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How to replace your Apple TV remote

You've broken, lost, or don't like the Siri Remote that came with your Apple TV, and Apple is in the process of killing the iOS app. Here's what you can do to replace it, or even give everyone their own remote.

Stop throwing that Apple TV remote to whoever wants it next. You may not be a fan, but that just makes it even harder to pay out sixty bucks for a replacement if you break it.

Everyone does get on that Siri Remote's back, but it's not quite up there with the hockey puck mouse in terms of poor Apple design. Apart from how you always pick it up the wrong way around, the problem is just that it's so small you keep losing it.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. They range from straight-out replacing it with a more regular kind of chunky TV remote, to using Apple's software versions.

If you do get an alternative remote, or a replacement Siri one, you then have to connect it to your Apple TV. Depending on the remote, you may have to go through a sequence of training it to work with your Apple TV too.

None of which is exactly a pain, but it was a lot easier when you could just download the official Apple TV Remote app to your iPhone. That was never exactly Apple's top-priority app, going through 13 updates in 4 years, with 10 of those to do with bug fixes and stability improvements.

Still, now that it's gone, we can miss it. The Apple TV Remote app did have an advantage over its replacement, the Remote section of Control Center on iOS.

If you had it before, you've got it still and can redownload the app whenever you want. The first time you go to use it now, though, you will now get a notification that you can use the Control Center version instead.

Left: Remote in Control Center. Right: the old Remote app

Left: Remote in Control Center. Right: the old Remote app

How to set up Control Center for Apple TV

  1. Check whether it's already installed by opening Control Center on iPhone or iPad
  2. If there is a button with a TV remote-style icon, it's ready to use
  3. Otherwise, go to Settings, Control Center
  4. Scroll down to More Controls heading
  5. Tap the green plus icon to the left of Apple TV Remote

That's now got the Apple TV Remote into Control Center. You can rearrange where it appears by dragging in that Settings, Control Center section.

How to use Apple TV Remote in Control Center

  1. Swipe down from top right on iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap on the button with the icon of a TV remote
  3. Tap on the dropdown option Choose a TV and select yours from the list
  4. If prompted by your Apple TV, enter a four-digit code to confirm it's you

On occasion, especially after any iOS or tvOS updates, you may be prompted to enter a passcode again. But in general, you are now connected and controlling your Apple TV is a matter of opening Control Center and tapping on the button.

Since you can't even remember the last time your iPhone wasn't right there with you, this does seem like a better solution than searching the couch for the Siri remote. It is, too, except for a couple of issues — including one that the old Apple TV Remote app didn't have.

Using the old Apple TV Remote app, if you can

  1. If you ever had this app, you can redownload it from the App Store
  2. Go through the same process of choosing a TV and entering a passcode confirmation

The old app was fractionally more convenient because you could leave it as the current app. When your iPhone locks, you can just unlock and the TV Remote is right there.

What's more — while this may vary by version of the app, or of iOS — Apple's TV Remote app stops the iPhone locking. That's got to be better than unlocking, swiping to bring down Control Center, and then tapping the remote button.

This also varies, though. Under iOS 14, you can open Remote in Control Center and then let your iPhone autolock itself. Tap on the screen to wake up the iPhone and instead of being presented with the lock screen, you'll be right back in Remote part of Control Center.

What can make a difference is whether you've received any messages or other notifications since the phone locked.

Of course you get none of these issues if you just have a regular, physical TV remote. And those also give you something that neither the app nor Control Center has — the ability to change the volume on our TV sets.

A new remote will need to be paired with your Apple TV and, if it's an infrared one, also taught how Apple TV works

A new remote will need to be paired with your Apple TV and, if it's an infrared one, also taught how Apple TV works

Choose a replacement remote for Apple TV

The range of alternative remotes for your Apple TV is not enormous, but it's big enough, and it ranges enough in price, to make you think about it. Apple's $60 is a lot when you can pick up a budget TV remote for $20.

