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Master Your Apple TV Experience: Close Apps With Your iPhone Guide

Discover how to seamlessly control your Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad. Our step-by-step guide covers setup, connectivity issues, and using the Remote app effectively. Learn how to close apps, input text easily, and more for an enhanced Apple TV experience!

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Published Jan 29, 2024

Ever find yourself in a pickle, not knowing how to close apps on your Apple TV using your phone? You're not alone. Many people don't realize that their iPhone or iPad can double as a handy Apple TV remote, letting them manage apps with ease.

In the digital age, we're all about convenience. And what's more convenient than controlling your Apple TV without having to search for that elusive remote? In this guide, we'll show you how to close apps on your Apple TV using your phone. It's simpler than you might think, and once you've got the hang of it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

So let's dive right in and turn your phone into the ultimate Apple TV controller. Get ready to enhance your Apple TV experience like never before.

Why Use Your Phone to Close Apps on Apple TV?

Firstly, let's uncover why using your phone as a remote makes sense when interacting with your Apple TV. You're standing in a time where technology is rapidly progressing and you're no stranger to adopting these latest advancements. Using your iPhone or iPad to handle your Apple TV just falls into one more seamless integration of your tech-filled life.

There are instances when the traditional remote just doesn't cut it anymore. The remote is a great tool, don't get me wrong but it can be limiting at times. You might have experienced situations where your remote isn't at arm's reach or maybe it's the annoyance of the untimely 'battery low' sign popping up. Or even worse if you've lost your remote somewhere in the couch cushions.

When you convert your iPhone or iPad into a remote control for your Apple TV, convenience is the foremost benefit. You almost always know where your phone is and you're most likely using it right now as you read this. Moreover, when you become savvy at using your smartphone as the Apple TV remote, you won't have to tolerate annoying pauses anymore in your binge-watching sessions to scramble for the remote's rechargeable batteries.

Then, there's the case of managing your apps better. With your phone as your remote, it's just like managing your apps on your iPhone or iPad, only it's your Apple TV you're controlling. Closing an app becomes just a swipe or a tap away - a far cry from the multiple navigations needed on the traditional Apple TV remote.

Reading all these benefits doesn't mean you should abandon your traditional remote. It's still a very functional tool to have. But speed and convenience in access and control? That's where your trusty smartphone steps up to the plate. Let's dive into how you can transform your iPhone or iPad into an Apple TV remote control in the following sections.

Step 1: Ensure Your iPhone or iPad is Connected to Apple TV

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Before you can start closing apps on your Apple TV using your iPhone or iPad, it's essential that your devices are connected. Connectivity drives this entire process. So, here’s how to ensure your devices are in sync.

To connect your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV, you'll first need to ensure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. You'll often find it's a simple oversight when devices aren't synced up - they might just be on different Wi-Fi networks. Check your settings on all devices to ensure they're connected to the same network.

How do you do this? Well, it's simple. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and check the network you're connected to. Then, on your Apple TV, go to Settings > Network and ensure the network name matches what you saw on your iPhone or iPad.

Can't find the right network on your Apple TV? Ensure the Apple TV is close enough to your router. Distance can sometimes be a problem. If you have a larger home, you might even consider using a Wi-Fi range extender to make sure the signal is strong enough everywhere.

Now that we've sorted out Wi-Fi, we need to check the Remote app too. On your iPhone or iPad, open up the Apple TV Remote in the Control Center. If you don't see it readily available, swipe around — it's there somewhere!

Once you've located the remote in your Control Center, tap on the remote. Your device will then prompt you to choose an Apple TV. Select the appropriate TV, and your devices are connected, ready for you to control!

Step 2: Open the Apple TV Remote App on Your Phone

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Now that your devices are synced up, it's time to venture into the world of remote control functionality. Your smartphone is about to become a powerful tool in navigating your Apple TV interface. Here's how to get started.

Locate the Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. This app bears a resemblance to the real-life Apple TV remote, sporting a black and silver icon. If it's not already present on your device, you can easily download it from the Apple App Store.

Tap on the app icon to launch it. You're now entering a new realm where your smartphone transforms into an Apple TV controller. There could be an available firmware update waiting for you. To receive the latest features and enhancements, we always recommend keeping your apps up to date.

Upon opening the app, you'll encounter a list of available Apple TV devices that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone or iPad.

Select the Apple TV you wish to control from the list of available devices. An onscreen prompt might ask you to enter a four-digit code. This code is displayed on your Apple TV screen.

Following these steps meticulously will ensure that you're getting the best out of the Apple TV Remote app. It's a simple but effective way to streamline your viewing experience as it lets you control your Apple TV with finesse and simplicity. Your device will stay synced as long as it stays within the Wi-Fi range of the Apple TV.

Stay tuned to systematically navigate the functions and get acquainted with the user-friendly interface of the Apple TV Remote app. You'll be a pro at closing apps on your Apple TV with your phone in no time.

Step 3: Navigate to the App Switcher on Apple TV

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Progressing with the process, now you'll dive into the nitty-gritty of navigating to the App Switcher on your Apple TV. Remember, without making your way to the App Switcher, you can't achieve the goal of closing apps using your phone.

