Apple TV Remote: The ultimate guide with tips and tricks

This article explains all you have to know about the Apple TV Remote and the Remote App for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. There are a lot of gesture based functions that you may not already know.

Tips and tricks for the included Apple TV Remote

Different Models of the Apple TV Remote

For the beginning, let’s have a look at the different versions of the Apple Remote Control.

  • The Siri Remote / Apple TV Remote (from the the 4K and HD generation; it’s called Siri Remote in the countries that support Siri)
  • The silver Apple Remote (from the 2nd and 3rd generation)
  • The white Apple Remote (from the 1st generation

The older Remote Control are compatible with others Apple TVs (with the lack of some options). The Sire Remote (Apple TV Remote) is exclusively for 4K/HD.

Quickly switch between open Apps

If you want to switch quickly between open apps, simply double-tap the home button (the one with the tv icon on it) and all open apps will appear. Now, you can swipe right and left between the apps.

You can also close an App, if you swipe up on the Remote.

Change the audio output

On the home screen, hold the Play/Pause button. A menu will appear, where you can select the device (for instance a HomePod). Another way to get there: Press and hold the Home Button until a panel appears where you can click the AirPlay Icon.

Sleep mode

Press and hold the Home button for some seconds, the sleep option will appear on your screen and asks you “Sleep now?”.

Reboot your Apple TV

You can reboot your Apple TV holding the Menu Button and Home button at the same time (for at least 7 seconds).

Activate the Screensaver

To activate the Screensaver, double-tap the Menu Button from the Home screen.

Rearrange and delete Apps

Rearrange or delete Apps on your Apple TV should be also very familiar if your are an iPhone user: Simply long-press on the touch surface of the Remote, until the app starts to shake. Then you can move it around.

If you move an app above another, a folder is created.

If you press the Play/Pause Button, further options will appear (like deleting an app).

Text input: Quick Backspace

If you write something on your Apple (like a search term) and make an error, you don’t have to swipe all the way to the backspace button. There’s a shortcut: Long-press on the touch surface, until the alternate character menu appears. There you can swipe left to erase the previous character.

Text input: Lowercase and Uppercase

You can switch between uppercase and lowercase by pressing the Play/Pause Button.

Using your iPhone or iPad to control your Apple TV

It’s very easy to control your Apple TV is your iPhone, your iPad or your iPod Touch.

“Apple TV Remote” in the Control Center of your iPhone/iPad

The good news is: You don’t even have to download an App to control your Apple TV from your iPhone or iPad. It’s just there: in the Control Center. Just make sure you have the latest iOS and tvOS versions installed. And by the way, this also works for Smart TVs with AirPlay 2.

This only works with Apple TV HD/4K (for older Apple TVs you have to download the App in the App Store, see below)

Opening the Remote in the Control Center

This is super simple:

  • Swipe up on your iPhone (iPhone 8 or earlier) or swipe down from the upper right corner (iPhone X and later) to open the Control Center (that’s where all the buttons like flashlight, camera, flight mode, calculator, etc. are).
  • Click the Apple TV Remote button
  • Choose your Apple TV from the list
  • Enter the 4 digit passcode which is shown on the TV

“Apple TV Remote” App (for 3rd, HD and 4K generation)

Installation and Setup

If you have a 3rd/HD/4K generation Apple TV, go to the App Store and download the “Apple TV Remote”.

  • Make sure that you have installed the latest updates on all your devices (Apple TV, iOS Device).
  • Download the “Apple TV Remote” from the App Store.
  • Connect your iOS Device to the same wireless network as your Apple TV.
  • Open the “Apple TV Remote” App and choose your Apple TV.
  • Go to “Settings > General > Remotes” and enter the displayed number (4 digits) in the App.


Let’s have a look what you can do with the Apple Remote App:

  • Navigate through your Apple TV with touch gestures
  • Quickly enter text (like search phrases using the keyboard from your iOS Device)
  • Ask Siri to find movies, series, etc.
  • Control the content that’s currently playing
  • Play games using the accelerometer and gyroscope
  • The volume buttons on your iOS device can control the volume


If you want to use the iOS App, here are the requirements:

  • You need in iOS-Device with iOS 9.3.2 or newer
  • Apple TV 4th generation with tvOS 9.2.1 or newer
  • Apple TV 3rd generation with Apple TV Software 7.2.1
  • Apple TV 2nd generation with Apple TV Software 6.2.1

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