If your Apple TV remote (or Siri Remote) isn’t working properly, you may not be able to play shows or select apps. We’ll show you why this might be happening and what you can do about it, starting with the steps you should try first.
Try charging it (or changing the battery)
If you’ve used your Apple TV remote a lot, or even if the remote hasn’t been used for a while, the battery may be completely drained. If so, it won’t work.
If you have a newer Apple TV remote (called a “Siri Remote”), use the Lightning connector on the bottom edge of the remote and a Lightning to USB cable to plug it into a power source, such as a Mac or a USB wall adapter. Let it charge for 30 minutes (a full charge takes about three hours). After 30 minutes, try using the remote control again.
If you have an older Apple TV remote, you won’t find a Lightning port on the bottom edge. Instead, replace the button cell battery located at the bottom of the device.
RELATED: How to Check and Recharge the Apple TV Remote
Restart your Apple TV
If your Apple TV remote still doesn’t work after charging it, try restarting your Apple TV. To restart while the remote isn’t working, unplug your Apple TV from the power outlet and wait 15 seconds. Plug it back in, wait for the home screen to appear, then check if your remote is working.
RELATED: How to Restart an Apple TV
Restart your remote
If you’ve already charged your remote and restarted your Apple TV, but your remote still isn’t working, it’s time to restart the remote itself. To restart an old remote, remove the battery and reinsert it.
To restart a Siri Remote, first get a clear view of the Apple TV unit itself so you can see the light in front. With the remote in hand, press and hold the TV icon button and the volume down button simultaneously for about five seconds until the status light on the Apple TV unit goes off and back on.
Then release the buttons and wait about ten seconds. You will see a “Connection Lost” message on your TV. Your Siri Remote is rebooting. When the process is complete, you will see a connection notification on your TV.
Unpair and re-pair your remote
If all else hasn’t worked, your Apple TV remote may no longer be paired. By default, the remote arrives synced with your Apple TV when you first purchase Apple TV. But if it’s disconnected (or you’ve replaced it), you’ll need to manually connect it to your Apple TV.
To pair your Apple TV remote, place it 3-4 inches from the main Apple TV unit (the device plugged into power and HDMI). What you do next depends on what kind of remote control you have.
- If you have a 1st Generation Siri Remote (black with the large touchpad), press and hold the volume up button and the “Menu” button for five seconds.
- If you have the 2nd Generation Siri Remote (silver with round directional control), press and hold the volume up button and the back (“
- If you have a old apple tv remote, hold down the “Menu” button and the left arrow for six seconds. It will be dissociated. After that, hold down the “Menu” button and the right arrow for six seconds.
If the pairing is successful, a message will appear on the screen. It’s worthless that you can only connect one Siri Remote to an Apple TV at a time. When you connect a Siri Remote, any other connected remote will be disconnected.
If all else fails
If you’ve done everything above and you’re still having trouble with your Apple TV remote, you have several options. First, you can contact Apple customer service. Or you can buy a new Siri remote online.
And finally, there’s a backup solution: you can use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as an Apple TV remote, and it’s pretty easy to set up. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, go to Settings > Control Center and add the “Apple TV Remote” shortcut to your “Included Controls” list. Then launch Control Center and tap the TV remote icon. Good luck!
RELATED: How to Use Your iPhone or iPad as an Apple TV Remote