On the other hand, you can go all the way up to $250 for a Logitech Harmony 950. There are other options along the way and what you get for each price point is the ability to control more devices.

If you just want to control your Apple TV and maybe, please, your TV set, that $60 Siri Remote suddenly doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

Whether you buy that, an alternative, or several alternatives, there is one thing you have to do. You have to connect it to your Apple TV, and the way you do that differs depending on the type of remote.

As well as the Siri Remote, which is a special case, you can use what's called a universal remote, or what Apple calls a network-based remote. The former typically uses infrared and so must be line-of-sight of the Apple TV box, while the latter connects to your Wi-Fi network

How to connect a new Siri Remote to Apple TV

  1. Make sure your Apple TV is powered on and awake
  2. Point the new Siri Remote at the front of the Apple TV box
  3. Keep the new remote within 3 to 4 inches of the Apple TV
  4. Press and hold both the Menu and + (volume up) buttons for 2 seconds

Once the Siri Remote has been paired, you'll see a message on the screen your Apple TV is connected to. And your old Siri Remote is automatically unpaired, too.

How to connect a universal TV remote to Apple TV

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings
  2. Choose Remotes and Devices
  3. Next, click on Learn Remote

You'll then be prompted through pressing certain buttons on your remote to correspond with certain Apple TV actions. The way you do this depends on the model of remote you've got, but it isn't a long process.

How to connect a network-based remote

  1. On iPhone, iPad, or Mac, open the Home app
  2. Tap on the + sign add button
  3. Choose Add Accessory

Again, you'll be prompted through setting up the remote and the process may vary slightly depending on the make and model.

Just like any other HomeKit accessory, you can choose to assign the TV remote to a certain "room" in your house. By itself, that's not especially useful as you can still wander around your entire home using it to control the Apple TV.

However, you can give this new remote a name and then it's possible to control it via Siri and typical HomeKit commands.

Apple taketh away the Remote app, but giveth alternatives

There's nothing to stop you having both an infrared and a network-based remote. There's nothing at all to stop you having several, except that this way lies a little maddening confusion.

Plus multiple Apple TV remotes controlling one single Apple TV is a likely to end in a bigger and more repeated family rows than who's going to pay for breaking the Siri Remote.

Keep up with AppleInsider by downloading the AppleInsider app for iOS, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos.


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Oct 13, 2020 1:32 AM in response to verchiel145 In response to verchiel145

There is no official Apple repair service for broken glass of the Siri Remote, only replacement. Not sure what independent phone repair shops can offer, or if they can get their hands on parts. I haven’t seen it yet.

If you have a hard (stone tile) floor when you handle the remote, then it might be a good idea to get one of them silicone shell cases for the Siri Remote. Or the wrist loop.

Oct 13, 2020 1:32 AM

User profile for user: verchiel145 verchiel145

Question:Q:Broken glass on Apple tv remote

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Apple unveils redesigned $59 Apple TV remote with physical buttons, no glass

Apple today unveiled a brand new Siri Remote for the Apple TV, alongside a hardware refresh for the Apple TV box itself.

The new remotes combines a trackpad with clickable D-Pad buttons. The remote is backwards-compatible with older Apple TVs than run tvOS, and it will be available in May. You can buy the remote separately for $59.

The new remote has got rid of the breakable glass touch surface, and instead features a fully-aluminium design.

The circular D-Pad region doubles as a trackpad so you can do the same swipe gestures you learned (or hated) on the old Siri Remote. For users that aren’t interested in gesture control, you can simple press the arrow buttons.

You can also move your finger in a circular motion to navigate up and down lists, a throwback to the iPod click wheel.

The new Siri Remote also features a dedicated power button and mute button, in addition to the up-down volume controls.

The new remote will come bundled with the new Apple TV 4K, which features an updated A12 chip for better performance.

