Apple TV not responding to remote? 8 ways to fix

When you power on your Apple TV, the remote will automatically connect after 3-5 seconds. Otherwise, keep pressing the power button until the message “Remotely connected” appears on the screen.

If your Apple TV isn’t responding to remote input, the troubleshooting suggestions below should get the remote working again.

1. Move the Remote closer to the Apple TV

First things first: Make sure your Apple TV and its remote are within range. Siri Remote (2nd generation) communicates with compatible Apple TV devices via Bluetooth 5.0 — works best within a 40-meter connection range. The first-generation Siri remote powered by Bluetooth 4.0 has a maximum connection range of 10 meters.

White and aluminum Apple Remotes with removable batteries have a shorter connection range (5-6 meters) because they use an IR transmitter.

Move your Apple Remote or Siri Remote closer to the Apple TV and make sure the distance apart doesn’t exceed their respective connection ranges.

We should also mention that electronic devices, home appliances, or furniture can block the remote signal from your Apple TV remote. For example, someone on this Apple Community forum addressed input lag issues by moving his Apple TV a few inches away from the surge arrester. The surge arrester interfered with the Bluetooth signal from the Siri Remote.

Don’t hide your Apple TV box behind a concrete wall, TV, or TV console. Likewise, make sure your remote has a clear view of the Apple TV.

2. Use a shielded HDMI cable

Using an unshielded or poorly shielded cable with Apple TV 4K can interfere with the Wi-Fi network and the Bluetooth remote signal. Switching to Apple’s shielded high-speed HDMI cable can fix Apple TV remote lag issues and Wi-Fi connectivity issues. That has worked wonders for the many Apple TV 4K users in this Apple Community forum.

3. Use Siri Tricks

Another trick we discovered (in this Reddit thread) is to use Siri to bring the unresponsive Siri Remote back to life.

Press and hold Siri button on your remote, ask Siri a random question and release the Siri button.

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Your Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K should now detect and respond to the remote. Click Back button or TV button / Control Center to close Siri.

4. Charging the remote control

The Apple TV remote will last several months on a single full charge. You will receive a notification to charge the remote when the battery level drops below 20%. Your Apple TV won’t detect or respond to keystrokes when the remote control’s battery is dead or damaged.

Check the remote control’s battery level before recharging the built-in battery or inserting a new one. If your Apple TV is paired with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, use the Apple TV Remote app in Control Center to check the remote’s battery health.

Open Control Centertouch Apple TV Remote iconand wait for the app to automatically detect your Apple TV. Otherwise, tap the “Select TV” drop-down menu and select your Apple TV.

Then go to Setting > Remote controls and devices > Distant on your Apple TV, check the “Battery Level” of the remote.

If your Apple TV uses the Siri Remote, charge it for at least 30 minutes using the USB to Lightning cable. Then, unplug the remote from the charger and press the power button.

Use an Apple-certified authenticator cable, preferably the USB cable that came with the Apple TV.

Fake or imitation cables may not charge the remote. Even worse, it could damage the remote control or its battery.

For Apple Remotes with removable battery design, remove and replace the old/dead battery. You’ll find the battery compartment on the bottom or back of the Apple Remote.

Refer to Apple’s official guide on how to replace an Apple Remote battery for detailed instructions. Contact Apple Support or visit a nearby Apple Store for technical support.

5. Restart the remote control

Keep your Apple TV on, make sure the remote is charged, and follow the steps below:

  1. Press and hold Control Center/television button and Turn down the volume together for at least five seconds. While there, keep an eye out for the Apple TV’s status light.
  2. Release the buttons when the Apple TV’s status light flashes. A “Remote Connection Lost” message will pop up in the upper-right corner of your Apple TV screen.
  1. In about 5-10 seconds, the “Remotely connected” message will reappear in the same location.

6. Reconnect Apple TV and Remote

If your Apple TV still won’t respond to the remote input, disconnect the remote and pair it again from scratch.

Reconnect Siri Remote to Apple TV

Here’s how to pair Siri Remotes or Apple TV Remotes with Siri support back into your Apple TV:

  1. Move the Siri Remote closer to the Apple TV — no more than three to four inches (8 to 10 centimeters). If possible, place the remote on the Apple TV box.
  2. Press and hold Backside and Volume up buttons for at least five seconds. On the 1st Gen Siri Remote, press and hold Menu button and Volume Up Button instead of.
  1. Release both buttons when you get the on-screen notification that your Siri Remote has been paired successfully.

Reconnect Apple Remote to Apple TV

If your Apple Remote (aluminum or white) doesn’t support Siri, here’s how to reconnect it to your Apple TV:

  1. Press and hold Menu button and Left button for at least six seconds. That will unlink or disconnect the remote from your Apple TV.
  1. Release both buttons when your Apple TV shows up broken chain icon atop a remote control icon.
  2. Press and hold Menu button and Right button on the remote control for at least six seconds.
  1. Release the buttons when you see chain icon above the remote control icon on your TV.

7. Restart your Apple TV

Power on your Apple TV if the streaming device is still unresponsive to remote input after trying all possible troubleshooting solutions.

Unplug the Apple TV power cord from the wall outlet and wait at least six seconds. Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet and check if your remote responds promptly.

8. Update Apple TV

Updating tvOS can resolve performance issues like connectivity issues, remote input lag, and app-specific glitches on your Apple TV. Open the Apple TV Remote in your iOS device’s Control Center and follow these steps:

Open Settings application and go to System > Upgrade software > Software updates. Wait a few seconds for your Apple TV to check for new tvOS updates. Option Download and install proceed with.

Do not turn off or unplug your Apple TV during the update. Plus, check out our guide on how to update tvOS on Apple TV for more do’s and don’ts. You will also find troubleshooting fixes for issues that may occur when updating tvOS.

Time for a new remote

If your Apple TV is still unresponsive, the remote is partially or completely damaged. You can buy a new Apple TV remote on Amazon or the Apple website. The Siri Remote costs $59, while the regular Apple Remote retails for $19.

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