Use a third-party remote with your Apple TV

You can control your Apple TV with third-party, infrared remotes. For example, you might be able to use a remote that came with your TV, cable box, or DVD player.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Open Settings

On Apple TV (4th generation), select Settings > Remotes and Devices, then select Learn Remote. 

On Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation), select Settings > General > Remotes, then select Learn Remote.


Get your third-party remote ready

On your third-party remote, select a setting that doesn't control any devices in the area, such as VCR, DVD player, or auxiliary. Or you can use buttons that don't control your TV or other devices.


Select Start

After you select Start, icons for the six buttons on the remote will appear on your Apple TV. Up should be highlighted. 


Program the buttons

With your third-party remote, press and hold the button that you want to use as Up until the blue progress bar is full. Apple TV will automatically select the next button.


Start using your third-party remote

After you program all six buttons, you can use your third-party remote with your Apple TV. 

You can also repeat the steps above to set up more remotes to control your Apple TV.


Delete or customize the buttons on your remote

You can rename, delete, or change your button choices. You can also set buttons for fast-forward, rewind, next chapter, and more. 

  • On Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > Remotes and Devices and select the remote that you want to change. 
  • On Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation), go to Settings > General > Remotes and select the remote that you want to change. 


Get help

If you see "no signal received," check your third-party remote's user guide. You might see this message for one of these reasons:

  • Your Apple TV couldn't detect an infrared signal from your third-party remote within 20 seconds.
  • You might need to activate the button that you're trying to program.

If you see "Button already learned," use a different button. You might see this message for one of these reasons:

  • The button has the same IR code as a button that you already programmed.
  • Another programmed remote has the same button that you want to program. You might need to delete the other remote. 

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Published Date: