How to Use the iPhone as an Apple TV Remote

Ever lost the tiny Apple remote? Remotes cluttering a room? The simplest way to cut at least one remote from your coffee table is to use the iPhone as an Apple TV remote.

By using the iPhone as a remote not only do you have one less remote lying around, you also have added functionality. For example, services such as AirPlay allow you to stream music, videos and pictures directly from the iPhone to the television.

Follow the guide below to set up your iPhone as the remote for the Apple TV.

The very first step to setting up the iPhone as a remote is to download the Remote app from the app store. The Remote app is a free app that allows the user to an Apple TV or computer.

Remote for iPhone.


The Remote app works by syncing to the Apple TV over a WiFi network. For the application to find the right Apple TV, both the iPhone and the Apple TV have to be on the same WiFi network.

Once the app downloads, turn on the Apple TV with the regular remote. Check that both devices are on the same wireless network. To check on the Apple TV go to Settings –> General –> Network. From here you will be able to see what the network name is next to Wi-Fi. 

On the iPhone tap Settings.

Tap Settings


Next to WiFi is the name of the network. Compare this with the wireless network connected with the Apple TV to be sure that they match.

Network Name


As long as both devices are connected to the same network, find the remote app on your home screen and select it.

Remote AppOnce the application loads up, it will search for the Apple TV on the network. Once it finds it, tap on the Apple TV icon.

Tap Apple TV



The iPhone will then connect to the Apple TV and show the following screen.

Connecting Apple TVOnce the iPhone successfully connects, the user can use the Apple TV from the phone. To navigate menus swipe up, down, left and right just as if you would press the arrow directions on the real remote. There is also a menu, play/pause and back button on the bottom of the app.

iPhone Remote Screen

One of the best reasons to use this app is the keyboard function. My biggest annoyance with the regular Apple TV remote is trying to search for TV shows in Netflix by have to select each single letter one after the other. With the remote app you can use the iPhone’s keyboard, which saves a lot of time.

Keyboard Function