Quick Tip: How to pair an Apple remote to a particular device

Apple remotes

In my living room, I have a Mac mini and an Apple TV in my entertainment center. Both have IR ports and can be used with Appleโ€™s remote, but as IR isnโ€™t the most exact thing in the world, a single remote can fire commands on both devices.

Thankfully, the boys and girls in Cupertino thought of this, and an Apple remote can be paired to a computer or Apple TV, allowing other devices in the vicinity to ignore its input.

Apple has directions to pair a remote with the Apple TV and any Mac that has an IR port, but here are the highlights:

Pairing with an Apple TV

According to Apple, the first steps depend on what type of remote you have:
* On an aluminum Apple Remote, press and hold the Menu and Right buttons for 6 seconds.
* On an earlier, white Apple Remote, press and hold the Menu and Next/Fast-forward buttons for 6 seconds.

If the pairing is successful, the Apple TV will display a chainlink symbol. Now, the device can only take commands from that remote, and that remote will only give commands to the device.

Pairing with a Mac

Pairing a remote with a Mac isnโ€™t too dissimilar:

  1. Log in on your Mac as an Admin user.
  2. Get very close to your Mac (about 3 or 4 inches away).
  3. Point the remote at the infrared sensor on the front of your Mac.
  4. Press and hold the Menu and Next/Fast-forward buttons simultaneously on the remote for 5 seconds.
  5. Your Apple Remote is now paired with your computer. You should see a chain-link style lock appear in the center of your screen for a moment.

The links above have alternative methods and information about unpairing if the need arises.