How to pair an individual Apple remote with your Apple TV

How to pair an individual Apple remote with your Apple TV

Whether you've still got an older Mac running Front Row or have multiple Apple TV boxes in your home, sometimes pairing each remote with specific boxes is a good idea so signals don't get crossed. Or maybe you don't want someone in the next room taking your remote if they lose their own. Here's how to pair it with a specific Apple TV!

How to paid your remote with your Apple TV

  1. From the main menu of your Apple TV, click on the Settings icon.
  2. Now click on General.
  3. Scroll down and select Remotes.
  4. With the remote you'd like to pair, click on Pair Remote
  5. You'll see a small remote icon in the upper left showing the pairing progress. When it's done, Pair Remote will turn into Unpair Remote, which you can do any time you'd like to reverse the pairing.

That's all there is to it. That specific Apple TV unit and that single remote will only work with each other. You can unpair them at anytime by repeating the same process again.

How to get more help with your Apple TV

If you need any additional help or have specific questions check out our Apple TV Forum!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Smokeyspop says:

I've got an older Mac Book that I keep in my living room for my kids to watch movies (through iTunes, Netflix, etc) and I'm constantly having the problem where the apple remote (or my Logitech which is programmed to control the apple tv too) causes actions on the laptop by accident. I know this isn't exactly on topic, but is there any way to shut off the function on the laptop that allows the remote control to work with it?

Allyson Kazmucha says:

I believe Front Row has a way to pair a remote as well, so just pair only one remote with it. And don't use that one for anything but that :) May even be worth the extra $20 to pick up a dedicated extra apple remote for it.

chicagomatt says:

Even better, I paired my Apple TV remote with the Apple TV, then used an old (white) remote and paired that with my iMac. Now, sitting on the couch and streaming a video from my iMac to my Apple TV, I can use the Apple TV remote to control the device, and use the iMac remote to play and pause the video.

The only downside is that if iTunes is open on the iMac, hitting "Play" on the iMac remote will cause a song to start playing.

heyload2 says:

On the laptop you can go into settings and turn the IR sensor on the front of your MacBook off so that it does not receive commands from an IR remote. I did this when I had the same issues and that cleared it right up.

valdan says:

I can confirm heyload2's method works. I have the same issues with my remote controlling my Macbook Pro and my iMac in the next room, but once that was turned off it solved all the extra noises and mistakes.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Forgot about that. Been so long so I had front row...

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rchapman80 says:

I did this because my fiance loves to loss those little remotes. Instead of trying to find it, she will walk into another room and grab one that is in there for that tv.

So frustrating when you start to look for the one she took.

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Allyson Kazmucha says:

I've been guilty of that. Those damn things find any crevice or couch cushion to nest in. Sometimes I swear I'll lift the couch cushions 6 times and not find it. Then one day, it's there. I just use my iPhone or iPad most of the time now.

rchapman80 says:

I do wish they were a bit bigger for that very reason. They can fall in the smallest places.

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iSRS says:

I just programmed my DirecTV remote. That way, when I lose it, it's only one and large enough to find easily.

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asuperstarr says:

Thanks for the information! I'm all paired up!

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Lt_Solorna says:

Another solution: use the Remote app on your iProduct and keep the remote wrapped up in the box. I believe they created the app because people complained about losing them and that was their solution.

gunderson says:

Hmm... Paired one remote with a corresponding Apple TV, but it still operates the other Apple TV in the house. No matter how many times I try the pairing/unpairing process, result is the same. Bummer.