With the video-streaming wars in full effect, it’s imperative that you have a device capable of watching all of your favorite content. Apple TV is one such device, a great option for all your video streaming needs. And like many of Apple’s products, Apple TV is an aesthetically pleasing black box with a small footprint – perfect for those pining after a minimalist decor.
As great as Apple TV is, it’s little more than a paperweight without the remote. Fortunately, even if you’ve lost your remote, you can still binge all your favorite content.
Apple TV Remote in Control Center
Note: be aware that if you have an Apple TV (3rd generation), you won’t be able to use this method. Skip to the next entry on this list for an alternative method. Learn how to identify your Apple TV model here.
If you have an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, you can use Control Center on your iOS device as a remote. Apple’s Control Center gives users quick access to a variety of settings and controls, including your Apple TV. Unfortunately, the Apple TV Remote isn’t visible by default in Control Center. Don’t stress, though, it’s easy to get it to appear.
On your iOS device navigate to “Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls.” Scroll through the list of available controls until you find the one labeled “Apple TV Remote.” Tap on the + icon next to it to add the Apple TV Remote function to your Control Center.
To use the Apple TV Remote function in Control Center with your Apple TV, you must ensure that both your Apple TV and your iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network. Next, open Control Center, tap on the Apple TV icon and select your Apple TV. If prompted, enter the four digit code that appears on your Apple TV into your iOS device.
Remote App for Apple TV
Unfortunately, if you have a third generation Apple TV, you won’t be able to use Control Center on your iOS device. Don’t fret, as you’re not up the proverbial creek just yet. Luckily, the Apple TV Remote app for your iOS device gives you all the functionality of the physical Apple TV remote. To get started, download the Apple TV Remote app from the App Store.
Before firing up the Apple TV Remote app, double-check your device and make sure it is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and open the app. Tap on “Add Apple TV” to have the app scan for your Apple TV. Once it pops up on the screen of your iOS device, tap on your Apple TV. If prompted, enter the four-digit code that appears on your Apple TV into your iOS device. This will pair the remote app to your Apple TV.
Reprogram an Old Remote
Do you have an old remote sitting in a drawer somewhere? Chances are you do. You always knew there was a reason you kept it, and this is it! Infrared remotes can be used with your Apple TV, you just need to reprogram them. Fortunately, this can be done in a few minutes. Be aware that while most remotes should theoretically work with your Apple TV, there are no guarantees. That being said, reprogramming an old remote is straightforward.
To get started, you’ll have to use the Control Center or Apple TV Remote app on your iOS device to navigate to the Settings of your Apple TV. From there, select “Remotes and Devices -> Learn Remote -> Start.”
Next, you’ll be prompted to press and hold various buttons on your remote. Make sure you hold each button down until the progress bar is full and you are prompted to press a different button. Once you do this for each button, you should be able to use your infrared remote with your Apple TV!
Use a Bluetooth Keyboard
You can pair an Apple Wireless Keyboard to your Apple TV and use it to navigate the interface and enter text. If you don’t have an Apple Wireless Keyboard, don’t worry. Fortunately, you can use a variety of third-party Bluetooth keyboards as well. To get started, put your Bluetooth keyboard into pairing mode.
Using the Apple TV Remote app or Control Center, navigate to “Settings -> Remotes and Devices -> Bluetooth.” This will make your Apple TV search for nearby Bluetooth accessories. Once your keyboard appears, choose it. You should now be able to use your Bluetooth keyboard with your Apple TV. In addition to entering text, you can navigate your Apple TV and its apps by using the following keys:
- Use the arrow keys to navigate menus or the Home screen.
- Hit the Return key to make selections.
- Tap the Spacebar to play or pause content.
- Press Escape to go back or exit an app.
Buy a New Apple TV Remote
The Apple TV remote is slick and a perfect companion piece for your Apple TV. Unfortunately, they are super small, which makes lost Apple TV remotes a common occurrence. Luckily, Apple sells replacements. You can get the standard Apple TV remote for $19 from the Apple store. Alternatively, you can snag the Apple TV Remote with Siri for $59.
Have you lost your Apple TV remote? Did you opt for one of the workarounds, or did you buy a new one? Let us know in the comments!