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Apple is a company known far and wide for its incredible designs. More so than any other consumer electronics company out there, Apple has shown that it considers every last detail when designing a new gadget. It goes without saying at this point that Apple sets the bar across the industry for every single one of its product categories, and the company’s rivals always copy Apple’s work. From smartphones and tablets to desktop computers, laptops, and even the Apple Watch, all of Apple’s designs are coveted and shamelessly swiped. That’s why it’s still so astonishing to most Apple fans out there that the company managed to create what is almost unanimously considered to be the single worst remote control that has ever existed.

Today, we have some good news: there’s finally an Apple TV remote replacement that doesn’t stink. It’s called the aarooGo Remote Control for Apple TV and it only costs $14.99 at Amazon!

We all know that touchpads provide a terrific way to interface with so many different kinds of devices. The list of products to which that applies is a mile long… but remote controls are not on it. The Apple TV remote is a constant source of frustration for Apple fans all around the world. The touchpad is horrendous, causing people to misclick constantly. Everyone hates it, but Apple has so far refused to budge.

In a nutshell, the aarooGo Remote Control for Apple TV is an Apple TV remote with no touchpad. That’s pretty much the only thing you need to know.

AarooGo’s new replacement remote has physical buttons for every Apple TV function except for one, and that’s the Siri button. Siri is great on the Apple TV, but we’re willing to bet every single Apple TV owner reading this right now will happily ditch Siri to get a remote that isn’t a nightmare to use. Plus, you can always use the Remote app on your iPhone if you want Siri.

Aside from the mere fact that it doesn’t have a horrible touchpad, the best thing about this inexpensive little replacement remote is that it works with every single Apple TV model that has ever been made. That includes the 1st-generation Apple TV (model number A1218), 2nd-generation Apple TV (A1378), 3rd-generation Apple TV (A1427 or A1469), Apple TV HD 32GB and 64GB (A1625), and Apple TV 4K 32GB and 64GB (A1842). If you have a streaming media player with an Apple logo on it, this remote will work.

When it comes to TV functions like power, volume, and mute, all the major brands are covered. On top of that, the setup is wonderfully simple. The aarooGo Remote Control for Apple TV comes with a chart that lists all major TV brands, and there are two buttons shown next to each one. Find your TV manufacturer and hold down the two corresponding buttons until the LED on the remote turns solid red. Voila, you’re done. If you have a TV made by a company that’s not listed on that chart, you can contact the manufacturer for help or just try each of the button pairs until you find the one that works.

It should go without saying that this awesome little replacement remote is a must-have for every single Apple TV owner out there, and it only costs $14.99 at Amazon.

Here are the key details from Amazon’s product page:

  • It is a replacement remote fit for Apple TV players, not the original remote.

  • Work with Apple TV A1427 A1469 A1378 A1294 MD199LL/AMC572LL/A MC377LL/A MM4T2AM/A MM4T2ZM/A Mac Music System.

  • The 5 TV buttons, Power Input/Source, Volume up/down, and Mute can be programmed to work with most popular TVs, such as Samsung, Sharp, Philips, LG, VIZIO, Panasonic, Toshiba, Insignia, etc.

  • Note: It is NOT a Siri remote so it has NO Voice control, NO Touchpad function.

  • Use 2 x AAA batteries, not included.

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See the original version of this article on


Glass remote apple tv

Identify your Apple TV remote

Learn how to identify your remote by its serial number and other details.


Siri Remote (2nd generation) or Apple TV Remote (2nd generation)

Description: Aluminum silver casing with a clickpad
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 and IR transmitter
Battery: Rechargeable internal battery (not user replaceable)
Compatibility: Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD with tvOS 14.5 or later. 
Serial number: Listed in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote

Details: Siri Remote (2nd generation) and Apple TV Remote (2nd generation) ship* with Apple TV 4K (2nd generation) and features a touch-enabled clickpad for navigation. The remote uses Bluetooth 5.0 to communicate with Apple TV 4K and IR technology to control other devices. 

