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Home Tips & Tricks How to use a different remote with Apple TV

How to use a different remote with Apple TV

Published on September 11, 2011 by

Your Apple TV can be controlled by many third party remotes. This can be helpful if you want to control it with the remote that came with your TV, cable box, entrainment system or a universal remote.

To have your Apple TV controlled by a different remote, the Apple TV will need to learn how to be controlled by the new remote. This feature is different from what is offered by programmable remotes that learn how to control devices.

How to setup a third-party remote with Apple TV

  1. Go to Settings-> General -> Remotes.
  2. Select Learn Remote.
  3. Set your remote to where it’s not controlling another device, such as your TV. Most remotes have options to control different devices like VCR, DVD player or an auxiliary option for an unspecified device. You want it set on something that you are not already using.
  4. Select Start (using your original Apple Remote).
  5. You should see icons that represent the six buttons on the Apple Remote with the “Up” or “+” button highlighted on your TV.
  6. Using your third-party remote, press and hold the button you would like to use to control the function that is highlighted until the blue progress bar is full.
  7. Your Apple TV will then select the next function. Keep repeating the last step until all six functions have been learned by the new remote.

If all went well, you should have your new remote setup but here are a few troubleshooting steps just incase.


You may get the message “No signal received. Check remote.” This will occur if Apple TV does not detect any infrared signal coming from your third-party remote within 20 seconds. This probably means the button you are trying on the remote is not enabled.

You may also get the message “Button Already Learned.” This indicates the current remote or a different, previously learned remote, has a learned button with the same IR code as the current button that you are trying to program.

To remedy the problem either use a different button or delete the previously learned remote if it is not being used.

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6 Comments  comments 

6 Responses

  1. GaryB

    Any recommendations for a better remote?

  2. Way awesome, some legitimate factors! I value you creating this informative article obtainable, the remainder of the web site can also be higher good quality. Possess a exciting.

  3. Hi there there! This article couldn’t be published any greater! Looking at via this submit reminds me of my prior place mate! He often stored discussing this. I’ll ahead this short article to him. Quite confident he’ll have a very very good go through. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is my very first visit to this site,and I want to thank you for giving your great ideas and time into the material you post in this site.

  5. This is my second visit to this blog,and I would like to thank you for sharing your excellent ideas and time into the stuff you publish in this site.

  6. Wes johnson

    But how do you delete a previously learned remote?

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