How to make your Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod a HomeKit hub

Aqara G2h Camera Review Colors
Aqara G2h Camera Review Colors (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

Apple's HomeKit lets you create scenes, automation, and control smart home devices like the best HomeKit door locks. However, to take advantage of its powerful features and remote, out-of-home controls, you need a HomeKit hub.

A HomeKit hub — like an iPad, HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV, acts as the command center for your home, relaying requests to your accessories quietly in the background. In most cases, the only thing required for setting up a hub is signing in with your Apple ID. Here's how to set up and check in on your HomeKit hub.

How to make your Apple TV or HomePod a HomeKit hub

Note: We can't stress this enough: You must enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID to set up a HomeKit hub. Here's how to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID.

  1. Set up your Apple TV or HomePod for the first time.

Believe it or not, that's it! As soon as you complete the initial setup process with your Apple ID for the Apple TV or HomePod, it will automatically become a home hub.

How to make your iPad a HomeKit hub

Note: We can't stress this enough: You must enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID to set up a HomeKit hub. Here's how to set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID.

If you have an always-on iPad at home and connected to Wi-Fi, you can use it as your home's HomeKit hub. This setting requires the iPad to be associated with the same Apple ID as your HomeKit home, but other than that, it is straightforward to set up.

  1. Launch Settings on your iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap Home.
  3. Toggle on Use this iPad as a Home Hub with a tap.Source: iMore

How to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Launch the Settings app (Image credit: iMore)

How to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Scroll down and tap Home (Image credit: iMore)

How to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Toggle on Use this iPad as a Home Hub with a tap (Image credit: iMore)

How to view the status of your current HomeKit hub

Want to check on the status of your HomeKit hub or want to find out which of your devices is your current hub? It is easy, and it involves just a few taps in the Home app. Unfortunately, HomeKit automatically selects which device is the acting hub, so you can only use these steps to view your home's status.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon located on the top left.
  3. Tap Home Settings.

How to view the status of your current HomeKit Hub on the iPhone by showing the following steps: Launch the Home app, Tap the House icon, Tap Home Settings (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Scroll down and tap on Hubs & Bridges.
  2. Review the list of HomeKit hubs assigned to your home.
    • Connected status means that this device is currently acting as your HomeKit hub.
    • Standby status means that the device will assume the hub role if your primary hub is disconnected.
    • Disabled means that this hub will not act as a HomeKit hub.

How to view the status of your current HomeKit Hub on the iPhone by showing the following steps: Scroll down and tap Hubs & Bridges, Review current status (Image credit: iMore)

How to disable your Apple TV from being a HomeKit hub

If your Apple TV isn't in a central location in your home, it may cause performance issues with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. HomeKit automatically selects which device will act as a hub, which may not be ideal if you have an Apple TV located in a far-off room, so you can prevent it from being used if desired.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Click AirPlay & HomeKit.
  3. Scroll down to Home Hubs and click on the name of your Home to disable it.

How to make your Apple TV a HomeKit Hub on the Apple TV by showing steps: Launch the Settings app, Click AirPlay & HomeKit, Check to see if HomeKit is listed as Connected, if not Click. (Image credit: iMore)

Troubleshooting your HomeKit hub

If you run into any issues getting access to your home while you're out and about, here are some things that you can try:

  • Make sure all your devices are running the latest software.
  • Make sure all your devices can connect to the internet.
  • Make sure you log into the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
  • Enable two-factor authentication.
  • If all else fails, restart your devices.

Questions on how to set up a HomeKit hub?

Setting your devices up as a HomeKit hub is about as simple as it can get. Have any questions or can't seem to get everything working? What device are you using as your HomeKit hub? Let us know in the comments below!

Updated May 2021: Updated for iOS 14.6.

