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How to Connect Apple TV to WiFi Without Remote

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Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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There is no feeling as satisfying as sitting down to watch your favorite show or to check out a new movie on one of the many apps offered through the Apple TV center.

But that feeling can go down the drain pretty quickly when you realize that you don’t have the Apple TV remote handy.

Don’t worry, it’s probably just stuck between the couch cushions or it is in the other room where you left it by accident. 

However, if you’ve lost your remote, you might feel like you are out of luck since you need it to connect your Apple TV up to Wi-Fi.

After all, the remote is necessary to navigate to enter the Wi-Fi credentials. Luckily, Apple has considered that such a thing could happen in their design, so there are multiple ways to get around the problem of not having a remote.

Here is how to connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi if you don’t have the Apple TV remote at your disposal. 

See also: Is Apple TV worth it? What you should know!

Connect Apple TV to WiFi Without Remote 

To 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.

With your standard remote control, follow the on-screen instructions to pair it to your Apple TV. Once the remote is connected, you can now use it to connect your Apple TV to WiFi.

Use an Ethernet Cable

Just because you are not connected to Wi-Fi, doesn’t mean you are locked out of the internet. Apple TV units have an ethernet port in the back which you can run an ethernet wire directly to from your router.

Once it is connected, your Apple TV will become visible to other devices, such as your phone or various Bluetooth paraphernalia.

However, the goal is to get it to connect to Wi-Fi. While a hardline ethernet connection will provide you with internet access, you may not want to use it. Keeping the ethernet cable in, try one of the following steps to link to Wi-Fi.

Connect With Apple TV Remote App

If you have an Apple TV, there is a good chance you also own an iOS device or an iPad. If that is the case, you can simply replace the remote with the app.

It’s easy to use the Apple TV app if you already have it installed on your device. Simply start it and press the on-screen remote to do things just like you would with a regular remote.

Apple TV remote app in Control Center
Apple TV remote app in Control Center. Gardy Philogene

If you have an iPhone X (or later) or the latest version of the iPadOS installed, simply swiped down from the upper right of the screen and note a picture of a remote on the bottom portion of the swipe-down menu.

Click on that to bring up the remote. Then select your Apple TV device from a list of recognized devices and enter a previously set up 4-digit password. If you have a device with anything earlier than iOS 11, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.

In case you don’t see the remote display, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Then select Control Center.
  3. Tap Add (+) next to the remote function.

This will enable it to appear on your swipe-down menu described earlier. 

Once you are on the on-screen remote, go to the Apple TV Settings and find the Remotes and Devices section. Tap Learn Remote from there.

Your Apple TV unit will take a few moments to recognize your phone device, and prompt you with on-screen instructions.

After detecting the signal, you can find your Wi-Fi connection of choice in the settings and link up to it.

Once you have confirmation of the connection, you will no longer need your ethernet to hook up. So feel free to disconnect it and use your Wi-Fi instead.

Use Your Standard TV Remote

Did you know that you can have your standard TV remote take control of your Apple TV device and perform the necessary Wi-Fi setup actions?

Assuming you have a TV remote that has directional buttons on it, with your ethernet cable connected to your Apple TV device, access the iPhone Control Center with your iOS device.

Follow the Settings menu to the Remotes and Devices section, then choose Learn Remote. Follow the onscreen instructions and Apple TV will recognize your standard remote as the one you are choosing to use for control of navigation. 

From here go to the Settings for your Apple TV, and under the General tab go to Network and finally select Configure Wi-Fi.

You can disconnect the ethernet cable and proceed with your standard remote as your Apple TV control medium. 

Share Wi-Fi Password With Your iOS Device

Apple has come up with an even more handy method to link up to Wi-Fi without an Apple TV remote, and that is through sharing your WiFi password with your iOS device. If this sounds complex, it isn’t. 

First, make sure that both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features are enabled on your iOS device, then turn the Apple TV on and wait for the start-up screen.

Once you see it simply touch your iOS device to the Apple TV box. On-screen instructions will prompt you on what to do next. 

You can now connect the Apple TV to the same Wi-Fi network as your iOS device if you have iOS 12 or later.

From here you will simply need to follow the instructions from earlier about setting up access to an on-screen remote through the Apple TV app. 

Use a Bluetooth Keyboard

If you use a Bluetooth keyboard, you can use it to connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi without needing a remote as well. Simply hold your iOS device near it to permit the Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth keyboard
A Bluetooth keyboard. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

Once it is set, simply move the device into proximity of the Apple TV, and the Bluetooth should pair to it. The screen will generate a code to confirm the pairing and you can type it in right on the keyboard.

Once paired, you can use the arrow keys to navigate around the Apple TV interface and navigate to the WiFi controls in the Settings as described earlier.

Replace your lost or broken Apple TV remote

You can easily resolve this issue by getting a replacement Apple TV remote. If you’ve signed up for Amazon Prime, you can have one shipped tomorrow to your house for a reasonable price. Nevertheless, do yourself a favor and get the Apple TV remote replacement.

Final Thoughts on Connecting Your Apple TV Without a Remote

As you can see, not having an Apple TV remote available doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your Apple TV experience or connecting it to Wi-Fi.

We hope that one of the methods above was easy and quick enough for you to connect your Apple TV to WiFi without a remote. Now, what are you sitting here for? Go watch your show!

Let us know if this helped connect your Apple TV to WiFi. If you found success doing something else, leave a comment down below!

Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

Gardy Philogene

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