An Apple TV Remote can easily be reset and the entire process should take no longer than a minute. While a reset can be a good way to fix a problem that an Apple TV user is encountering with their remote, a reset might not always be necessary. Determining whether the user should perform a reset will depend on the remote, and the problem it is facing.
It is important to identify which type of Apple TV remote a user has before actually attempting to perform a reset as Apple has released a number of Apple TV devices over the years and not all of them share the same remote. So far, there’s been the original Apple TV Remote in white, the Apple Remote (aluminium) that ships with the second and third generation Apple TV players, as well as the Siri Remote (2nd generation) and Apple TV Remote (2nd generation) that both ship with the Apple TV 4K.
Regardless of whether it is a Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote, the act of resetting it should be the same. Simply hold the Control Center button (the one that looks like a TV) and the Volume Down button together for at least 5 seconds. Doing this will start the reset process and the user should notice that the Apple TV’s status light turns off and then back on again.
Once the status light turns back on it is time to let go of the buttons. The Apple TV player will continue the reset process in the background and after up to 10 seconds a notification should appear on the screen confirming that the connection between the remote and the Apple TV player was lost.
Shortly afterwards, another notification will confirm that a new connection has been established. At which point, the Apple TV remote has been reset.
Here are those instructions once again:
- Press Control Center and Volume Down together
- Hold for around 5 seconds
- Release the buttons
- Wait up to 10 seconds
- A Connected notification should appear on the screen
In some cases, the Apple TV player may request for the remote to be brought closer to the device, or even placed on top of it. Naturally, follow these instructions if requested.
If using an older Apple Remote (aluminum or white) which doesn’t come with a Control Center button, then the reset process is slightly different. In these situations, the user will need to unlink the Apple Remote and Apple TV player by holding down the Menu and the Left arrow for around six seconds. The Apple TV player should then respond by showing an Unlink icon on the screen. Providing this icon can be seen, the remote and the player can be relinked again by holding down the Menu and Right arrow buttons for another six seconds.
Do you really need to reset the Apple TV remote?
While a reset is a good way to fix many issues with a remote, it might not always be necessary. For example, and especially in cases where the remote doesn’t respond to the button presses above, a reset is unlikely to be an issue. One of the most common connection problems that an Apple TV user will face is a power issue. Like all remotes, Apple TV remotes need to have some form of power, and running out of battery is going to render the remote useless.
Once again, the model affects how the remote is powered up. For example, the first and second-generation Siri Remote (sold with Apple TV HD and the 1st/2nd Gen Apple TV 4K, respectively) have a built-in battery which can be recharged. Simply find the cable that comes with the remote, connect it to a USB power source (like a laptop), and let it charge. According to Apple, it should take around three hours to fully charge the 2nd Gen Siri Remote. Unlike the Siri Remote, the Apple Remote (aluminum) that ships with Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation) doesn’t have a built-in battery. Instead, it will require either a new CR2032 or BR2032 lithium 3V coin battery to be inserted.
Of course, if charging or replacing the battery doesn’t help, and neither does a reset, then it is likely that there is something more fundamentally wrong with the Apple TV remote. In this case, heading over to an Apple Store for further assistance and troubleshooting, or buying a replacement remote might be the best course of action.