How to Use Your iPhone or iPad as an Apple TV Remote

Have your couch cushions swallowed your Apple TV remote again? Don’t worry, you can easily use your iPhone or iPad as an Apple TV remote instead—right from Control Center. Here’s how to set it up.

Control Center Magic

Years ago, you had to download a separate Apple TV Remote app to use your iPhone or iPad with your Apple TV. But since iOS 12 and iPadOS 13 came out, Apple has included this feature directly on iPhone and iPad thanks to a button you can add to Control Center.

Related: How to Use Control Center on Your iPhone or iPad

To get started, open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad.

Visit Settings on iPhone

In Settings, tap “Control Center.”

Select Control Center from Settings

In Control Center settings, scroll down until you find the “More Controls” section. Tap the plus button (“+”) beside “Apple TV Remote” in the list.

Tap Plus Next to Apple TV Remote

The controls will move to the “Included” list and will be added to the Control Center.

Now, exit Settings and turn on your Apple TV. Make sure that your iPhone or iPad and the Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Unlike a traditional TV remote that uses infrared, this remote only needs a Wi-Fi connection to work.

On your iPhone or iPad, swipe in from the top-right edge of the screen to open the Control Center. If you’re using an older iPhone with a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Swipe down from top-right corner to access Control Center on iPhone

Tap the Apple TV Remote button (which looks like the outline of a small Apple TV remote) beside the other Control Center icons at the bottom of the screen.

Open Apple TV Remote from Control Center

At the top of the Apple TV remote screen, tap “Choose a TV,” and select the Apple TV device that you want to control with your iPhone or iPad.

Choose Apple TV From Top

If you’re setting this up for the first time, your device will ask for a four-digit verification code. Take a look at the code displayed on the Apple TV and enter it on your iPhone or iPad. Once the devices are paired, the Apple TV Remote will be linked to your iPhone or iPad.

The layout is similar to the physical Apple TV Remote. Using the top touchpad, swipe to navigate. You’ll also see buttons for skipping media and enabling captions when you’re playing something.

Below the touchpad, you’ll find buttons for Menu, Home, Search, Play/Pause, and Siri.

Apple TV Remote Interface on iPhone

You can also use the iPhone or iPad to put the Apple TV to sleep—and to wake it up (as long as it’s powered up). Just tap and hold the Home button and choose the “Sleep” option from the Apple TV to put it to sleep. To wake up the Apple TV, simply tap the Home or Menu button.

And best of all, if you hate entering long passwords using the physical Apple TV remote, you can use the onscreen keyboard of your iPhone or iPad to do it instead.

Related: 14 Apple TV Remote Tips and Tricks You Should Know

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