How to Connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi Without Remote?

Streaming Services, Video on Demand, OTT. Whatever you call them. They are the latest trend for watching movies and “TV” Shows. While Smart TVs come with all the applications for various OTT platforms, there are dedicated hardware devices that can do this job in a better way. One such popular device is Apple TV. In this guide, we will take a brief look at Apple TV and its features. We will also answer a popular question: How to Connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi without Remote?

A Brief Note on Apple TV

Despite its name, Apple TV is not a TV but a digital media player/device that connects to your television to access different OTT Platforms. Here OTT stands for over-the-top, which is a type of media service that users can access directly from their TVs. Some popular OTT Services are Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, etc.

apple tv

You might have heard of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and Roku Streaming Player. Apple TV is very similar to those devices, except it is from Apple. It is a tiny box that connects to a TV through an HDMI cable. You can connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi or use the Gigabit Ethernet port for a wired connection. There is also a remote control that works over Bluetooth as well as IR communication.

Some of you might be wondering: if most of the modern televisions are Smart TVs, what is the use of separate hardware? The first case is if you have an old but good TV that does not have “smart” functionality, you can connect devices like Apple TV and make the TV a Smart TV.

Second, the hardware on these media devices is far better than what Smart TVs have. So, the quality of the content (audio and video) from these devices will be very good.

There is a regular Apple TV as well as Apple TV 4K. The difference is pretty obvious. If you are planning to buy an Apple TV device now, then we highly recommend the 4K variant even though it costs a little bit more.

How to Connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi Without Remote?

As we mentioned earlier, the Apple TV comes with a minimalistic remote control. You can easily operate the Apple TV with this remote such as connecting to Wi-Fi Network, changing apps, or even controlling the TV (over HDMI CEC).

The remote also has integrated Siri so that you can “talk” to your remote to do stuff for you. But what if you lost your remote, misplaced it, or damaged it? How to Connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi Without Remote? The reason for re-connecting Apple TV to Wi-Fi can be anything: You upgraded your Wi-Fi Router, moved to a new place, or anything else.

We will now see a couple of ways in which you can connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi without the original remote.

With iPhone or iPad

If you are using an iPhone or iPad, then the first method is one of the simplest ways to connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi without remote. You can use your iPhone or iPad as a remote control for your Apple TV.

But this is possible only if your iPhone has iOS 12 or later and your iPad has iPadOS 13 or later. Make sure that your devices have these operating system versions. Chances are they probably have as Apple updates even older devices with the latest software/OS.

As the procedure for both iPhone and iPad is very similar, we will see the solution with respect to iPhone. You can apply the same steps with an iPad as well.

With iPhone or iPad

  • First, open your iPhone’s control center and look for Apple TV Remote Control.
  • If you can’t find the icon, don’t worry. You can add it from Settings > Control Center.
  • In the Customize Control menu, you can see the Apple TV remote. Click on the ‘+’ icon next to it. This will add Apple TV Remote to the Control Center.
  • Now, open the control center by swiping up and click on the Remote Icon. It opens the Apple TV Remote app.
  • The interface of the Apple TV Remote app is very simple. There is a large Touch Area on the top which you can use as a trackpad. Swipe in all directions, select apps, navigate content, etc. To control the volume of the Apple TV, use the volume rockers on your iPhone. Use the Siri button on your iPhone to bring up Siri. Apart from the touch area, there is a play/pause button. There is also a menu button. Press it once to go to the previous screen and long-press it to go to the home screen. You will get additional control near the touch area during playback.
  • If your Apple TV is switched off, connect it to the internet using ethernet and switch it on.
  • Using the Apple TV Remote App on your iPhone, go to Settings -> Network -> Wi-Fi on your Apple TV. Here, you can select your Wi-Fi network and enter the password to connect to it.

Use a Bluetooth Keyboard

While the previous method (using iPhone or iPad) is the best way to connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi without remote, there are a few more ways you can do it. If you have Bluetooth Keyboard at your disposal, then you can use it with Apple TV.

Bluetooth Keyboard

  • Turn on the Apple TV. Turn on the Bluetooth Keyboard and make sure that it is in pairing mode.
  • Using the iPhone’s Apple TV Remote App, go to Settings -> Remotes and Device -> Bluetooth on your Apple TV.
  • Apple TV’s Bluetooth now starts looking for nearby devices. Place the keyboard next to the Apple TV.
  • Select your keyboard from the list of detected Bluetooth devices. It displays a code on the screen for pairing. Type this code on the keyboard.
  • After successful pairing, you can connect Apple TV to your Wi-Fi network using the Bluetooth Keyboard with the help of its arrow and return keys.
  • If you don’t have a Bluetooth Keyboard, you can use your Mac’s keyboard using a special app “Typeeto”.
  • You can start using the Bluetooth Keyboard instead of the iPhone’s Apple TV Remote app.

Use Your TV’s Remote Control

Nothing feels right like a proper remote control in your hand. Chances are you are using your Apple TV with a Smart TV. Even if it is not a Smart TV it will still come with a remote control that has the navigation keys (up, down, left, and right – important). You can use this remote control with your Apple TV. Let us see how.

  • Even for this method of control, you have to use your iPhone or iPad in the beginning stages.
  • Connect an ethernet cable to your Apple TV and switch it on. Make sure to connect your iPhone to the same network as the Apple TV.
  • Using the iPhone’s Apple TV Remote App, go to Settings -> General -> Remotes.
  • This will bring up the ‘Remote’ sub-menu. You can see a ‘Learn Remote’ in the ‘Other Remotes’ section at the bottom. Click on this option.
  • Keep the TV’s remote control handy and click on the ‘Start’ button.
  • Apple TV is now in the process of learning the new remote control. It will pop-up different keys (UP, DOWN, etc.). Point the TV remote to the Apple TV and press and hold the corresponding button until the progress bar is full.
  • Repeat this process for all the buttons (Up, Down, Left, Right, Select, and Menu).
  • After successfully learning all the keys/buttons, Apple TV will prompt you to assign a name to this new remote. Give it a proper name.
  • Disconnect the ethernet cable and connect to Wi-Fi using the newly added remote control. For this, go to Settings -> General -> Network and continue the on-screen instruction.
  • Remember you have to disconnect the ethernet cable before proceeding with setting up a Wi-Fi connection. You cannot configure Apple TV for Wi-Fi while it is still wired up.

There are several other methods for connecting Apple TV to Wi-Fi without its original remote control. But these methods involve renaming or reconfiguring your Wi-Fi network or your iPhone’s name (and other settings). Hence, we did not include those methods.


Apple TV is a premium media device that supports almost all the latest streaming services. Its 4K variant is one of the best streaming devices out there albeit expensive. In this guide, we saw a brief overview of Apple TV. We also gave some easy solutions to an important problem Apple TV users face: How to Connect Apple TV to Wi-Fi Without Remote?

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