Apple Watch Remote: How to use the smartwatch to control your Apple TV

Turn your smartwatch into the master controller
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Your Apple Watch can act as a controller of many things, but not many users know it has the power to simply and easily control what's on an Apple TV.

Using the pre-installed Remote app, the smartwatch can be used to swipe through menus, select things to watch and even to pause or resume the action.

Related reading: More hidden Apple Watch features

In this quick and easy guide, we'll be giving you the details on how to set up the Apple Watch Remote app with your Apple TV, and exactly what you can control.

Set up Apple Watch Remote and Apple TV

WareableApple Watch Remote: How to use the smartwatch to control your Apple TV

To get started with the Apple Watch Remote app, first make sure that your smartwatch and your Apple TV are running on the same network. Then, follow these steps:

1. On the Apple Watch, go to the app menu and open Remote.

2. From there, tap Add Device.

3. You'll see a four-digit code to enter on your Apple TV.

4. Go to your Apple TV, open Settings > Remotes and Devices > Remote and then select the Apple Watch. For older generations of the Apple TV, you will find this through Settings > General > Remotes.

5. Now, enter the four-digit code on your Apple TV and wait for the two to pair.

What you can control with Remote

Once you're all set up with the Remote app, you're able to control all the action on your Apple TV - perfect for when you've misplaced the actual controller. There's no way to turn the streaming box on from the smartwatch, unfortunately, so make sure it's awake before you try and control it - and when it is, try these gestures.

  • Tap on the screen to select a highlighted item on the screen.
  • Tap Menu if you want to go back, or hold it to go back to the Home screen.
  • Tap the play/pause icon to resume or freeze playback.
  • Swipe up, down, right or left on the arrows to move through the menu.

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Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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