Remote Control Apple TV from iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch

Apple Remote App

Here’s how to turn an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a remote control for Apple TV 2 and higher with iOS Remote app.

If you own an Apple TV, the physical remote it comes with is annoyingly small and limited. There’s a better free solution. Here’s how to control your Apple TV with Apple’s Remote app.

First download Apple’s Remote app on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. It’s a free download. Launch Remote and tap Turn on Home Sharing.

Apple Remote App

Enter your Apple ID and Password. Tap Done.

Home Sharing Sign In

Then you’ll get a message telling you to configure Apple TV with Home Sharing.

Home Sharing Setup

On your Apple TV, from the main menu, navigate to Computers >> Turn on Home Sharing.

Then log in with screen your Apple ID credentials. This is the last time you’ll have to use the limited physical remote.

Apple TV Home Sharing

Now that Home Sharing is set up on your iPad and Apple TV it’s time to start using the Remote app. Launch Remote and you’ll get the following screen. Tap the Apple TV icon.
Remote by Apple

Next tap Use Gestures to Control Apple TV or the directional icon in the lower left corner.

Launch Finger Gestrues

Remote will launch. Tap Menu at the bottom to power on the Apple TV. Then use finger gestures on the iPad to navigate menus and control your Apple TV.

Use Gestures

The coolest feature of the Remote app is to using the iPad keyboard when you need to type. For instance here I’m signing into Netflix. This is much easier than using the physical remote and the onscreen keyboard on the Apple TV.

iPad Keyboard

I like to run it on my iPad because it provides more real estate and I can work in other apps while watching TV. If you prefer a smaller form factor, run it from an iPhone or iPod touch.

Remote on iPod touch

If you’ve been getting lost in the plethora of software updates for Apple devices and software – don’t forget to the Apple TV received an update too.



  1. Joe marotta  

    I have been trying to get my iphone remote app to work with my apple tv with no sucess at all. I visited the apple store and they pulled up this page . i have done all the steps on home sharing but I am unable to bring up the apple tv icon on my iphone. I can share with iTunes and play iTunes on my computer with remote as well as play music and videos from itunes on my TV through Apple TV. The itunes button appears on my iPhone..but no appletv icon. I have tried resetting my Apple TV. On Apple TV it states that home sharing is on and show the email address I use to access itunes. Any advice?

    • Gq  

      This sometimes happens to me. In my case, it is caused by an inferior wifi router, which I usually would need to reset for my devices to work with each other properly again.

    • Lloyd  

      I have had issues with Airplay and connectivity to Apple TV. What solved it? Apple airport extreme and if your house is large buy one for each floor and tie them together so they all have the SSID broadcast. Now my Airplay is in sync and never buffers like it used to and not one hick up with the Apple TV sync. The price just came down on them as well. I used 3 other good brand name routers and airport is the only one that works!

  2. Michael C  

    I don’t want to turn on the TV. I don’t actually have one attached to the apple TV, I just use it as a music server. However, I cannot see iCloud music listed on the iPhone/iPad – only any music stored on the ATV itself (lots in the case of ATV1 but they get wiped when I upload songs to the cloud and delete them from my macbook).

  3. Recently I have been having issues with AirPlay, when I enable it off my iPod touch or iPad 3, it brings my WiFi down…very annoying. Searching for a fix to that.

    @9f56d2ec9ed6637c11c15eaca9fd1c88:disqus I’ve never used my ATV as a music server and never had the first gen ATV, so not sure about the iCloud issue…

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