How to Control Apple TV with iPhone

Even while the Apple TV’s built-in remote control is excellent and ergonomic, there are occasions when you’d prefer to use your iPhone to operate the TV instead. It’s possible that you left the Apple TV remote on the cabinet by accident or that it’s dead and you don’t want to get up to plug it in. Whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to learn that your iPhone can essentially take the place of the Apple TV remote for nearly all of your needs, and that’s what this post will focus on. So, this is how to use your iPhone to operate Apple TV.

How to Set Up and Use Your iPhone As an Apple TV Remote

Ensure That Your Apple TV is Compatible with Apple TV Remote in Control Center

Remember that not all Apple TV models in the control centre are compatible with the Apple TV Remote. To ensure that your Apple TV is compatible, please sure to look through the list below.

  • Apple TV 4K
  • Apple TV HD
  • Apple TV (3rd gen)
  • AirPlay 2-compatible smart TVs

Add Apple TV to Control Center on iPhone

The Apple TV Remote has already been included to the control centre in iOS 13 and later. You can manually add the TV Remote to your device’s control centre if you are using an older version of iOS or can’t find the Apple TV Remote icon in the control centre.

1. Start by launching the Settings app on your iPhone, then tapping Control Center.

2. Next, press the + button on the Apple TV remote’s left side.

Set Up Apple TV Remove in Control Center on iPhone

1. Open the control centre on your smartphone to begin.

  • On iPhone without a home button: Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to access the control center.
  • On iPhone with the home button: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the control center.

2. Click the Apple TV Remote icon now.

3. Next, select your smart TV or Apple TV from the list.

4. Proceed with the instructions to enter a four-digit passcode into your iPhone by following the onscreen prompts.

You must enter the four-digit passcode into your Apple TV using your Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote if you have a third-generation Apple TV.

It’s crucial to remember that the volume button on your Apple TV Remote’s control centre only functions when your Apple TV is connected to a HomePod, soundbar, or other AirPlay-2 compatible speaker. You can utilise the volume button on the remote that came with your television if the volume button on your Apple TV Remote is dimmed.


  • If you can t set up your Apple TV Remote, ensure that your device is running the latest versions of iOS, and tvOS.
  • Make sure your iPhone and Apple TV or AirPlay 2 are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • If the problem persists, restart your devices.

Once the Apple TV Remote is flawlessly configured on your iOS smartphone, you may use it to operate your Apple TV. Notably, it imitates the Siri remote’s controls, making it simple for you to navigate your Apple TV and access the contextual menu.

Choose Which Apple TV to Control

What if the Apple TV Remote software on your iPhone is used to control several Apple TVs? Not to worry, the remote app makes switching between the paired Apple TVs simple. Simply hit the dropdown menu at the top of the screen and select your favourite devices from the list to accomplish this.

Use iPhone to Control Apple TV

1. Open your device’s control centre, and then tap the Apple TV Remote icon.

2. Simply swipe left, right, or up/down in the touch area to navigate apps and content (aka touchpad or control pad). On your Apple TV, the highlighted app or piece of content will now slightly enlarge.

3. To fast scroll through lists, swipe up or down many times in the touch area.

4. Swipe an item to highlight it, then tap in the touch area to pick it.

You may manoeuvre left, right, up, and down with ease with the touchpad. Additionally, you can choose a particular item by simply tapping it. The touchpad mimics the five-way button on the remote and streamlines the process of navigating, choosing apps, and accessing content.

Use the App Keyboard with Apple TV Remote on iPhone

  • When the on-screen keyboard shows on your Apple TV, you should see a keyboard in the Apple TV Remote on your iPhone.
  • Now, if you enter text on the iOS keyboard, the text on your Apple TV screen will update as you type.

View Additional Menu Options Using Apple TV Remote on iPhone

You may highlight something using the Apple TV Remote. After that, tap and hold the touchpad on your iPhone’s Apple TV Remote. Additional alternatives for the highlighted item will appear in a menu on your Apple TV if there are any.

Go Back to the Home Screen or Previous Screen

You should see a TV button that allows you to access the Apple TV home screen below the touchpad. The previous screen is returned when you hit the Back button.

Access Your Cable Service s Channel Guide

It’s rather simple to browse the cable service guide if you have a cable TV subscription. To display the channel guide, simply press on the Guide button in the centre of the screen, which resembles a bulleted list. It’s important to note that, if you don’t already have a subscription, Apple TV might offer a simple option to sign up for cable TV.

Back 10 Seconds

You can forward the music and video playing onscreen by 10 seconds by tapping the round button with the curved arrow facing left.

Forward 10 Seconds

You can fast-forward 10 seconds by tapping the button with the curved arrow pointing right.

Play/Pause Content

The Play/Pause button allows you to play and pause audio and video.


  • The Menu button in the control center remote is designed to work differently in different contexts. In most cases, the menu button works like a Back button.
  • To adjust the volume, you need to press the volume buttons on your iPhone. Bear in mind that it works only with supported audio/video receivers.

View Open Apps (Multitasking)

The iPhone remote software also allows you to switch between different apps and see which ones are open on your Apple TV.

To view all the most recent apps running on your Apple TV, simply double-tap the Apple TV button on the remote app.

Search on Apple TV Using Control Center Remote on iPhone

You may search your Apple TV using the magnifying glass button. When you tap on this button, your TV will display a search screen where you may look for apps, movies, TV series, and other content.

Activate Siri on Apple TV Using Control Center Remote on iPhone

To start Siri on the Apple TV, hold down the power button on your iPhone for a few seconds. Please be aware that this only functions if the remote app is open on your iPhone. If you press and hold the power button in any other way, Siri will start running on your iPhone.

Open tvOS Control Center

To open the Control Center on Apple TV, press and hold the Apple TV button in the iPhone remote app.

Shut Down Apple TV Using Control Center on iPhone

To switch off Apple TV and any attached devices, press and hold the power button symbol in the top-right corner of the iPhone remote app.

Use Your iPhone As a Handy Remote Control for Apple TV

So that’s how you can operate the Apple TV using your iPhone. As you can see, the iPhone remote app has almost all the same functionality as the Siri Remote and Apple TV Remote, including the ability to open Siri, search for content, change the volume, and more. What do you therefore prefer using? The iPhone remote app or the Apple TV remote? Please tell us in the comments. Did you know that you could color-correct your Apple TV with your iPhone? Check it out to obtain TV content that looks even better!