How to Use Apple TV without Remote

Check out the best way to use Apple TV without remote control. These tips will help you setup, turn ON and turn OFF your device remotely.

apple tv remote featured

1. Control Apple TV with iPhone or iPad using the Remote App

Sync Apple TV with the Remote app

Follow these steps to easily synchronize your Apple TV with a remote application.

  1. Download and install the Remote app in your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Make sure that your iOS device with the Remote app and the Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Launch the Remote App on your iOS device and select the name of your Apple TV.
  4. Wait for a four-digit verification code to appear on the TV screen.
  5. Enter the code on the TV on your Remote app for pairing.

remote app pairing

Remote app allows you to use the iPhone keyboard to enter text quickly and efficiently on your Apple TV.

Key features of the Remote app

  • Navigate the Apple TV interface with a touch
  • Fast text entry, e-mail addresses and passwords
  • Control playback of movies, TV shows or music tracks
  • Support for the game mode with a simplified controls

Download Remote App from iTunes : Apple TV Remote App

2. Third Party Remote

If Apple TV recognizes the third-party remote control signals, then you can connect it to the Apple TV. Here’s an Apple’s instruction on how to connect almost any extraneous IR remote.

Connect to Apple TV third-party remote control

Learn Remote Apple TV

  1. Using the Apple Remote that came with your Apple TV, go to Settings > General > Remote Controls. If you dont have the remote then you can navigate using the Apple TV Remote app. The app can be installed in any iOS devices supporting iOS 7 and higher.
  2. Select Assign the remote control.
  3. Set the remote control to control the device so that it does not control any other devices in this area, or identify other buttons that are not tied to the function of the TV or other device. Many third-party remote controls provide the ability to control various devices, such as a VCR or DVD player, or have an additional (AUX) parameter for an undefined device.
  4. Choose Start
  5. Apple TV displays icons representing the six buttons on the Apple Remote with the highlighted button “Up” or “+”.
  6. Using a third-party remote control, press and hold the button you want to use to control the up transition function until the blue progress bar is full, as shown below.
  7. Then Apple TV will select the next button function. Repeat steps 6 and 7 using the other button.
  8. After you have programmed all the functions of the six buttons, you can start managing Apple TV using a third-party remote control.

In addition, you can configure specific playback buttons to fast forward and rewind, skip to the next chapter, and so on.

3. Bluetooth Keyboard

Thanks to the latest update of the Apple TV, the device is now able to connect to Bluetooth keyboards. This means that we do not need an iOS device or the Apple TV’s own remote to control it. All the functions can be performed from a keyboard. What’s even better is that if you connect an Apple keyboard, you can use its function keys as playback control.

Pairing the Bluetooth Keyboard to an Apple TV

The connection process is as simple and very similar to the connection process with an iOS device.

Follow these steps to pair a Bluetooth Keyboard to an Apple TV:

    1. Turn on your Bluetooth keyboard and make sure it is in “search” mode so your Apple TV can detect it. If you use an Apple keyboard, activating this mode is as simple as turning on the keyboard and then pressing the power button until the status light blinks.

use Bluetooth Keyboard 1

    1. For 4th Generation Apple TV, select Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. For earlier generations select Settings > General > Bluetooth.
    2. Automatically Apple TV will start searching for all Bluetooth enabled devices near you and will show them in a list.
    3. Select the name of the device you want to connect and press the enter key on your remote control. If your remote control is lost, then you can use the Remote app with your iPhone or iPad.

use Bluetooth Keyboard 2

    1. From the keyboard enter the four-digit code that is displayed on the screen.
    2. Once the process is complete, the Apple TV will show you a confirmation message to verify that the keyboard is properly connected.

use Bluetooth Keyboard 3

Now that you have a keyboard connected to your Apple TV you can use the keyboard to:

  1. Make use of the main functions of the TV with the arrow keys.
  2. Use the function keys to control the playback of files.
  3. Use the keyboard to enter text.

Unpair the keyboard from your Apple TV

  1. For 4th Generation Apple TV, select Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. For 2nd and 3rd Generation , select Settings > General > Bluetooth
  2. Select the device you would like to remove.
  3. Click the “Unpair device” option to remove it from the preferences.

Sometimes we may encounter problems with the bluetooth connection, especially if we have an environment with much interference. In most cases shutting down both devices and connecting them again is more than enough, otherwise try one of these procedures:

  1. Make sure the keyboard is in “visible” or “discover” mode so your Apple TV can see it during the first sync.
  2. If after restarting both devices you still have problems, try removing the keyboard from the accessory list and adding it again.
  3. Apple does not ensure that the Apple TV is compatible with “all” Bluetooth keyboards on the market, so if you still encounter difficulties connecting the Bluetooth keuboard may not be compatible.


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