How to Use a Universal Remote With Apple TV

Control all of your devices with one remote

The Apple TV remote control is great, but it has its limitations. If you want to control your Blu-Ray player and other connected devices with one remote, it makes sense to configure your Apple TV with a universal remote control.

Instructions in this article apply to all Apple TV models.

Can You Use a Universal Remote With Apple TV?

Apple TV is compatible with most universal infrared (IR) remote controls. However, not every remote will support Apple TV, so do some research online before making a purchase.

You can only use Siri voice recognition and touchpad features with official Apple TV remotes.

How to Set Up a Universal Remote With Apple TV

The exact steps for setting up the remote will depend on the brand, so consult the manual that came with it. Some high-end universal remote control devices can be set up with a software patch over USB.

Once the remote is powered on, follow these steps to configure your universal remote with your Apple TV:

  1. Using your Apple TV remote, select Settings on the Apple TV home screen.

    Select Settings on the Apple TV home screen.
  2. Select Remotes and Devices.

    Select Remotes and Devices.
  3. Select Learn Remote.

    Select Learn Remote.
  4. Using the universal remote, select Start.

    Using the universal remote, select Start.

    If this doesn't work, make sure the remote is on and that you are using a new device setting.

  5. Press and hold the Up button on the remote until the progress bar is full.

    Press and hold the Up button on the remote until the progress bar is full.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish assigning buttons.

    Follow the on-screen instructions to finish assigning buttons.

    If you get a No Signal Received message, make sure there are no objects between your remote and the Apple TV.

  7. Enter a name for the remote control if you'd like and select Done.

    Enter a name for the remote control if you'd like and select Done.
  8. Select Set Up Playback Buttons to assign Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, and Fast-Forward buttons.

    Select Set Up Playback Buttons to assign Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind, and Fast-Forward buttons.

When you have completed this process, you'll be able to use your universal remote to control most functions on your Apple TV.

Troubleshooting Problems and Solutions

If you previously set up another remote with your Apple TV, you might get a Button Already Learned message when attempting to set up the new one. You can unpair the old remote even if you no longer have the device by going to your Apple TV Settings.