How to control Apple TV with iPhone (2022)

Although the Apple TV remote that comes with the Apple TV is really good and ergonomic, there are times when you would like to use your iPhone to control your TV instead. Maybe you forgot the Apple TV remote on the cabinet, or maybe it’s dead and you don’t want to get up to plug it in. Whatever the reason, you’ll be happy to know that your iPhone can easily replace the Apple TV remote. for almost everything you need to do, and that’s what we’re going to cover in this article. So here’s how to control Apple TV with iPhone.

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

Make sure your Apple TV is compatible with the Apple TV remote in Control Center

Keep in mind that not all Apple TV models support the Apple TV remote in Control Center. So be sure to check the following list to make sure your Apple TV is compatible.

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

Add Apple TV to Control Center on iPhone

Note that in iOS 13 and above, the Apple TV remote is already added to the control center. If you can’t find the Apple TV Remote icon in Control Center or if you’re using older versions of iOS, you can manually add the TV Remote to your device’s Control Center.

1. First, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then tap Control center.

Show Control Center on iPhone or iPad

2. Now press the “+” button to the left of the Apple TV remote control.

Add Apple TV Remote to Control Center on iPhone and iPad

Configure Apple TV Remove in Control Center on iPhone

1. To get started, open Control Center on your device.

  • On iPhone without 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 Control Center.

2. Now press the Apple TV remote control icon.

Apple TV Remote in Control Center

3. Next, press your AppleTV or Smart-TV from the list.

4. Next, follow the onscreen instructions to enter a four-digit passcode into your iPhone.

If you have a 3rd generation Apple TV, you will need to use your Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote to enter the four-digit passcode into your Apple TV.

It’s important to note that the volume button on your Apple TV remote in Control Center only works when your Apple TV is set up with an AirPlay-2-enabled HomePod, soundbar, or other speaker. If the volume button on your Apple TV Remote is grayed out, you can use the volume button on the remote that came with your TV.

To note:

  • If you’re having trouble setting up your Apple TV Remote, make sure 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 you have perfectly setup the Apple TV remote on your iOS device, you can use it to control your Apple TV. Notably, it mimics the commands of the Siri Remote so you can easily navigate your Apple TV and access the context menu.

Choose which Apple TV to control

What if multiple Apple TVs are connected to the Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone? Don’t worry, the remote app lets you switch between connected Apple TVs without any hassle. To do this, simply tap the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, then choose preferred devices from the list.

choose which apple tv to control

Use iPhone to control Apple TV

1. Bring up the Control Center on your device, then tap the Apple TV remote control icon.

Apple TV Remote in Control Center

2. To browse apps and content, swipe left, right or up/down in the touch area (i.e. touchpad or control pad). Now the highlighted app or content will expand slightly on your Apple TV.

Use Apple TV Remtoe Control

3. To browse the lists, you can slide up or down multiple times in the touch area to scroll quickly.

4. To select an item: Simply swipe to highlight item then press in the touch area.

The touchpad is very responsive and lets you navigate up, down, left, and right. Moreover, it also allows you to select a specific item by simply tapping on it. Mimicking the five-way button on the remote, the touchpad makes the process of navigating and selecting apps as well as content smooth.

Use the App Keyboard with Apple TV Remote on iPhone

  • When the on-screen keyboard appears on your Apple TV, you should see a keyboard in the Apple TV remote on your iPhone.
use iphone as remote control for apple tv
  • Now, if you type text on the iOS keyboard, the text on your Apple TV screen will update as you type.

Use the Apple TV remote to highlight an item. After that, touch and hold the touchpad in the Apple TV remote on your iPhone. If the highlighted item has additional options, they will appear in a menu on your Apple TV.

Go back to the home screen or previous screen

Below the touchpad, you should see a TV button that takes you to the Apple TV home screen. And pressing the Back button takes you back to the previous screen.

go home or back with iphone remote on apple tv

Access your cable service’s channel guide

If you have a cable TV subscription, accessing the cable services guide is pretty straightforward. Just press the guide button (which looks like a bulleted list) in the middle of the screen to display the channel guide. It’s worth pointing out that if you don’t have an active subscription, Apple TV may provide a quick way to subscribe to cable TV instead.

Return 10 seconds

Pressing the round button with the curved arrow pointing to the left allows you to jump back 10 seconds in the currently playing audio and video on the screen.

go back 10 seconds iphone apple tv remote

Go forward 10 seconds

Press the button with the right curved arrow to advance 10 seconds.

skip forward 10 seconds iphone apple tv remote control

Play/pause content

You can use the Play/Pause button to play the audio/video and also pause it.

To note:

  • The Menu button on 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. Keep in mind that it only works with supported audio/video receivers.

Show open apps (multitasking)

If you want to check which apps are open on your Apple TV or switch between multiple apps, you can also do that through the iPhone Remote app.

Simply double tap the Apple TV button in the remote app to view all recent apps open on your Apple TV.

double tap the home button to view open apps

Search Apple TV using Control Center Remote on iPhone

The magnifying glass button lets you search your Apple TV. When you press this button, a search screen will appear on your TV for you to search for apps, movies, TV shows, etc.

Activate Siri on Apple TV using Control Center Remote on iPhone

You can press and hold the power button on your iPhone to launch Siri on Apple TV. Note that this only works when the remote app is open on your iPhone. Alternatively, press and hold the power button to launch Siri on your iPhone instead.

Open tvOS Control Center

Long-press the Apple TV button in the iPhone Remote app to open Control Center on Apple TV.

Stop Apple TV Using Control Center on iPhone

In the iPhone Remote app, press and hold the power button icon in the top right of the screen to turn off Apple TV and all connected devices.

turn off apple tv

Use your iPhone as a handy Apple TV remote

Well, that’s how you can use your iPhone to control the Apple TV. As you can see, the iPhone Remote app can do just about everything the Siri Remote and Apple TV Remote can do, including searching for content, launching Siri, adjusting volume, and more. So which do you prefer to use? The Apple TV remote or the iPhone remote app? Let us know in the comments. Also, did you know that you can use your iPhone to color balance your Apple TV? Check it out and get even more beautiful content on your TV!