Apple TV Remote Not Working? (Try this Fix First!)

If you experience your Apple TV remote not working, there are several things you can do to fix this problem.

It can be annoying when your Apple TV remote won’t work because you need it to control your Apple TV. This prohibits you from accessing your streaming services.

Most of the time, you can fix this issue with an easy solution. In this post, we will outline 7 tips you can try to get the Apple TV remote to connect to your TV and begin enjoying your streaming experience.

Apple TV Remote Not Working

If your Apple TV is not working, you need to check the battery level of the remote and re-pair it to the Apple TV.

If it isn’t working yet, don’t panic, there are several other proven steps you can take to fix this issue. Follow every step below and I’m confident you’ll get your Apple TV remote working again.

Try the Power Button Again

Before diving into any of the other aspects of troubleshooting the Apple TV remote not working, try the power button again.

Press the power button, with about an interval of 2 seconds between each time, and see if the Apple TV device begins to recognize it.

Upon establishing the connection, your screen will display the message “Remote Connected”.

Move Remote Closer to Apple TV

Remotes for various devices have varying ranges at which they need to be from the remote for it to work.

In the case of the older remote that operates on Bluetooth 4.0, the remote must be within 10 meters of the device to be able to establish a handshake connection. The 2nd-generation Siri Remote can connect as far away as 40 meters. 

If you are further than those distances for those remotes respectively, simply move closer to the device and try to establish a line of sight connection between the two before trying again.

That means if there are obstructing objects, such as furniture or other people in the way, it is best to get around them to make sure the remote can “see” the Apple TV device.

Check Battery Level of Your Remote

Once charged, the Siri remote should keep a full charge for months, even with extensive use, but when the battery starts getting low, your Apple TV should prompt you to take action when the charge goes under 20%.

If the battery dies entirely or is damaged in some way, the device will no longer be able to detect the remote’s presence. 

Battery failure or damage to the remote will prevent your Apple TV from detecting the remote.

If you aren’t sure of the battery status but your Apple TV is connected to another device such as an iPhone or an iPad, you can see it from the Apple TV remote app in the Control Center.

You will need to tap the remote icon from the menu to detect the remote or tap Choose a TV and select the Apple TV of interest from the list.

  • Go over to the Settings menu
  • Choose Remote and Devices
  • Pick Remote and look at the “Battery Level” indicator for the percentage.

If the charge is low, you can charge the Siri remote for 30 minutes with the lightning cable, then remove and try it again.

Make sure that you use a certified Apple USB cable as aftermarket can at best not charge the remote or at worst degrade the battery. 

Reset the Apple TV Remote

If there is still a problem with the remote’s responsiveness, try restarting it. Keeping the Apple TV on, press and hold the Control Center/TV button and the Volume Down button down for 5 seconds at the same time.

Look at the screen until you receive a message indicating that the “Remote Connection Lost” appears. Once it does, release the buttons. Within the next 10 seconds, a new message should appear indicating “Remote Connected.”

Re-Pair the Remote With Apple TV

If your Apple TV uses the Siri Remote, follow the steps below to reestablish the connection between your Apple TV and the remote:

  • Bring the remote within four inches of the Apple TV box, and press the combination of the Volume Up and Back buttons together for about 5 seconds on a 2nd generation Siri remote, or Volume Up and Menu buttons on an older one.
  • When the screen indicates that the remote has been successfully paired with the device on the screen, you can let go of the buttons.

If your Apple TV remote doesn’t support Siri, follow the steps below:

  • Press the Menu and Left buttons together for six seconds.
  • Then release them when you see the screen display a broken chain icon, indicating that the link between the two has been removed.
  • Once that happens, depress the Menu and the Right buttons together for at least 6 seconds and watched for a linked chain icon on the screen. Once it appears, the connection has been established. 

Power Cycle the Apple TV Device

Power cycles can resolve most technical glitches in electronics, including problems with remote connectivity.

If none of the troubleshooting solutions worked, you can simply unplug the Apply TV from its power source.

Give it about 10 seconds, then plug it back in and wait for the initialization protocols to run. Test to see if the connectivity of the remove is viable once the device has fully started back up. 

Update the tvOS on the Apple TV

Like any other Apple device, Apple TV runs on an operating system called the tvOS. It periodically gets updates which include fixes for issues discovered by Apple or its customers and communicated through error reporting.

Many times these updates contain fixes for annoying bugs, some of which relate to remote connectivity. 

To update your Apple TV to the latest tvOS follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the System menu and select the Software Updates section.
  2. From there, choose Update Software and allow Apple to quickly check if an outstanding update is available.
  3. If so, select Download and Install to begin the update process. Make sure to keep the Apple TV plugged in and turned on during the update.

Buy an Apple TV Remote Replacement

If you have tried all of the above troubleshooting solutions and you still cannot get the remote to work, it might be time to buy an Apple TV remote replacement.

You can go for the cheaper option of the Apple Remote for $19, or splurge for the more robust Siri-supported remote for $59.

You can always contact Apple support for further assistance or replace your Apple TV remote.

Wrap Up: Apple TV Remote Not Working

As you can see it’s fairly easy to fix it when your Apple TV remote is not working. Follow the troubleshooting recommendations below to get your remote working again:

  • Retry the Power Button
  • Move Remote Closer to Apple TV
  • Check Battery Level of Your Remote
  • Reset the Remote
  • Re-Pair the Remote With Apple TV
  • Power Cycle the Apple TV Device
  • Update The tvOS On The Apple TV
  • You Might Need a New Remote

I hope this assisted you in fixing the Apple TV remote not working issue. In case you fixed the problem with any other solution, please do share it in the comments section.

Apple TV Remote FAQ

Why Is My Apple TV Not Responding to the remote?

If your Apple TV remote isn’t working, you may have a dead battery or need to pair your remote to the Apple TV. If you have already paired your remote, make sure it is connected to the correct device.

How Do You Reset an Apple TV Remote?

Hold down the TV/Control Center and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about five seconds, or until the status light on Apple TV turns off and then turns back on again. Then release the buttons, and wait five to ten seconds.

How to Use Apple TV Without Remote

There is no need for a physical remote control when you plug in your Apple TV, as it will turn on automatically. You can also control your Apple TV using the Apple TV remote app in the Control Center.

How to Connect Apple TV to Remote Without Wi-Fi

In order connect your Apple TV to WiFi without a remote, you’ll need an ethernet cable, a standard remote control, and an Apple device (iPhone or iPad) running the Apple TV Remote app. Connect your Apple TV to your router with the Ethernet cable. Open the Apple TV Remote app, navigate to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Learn Remote, and click Start.

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. You'll often find him drawing with a pencil.

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