How to navigate Apple TV with Control Center on iPhone and iPad

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 navigate Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad? You can do just that, from within Control Center in iOS.

If you’ve misplaced or lost your Siri Remote, don’t despair.


  • Navigate Apple TV from within Control Center on iPhone and iPad.
  • iOS device must be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV.
  • You can also program your infrared remote for use with Apple TV.

Yes, you can purchase another Siri Remote (or get one of the older ones), but be advised that the standalone Siri Remote is a bit on the pricey side at $59.

TUTORIAL: How to stop Apple TV keyboard notification on iPhone

An alternative solution entails programming a universal infrared remote for controlling Apple TV but that’s rather clunky and pretty counterintuitive. Indeed, why don’t you learn how to elegantly control Apple TV using an iOS device?


This tutorial assumes you have the following:

  • iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 11 or later
  • 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 navigate Apple TV via Control Center

Follow these steps to navigate your Apple TV from the iOS Control Center:

1) Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

2) Tap Control Center.

3) Tap “+” next to Apple TV Remote underneath the heading More Controls, then tap 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

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

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

6) 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

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

Congratulations, you can now freely navigate your Apple TV set-top box from within the Control Center overlay on your iPhone or iPad, control media playback and even use Siri.

TUTORIAL: How to use Siri Remote like a pro

We’re not going to lay out the full instructions on using the controls the remove provides because both Sandy and I published relevant tutorials detailing 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.
  • Search: Find a show or movie.

This widget facilitates easy text entry as well. First, highlight any text field in an app on your Apple TV. Next, 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? Set Allow Notifications to ON in Settings → Notifications → Apple TV Keyboard on iPhone.

Other ways to control Apple TV

The Apple TV Remote app is no longer available as of October 2020. Alternatively, you can use Apple’s iTunes Remote app to control Apple TV.

  • iTunes Remote: Basic navigation for all Apple TVs, but lacks support for Siri and tilt gaming on modern Apple TVs. This app lets you remotely control iTunes on your computer too. iTunes Remote requires iOS 9.3.2+.

If you use an older Apple TV model, you’re recommended to grab iTunes Remote and peruse our tutorial which explains how to navigate Apple TV with the iTunes Remote app.

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