Automate and remotely access your HomeKit accessories

With the Home app, you can set up a home hub to control your HomeKit accessories remotely, grant access to the people you trust, and automate your accessories to do what you want, when you want.

Get started

  • Set up your HomeKit accessories in the Home app on your iOS device.
  • To set up automations and user permissions, you need an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation) with the latest version of tvOS or an iPad with the latest version of iOS.
  • To control your HomeKit accessories remotely, you need an Apple TV 4K, Apple TV (4th generation), Apple TV (3rd generation),*or iPad.
  • To change user permissions, create automations, or stream HomeKit-enabled cameras remotely,* you need an Apple TV 4K, Apple TV (4th generation), or iPad. If you add an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation) to a home that has an Apple TV (3rd generation) set up, the Apple TV (3rd generation) will stop being used for HomeKit remote access.

*Apple TV (3rd generation) doesn't support remote access to HomeKit-enabled cameras.

Set up your home hub

You can set up your Apple TV 4K, Apple TV (4th generation), or iPad as a home hub to automate and remotely control your HomeKit accessories from your iOS device. The device you set up as a home hub must remain in your home, connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and powered on.

Set up Apple TV as a home hub

  1. On your iOS device or Mac, set up two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. Then go to iCloud and make sure that you have iCloud Keychain turned on.
  2. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Accounts and make sure that you're signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID as your iOS device.
  3. After you sign in to iCloud, your Apple TV automatically sets itself up as a home hub. To check the status of your home hub, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud and look under HomeKit to see if your home hub is connected. Learn what to do if you don’t see HomeKit.

Set up iPad as a home hub

  1. If you’re using iOS 10.3 or later, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud. If you're using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud.
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Check that iCloud Keychain and Home are both turned on.
  4. Go to Settings > Home and turn on Use this iPad as a Home Hub. Need help?

Want to check the status of your home hub in the Home app on your iOS device? Open the Home app and tap  in the upper-left corner. Then look under Home Hubs to see if your home hub is connected. If you have multiple home hubs set up, the primary home hub will show as connected. The other home hubs will show Standby as their status and will take over remote access if the main home hub is disconnected.

Automate your accessories

Want all of your lights to automatically turn off when you leave your house? Or want a scene to automatically run at a certain time or location? After you set up a home hub, you can automate your accessories and scenes to automatically turn on and perform actions. And with iOS 11 and later, you can have your accessories and scenes automatically turn on or off based on who’s home.

    

Create an automation

  1. Open the Home app, tap the Automation tab, then tap Create new Automation or .
  2. Choose when you want the automation to occur:
    • People Arrive or People Leave: Have accessories and scenes turn on or off when you or someone you've invited to control your home arrives or leaves a location or at a certain time.
    • A Time of Day Occurs: Have the automation occur at a specific time on certain days and based on who’s home.
    • An Accessory is Controlled: If an accessory turns on or off, you can have other accessories or scenes react. For example, when you unlock the front door, the lights turn on.
    • A Sensor Detects Something: You might use this to turn on the lights when motion is detected nearby.
  3. Select scenes and accessories to automate. Then tap Next.
  4. Verify the accessories and scenes. Touch and hold an accessory or scene to adjust its settings. To turn off an automation after a certain time, tap Turn Off, then choose when you want the automation to turn off.
  5. To finish, tap Done.

To create an automation that occurs based on who’s present in your home:

  • You need an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV (4th generation) with tvOS 11 or an iPad with iOS 11 or later set up as a home hub.
  • Make sure that you and the people you’ve invited to control your home have a device with iOS 11 or later.
  • Check that everyone has Share My Location turned on for the primary device they use to control your home. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud, scroll down and tap Share My Location. Under Share My Location, tap From and check that your primary device is selected.

To enable or disable an automation, tap the automation, then turn Enable This Automation on or off.

To delete an automation, tap the automation, then tap Delete Automation or swipe left over the automation and tap Delete.

Want to get an alert when an accessory turns on or detects something? Learn how to set up notifications for HomeKit accessories.

    
 

Allow remote access and edit permissions for users

If you set up a home hub, you can manage remote access and edit permissions for people that you invite to control your home. If you don't have a home hub set up, they can only control your accessories while they're at your home, connected to your home Wi-Fi network, and within range of your HomeKit accessories.

To manage remote access and change permissions for a person, invite the person to control your home. Then follow these steps:

  1. Open Home and tap .
  2. Tap the person that you want to edit permissions for.
  3. Set the following access for your user:
    • Allow Remote Access: Turn on to allow users to control your accessories from any location. Turn off to allow users to only control your accessories while they're at your house.
    • Allow Editing: Turn on to allow them to add and remove accessories, scenes, and other users.

If you want to remove a person, tap , tap the user, then tap Remove Person.

Get help with your home hub

If you have issues creating automations or controlling your HomeKit accessories when you're not home, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your Apple TV or iPad is:
  2. Make sure that you can control your accessories in the Home app on your iOS device. Open the Home app and turn on a light or change the temperature.
  3. Make sure that your device is set up as a home hub:
    • On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud and make sure that your Apple TV shows HomeKit as Connected. If you don’t see HomeKit, then your Apple TV isn't connected as a home hub.
    • On your iPad, go to Settings > Home and make sure that Use this iPad as a Home Hub is turned on.
  4. Restart your Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone.
  5. Wait a few minutes. If you still need help, sign out of iCloud on your Apple TV, then sign back in. Go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud.

Get help with location-based automations

If you can't create location-based automations, follow these steps:

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy and make sure that you turn on Location Services.
  2. Scroll down, then tap Home.
  3. Under Allow Location Access, make sure While Using the App is selected.

On your Apple TV:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Privacy and make sure that Location Services is turned on.
  2. Select Location Services.
  3. Make sure that HomeKit is set to Always.

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