How to control your Apple TV with the Remote app for iPhone or iPad

How to control your Apple TV with the Remote app for iPhone or iPad

Apple's Remote app lets you control the Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi. Not only does that give you a backup if you ever lose the aluminum hardware remote that comes with the Apple TV, but it also lets you maintain control even if you're not in line-of-sight, makes navigating large amounts of content — including Home Sharing libraries — easier, and thanks to the virtual keyboard, makes search term and password entry a breeze. Here's how it works!

How to control your Apple TV with the Remote app for iPhone and iPad

If you don't already have the Remote app installed on your iPhone or iPad, you can download it for free in the App Store.

After you've got the Remote app installed, the next step is to make sure that Home Sharing is enabled on both your Apple TV and your iPhone or iPad. You'll only need to do this once and if you've already turned it on previously, you can skip the next two sections. Also make sure that your Apple TV and iPhone or iPad are on the same wireless network.

How to enable Home sharing on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Settings in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Turn On the option for Home Sharing.

How to enable Home Sharing on your Apple TV

  1. From the main menu of your Apple TV, click on the Settings icon.
  2. Now click on Computers.
  3. Click on Turn on Home Sharing and confirm your selection.

That's it. Your Apple TV should now show up in the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad.

How to use the Remote app to control your Apple TV

In order to navigate around the screen, just swipe your finger in the larger empty area either left and right or up and down. Once you've got the item you want highlighted, just tap on the screen. Anytime there is an option to enter text, you should either see a text input button pop up or the keyboard automatically launches itself.

You can also access any music you've purchased from iTunes through the Remote app and stream it to your Apple TV via iTunes in the Cloud. To do this just tap Done to exit the control portion of the screen. From here you can choose to browse playlists and more. Anything you play through the Remote app will automatically stream right to your Apple TV.

The Remote app is super simple to use and a lot more convenient than the small silver remote that comes with the Apple TV. I've also found it to have a much better range which makes it great for use when you're in another room and want to pause music.

As a side note, I've also seen issues with guest networks. For example, if you're Apple TV isn't showing up, make sure your iPhone isn't on a guest network while your Apple TV is on the main one. This seemed to be a non-issue in the past but has presented issues with some people with the updated version of the remote app.

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!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to control your Apple TV with the Remote app for iPhone or iPad


Great tips Ally! I've noticed a few little cosmetic issues with the Remote app. Most annoying one is that the movie "cover art" doesn't appear immediately after starting playback. I find that I need to either multi-task away from the app then back to it, or relaunch the app. Whatever it takes to get the view of one or more Apple TVs to choose from. After choosing an Apple TV, everything is fine.

Really cool How-To Ally.
I find myself tag-teaming between the "silver sliver" & the Remote app - especially for searches.

Sent from the iMore App

Are you sure you need home sharing turned on? I have paired three iPhones "remote app" to my AppleTV without using any home sharing...

Regarding password input, readers should know that you can paste them in the Remote app fields and they'll transfer to the AppleTV. I use 1Password and copy to clipboard, switch to Remote and paste in.

We never use the silver remotes, they sit in a drawer. The Remote app adds gesture controls and removes line-of-sight limitations. If you have an iOS device and home WiFi, there's no reason to use the included remote over the Remote app besides initial setup.