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

31 Comments
  • Prior to downloading the new TVOS, I had homekit working fine. Once I updated, it won't connect to my homekit. It sees my 3rd generation Apple TV, but not my new 4th generation, with new OS. When I check the iCloud account settings, as per this article, I do not have a homekit option. Any thoughts? I've tried rebooting, I've also tried signing out and back in. APT is on the internet and I'm logged into the correct icloud account.
  • I'm having the same issues since the update where it is seeing my 3rd gen AppleTV but not my 4th gen, and therefore cannot control anything.
  • Hi, all! Apple requires two-factor authentication for Home Hub use now. Make sure you've enabled it!
  • I don't have the Option either(HomeKit) Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple requires two-factor authentication for Home Hub use now. Make sure you've enabled it!
  • Don't have the HomeKit option either. Sent from the iMore App
  • You might check if you have two-factor authentication enabled. Apple requires it for Home Hub use now.
  • No HomeKit option showing for me either (4th gen in Australia), tried the restarts, log out/in and no luck...
  • No HomeKit option either. What's the next step for a help article that needs help? Sent from the iMore App
  • Ha! Here's my recommendation: Apple requires two-factor authentication for Home Hub use now. Make sure you've enabled it!
  • I have two
    factor authentication for home hub turned on and I'm still not seeing HomeKit show up on my fourth generation Apple TV.
  • I am having the issue. I have gone through and set up 2 step authentication and everything. HomeKit is not showing up for me under iCloud settings. I have tried a restart and actually unplugged the device as well but it is not showing up.
  • Of note: Two-step authentication won't work with a Home Hub. You must enable two-factor authentication to get it working.
  • No HOMEKIT listed under my iCloud account on Gen4 Apple TV on first attempt. Signed out and back in to my iCloud account on ATV. Still no HOMEKIT listing. Performed a RESTART under the SYSTEM menu. My HOMEKIT network showed up connected after the restart. This was the 2nd restart since the update happened yesterday, so I'm guessing the signing in and out was essential to the success.
  • Thanks for this. I will try this when I get home today.
  • Tried the log out and back in, with a reboot after, but still no Homekit. Restarted a 2nd time as well, but still no luck. Anyone else have any luck getting this to work?
  • Apple requires two-factor authentication for Home Hub use now (including with the Apple TV). Make sure you've enabled it!
  • *****On Apple TV (4th generation): Set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. Then go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud and check that you’re connected under HomeKit.******
  • Doesn't come up for me either and I do have 2 factor authentication on. Sent from the iMore App
  • Try rebooting your devices. If that doesn't work, do a sign out and sign in on all your devices.
  • Have done that multiple times Sent from the iMore App
  • I finally got it working. I had to jump through a bunch of hurdles, not sure if any of the steps worked better than the other. I did the following: 1. Signed out of iCloud settings on my Apple TV.
    2. Signed into iCloud on my PC and went into account settings.
    3. Removed my Apple TV from the two factor authentication.
    4. On my iPhone I went into iCloud settings and unchecked Home.
    5. Restarted my Apple TV.
    6. Signed back into my iCloud account and entered the two factor verification code.
    7. Enabled Home on the iCloud settings for my phone. For the last step, I actually happened to notice on the iCloud tab of my Apple TV I noticed that the HomeKit was now showing up before I enabled Home on my phone again. Once I enabled this I tested my lights using the Siri remote and it is all working now. I am not sure at what point of the steps that this began to work, but I had previously removed and added my account in and rebooted the device numerous times and it never worked. What seemed to work for me was removing the Apple TV from the iCloud website and then adding it back in.
  • Thanks!
    Multiple reboots, and straight logout/in of iCloud didn't work for me as others suggested. Followed your steps with a slight difference, when I went to do step 2 I tried it on my iPhone (instead of Mac) and my Apple TV already didn't appear, so I couldn't do step 3 either.
    And I didn't see the option on the Apple TV appear until after I did step 7, in fact it took going back and forth between the main accounts menu and iCloud twice.
    So I suspect the toggle of Home under iCloud settings on the phone did actually do something.
  • Wow! Tried all of this, still no luck getting the Home app to show up in the Apple TV settings. Will quit for today and wait for the inspiration to try again sometime in the future (probably when my Hue motion sensor arrives). One thing: I cannot get any accessories to show up in the Apple Home app, so maybe that's the problem?
  • I'm happy to hear you got it working!