ensure any of them are not loose.



  • I have a Harmony 1000 and a Mac with OS 10.5.8 and I can’t for the life of me get past the “Plug the USB cable….” message. I have tried all the hints above it just won’t progress. Any thoughts?

  • My Harmony 720 has been working great for years, but lately the screen no longer turns off when idle, which drains the battery quickly. The screen will turn off eventually while the remote is charging, but not when it’s off the base. Any ideas on how to fix this?

  • Please please did al you explained still says to me that it needs a update!
    already spoke to some guys from the Netherlands but they did’nt help me that much.
    Also i have trouble to log in my account it says the password is wrong! So that why i try it this way!!!!! please please help

    • Hi Patric,

      Your incident has already been escalated to our level 2 support team. You should expect to hear from them shortly. They will be able to assist you with the issue.



  • Hi, I have the Harmony 510, and currently it says Safe Mode on the screen. None of the buttons will work, I’ve tried taking out and replacing the batteries, but nothing seems to work. Help! Thank you.

  • Hi. I have a harmony 890 that has been functioning properly until yesterday. Now the LCD screen is blank. I believe the functions still work but it is hard to know without the screen. It still powers on everything. Any recommendations?

  • My issue is similar to Robin’s. I have a Harmony 890 also and the screen went dark about three weeks ago. Some functions still work on the remote, but with the screen dark…it’s of no use. How do I find out if it’s under warranty still?

  • hi there, bought a harmony 700 today, programmed my devices in it, and got “go to website to update remote”. tried to update several times. This error was not documented in the book, no work around so the device was stuck. I brought it back to the shop, and got my money back. disappointing. I don’t like having to call for support, the device should work on first-hand.

    regards, r.

    • Hi r,

      I’m sorry to hear that your returned your Harmony 700. From what you described it sounds like a third party internet security application may be the issue. Do you use Norton Internet Security by any chance? If yes, you will need to configure Norton Internet Security to allow the Logitech Harmony Remote software.



  • Hello,
    I have a Harmony 890 remote I have had this problem from day one: I have an RF Extender in a Hall closet that controls all my closet devices perfectly-cable box, blue ray, etc. My Samsung TV is in the front room. The remote does not power the TV on or off. I have the settings set to control the TV by the remote and the devices in the closet by the RF extender. Why can’t I get the remote to power on the TV? Thanks-Mike

  • I am trying to set up a brand new 700. I using my account to replace my broken 900 with the 700. This works properly. Then I update the firmware on the 700, which goes properly. But when I try to update the remote. I get this message:

    Java Error – Context: (none) – 1 Parameters: java.lang.NullPointerException

    I am using a Mac with Snow Leopard OS. I currently use this setup to update another 900 and a 900 Pro.


    • Hi Kepstein,

      Since you are going from a Harmony 900 to a Harmony 700, I recommend you create a brand new account for your Harmony 700.



  • I have the Harmony 1000 I purchased a new battery and still I cannot work the remote on it’s own meaning off the charger. And I don’t see that where everyone talks about having a full charge the blue light stays on and when I work with it on the charge dock it says low battery

  • Hi Omar,

    I have a stove that need a long pressing button from original remote (1000 – 2000ms I guess) to power on and off.
    How can I force to my Harmony 555 to do that?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Hi Omar,
    I’ve a new Harmony 890 with RF extender and I can’t get pass 41% updating the remote. Thus, can program or use the remote. I’ve tried on all XP,Vista and Window7 – 32bit
    Please help!!! Mike

