How To Use Apple TV Remote In 6 Steps, With Photos

TheApple TVremote is as sleek and powerful a device as anything else from the tech giant. Using your Apple TVremotewith an Apple TV device, you re able to open up a whole new world of streaming entertainment and gaming at your fingertips. From its intuitive design to its clever functions, this little device is your key to unlocking the full potential of your Apple TV. Of course, before all that, you need to know how to use the Apple TV remote in the first place. Let s walk you through all the different buttons on an Apple TV remote below.

How Many Apple TV Remote Types Are There?

Since the first-generation Apple TV device was released in March 2007, five different Apple TV remote types have been introduced. Which Apple TV remote type do you have, then? The answer will depend entirely on your Apple TV device. From the original white Apple Remote to the latest third-generationSiriRemote, there are five possible answers here. Let s examine each of these five types below to identify your remote type. Then, we can move on to an explanation of how to use the Apple TV remote below.

White Apple Remote

The first Apple TV remote was released in 2007 alongside the first Apple TV model. Colored white and resembling the look of an early iPod Nano (minus the screen), this White Apple Remote only featured Menu and Play buttons with a round navigation button. It relied on a replaceable coin battery.

Aluminum Apple Remote

The second Apple TV remote was included with the second and third Apple TV models (released in 2010 and 2012, respectively). It is taller and skinnier than the White Apple Remote, and its color is a shiny aluminum instead of the matte white of the first model. It also relied on a replaceable coin battery and only featured Menu, Play/Pause, and navigational buttons.

Siri Remote (First Generation)

Apple TV 4K vs Apple TV HD
Not to be confused with Apple s streaming service Apple TV+, the Apple TV is a digital media player.


The first-generation Siri Remote was included with the Apple TV HD, released in 2015, and the Apple TV 4K, released in 2017. It saw massive upgrades over the previous two Apple Remotes. The remote introduced a rechargeable battery, a touch-sensitive navigational surface, a Home button, a Siri button, and volume controls alongside the familiar Menu and Play/Pause buttons.

Siri Remote (Second Generation)

The second-generation Siri Remote once again saw a massive overhaul from one generation to the next. Released with the second-generation Apple TV 4K in 2021, this second-generation Siri Remote returned to the look and feel of the Aluminum Apple Remote. It introduced a new touch-sensitive navigational pad, aPower button, and a Mute button alongside the familiar Play/Pause, Menu, volume, and Home buttons.

Siri Remote (Third Generation)

The third-generation Siri Remote is almost identical to the second-generation. Shipped with third-generation Apple TV 4K devices in 2022, this latest remote keeps the aesthetic and all buttons the same as the previous generation. The only significant change is the switch from Lightning charging to USB-C charging.

Features 3rd-Gen Siri Remote

Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation)


  • 4K Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos sound and HDR10+ support
  • Equipped with the powerful A15 Bionic chip
  • Third-generation Siri Remote with improved clickpad
  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet options available
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05/18/2023 08:01 pm GMT

How To Use Apple TV Remote

Now that you understand the many different types of Apple TV remotes, let s explain what all the buttons actually do. For this guide, we re working with a first-generation Siri Remote. However, the buttons on an older or newer Apple TV remote will be in similar places. Some remotes may also lack a few of these buttons. If this is the case, feel free to skip any unnecessary steps relating to your specific remote. Without further ado, let s get into it.

Step One: Home Button

Home Button on Apple TV remote.
The Home button on an Apple TV remote.

The Home button also known as the TV button or the Control Center button takes you to the Apple TV home screen. Double-tapping the button opens your carousel of recently used apps. Holding the button opens the Control Center on the righthand side of the Apple TV display.

Step Two: Menu Button

Menu Button on Apple TV remote.
The Menu button on a Siri Remote.

The Menu button wakes your Apple TV out of its resting state. When browsing an app, scrolling through a streaming service, or playing a game, the Menu button will take you to the previous page you were on. Pressing and holding this button can also return you to the Apple TV home screen.

Step Three: Navigation

Navigation Button on Apple TV remote.
Apple TV remotes use a touch-sensitive navigational pad.

The touch-sensitive navigation pad is what helps you maneuver your Apple TV. To move around the screen, simply click or swipe in the desired direction. Pressing the center functions as the remote s Select button. To select something, simply highlight it and click the touch-sensitive surface.

When watching videos, you can also scrub through the timeline using the navigation pad. Touch your finger on the surface and swipe left or right to skip forward or back. Pausing and then scrubbing allows you to scrub even faster. You can also click the left or right side to fast forward or rewind.

Step Four: Play and Pause

Play/Pause button on Apple TV remote.
The Play/Pause button on a Siri Remote.

This is probably the most self-explanatory button on Apple TV remote: the Play/Pause button. Hit it once to play or pause a title, then hit it once more to do the opposite action.

Step Five: Siri Button

Siri Button on Apple TV remote.
Hit the Siri button on your remote to activate voice controls or search by voice.

On the first-generation Siri Remote, the Siri button is found between the Menu and Play/Pause buttons. On second- and third-generation remotes, it s on the right side (where the Power button would be on an iPhone). Hit it once to activate Siri voice controls or dictate while searching.

Step Six: Volume Buttons

Volume Button on Apple TV remote.
Control the volume of your Apple TV using the Volume buttons.

Volume controls have been a staple of the Siri Remote since the very first generation in 2017. This button allows you to raise or lower the volume of the audio coming from the Apple TV device. (For those without a proper sound setup, these buttons might not be of much use.)

Second- and third-generation Siri Remotes also come with a Mute button beneath the Play/Pause button. Hit the Mute button to silence the audio, video, or game playing on the Apple TV device. Press it once more to turn the sound back on.

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