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How to Pair a Bluetooth Keyboard with the New Apple TV

Once you’ve set up the new Apple TV (4th generation) with apps, you’ll find many require you to log in to use them. With the Siri Remote, that’s a pain. Fortunately, Apple finally enabled the Remote App to work with the Apple TV. Now you can use the standard iOS keyboard for typing. Except that’s not typing. With a few tricks you can use a real keyboard.

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Photo by Daniel Wehner

First, Pair Your Remote App With The Apple TV

You’ll need the latest version of iOS and tvOS to start the pairing. Open up the Remote App and Add a Device.


You’ll then go to your Apple TV and go to Settings > Remotes and Devices. There you’ll put in your pairing code, using the Siri Remote for input one last time.

When you need to select text on your Apple TV, you can use your iPhone’s keyboard. Every member of the family can pair iOS devices to the Apple TV. But what if you don’t want to use your iPhone’s small keyboard?

Next, Pair a Bluetooth Keyboard With Your iOS Device

If you’ve done this step before, you’re golden. Apple has a short guide on pairing a keyboard with your iPhone. Most keyboard work. I like my Matias Folding Keyboard. It folds up out of the way, and the batteries are easy to change. I might use an old iPad keyboard case and maybe even the old iPad to work this magic.

That’s it!

Whenever you get to a text input field, turn on your Bluetooth keyboard and skip picking one letter at a time on your Apple TV with the Siri Remote. Here is the text input for name and password on Netflix.

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You’ll need to have the Remote App open on your iOS device to work this magic. That’s a bit of a pain, but not the end of the world. If it becomes a problem, I might draft an old iPhone to act as a gateway for the keyboard. The iOS device needs to be in Bluetooth range of the phone, but not near the Apple TV. After all, the keyboard is talking to the iPhone or iPad. That’s great for larger homes.

Bonus: Use Your Mac’s Keyboard for Apple TV Text Input

I hate typing on the iPhone or iPad’s keyboard. That’s why I have 1Keyboard. It takes the keyboard on my Mac and lets me use it on an iOS device.


The keyboard doesn’t pair with iOS. The Mac does the pairing and transfers my keyboard inputs to iOS. That means I can use the keyboard on my Macbook Pro to type on my iPhone. This app comes in handy with my password manager. I can look up a password on my Mac, and then paste it to iOS. With the Remote App, I can manage my Apple TV from my Macbook. I have yet to find a Windows or Chromebook equivalent of this program, so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

As Apple has continues to add more features on the new Apple TV, eventually, this tip will be obsolete. Until then, enjoy using a full-sized keyboard on your Apple TV with a little help from iOS.

If you own the second or third generation Apple TV, you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to it, too.

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2 Responses to How to Pair a Bluetooth Keyboard with the New Apple TV

  1. Rob V December 21, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

    An iPhone / Remote app between the keyboard and AppleTV isn’t pairing as your title suggests.
    I’ll wait till Apple brings true BT support to the AppleTV and will use the remote app till then.

  2. Doug Jerrems February 26, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    Not a clear article. My take is that I can pair my iPad and iPhone with the apple 4 TV and then I can use my iPad or iPhone keyboards instead of the archaic ATV4 keyboard to type in commands or move around the ATV4 screen. Then I can use my apple Bluetooth keyboard to connect to my iPad or iPhone and use it type (indirectly) on my ATV4. Who would believe this company is a world leader in technology. I paid 400Aus$ for the ATV4 and 120Aus$ for the apple Bluetooth keyboard but it’s not possible for them to communicate.

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