10 Top Tips & Tricks For The Apple TV’s Siri Remote (2023 Guide)
Get the most out of your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation Apple TV Siri Remote!
There’s a lot to love about the Apple TV. It supports major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it’s got the most powerful operating system of any set-top box – tvOS – and it’s got its own App Store. But one other thing it has is also a clever, thin remote called the Siri Remote.
As you can guess from the name, this remote has a built-in mic that lets you give it Siri voice commands. There have actually been three generations of the Siri Remote, which you can see in the picture below.
The 1st generation is the black remote with the “Menu” button and a rectangular trackpad on the upper third of it. The 2nd generation is the silver remote with the “<” button replacing the “Menu” button, and its trackpad is circular. The 3rd generation Siri Remote is identical to the 2nd generation, but it has a USB-C charging port instead of a Lightning port.
No matter which version you have, the Siri Remote is a powerful little device that you can figure out how to use the basics of just by looking at it. However, the Siri Remote also has a ton of hidden tricks that make it much more powerful than it looks.
#1 Quickly Switch Between Open Apps
Just like on an iOS device, you can quickly switch between open apps on the Apple TV by calling up the app switcher screen.
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: Press the TV/Control Center button put twice in quick succession to bring up the app switcher screen. Use the trackpad to swipe between open apps or swipe up on an app to force quit it.
#2 Restart Your Apple TV
This is my favorite tip on this list because I frequently find myself navigating into the Apple TV’s layered Settings screens to restart the device whenever it gets Wi-Fi issues. Well, no more!
- On the 1st generation Siri Remote: Simply press and hold the TV/Control Center and MENU buttons at the same time for six seconds to restart your Apple TV.
- On the 2nd generation and later Siri Remote: Simply press and hold the TV/Control Center and < buttons at the same time for six seconds to restart your Apple TV.
#3 Put Your Apple TV To Sleep
You can also quickly put your Apple TV to sleep using the remote. Usually, it goes to sleep after a predetermined amount of time passes. To make that happen sooner:
- On the 1st generation Siri Remote: Simply press and hold the TV/Control Center for three seconds until the tvOS control Center appears, then select Sleep.
- On the 2nd generation and later Siri Remote: Simply press and hold the Power button.
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#4 Get To The Home Screen Instantly
Sometimes you can be deep in submenus on the Apple TV, especially when using some third-party channels. The good news is you don’t need to back out of each sub-menu step by step.
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: Simply press and hold the TV/Control Center button on the Apple TV remote for three seconds and you’ll be taken to the Home screen right away.
#5 Rearrange Apps
The new Apple TV allows you to download apps that appear on the Home screen. By default, each new app will appear at the bottom of the grid of other apps. But the apps don’t have to stay that way. To rearrange apps on the Home screen:
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: Select the app you want to move then simply press the TRACKPAD for two seconds. The app icons will jiggle. Swipe the TRACKPAD to move the selected app.
#6 Delete Apps
If you decide you want to delete an app (don’t worry, you can always download it again later) you can easily do that from the Home screen:
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: On the Home screen select the app you want to delete then simply press the TRACKPAD button for two seconds. The app icon will jiggle. Now press the PLAY/PAUSE button and a window will appear asking if you want to delete the selected app.
#7 Skip Backward Or Forward 10 Seconds At A Time
You can advance forwards or backward in a video ten seconds at a time using this shortcut:
- On the 1st generation Siri Remote: With a video playing, tap the left edge of the TRACKPAD to quickly skip backward by 10 seconds. Tap the right edge of the TRACKPAD to quickly skip forwards by 10 seconds.
- On the 2nd generation and later Siri Remote: With a video playing, tap the 9 o’clock part of the circle around the TRACKPAD to quickly skip backward by 10 seconds. Tap the 3 o’clock part of the TRACKPAD to quickly skip forwards by 10 seconds.
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#8 Rewind And Fast Forward
You can also rewind or fast forwards at length:
- On the 1st generation Siri Remote: With a video playing, press and hold the left edge of the TRACKPAD to rewind. Press and hold the right edge of the TRACKPAD to fast forward.
- On the 2nd generation and later Siri Remote: With a video playing, press and hold the 9 o’clock part of the circle around the TRACKPAD to rewind. Press and hold the 3 o’clock part of the TRACKPAD to fast forward.
#9 Quickly Access VoiceOver
The Apple TV has many accessibility options built-in, which you can access by going to Settings>General>Accessibility. But you can toggle the VoiceOver Accessibility on or off very quickly another way – by using Siri:
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: Press and hold the Siri button and then say “Turn VoiceOver on” or “Turn VoiceOver off.”
#10 Find Out Where An Apple TV Screen Saver Was Filmed
The Apple TV has a ton of cool screensavers built-in. The best are called Aerial, and they feature high-quality videos from various locations around the globe. By default a screensaver will start after a given amount of time–you choose the timeframe in the Settings app.
But people often wonder just where in the world the beautiful screensaver they are seeing was filmed. There’s an easy way to find out:
- On all versions of the Siri Remote: Tap/rest your finder on the touchpad when the screensaver is playing. You’ll see text appear on the screen revealing the locationof the footage.
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