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How To Use Apple TV Remote In 6 Steps (With Photos)

Apple TV 4K

How To Use Apple TV Remote In 6 Steps (With Photos)

Key Points

  • The Siri Remote has a touch-sensitive navigational surface, a Home button, a Siri button, and volume controls.
  • The Home button takes you to the Apple TV home screen, while the Menu button wakes your Apple TV out of its resting state.
  • The touch-sensitive navigation pad helps you maneuver your Apple TV, and the Play/Pause button is self-explanatory.
  • The Siri button activates voice controls or search by voice, and the Volume buttons allow you to raise or lower the volume of the audio coming from the Apple TV device.

The Apple TV remote is as sleek and powerful a device that can open up a whole new world of streaming entertainment and gaming at your fingertips. From its intuitive design to clever functions, the remote can unlock your Apple TV’s potential. Of course, before all that, you need to know how to use the Apple TV remote. Let’s walk you through all the different buttons on an Apple TV remote below.

Types of Apple TV Remote

Five different Apple TV remote types have come out since the first-generation Apple TV device launched in March 2007. Which Apple TV remote type do you have, then? The answer will depend entirely on your Apple TV device. From the original white Apple Remote to the latest third-generation Siri Remote, let’s examine these five types below. Then, we will show you how to use the Apple TV remote below.

White Apple Remote

The first Apple TV remote was released in 2007 alongside the first Apple TV model. Colored white and resembling the look of an early iPod Nano (minus the screen), this White Apple Remote only featured Menu and Play buttons with a round navigation button. It relied on a replaceable coin battery.

Aluminum Apple Remote

The second Apple TV remote was included with the second and third Apple TV models (released in 2010 and 2012, respectively). It is taller and skinnier than the White Apple Remote, and its color is shiny aluminum instead of the matte white of the first model. It also relied on a replaceable coin battery and only featured Menu, Play/Pause, and navigational buttons.

Siri Remote (First Generation)

Apple TV 4K vs Apple TV HD

Not to be confused with Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+, the Apple TV is a digital media player.

The first-generation Siri Remote was included with the Apple TV HD, released in 2015, and the Apple TV 4K, released in 2017. It saw massive upgrades over the previous two Apple Remotes. The remote introduced a rechargeable battery, a touch-sensitive navigational surface, a Home button, a Siri button, and volume controls alongside the familiar Menu and Play/Pause buttons.

Siri Remote (Second Generation)

The second-generation Siri Regain saw a massive overhaul from one generation to the next. Released with the second-generation Apple TV 4K in 2021, this second-generation Siri Remote returned to the look and feel of the Aluminum Apple Remote. It introduced a new touch-sensitive navigational pad, a Power button, and a Mute button alongside the familiar Play/Pause, Menu, volume, and Home buttons.

Siri Remote (Third Generation)

The third-generation Siri Remote is almost identical to the second-generation. Shipped with third-generation Apple TV 4K devices in 2022, this latest remote keeps the aesthetic and all buttons the same as the previous generation. The only significant change is the switch from Lightning charging to USB-C charging.

Features 3rd-Gen Siri Remote
Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation)
$124.99
  • 4K Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos sound and HDR10+ support
  • Equipped with the powerful A15 Bionic chip
  • Third-generation Siri Remote with improved clickpad
  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet options available
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 07:12 pm GMT

How To Use Apple TV Remote

Moving away from the different types of Apple TV remotes, let’s explain what all its buttons do. For this guide, we’re working with a first-generation Siri Remote. However, the buttons on an older or newer Apple TV remote will be in similar places. Some remotes may also lack some buttons. If this is the case, feel free to skip any unnecessary steps relating to your specific remote.

Step One: Home Button

Home Button on Apple TV remote.

The Home button on an Apple TV remote.

The Home button — also known as the TV button or the Control Center button — takes you to the Apple TV home screen. Double-tapping the button opens your carousel of recently used apps. Holding the button opens the Control Center on the righthand side of the Apple TV display.

