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My Apple TV Remote is Not Working

Apple TV Remote

You depend on that shiny little remote for so much: videos, sports, music, and more. When it stops working properly, you feel frustrated and cut off. Here are some things to check before buying a new Apple TV remote:

  1. Make sure the remote has clear line of sight.
    If anything gets between the remote and your Apple TV receiver, the remote isn’t able to send commands.
  2. Change the battery.
    The Apple TV remote takes a CR2032 or BR2032 lithium 3.0 V coin battery. These are available at most Best Buys, drug stores (like Walgreens), supermarkets, superstores (like Wal-mart and Target), and some gas stations and convenience stores. Use a small coin to turn the slotted battery cover on the back of the remote control. (It turns counter clockwise.) The new battery goes in with the positive side facing up.
    **If you have a first generation Apple TV remote (white, not aluminum), use a paper clip or similar item to press the battery tray release button on the bottom end of the remote. When the tray slides out, replace the battery in the same manner as above.
  3. Check your remote pairing settings.
    Apple TV remotes can work universally across Apple devices. Unless you pair a remote with a device, telling it to only talk to that device and telling the device to only receive commands from one remote, you could be sending mixed signals. (That explains why a video on you iPad will mysteriously start to play while you try to bring up Netflix on your Apple TV.)
    To pair an Apple TV remote with an Apple TV receiver, point the remote at the receiver and press the “Menu” and “Right Arrow” buttons at the same time. Hold for 6 seconds. An icon that looks like two joined chain links should appear over a remote control icon on your screen to let you know you’ve successfully paired your devices.
    **For first generation Apple TV remotes, press and hold “Menu” and “Next/Fast Forward” for 6 seconds.
  4. Unpair your remote.
    An Apple remote may stop working if you paired it with a device that’s no longer in use or not in the same room. If you’ve gotten remotes mixed up or want to use one universal remote, unpair your Apple TV remote by pressing “Menu” and “Left Arrow” simultaneously, and hold for 6 seconds. An icon that looks like two separated chain links should appear over a remote control icon on your screen to let you know you’ve successfully paired your devices.
    **For first generation Apple TV remotes, press and hold “Menu” and “Previous/Rewind” for 6 seconds.
  5. Buy a new one.
    If you’ve tried all of the above steps to fix your Apple TV remote and it’s still not working, it’s probably safest to just buy a new one. From there, you can pair the new remote to your Apple TV receiver and should experience no more problems.

Have you tried the Apple TV remote control app? It works on iPad and iPhone and controls your Apple TV just like that little remote. Read more here.

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Jess Hutton loves to research, and she loves playing with apps, gadgets, and food. When she's not face-to-face with a screen, she and her husband take their two dogs out for hikes and ice cream.

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