Learn more about your Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote.

Siri Remote (1st generation) or Apple TV Remote (1st generation)

Description: Black aluminum casing and glass Touch surface
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 and IR transmitter
Battery: Rechargeable internal battery (not user replaceable)
Compatibility: Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD
Serial number: Listed in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote

Details: Siri Remote (1st generation) and Apple TV Remote (1st generation) ship* with Apple TV 4K (1st generation) and Apple TV HD and features a Touch surface for touch navigation. The remote uses Bluetooth 4.0 to communicate with Apple TV and IR technology to control other devices. 

Learn more about your Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote.

Apple Remote (aluminum)

Description: Aluminum silver casing
Connectivity: IR transmitter
Battery: Replaceable CR2032 or BR2032 lithium 3V coin battery
Serial number: Located inside the battery compartment
Compatibility: Any Apple TV

Details: The Apple Remote (aluminum) ships with Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation). It also works with other models of Apple TV, though functionality might be limited. The remote's aluminum body has dedicated buttons for Menu and Play, and a round navigation button for pressing up, down, left, and right. 

Learn more about your Apple Remote (aluminum). 

Apple Remote (white)

Description: White casing
Connectivity: IR transmitter
Battery: Replaceable CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery
Serial number: Located on the back
Compatibility: Any Apple TV

Details: The Apple Remote (white) ships with Apple TV (1st generation). It also works with other models of Apple TV, though functionality might be limited. The remote has dedicated buttons for Menu and Play, and a round navigation button for pressing up, down, left, and right. 



*Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD ship with the same remote everywhere. In countries and regions that support Siri, the remote is called Siri Remote. Elsewhere, it’s called Apple TV Remote. Siri works on either remote as long as your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD is set up with a language and country or region that supports Siri.

Published Date: 

Master the NEW Siri Remote for Apple TV! Here’s Every Control \u0026 Gesture!

Question:Q:Apple TV remote glass broke when dropped

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My husband recently purchased our second Apple TV, an upgrade from the first edition we originally purchased four years ago. We are longtime customers of Apple and have always owned multiple Apple produtcs. We both like the updates made to the newest Apple TV with the exception of the remote. There are a couple of things we do not like about the design. First, our remote fell off the sofa onto a ceramic tile floor and the glass shattered. Accidents happen and I would venture to say that there are going to be a multitude of unhappy customers when they drop their remote and it shatters. I will say that if the remote had fallen onto carpeting it probably would have come out unscathed. The remote fell from the back of the sofa at a height of about three feet. I think the remote needs to be able to withstand a fall like that or perhaps Apple might consider designing a case or neoprene like sleeve for the remote. The other complaints we have are things we've learned to adjust to. The glass on the remote shattering though is problematic and because Apple product are on the pricey side (I had to replace a laptop charging cord twice - at $80 a pop - compliments of our puppy) we haven't even checked on replacement cost.

Apple TV (2nd generation), iOS 9.2.1

Posted on Feb 2, 2016 7:29 PM

Feb 13, 2016 11:25 AM in response to Protodd In response to Protodd

Same here. Wonderful, right? UGH... Per Protodd's suggestion, I posted feedback to Apple here:

User uploaded file

Feb 13, 2016 11:25 AM

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Feb 2, 2016 7:36 PM in response to john and liisa In response to john and liisa

Yes. It is a delicate user device in my opinion not real world tested. There are other posts on the topic and have seen new cases that are being produced just like we have for our other handheld devices. I believe Siri remotes are also around $80...

i Will also mention that the older Apple TV remotes do work with the new ATV as well - except Siri. I actually use the silver remote or my harmony one universal remote more than the included Siri remote (I don't find Siri on tvOS all that useful - yet).