    Message shown below
    Uploading remote control information to web
    Initializing the remote control. Please wait…
    Uploading remote control information to web – Reattempting
    The software is communicating with the remote control. Communication may take up to 5 minutes. Wait until the communication is complete.
    Initializing services
    Getting remote control information
    Logitech Harmony Remote Software version: 7.7.0
    Hardware version: Board 1.6.0 (0x01:0x49)
    Firmware version: 4.7
    Getting remote control information – Successful
    Checking version information
    Checking version information – Successful
    Waking the remote control
    Waking the remote control – Successful
    Getting remote control states
    Getting remote control states – Successful
    Uploading remote control information to web
    Initializing the remote control. Please wait…
    Uploading remote control information to web – Successful
    Getting remote control information
    Logitech Harmony Remote Software version: 7.7.0
    Hardware version: Board 1.6.0 (0x01:0x49)
    Firmware version: 4.7
    Getting remote control information – Successful
    Checking version information
    Checking version information – Successful
    Checking communication requirements
    Checking communication requirements – Successful
    Starting communication
    Starting communication – Successful
    Downloading firmware region files
    Downloading firmware region files – Successful
    Starting to upgrade region Region 2
    The file is 131072 bytes.
    Updating region

  • I have Mac OS 10.6.3.
    I have tried updating the drivers as you suggest but the green light does not show up and I continue to get the “Plug the USB cable….” message. The only difference in my setup is that I only have the option of Ethernet (not Ethernet 2 as was in your example). Firewall is turned off. And I booted up holding down the 3 and 2 as suggested. On the screen of the remote, it says it is USB Connected.

  • I am having problems getting my Harmony 890 to take a charge. It seems like the contacts on the cradle or remote are not connecting or the Battery is not connecting. I have seen a number of posts on other sites with this same issue. Do you have any experience with this problem?


  • i have 880 with broken usb connector. i manage to get new usb connector and solder it. Its now shows its connected to USB. Do i have to have Battery inserted to connect to computer? do it will still take update from computer without battery installed. its getting power from USB and turns on and screen shows battery level low place remote in recharging stand.

    • Hi dafford,

      The Harmony 880 will update without a battery. Until you place a battery on the remote the LCD will display “Battery level low! Place the remote on the recharging stand to charge battery”



  • I am having an issue with my Harmony 890 remote. The LCD screen no longer provides a lighted display. I had contacted the Harmony service support center and the agent walked me through all sorts of steps before issuing me a case number and indicated a need to charge the battery for 3 hours and then call back to perform a firmware update. When I called back I was told that my case number is not available for support. I then tried everything myself by downloading the latest firmware update and running through the steps for an install. My LCD still doesn’t light up.

    Is there anything else that I can try or is my remote no fixable?

  • hello Omar,

    I have a Harmony 510 remote, I saw the earlier posts about upgrading the firmware; I’ve upgraded the firmware and the software and they are both up to date, but the LCD still displays nothing. When the problem originally happened about 2 months ago I replaced the batteries and it still did not work so at that point I gave up, but now im looking for a solution or ill have to replace the remote…Is there anything else I can do or is this just a re-occuring problem with these remotes?


  • Hi Omar, I have just purchased a harmony 1000. If I turn the activities “watch tv” on, the remote turns on all the necessary devices as it should. If one the the devices is already on, pressing the activities button turns it off. Is there anyway to set the activities to just turn stuff on and not off? Also, the picture on the box shows a clock in the screen, yet I cannot seem to figure out how to turn this clock on.



    • Hi Gavin,

      The remote should only power on the necessary devices. Ensure that you are using the Harmony Remote and only the Harmony Remote to control your system. If you use another remote to power on devices, or manually walk up to the device and power it on, your devices and the Harmony remote will be out of sync. The Harmony remote has no way of knowing when a device has been powered on with another remote.

      Unfortunately, the clock is not a feature available on the Harmony 1000. The image of the clock that appears on the Harmony Remote package was created early in the development phase.

      We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused.



  • Omar,
    Thanks for responding and the 2 tips provided. Sadly neither one works. Looks like my $400 remote is nothing more than a paperweight. Is it normal for the LCD to burn out after 3 years? Can nothing else be done to replace the screen?

