How to Reset Apple TV Remote

Resetting your Apple TV remote is an easy process that can help resolve many issues with an unresponsive or faulty remote. An unpaired, glitchy, or low battery remote can disrupt and frustrate your Apple TV experience. Before shelling out money to replace the remote or device, try resetting your existing remote first.

This guide will walk through the methods to reset an Apple TV remote, as well as provide some extra troubleshooting tips. We’ll also take a deeper dive into common reasons for remote issues, troubleshooting battery problems, physical repair options and finally when to concede defeat and replace a faulty remote.

Why Might an Apple TV Remote Need Resetting?

Apple TV remotes connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to pair with your Apple TV box. Like any wireless devices, connectivity problems can randomly pop up or strange glitches may start occurring out of the blue. Resetting is the equivalent of power cycling a router or modem when having Wi-Fi issues. Here are some common examples:

  • Remote randomly becomes unresponsive/unpaired – This frequently happens when a remote unused for awhile or suffers interference. Resetting refreshes the connection.
  • Experiencing intermittent connectivity issues – If the Apple TV remote works ok sometimes but has laggy or glitchy behavior at other times, a reset will commonly clear any strangeness.
  • Stuck input buttons – Some users suddenly find their remote constantly triggering one function like Siri/menu/volume buttons without actually pressing it. Resetting stops the phantom inputs.
  • Erratic cursor moving on its own – Similar to above, it’s not uncommon for a stuck signal to make the cursor zoom or shift on the screen randomly.
  • Low battery problems – Very low battery levels can make remote connectivity erratic even before it fully dies. Fresh batteries post-reset often fixes such things.
  • Reset after repair attempts – If you’ve opened up the remote casing for any repairs, you’ll then want to reset it to resync properly with the logic board.

Essentially resetting the Apple TV remote allows you to start fresh in repairing and connecting the device to your Apple TV box to (hopefully) regain normal functionality.

Before You Reset: What’s Needed?

Gather these items beforehand since they may be needed post-reset:

  • The Apple TV remote – Obviously you need the remote on-hand that’s glitching out!
  • Extra alternative remote – Having a secondary working remote makes navigating into the settings easier if issues persist.
  • Fresh new batteries – Even batteries at 50% charge could cause problems. Swap in a new pair after resetting.
  • Apple TV box turned on & updated – Double check your device is powered on, connected properly to the TV, and software is fully updated.
  • Clear line-of-sight – Make sure there are no objects blocking the signal path between remote and Apple TV box during the reset process.
  • Extra devices turned off – Nearby gadgets like wireless speakers, your iPhone, or iPads can potentially interfere with Bluetooth signals. Disable just during reset.

Position yourself directly facing the Apple TV device for ideal connectivity while resetting. Avoid resetting in a different room or far away.

Step-by Step Methods to Reset Apple TV Remote

There are a few different reset methods ranging from very simple to more complex. Try them one-by-one starting with the easiest few to get your remote smoothly repaired.

1. Quick Press Combination Reset

The most convenient way to reset takes just seconds and requires no navigation at all:

  • Simultaneously press & hold both the Menu button and Volume Up button on the malfunctioning Apple TV remote.

press & hold both the Menu button and Volume Up button

  • Keep holding as you count to 6 seconds out loud.
  • After roughly 6 seconds elapse, the remote’s LED status light will flash rapidly to indicate a successful reset.
  • Once the quick LED flashing stops, you can release both buttons.

This quick reset essentially forces the remote to restart its pairing sequence the next go around. Attempt using the remote on your Apple TV now. In most cases of a glitchy, stuck button, or laggy remote, this combo reset press clears such simple issues.


  • Extremely fast reset taking less than 10 seconds
  • No need to navigate menus or settings


  • Less helpful for serious connectivity problems
  • Must press two buttons simultaneously

If the quick reset still leaves your remote problematic, don’t lose hope! The options below offer a more powerful fix:

2. Unpair and Repair via Apple TV Settings

Unpairing forces a “break up” between remote and Apple TV so they then start fresh. Here is how:

  • Navigate to Settings – Using a working secondary remote preferably, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth > Apple TV Remote.

Settings Remotes and Devices Bluetooth Apple TV Remote.

  • Select “Unpair Apple TV Remote” – Choose your glitchy remote and this will disconnect it completely from this Apple TV box.
  • Re-pair the Remote – Almost immediately you’ll see the option appear to “Pair Apple TV Remote”. Select this to begin repairing the same remote.
  • Follow Onscreen Pairing Process – You’ll need to hold down certain buttons as shown on screen for the re-pairing to take effect.

Once successfully paired again, give your remote a try. Sometimes fully unpairing and then repairing the exact remote is required to resolve persistent connectivity problems after simpler resets fail.


  • More “aggressive” reset repairing the remote
  • Necessary fix if basic resets don’t help


  • Requires another functional remote
  • Takes 1-2 minutes versus 10 quick seconds

3. Factory Reset Apple TV (Last Resort Nuclear Option)

Only perform a factory reset on your Apple TV if the above options all fail. This will totally erase all user accounts, apps, settings, preferences and previously paired devices from the box.

  1. Using a secondary remote, go to Settings > System > Reset.
  2. Select choice to “Reset All Content & Settings”.
  3. Carefully confirm this decision when asked again.
  4. Patiently allow the Apple TV factory reset process to fully complete.

Reset All Content & Settings

Once your device restarts fresh out of the box, you can re-pair the problematic remote during setup prompts. Typically the factory reset wipe gives the remote a clean slate connectivity-wise. But again, reset your box this way only as an absolute last resort!

Still Having Remote Issues? Troubleshooting Tips

Hopefully one of the reset methods above restored normal functionality to your erratic Apple TV remote. But if problems still persist even after trying all options, here is some deeper troubleshooting advice before declaring it broken for good:

  • Insert fresh new batteries – Even somewhat drained batteries could be the culprit. Replace them entirely even after resetting.
  • Inspect remote for damage – Keys stuck? Dropped recently causing issues? Is the touchpad cracked or separated? Physical remote damage can prevent resets from helping fully if hardware components themselves fail. You may need to repair parts like touchpads or replace remote.
  • Toggle Bluetooth on and off – From Apple TV settings, toggle OFF Bluetooth for 5 minutes, unplug TV power too. Then reconnect and re-pair remote. This essentially power cycles the connectivity which could dislodge any stuck signals.
  • Try moving Apple TV box temporarily – Signals can get disrupted from nearby gadgets and interference. Experiment by plugging box into different TV inputs or physical rooms and retry pairing there. Determines if environmental factors play a role.
  • Contact Apple Support – If you’ve diligently tried above options to no avail, contacting Apple makes sense for replacement options or further advanced troubleshooting tips from pros. Be prepared with detailed information on what you’ve tested already.

Resetting an Apple TV remote is a simple first troubleshooting step before spending time on full replacement. In many cases, it can restore a glitchy, unpaired, or unresponsive remote to full working order without other interventions needed. However, for remotes with underlying hardware damage or connectivity issues stemming from environmental factors, more investigation and repairs may be necessary. If you’re wondering about other TV devices, such as “what is Roku TV,” each may have its own troubleshooting procedures, so it’s essential to refer to specific guidelines for your device.

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