Open the Apple TV Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. Make sure you've chosen the right Apple TV on the app. If you have multiple Apple TVs, this step is crucial. From here, swipe up on the touch surface of your remote app. This action will open up the App Switcher on your Apple TV. The App Switcher is similar to the multitask switcher you'd find on an iPhone or iPad, displaying all the apps that are currently open on your Apple TV.

At this point, do not press the Menu button. It's a common misconception that pressing the Menu button will take you to the App Switcher. Instead, it will just take you back to the Home screen. What differentiates the App Switcher from the home screen is the ability to navigate through currently open apps and close any apps that are causing issues, without having to go to the home screen first.

In the next step, our focus will be on how to easily navigate through the opened apps in the App Switcher, and how to close any apps that may be causing issues. So, keep your phone handy and stay tuned for the next section on closing apps. Remember, keeping your Apple TV and other Apple devices updated and well-maintained is essential to make the most out of your Apple experience.

Step 4: Close Apps Using Your Phone

Let's put all that knowledge to work. Since you can control your Apple TV with the Remote app on your phone, you can also use it to close apps.

First, access the App Switcher. Recall how this was done? You double-click the TV button. Easy as pie, right? Your screen fills up with app thumbnails, each one representing an app that's currently open and running. Each app can be closed separately with just a simple gesture.

You might ask why should I close apps? Usually, they don't consume a lot of system resources. However, if an app is not working as it should be, it often helps to close it and start it up again.

Here's the actual process to close apps. Swipe left or right on your phone to select the appropriate app thumbnail you wish to close. Then swipe up. The app thumbnail will disappear – and it's done! The app is now closed on your Apple TV.

What's more, it feels quite intuitive. Your actions mirror the way you would close apps on your iPhone or iPad. Using the app feels familiar and makes the learning curve that much smoother.

Now you're more than equipped to handle the operation of your Apple TV from your iPhone or iPad with confidence and with less Google-searching. Consider this a notch on your tech-savvy belt as Apple keeps innovating with its products. Stay tuned as we bring you more step-by-step guides to enhance your Apple experience.

So, go ahead. Grab your iPhone or iPad, command your Apple TV, and take control of your viewing experience. There's more to learn and discover. Head to our next segment "Step 5: Troubleshooting common issues". Step into the Apple ecosystem, where technology meets simplicity.

Step 5: Additional Tips and Tricks

Now that you've got the hang of it, let's dive deeper into the Remote app's functionalities. You've mastered closing apps on your Apple TV using your phone, but this is just scratching the surface. The app is designed to bring full remote functionality straight to your phone, turning it into a progressive, smart controller.

You can input text using the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad, avoiding the tedious process of scrolling and selecting letters on the Apple TV screen. Whether you're naming a new custom folder, searching for a title on your favorite streaming app, or entering a password, typing on your phone's keypad is a lifesaver.

Here's an essential tip: to input text, wait for a text field to appear on your Apple TV. Right when you see it on the screen, an input option should automatically pop up on your phone.

Moreover, the Remote app lets you carry out some of the gestures just like your physical Apple TV remote. For instance, you can swipe left or right to highlight different apps or options. A swipe upward or downward will navigate in the corresponding direction. To select something, you simply tap on your phone's screen.

An amazing feature for Apple music listeners is that you can also control your music from the Remote app, by simply clicking on Now Playing at the bottom of the screen. It'll show you what's playing and allow you to play, pause, skip, or rewind your music or video.

Finally, keep in mind that the 'Settings' option in Apple TV also contains some important settings for the remote application. Make it a routine to check for updates and tweak settings as needed.

Getting the most out of your Apple TV and iPhone or iPad involves more than just understanding the basics. It's about exploring additional features and learning how to use them effectively. So, keep practicing and play around with the other features of the Apple TV Remote app on your phone. You'll soon realize how much easier and enjoyable browsing your TV can be with this nifty tool.


Mastering the art of closing apps on your Apple TV using your iPhone or iPad isn't as daunting as it may seem. With your devices connected on the same Wi-Fi network, the Remote app becomes your best friend. It's not just about controlling your Apple TV, but also about leveraging its features to enhance your user experience. Whether it's inputting text with your phone's keyboard, navigating with gestures, or managing your music, the possibilities are vast. So, don't hesitate to dive in and explore. With a bit of practice, you'll be an expert at using your iPhone or iPad as a remote for your Apple TV. Remember, technology is there to make your life easier. Embrace it.

Why is it important for my iPhone/iPad and Apple TV to be on the same Wi-Fi network?

Your iPhone or iPad and Apple TV should be on the same Wi-Fi network to establish a connection. Without this, you won't be able to use the remote app on your phone or tablet to control the Apple TV.

How can I troubleshoot connectivity issues between my iPhone/iPad and the Apple TV?

If you're experiencing connection issues, ensure that both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. Also, check that the Apple TV Remote app is updated in your iPhone or iPad.

What can I do with the Apple TV Remote app on my iPhone/iPad?

With the Apple TV Remote app, you can input text with your phone's keyboard, perform gestures like swiping or tapping, and control music.

Where can I find more features of the Apple TV Remote app?

To explore more on the features offered by the Apple TV Remote app, navigate to the 'Learn More' section in the app itself. You can also try various functions within the app to learn through practice.

This article was originally published on 29 Jan 2024 but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.
Kyle Crisp
Kyle has been using Apple products for over 25 years. He loves helping people learn how to use their Apple devices.
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