Apple TV various remotes

Looking for the perfect song, app, movie, or TV show to complement your Apple TV? You can search for content in a variety of ways.

Apple recently updated the Apple TV software, tvOS, to version 9.2, which brings with it the ability to use voice dictation to search for content. In addition to voice dictation, however, you can search for movies, TV shows, apps, games, and music in a variety of different ways.

How to search for apps using a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation Apple Remote

If you are using a previous-generation Apple TV Remote or universal remote, searching is a bit of a pain: You'll need to swipe and click across a single row of letters; switching to capital letters or numbers is a multi-step process.

  1. Navigate to the Search section in iTunes or a third-party app.
  2. Swipe or press down to access the letters.
  3. Swipe or press left or right to navigate through letters.
  4. Press enter on your remote to enter a letter.
  5. Repeat the process until you've entered your entire search title.

    Searching by swipe on Apple TV

Once the title you are looking for appears, swipe or press down on your remote to select it.

How to search for apps using the Siri Remote (4th generation)

Looking for something new? You can use the Siri button and speak just about any query into your remote. Siri's universal search function works with Apple's built-in apps, like the Music, TV, and Movie apps. It also works with a number of third-party apps.

Currently, Siri's universal search function works with the following third-party apps:

  • A&E
  • ABC
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet GO
  • Apple Music
  • Bravo
  • CBS
  • Comedy Central
  • Cooking Channel
  • Crunchyroll
  • CuriosityStream
  • CW Seed
  • Discovery GO
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Jr
  • Disney XD
  • DIY
  • E!
  • Food Network
  • FOXNOW
  • FXNOW
  • FYI
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HBO GO
  • HBO NOW
  • HGTV
  • History
  • Hulu
  • Investigation Discovery GO
  • Lifetime
  • MTV
  • MUBI
  • Nat Geo TV
  • NBC
  • Netflix
  • PBS
  • PBS Kids
  • Science Channel GO
  • SHOWTIME
  • SHOWTIME Anytime
  • Starz
  • Syfy
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • The CW
  • TLC GO
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel
  • Tribeca Shortlist
  • USA
  • VH1

If Siri isn't being cooperative, however, you can use the Search app on the Apple TV, or the Search section of your favorite third-party app. And now that you can use voice dictation to search for content, typing is so much easier — especially because you don't have to type at all.

  1. Navigate to the Search app, or your third-party app of choice.
  2. Type or dictate your query in the Search app, or swipe down in a third-party app to access the search bar and say or type the title of the movie, music, app, or game you are searching for.

    Searching with Siri on Apple TV

Once the title you are looking for appears, swipe down to select it.

How to search for apps using the Remote app for iPhone

The Remote app for iPhone is probably the easiest way to search for content. All you have to do is type.

  1. Open the Remote app on iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the Search section in iTunes or a third-party app on Apple TV.
  3. Swipe down to access the search bar.
  4. Type the title you are searching for when the on-screen keyboard appears.
  5. Tap Hide in the upper left corner of the screen to hide the keyboard.

    Remote app on iPhoneRemote app on iPhone

Once the title you are looking for appears, swipe down to select it.

Any questions?

Is there anything about searching for content on Apple TV that you are still in the dark about? Let us know and we'll shed some light for you.