Although the Apple TV’s remote control looks sleek, it leaves a lot to be desired. The tiny buttons on the awkward-shaped directional pad can make it difficult to browse through iTune’s library of thousands of movies and TV shows.

As you know, you can easily replace the remote with your iPhone using Apple’s Remote app. But did you know there’s another option? You can control your Apple TV with a third-party remote. And it’s actually fairly easy to setup…

If you have a universal remote, like one that came with your TV or cable/satellite box, you can perform these easy steps to program it to run your Apple TV. That way if you ever misplace your Apple remote, you’ll have a backup ready to go.

Step 1. Turn on your Apple TV, and navigate to Settings > Remotes > Learn Remote

Step 2. Select an unused device setting on your universal remote (for example, I used Aux on my Comcast cable remote).

Step 3. Click Start on your Apple TV to start the remote learning process.

And that’s it, that’s all there is to it. The software on your ATV will guide you through a few simple button presses that will have your universal remote programmed in no time. Remember, the Apple TV’s sensor is infrared, so you’ll need to point your remote directly at it for it to work.

Any questions?

  • i like the design on the stock remote even if it is a bit small

  • Can You use the remote app on your ios device to control the menu without this program?

  • My logitech remote has the option for apple TV. Works great. Even shuts it off with the programmed system power ow when swapping functions. Only thing is that it does no good when it came time to jailbreak. Don’t think it handles the multiple key press like the original remote does.

  • Anonymous

    Must be for 5.0 only because I dont have that option in settings.

  • I use harmony remote to control my all devices. Apple remote is pretty sleek and nice to use, but I prefer Apple remotes only with presentations with a Mac 🙂

  • Forgot ya could Do this. Just paired it with my logitech. Now i can use my Apple TV remote on my Mac..instead of using dedicated Controls, BUT…it’s cool to have 2 options.

  • thanks for the tip – sometimes my wife walks off with the remote….. so, a backup is a good idea… LOL!!! (hope she doesn’t see this post…)

    • 1 week later – follow up!!!

      I ended up using your tip to program BOTH my Comcast Remote AND my Toshiba TV’s remote!

      What a HUGE benefit it has been!!! Such a simple thing, but it has eliminated the need for the Apple TV’s tiny remote, and another remote sitting on my night stand.

      Thanks again Cody! 🙂