Step Two: Menu Button

Menu Button on Apple TV remote.

The Menu button on a Siri Remote.

The Menu button wakes your Apple TV out of its resting state. When browsing an app, scrolling through a streaming service, or playing a game, the Menu button will take you to the previous page you were on. Pressing and holding this button can also return you to the Apple TV home screen.

Step Three: Navigation

Navigation Button on Apple TV remote.

Apple TV remotes use a touch-sensitive navigational pad.

The touch-sensitive navigation pad is what helps you maneuver your Apple TV. To move around ten, click or swipe in the desired direction. Pressing the center functions as the remote’s Select button. To select sg, simply highlight it and click the touch-sensitive surface.

You can also scrub through the timeline using the navigation pad when watching videos. Touch your finger on the surface and swipe left or right to skip forward or back. Pausing and then scrubbing allows you to scrub even faster. Clicking the left or right side will fast forward or rewind the video.

Step Four: Play and Pause

Play/Pause button on Apple TV remote.

The Play/Pause button on a Siri Remote.

It’s one of the self-explanatory buttons on the Apple TV remote. Hit it once to play or pause a title, then hit it once more to do the opposite action.

Step Five: Siri Button

Siri Button on Apple TV remote.

Hit the Siri button on your remote to activate voice controls or search by voice.

The Siri button is found between the Menu and Play/Pause buttons on the first-generation Siri Remote. On second- and third-generation remotes, it’s on the right side (where the Power button would be on an iPhone). Hit it once to activate Siri voice controls or dictate while searching.

Step Six: Volume Buttons

Volume Button on Apple TV remote.

You can adjust your Apple TV sound using the Volume buttons.

Volume controls have been a staple of the Siri Remote since the first remote. This button allows you to raise or lower the audio volume from the Apple TV device. (These buttons might not be helpful for those without a proper sound setup.)

Second- and third-generation Siri Remotes also has a Mute button beneath the Play/Pause button. Hit the Mute button to silence the audio, video, or game playing on the Apple TV device. Press it once more to turn the sound back on.

For a comprehensive overview of the Apple TV Remote, check out this video:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pair an Apple TV remote with an Apple TV?

To pair an Apple TV remote to your Apple TV device, simply place the remote near your Apple TV and make sure that the Apple TV is turned on. The remote will automatically pair with the Apple TV if it’s within range. You can manually start the pairing process by pressing and holding the Back and Volume Up buttons for five seconds, then place the remote near the device.

Why doesn't my Apple TV remote change my TV's volume?

For the Apple TV remote to control the volume of your TV, you need to ensure you’ve set up the devices correctly. To check, go to the Settings app on your Apple TV and select “Remotes and Devices.” Choose “Control TVs and Receivers” and enable the option. Once enabled, you can use the volume buttons on your Apple TV remote to adjust the volume.

Can you control the Apple TV with your iPhone?

You can control your Apple TV with your iPhone — even without the physical remote. If you have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 12.0 or later, you can download and use the built-in Remote app to control your Apple TV just as you would with the Siri Remote. Just ensure you’re connected to the same Internet network as your Apple TV device, or else it will not work.

What is a stackshot on Apple TV?

If you’ve ever accidentally seen the “Stackshot saved” notification on your Apple TV screen, fear not. This is not a screenshot or something to worry about. A stackshot is a debugging tool for app developers and programmers, helping them to see what the device was running at the time of the issue. If you didn’t mean to create a stackshot, ignore it — it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with your device.

Can you customize the buttons on an Apple TV remote?

As of this writing, it’s impossible to customize the buttons on an Apple TV remote. However, some apps allow you to customize your remote’s controls within the application. Certain Apple TV games and media players will enable you to assign specific functions to buttons on your remote. However, not all apps offer this kind of support. Additionally, your controls will return to the default once you leave the app.

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