A teaser image showing the TV app on Apple TV. With iOS 11 or newer, iPhone and iPad users can control their Apple TV from iOS's Control Center interface. Read the article to learn how.

Have you lost your Siri Remote? Would you like to control Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad? The good news is, you can do just that, right from within Control Center on iOS 11 and later.

If you’ve misplaced your remote, don’t despair.

Although you can always purchase another Siri Remote or get one of the older ones, think twice—especially with the standalone Siri Remote still a bit on the pricey side at $59.

TUTORIAL: How to stop Apple TV keyboard notification on iPhone

Another solution would be to program your universal infrared remote so you can control your Apple TV with it, which is rather clunky and not very intuitive.

Instead, learn how to elegantly control Apple TV with your iOS device.


This tutorial assumes you have the following:

  • An iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 11 or later
  • A fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K

Both your Apple TV and iOS device must be on the same Wi-Fi network,

How to use Apple TV via Control Center

Follow these steps if you’re on iOS 11 or up:

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 11 or later.

2) Tap Control Center.

3) Tap Customize Controls.

4) Tap “+” next to Apple TV Remote underneath the heading More Controls, then touch and hold next to the control and drag it to a desired position.

On iOS 11, users must manually enable the Apple TV Remote widget in their Control Center settings

5) Close out the Settings app, then open the Control Center overlay.

6) Tap the Apple TV Remote widget you just added.

7) Choose your Apple TV from the list.

A screenshot showing selecting an Apple TV from a list from the Apple TV Remote widget in iOS's Control Center

8) If asked, enter the 4-digit code that appears on your Apple TV screen.

Congratulations, you can now navigate your Apple TV via the Control Center interface on iOS, control your media playback, use Siri and play games with tilt controls.

NOTE: If your iPhone or iPad is running iOS 12 or later and you also own an Apple TV, iOS will discover your set-top box on the local network and automatically add the Apple TV Remote widget to Control Center, making it even easier to navigate the entirety of the tvOS user interface and access Apple TV controls from the comfort of your sofa.

On iOS 12, the Apple TV Remote widget is automatically added to iOS's Control Center when your Apple TV is on the same network and authorized with the same Apple ID as your iOS device

iOS 12 automatically adds this widget to Control Center for Apple TV owners

We’re not going to lay out the full instructions on using the controls the widget provides because both Sandy and I published relevant tutorials covering that, so read them if you like.

Just in case, here’s a quick recap of the available controls:

  • Play/Pause: Pause or resume what’s currently playing on your Apple TV
  • Menu: Replicates the Menu button on your Siri Remote
  • Home: Replicates the Home button on your Siri Remote
  • Siri: Replicates the Siri button on your Siri Remote

This widget facilitates text input on Apple TV, too: first use the remote to highlight any text field in an app on your Apple TV, like the search field in the YouTube app, then press a notification that pops up on the screen of your nearby iOS device to enter text using the iOS keyboard.

Don’t see the keyboard notification?

Be sure to set Allow Notifications to off in Settings → Notifications on your iPhone.

Other ways of controlling your Apple TV

People who are yet to upgrade to iOS 11 should use one of Apple’s apps:

  • Apple TV Remote: Navigate the tvOS interface with touch gestures. If you have the fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, you’ll also enjoy support for Siri, tilt gaming and rich media control. Apple TV Remote requires iOS 9 or later.
  • iTunes Remote: Basic navigation on any Apple TV (Siri and tilt gaming not supported on latest Apple TVs). Unlike Apple TV Remote, this app also lets you remotely control iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC. iTunes Remote requires iOS 9.3.2 or later.

If you use an older Apple TV model, you’re recommended to grab iTunes Remote and peruse our tutorial on navigating Apple TV via the iTunes Remote app.

Is your Apple TV a fourth- or fifth-generation model? Download Apple TV Remote instead!

The Apple TV Remote app running on an iPad

We even have a compelling little tutorial on using the Apple TV Remote app todo things like navigate the tvOS interface on your fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, use the iOS volume slider or iPhone buttons to adjust volume, interact with Siri and use your iPhone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to play tilt-based games on the set-top box.

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Both Apple TV Remote and iTunes Remote feature rich support for lyrics and playlists for music, as well as chapters, audio tracks and captions selection for movies and TV shows.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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Got stuck? Not sure how to do certain things on your Apple device? Let us know via help@iDownloadBlog.com and a future tutorial might provide a solution.

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