How to Pair an Apple TV Remote

Buttons on the remote are the place to start

What to Know

  • Hold the remote about three inches away.
  • Siri Remote Gen 1: Press and hold Mute and Volume Up for at least five seconds. Siri Remote Gen 2: Press and hold the Back and Volume Up buttons for 2 Seconds.
  • Apple Remote: Press and hold Menu and Left to disconnect a remote, then press and hold Menu and Right to connect.

This article explains how to pair an Apple TV remote.

How to Pair a Remote to Apple TV

These instructions work for all Apple TV remotes. Default instructions pertain to the first and second generation Siri remotes, with model-specific differences called out where necessary.

  1. Make sure that your Apple TV has power.

    You should be able to see a white LED on the front of the Apple TV. If you don’t, check to make sure it’s plugged in.

  2. Turn your TV on, and set it to the HDMI port that’s associated with your Apple TV.

  3. Hold the remote about three inches away from your Apple TV.

  4. Press and hold the Mute and Volume Up buttons for at least five seconds.

    First, second, and third-gen Apple TV with the white or silver Apple Remote: press and hold Menu and Left for at least six seconds, then press and hold Menu and Right for at least six seconds.

  5. Release the buttons when the remote connects, or place the remote on top of your Apple TV if prompted.

What to Do When an Apple TV Remote Won’t Connect

If your Apple TV remote won’t pair with your Apple TV when you follow the above procedure, there could be an issue with either the remote or your Apple TV. Try each of these steps, in order, until your remote connects to your Apple TV:

  • Reposition the remote. The remote needs to be a few inches away from the Apple TV to connect, but not too far away. Try connecting with the remote about three inches from the TV, then try it in different positions if that doesn’t work.
  • Remote sources of interference. Your remote connects to your Apple TV via Bluetooth, so it’s susceptible to wireless interference. If you have a lot of other wireless or Bluetooth devices in the area, try shutting them down or removing them. Other things, like microwaves, can also cause interference.
  • Check the battery. Plug the remote in and allow it to charge, or check and replace the battery if you have an older remote. After charging or replacing the battery, attempt to pair the remote again.
  • Reboot the Apple TV. Unplug your Apple TV from power for 30 seconds, then plug it back in. This will cause the Apple TV to reboot. Wait a while for the reboot process to complete, then attempt to pair your remote again.
  • Make sure you have the right remote. If you’re replacing a broken or lost remote, identify your Apple TV remote and make sure that the replacement is compatible. Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD work with the Siri Remote (first and second-generation), Apple TV Remote, and Apple Remote. Older Apple TVs only work with the Apple Remote.

Use Your iPhone as an Apple TV Remote

If you are unable to pair your Apple TV remote with your Apple TV after trying all of the recommended fixes, there may be a problem with your Apple TV or your remote. In that case, you can contact Apple for additional assistance. In the meantime, you can also use your iPhone as an Apple TV remote.

  • How do I reset my Apple TV remote?

    Hold down the Control Center button+Volume Down until the Apple TV status light turns off and turns back on. Then, release the buttons and wait a few seconds. The remote will disconnect and then reconnect to your TV.

  • How do I pair my Apple TV remote with my Macbook?

    First, unplug your Apple TV. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Bluetooth. On your remote, press and hold Menu+Volume Up for about 5 seconds, then select Connect next to your remote in the Bluetooth menu.

  • How do I use a universal remote with my Apple TV?

    To use a universal remote with your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Learn Remote. On the universal remote, select Start, then press and hold the Up button on the remote until the remote is paired. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

  • How do I control my Apple TV with my Android?

    You can control Apple TV with your Android, using the AnyMore Universal remote app. In the app, select Control my WiFi Devices Apple TV, then select your Apple TV from the list of nearby devices. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote Apps and Devices > AnyMote-Smart Remote.

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