Use Your TV’s Remote to Control Your Apple TV

step1-appletv-heroEver since Apple debuted the first Apple TV in 2006, I have been been a loyal owner. It’s a wonderful digital media playing device that we use in our house every single day.

One of my biggest complaints about each generation of the Apple TV is the remote. I truly have a love-hate relationship with it. I love it because it is so sleek and minimal. I hate it because it’s minimalism means it’s also very featureless.

No volume control.

No way to switch inputs.

No way to turn on or off the TV.

That means you always need two remotes – one to control your TV and one to control your Apple TV.

Or does it?

There’s a little known feature for the Apple TV is “Learn Remote.” This nifty setting allows you to program your TV’s remote to control the Apple TV as well.

Here’s how:

Go to Settings > General > Remote > Learn Remote

Note: Before you setup your TV remote to operate your Apple TV, be sure that you are programming buttons on your remote that aren’t used in your TV’s normal operation. For instance, don’t use the channel select, volume control, or keypad buttons – they’re already taken. For me, I used the left, right, up, down, “OK”, and “RETURN” buttons on my TV’s remote – they don’t control anything on my Panasonic TV unless I’m in the TV’s menu.

After you hit “Start” with the Apple TV remote, you will program the buttons on your remote with the functions you see on the screen.

learnremoteAnd that’s it. Your TV’s remote now control’s your Apple TV.


Note: You can also program advanced buttons like play, skip, and stop.

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