Tesla Theater Not Working? Try These Fixes

Tesla Theater Not Working

Some of the problems that you as a Tesla Theater user could encounter include:

  1. Tesla Theater mode disappearing and leaving a blank screen after a software update
  2. Streaming options becoming non-responsive to clicks
  3. Tesla Theater mode being inactive despite car being parked
  4. Losing the Streaming service icons
  5. Miscellaneous issues

These problems lead to poor user experience of the Tesla Theater product, frustration, annoyance and negative user feedback for Tesla.

If you find yourself facing any of the challenges outlined above you can try any of the solutions below to see if the Tesla Theater feature resumes working or the problem still persists.

You can attempt DIY fixes such as rebooting, driving around then parking. It is not a sure remedy but it could work.

1. Tesla Theater mode disappearing and leaving a blank screen after a software update

It is one of the most common problems that you may come across in Theater mode especially for if you experienced a blank screen after the 2022.44.3.11 update. This version 11 release may have left you with a blank screen or no Theater mode (it defaults to Arcade).

Tesla is aware that there is an issue and has stated that this is a known software bug. After this update most vehicles experienced a glitch in the monitor display. The best course of action is to make a mobile service request.

The service representatives at Tesla will contact two days or one day before you come in for your scheduled appointment and try to troubleshoot and resolve your issue remotely.

Some of the remote fixes from Tesla are:

  1. Waiting for a new software release.
  2. Installing Tesla firmware- basic, low control, permanent, embedded software installed into your touchscreen to enable it to work. The service people will guide you in this process.
  3. Requesting you to use the voice command option as you wait for the software release. This allows you to access the streaming options on the Entertainment bar. The theater mode will work but the screen will still be blank.

Voice commands have different steps on different vehicles. For the Tesla X and S models:

  1. Go to the right upper hand side of the steering wheel
  2. Tap the voice button

To find the voice command on the Tesla 3 and Tesla Y

  1. Go to touchscreen or right scroll button on steering wheel
  2. Speak command after the tone

If you want to access Netflix, say “Open Netflix” or “Play Netflix”. You can also try this process with other streaming options and see if it will work. If you want to know more about Tesla voice commands you can visit the Tesla support website.

2. Streaming options are non-responsive to clicks

Despite the screen showing the streaming services icons, you may encounter this problem touching on interactivity. It occurs when the streaming options icons are present but do not open, thus leading to you having poor user interaction and affecting your access to streaming services.

This is a connectivity and subscription related issue. It can be seen when clicking on icons and having a no reaction or can present itself as videos working then stalling even after resetting.

The cause of this malfunction is because you do not have the strong connectivity required to stream videos. Tesla Theater mode works most effectively when you are subscribed to Premium Connectivity or are using Wi-Fi or mobile hotspot connection.

Make sure you have recharged and paid for subscriptions on your devices within the required period. If your subscription has expired, renew it and try opening icons again to see if there is any change to the responsiveness in the icons.

If it doesn’t work, contact the Tesla service team.

3. Tesla Theater mode being inactive despite car being parked

Tesla Theater Mode is indicated as “Available when Parked”. You will notice that the Theater mode does not work when in drive because of safety. It is recommended to use it when driving or charging to promote driver attentiveness.

However, if you are Tesla Model S (Refreshed) back seat passenger you may be able to access the Theater mode.

You may have seen drivers complaining online that even though their cars are parked they still cannot access the Theater mode.

It is a common problem for drivers who leave their headlights on. If you forget to switch off the lights when you are parked, your Tesla will assume you are still driving. Therefore, the important thing for you to do to activate your Tesla Theater Mode is to switch off your headlights.

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Go to Controls
  2. Select Lights
  3. Choose Exterior Lights option
  4. Shift from ON to OFF

For extra precautions you can also switch off other lights such as the Dome Interior Lights, Daytime Running Lights, Auto High Beam and Headlights after Exit lights. By switching them off you will conserve energy and the car will sense that you have parked.

4. Losing the Streaming service icons

The icon loss is a software issue. Try changing the name of your Model X, Y, S, 3 Tesla vehicle and observe whether the icons will come back.

The path for clearing this software glitch is:

  1. Clicking on the Tesla icon
  2. Choose Quick controls bar
  3. Select Software tab
  4. Tap on the Vehicle Name displayed in blue
  5. Change vehicle name to “Patsy”
  6. Click on Save
  7. Go back to Theater Mode to see if problem has been fixed
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 4
  9. Then change to desired name

Maybe you are curious about the “Patsy” name change. “Patsy” was one of the characters in Monty Python shows. Tesla has an Easter egg (a funny surprise) in the Monty Python tribute mode.

Once you type in “Patsy” in the Change Name box, the Foot Cupid will appear from the top of the screen and smash the tiny Tesla car on the bottom of the screen as it makes a fart noise. This is a funny addition to your Tesla experience.

Once the funny session ends the Monty Python videos and clips will be added to your streaming service icon page. The As Monty Python icon is added, other Theater mode icons will also be refreshed and reappear and you get to enjoy your movies and shows once more.

Other names which work include: Unladen Swallow, Biggus Dickus, Mr. Creosote, Rabbit of Caerbannog, and Flying Circus.

Another fix for the icon loss is to change the display language. Once you do this Entertainment tab is refreshed and the icons reappear.

The steps for changing the display language of a Tesla model 3 and S are as follows:

  1. Go to monitor
  2. Choose Tesla car icon
  3. Quick Controls Screen pops up
  4. Go to Display section
  5. Scroll down to language on the right
  6. Select language of choice from the menu
  7. Change navigation language if need be (for navigation voice instructions)
  8. Restart and revert your changes to your desired language

5. Miscellaneous issues

At times your Tesla may need rebooting or resetting so that it can activate new software update, open apps, and even incorporate missing features such as Theatre mode.

The is the first fix you should try at home. Resetting or rebooting your computer can refresh blank screens and inactive icons. Simply press the two scroll wheels on the steering wheel.

To do this:

  1. Press the scroll buttons on steering wheel for up to ten seconds
  2. Screen fades to black
  3. Wait for it to restart on its own
  4. Check whether the Theater Mode is working

You can also select a different tire configuration. Selecting a different wheel size forces the onboard computer to reboot and refresh all settings and features. To do this:

  1. Navigate to Controls
  2. Scroll down to Service
  3. Select Tire Configuration
  4. Confirm
  5. Check whether the Theater Mode is working
  6. Restart and revert changes to desired tire configuration
  7. Confirm

In conclusion, the reason your Tesla Theater Mode is not working is because you have a software bug, a software update issue, a connectivity problem or an expired streaming service subscription.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Teslord as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Teslords, he focuses on general Tesla advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


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