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Apple TV Remote Not Working: How to Reset Apple TV Remote

An Apple TV comes with a remote that allows you to control it from the comfort of your bed or sofa. The remote that comes with an Apple TV pairs with it via Bluetooth, has a few buttons, and a touchpad-like area where you can use swipe gestures to navigate the Apple TV.

The remote pairs easily enough with an Apple TV, and if you happen to lose your remote, you can always buy another and pair it just as easily with your Apple TV.

Apple TV remote not working

An Apple Remote works great most of the time but there are exceptions. The Apple TV can’t really work without a remote since there is no other way to control it and it does not have a touch screen. If your Apple TV remote isn’t working, try the following.

Apple tv remote not working

How to Fix an Apple TV Remote

Charge remote

The Apple TV Remote’s battery lasts a considerably long time. In fact, it lasts long enough that many users forget that it needs to be charged. If the remote isn’t working, connect it to a power source (via an data cable) and charge it for a while. Once charged, check if it works.

How to Reset Apple TV Remote

Try unpairing and repairing the remote. It’s a bit tricky and officially Apple doesn’t give any directions on how to unpair the remote but it can be done.

Unpair and repair the remote

  1. Make sure your Apple Remote is near the Apple TV.
  2. Press and hold the menu and volume up button for five seconds.
  3. Release them and unplug the Apple TV.
  4. Wait at least a minute.
  5. Turn the Apple TV on, and press the Menu and Volume Up button.
  6. Follow the instructions on the Apple TV to pair the remote.

Note: You may have to do this several times to get it right. 

Restart Apple TV

Disconnect the Apple TV from the power outlet. Wait a minute, and plug it back in. Try using the remote.

Use your iPhone

You can use your iPhone to control the Apple TV. You may need to download an app for the job, depending on the Apple TV model you have or your iPhone alone might be enough.

On your iPhone;

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Control Center.
  3. Add Apple TV Remote.
  4. Open the Control Center.
  5. Tap the Apple TV Remote button.
  6. Use the on-screen remote to control the Apple TV.

If your Apple TV won’t work with your iPhone and its remote, install the iTunes Remote app from the App Store

Replace Apple TV Remote

It is possible that the Apple TV Remote is damaged, or that it’s reached the end of its life. You can try pairing the remote you have with a different Apple TV and if it doesn’t work, try using a different/new remote. 


The Apple TV Remote has a long battery life, and it generally has a long product life too. It has been known to run into occasional flukes but more often than not, it’s because users forget to charge their remote. 

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