Apple TV Remote not working? 6 fixes to try

The Apple TV is a great streaming device, and the remote that comes with it is unique. It mainly uses touchpad controls to scroll and select items on the screen. Once you get used to it, it’s an easy way to navigate your Apple TV.

Remote controls are generally quite durable without much of a problem. But as with anything, there can be some problems in the end. If your Apple TV remote doesn’t connect to the device, this can cause a lot of trouble. You won’t be able to access anything on the device without it (though you can also use your iPhone to control it – more on that below).

If you’re having issues with your Apple TV remote, here’s what you should try first.

first. Check battery and signal

If your Apple TV remote isn’t working, the first thing you need to do is make sure your battery is charged. If you have a Siri Remote or an Apple TV Remote, try charging your remote for about 30 minutes and see if it starts working again or if you’re not sure if your battery have i finished. If you have an Apple Remote, try replacing the battery.

You’ll also want to make sure that nothing is blocking the signal between your Apple TV device and the remote. These can be objects that block the signal’s path or things that get in the way of the Apple TV. If you place your Apple TV device in a good location where nothing can interfere with the signal between it and your remote, this can make it possible to control it again.

If you’ve checked both of these possibilities and they don’t seem to be the problem, move on to some other fix.

2. Unplug your Apple TV

Another quick fix to try is to unplug your Apple TV device from the wall outlet, wait about 10 seconds, and plug it back in. This will essentially restart your Apple TV and maybe what it needs to be able to connect to the remote.

This will also work no matter what kind of Apple TV remote you have. For different types of Apple TV remotes, there are different methods for troubleshooting. If this general fix doesn’t work, here’s what to do for each specific type of remote.

3. Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote

This type of remote has a trackpad on top, and there’s another method of trying to connect it to your Apple TV device. Here are the steps to do so.

Siri and Apple TV Remotes
  1. Point your remote three inches away from the Apple TV, then press and hold it Menu and Volume up in about five seconds.
  1. You’ll see a warning that the Apple TV is paired with the remote. You may then be prompted to place the remote on top of your Apple TV to pair them. If they get disconnected somehow, this should fix the problem.
  1. Once they are paired, try using the remote again.

If your remote is still not working, try changing your Accessibility settings. To access these, go to Setting > Shared > Accessibility. Alternatively, if you also have an Apple Remote, you can try connecting it to your Apple TV.

4. Apple remote control

These remotes come in aluminum or white and only have the arrow pad on the top. If you have this type of remote, you will need to go a different route to fix the connection.

A pair of Apple Remotes
  1. Unlink your Apple Remote by pressing and holding Menu and Left side buttons for six seconds.
  1. A warning will appear with an unlinked icon above the remote.
  1. Now hold Menu and Right buttons for six seconds. Another warning will appear with a link icon above the remote.
  1. Finally, unplug your Apple TV device from the wall outlet and wait at least six seconds before plugging it back in. Then see if the remote works again.

This will re-link your Apple TV to your remote and should hopefully resolve any issues with the Apple TV remote not working. Restarting the device will also help further with any problems with the device’s connection to the remote.

5. Using an iPhone or iPad

If you’ve tried all of the above and the Apple TV remote still can’t connect to your device, you might want to try using your iPhone or iPad to control the device if either of these are available.

You can do this by adding the Apple TV Remote to your Control Center. If you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS, this feature will be added automatically.

Follow these instructions to start using the app remotely.

  1. Open Control Center. On iPadOS or iPhone X or later, swipe down from the top right corner. On older iPhones, swipe up from the bottom.
Control Center
  1. Tap Apple TV Remote.
Apple TV Remote Screen
  1. Select your Apple TV device.
Devices in the Apple TV Remote screen
  1. Follow the onscreen instructions to enter the passcode to connect the devices and start using the remote feature.

If you already have an iPhone or iPad, this is a good way to continue using your Apple TV even if your remote isn’t working. If you don’t have one of these devices or still want to fix your Apple TV remote, at this point you’ll want to try and get some help from Apple Support.

6. Contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried everything else, go to Apple Support to see what your next step is. You will want to choose View more products from their home screen, then select Than and choose Apple TV. Then choose Remote Controls & Accessories.

You can choose to speak to Apple Support by phone or take your Apple TV and remote control to an Apple store for repair. They may be able to fix your device, but if not, you can always buy a new Apple TV remote.

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