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How to Use a Third-Party Remote With Your Apple TV

How to Use a Third-Party Remote With Your Apple TV

I’ve owned an Apple TV for about two years now, and in that time I’ve managed to lose two of the tiny aluminum remotes that Apple ships with the device – I had to order the second one for $20. The trouble is that the remotes are so tiny that they can get lost pretty much anywhere!

I’m certain I am not the only one who’s misplaced a couple of these aluminum “gum sticks.” Fortunately, Apple has a solution for people like me: Buy a larger third-party remote to use with your Apple TV! They’ve even provided instructions for how to make it work.

Here’s how it’s done (via iMore):

To use a remote that came with your TV, cable box, or DVD player

  1. Using the Apple Remote included with Apple TV, choose Settings > General > Remotes.
  2. Choose Learn Remote.
  3. Set your remote to a device setting that doesn’t control any other devices in the area or identify other buttons that do not already control a function on your TV or other device. Many third-party remotes have an option to control different devices such as a VCR or DVD player, or have an auxiliary (AUX) option for an unspecified device.
  4. Select Start.
  5. Apple TV will display icons that represent the six buttons on the Apple Remote with the “Up” or “+” button highlighted first.
  6. Using your third-party remote, press and hold the button you would like to use to control the “up” function until the blue progress bar is full, as shown below.
  7. Apple TV will then select the next button function. Repeat step 6 and 7 using a different button
  8. After you have programmed all six button functions, you can now use your third-party remote to control Apple TV.

Optionally, you can set up specific playback buttons for fast-forward, rewind, next chapter, and more.

The support document notes that you can also program multiple remotes to your Apple TV (as long as they don’t use the same codes), as well as listing a couple of common problems that people may have when pairing a remote, and how to solve those problems.