Feb 2, 2016 7:36 PM

Feb 13, 2016 11:25 AM in response to Protodd In response to Protodd

Same here. Wonderful, right? UGH... Per Protodd's suggestion, I posted feedback to Apple here:

User uploaded file

Feb 13, 2016 11:25 AM

User profile for user: john and liisa john and liisa

Question:Q:Apple TV remote glass broke when dropped


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Protect Siri Remote

Apple TV 4 comes with the revolutionary Siri Remote. The remote, constructed out of glass, is fragile and can break upon impact. This article presents ways to protect the Siri Remote.

The Siri remote is one of my favorite features of the new Apple TV 4. I use Siri to launch apps, change settings and search for movies and TV shows. With its accelerometer and gyroscope, the Siri Remote is an excellent gaming controller. Racing games, such as Asphalt 8, are so intuitive and easy to play using the Siri Remote as a virtual steering wheel. The Siri Remote sets Apple TV 4 apart from its competitors. Other TV appliances offer voice control remotes. Only the Siri remote offers a Touchpad, gyroscope and accelerometer. It’s about as smart as a TV remote can be.

The Siri Remote has an Achilles’ heel. It is constructed out of glass, making it fragile. Unlucky Apple TV 4 owners have dropped their remote, shattering the glass, and rendering it unusable. A replacement costs $79, which is more than half the price of new Apple TV 4. The fragility and cost of the Siri Remote is upsetting to many customers. The device gets very poor ratings on Apple’s site, mainly from customers who have dropped and shattered the remote.

When I first heard about this issue, I was upset. Why would Apple make a TV remote out of glass? There’s a good reason for the Siri Remote’s glass construction. The Touchpad is made out of glass. It’s the only material that can provide excellent and smooth tracking. The rest of the remote’s front face is constructed out of glass to give it a uniform appearance. Other Apple touch surfaces, such as the Magic Trackpad and touch surfaces on MacBooks are also made out of glass. If you drop a Magic Trackpad, it may also shatter. Although the Siri Remote is fragile, with proper care and accessories, one can prevent accidental damage.

Handle the Remote Carefully

It seems a bit obvious to tell readers to handle the Siri Remote carefully. There are specific practices one can employ to keep the remote safe. It’s important to treat the Siri Remote like it is a smartphone, and not a TV remote. This simple attitude adjustment can save you $79 and a lot of frustration.

When you are not using the Siri Remote, put it in a safe place. I always put my Siri Remote in a cabinet in my AV center. This ensures it can’t slip off a table or the sofa when I am not using it.

Placing the Siri Remote on my sofa when I am using it seems to help avoid accidents. I put it all the way towards the back of the sofa cushion, so it can’t fall off easily.

When using the remote, don’t hold it out and point it at your Apple TV. This behavior will increase the likelihood of dropping the remote. The Siri Remote communicates with Apple TV using Bluetooth. There’s no need to point it at your Apple TV 4 unit. I don’t even pick it up off the sofa, unless I need to do a sensitive operation, such as scrubbing through a video. When I do pick it up, I make sure it is close to my body. If I drop it, it will just fall in my lap. If you have an older TV, you may need to point the remote at your TV in order to turn it on or adjust the volume. Try to keep the remote close to your body. Don’t extend your arm when pointing the remote at your TV.

Never leave the Siri Remote in your lap. You may forget it is there, stand up, and drop the remote. I have read about quite a few people who have done this.

Don't Get Your Siri Remote Greasy

Food and TV often go together. People often enjoy buttered pop corn or other foods while watching TV. Your Siri Remote can easily slip out of greasy hands. The remote is very smooth, unlike most plastic TV remotes. Always make sure to wipe off or wash greasy hands before handling the Siri Remote.

It’s also a good idea to protect your Siri Remote from liquids. The Siri Remote is not waterproof. Exposure to liquids can corrode and damage internal components. It’s always a good idea to place drinks away from the Siri Remote. If your Siri Remote has come in contact with water, wipe it off immediately. The same techniques for dealing with a wet iPhone apply to the Siri Remote. For more information, please read “How to Fix a Wet iPhone”. (continue…)

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