    • Hi Scott,

      Unfortunately, it looks like the LCD on your Harmony 890 is defective. Look me up in the Logitech Harmony Forums and send me a private message with your Harmony login ID. My forum name is OmarHarmony.



  • Hi Omar,

    I have a 900 remote and am struggling to configure it so that when I am watching TV, I can change the channel on the cable box and adjust the volume on my Bose cinemate without changing my device setting. Right now, I have to select Devices, then Cable box/Amplifier to change the channel. I have told the Harmony software that my Bose controls volume and my cable box controls the channel when watching TV but it still isnt working properly. I must be missing something obvious and appreciate your help diagnosing the issue.

    • Hi Jason,

      Have you created a Watch TV activity for your Harmony 900? When you select the Activity, it will power on your TV, Bose Cinemate and cable box. The volume buttons on the remote will then control the Bose Cinemate, while the channel and number buttons will control your cable box.

      To create a Watch TV Activity, follow the steps below:

      1. Log into the Harmony software
      2. Click on the Activity tab
      3. Click on Add Activity
      4. Select No – manually add an Activity to my setup and click on Next
      5. Select Watch Television
      6. Select Watch TV ( Digital cable, Basic cable, Antenna)
      7. Click Next to begin setting up the Activity
      8. Once you have finished setting up the first activity, repeat steps 2 – 8 to setup the second Activity
      9. When you have completed setting up both activities, update your Harmony remote by clicking on Update Remote



  • Omar,
    I can see your page in support, but unable to contact you by a private message. Can you respond back via email to me?

  • Omar,
    Thanks for providing so much input since your initial blog post. I have a Logitech Harmony 890 remote. I was wondering if it is possible to program the 890 so that when selecting a Device to control, the volume buttons could be reprogrammed for a different device. For example, when I use the “Watch TV” activity, everything turns on and I can control the DirecTV box while having the volume buttons control the TVs volume. However, can I program it so that, say, I wanted to directly control the Blu-Ray player by selecting it via the Device selection but still wanted to have the volume buttons control the TV volume without having to select an activity button and go through the whole slew of device changing, input changing, turning things on/off, etc?


  • Hi there. My Harmony 1000 worked a treat until a few months ago. Now it wont turn on my TV, Onkyo and Sky simulatneously until I have turned everything on and off through the remote 5+ times. The TV powers up, as does the Sky box and the amp but the TV doesn’t seem to pick up the signal from the amp until the 5th + cycle. Also, the remote no longer controls my Crabtree light unit but it did before an upgrade.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks a million,


    • Hi Rob,

      It sounds like the remote might be out of sync with your devices. This especially happens after your update the remote . When you update the remote, the remote has no way of knowing whether the devices were previously on or off. Using the help button to get everything back in sync resolves the issue.

      If the issue continues to happen, then there is definitely an issue with your configuration. I would recommend contacting support at that point, as many things could be the issue.

      To contact support, refer to this article




  • Omar,
    I have the Harmony 890 and in January I added another component to the remote device and now my remote does not control volume unless I open up my cabinet. The symbol over my “watch TV button” shows a ” (similar to the pause symbol). I cannot get this removed. I have tried a few too many times to edit and update my extender and remote and I am frustrated. Before I hooked up the additional component (Onkyo IPOD adapter for music to play on Zone two of my receiver) I was thrilled with the remote capabilities- now I have frustration. What am I doing wrong?

  • Omar,

    I am now one of the apparently many, many Harmony users that get the blue screen of death just after the one year warranty. What is Logitech doing to address this problem? I was told that my solution would be to buy another unit? If this were an isolated instance, I might agree. But, this is far from an isolated issue. I cannot tell you how insulting it was today to be told by customer service that I would need to pay $29 just to confirm that yes — it is the a dead unit and that I could get a 50% off coupon to replace the unit — for what is clearly a manufacturer problem on what I am guessing is a fairly significant scale.

    So — as the face of the Harmony team here on the blog, can you tell me what your company is doing to address our problem?

    – Andrew

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