Apple's new Apple TV Siri Remote is a must-have. 6 pro tips you need to know

The new Apple TV remote fixes many problems from the original version, but you'll need to learn a few new tricks first.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

The new Siri Remote has some tricks you'll need to master. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET
Brett Pearce/CNET

Apple finally updated the Apple TV 4K with a faster processor and new features. But perhaps the most anticipated change is Apple TV's new Siri Remote. The redesigned remote is bigger, making it less likely to get lost between your couch cushions, and completely ditches the touchpad that previously made up the top half of the remote. 

The revamped design also comes with some new buttons, and added functionality. For example, there's now a power button, and the menu button has disappeared. 

The best part of all? The new Siri Remote is sold on its own and works with the Apple TV HD and the original Apple TV 4K. Yup, you can upgrade your Siri Remote without having to buy an entire Apple TV. With that in mind, here are six tips and tricks for Apple's new Siri Remote. 

Watch this: New Apple TV 4K finally gets a better remote

There's a new back button

If you have the original Siri Remote, you may be confused looking at the new remote and its lack of a Menu button. That button's main purpose was to take you back in the Apple TV's interface, or sometimes display playback controls. So, instead of keeping the menu label, Apple ditched it and it now serves as a back button.


 The clickpad doubles as a touchpad, if you want. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Siri Remote's new clickpad isn't what it appears to be

The updated remote may not have a giant touchpad area like the original, but the clickpad is touch-sensitive. You can press in on the middle circle of the clickpad to do things like open an app or toggle play/pause while watching a show. The outer ring of the clickpad can be pressed to more precisely navigate through a long list of items, or if you need to skip ahead or rewind in 10-second increments. 

Or if you prefer touch controls, you can swipe across the entire pad and navigate through your Netflix library. You'll still need to press the interior of the pad to select an item -- tap to select isn't an option. 

A new trick to fast-forward or rewind

The next time you want to jump ahead (or back) to watch your favorite scene in an episode of Ted Lasso, remember this trick to quickly fast-forward or rewind. 

Pause whatever you're watching, either by using the play/pause button or by pressing on the center of the clickpad. Next, place a thumb on the outer edge of the clickpad and move it in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. 

It took me a few tries to master the new technique, but I think the trick is to pause your show and then leave your thumb on the ring for a second for the remote to recognize it. You'll know when the Apple TV is ready because you'll see a small circle with a blue dot on the show's timeline. 


What are you watching tonight? 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Adjust the Siri Remote's touch sensitivity

If you find the remote's touch controls too sensitive, or not sensitive enough for your liking, you can jump in the Settings app and fine-tune it. Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Touch Surface Tracking and try out the different options.

Completely disable the touchpad

If you absolutely cannot stand the touchpad feature, turn it off completely. Go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Clickpad. Press the select button to alternate between Click and Touch or Click Only


The new power button is a subtle, but important new feature. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Siri Remote's power button controls all the things

That power button near the top of the remote? It's new, and it does exactly what you think. It's a new feature for the Siri Remote, as odd as that may sound. A quick press of the button will turn your Apple TV and your television on. 

To power everything down, hold in the button for a second or so. 

If you're having issues with the remote not controlling all the devices connected to your TV, then double-check you have the setting enabled by going to Settings > Remotes and Devices and scrolling down to the Home Theater Control section. Turn on Control TVs and Receivers and set Volume Control to Auto

There's plenty to learn about the Apple TV, even if you've been using one for years. Here are 11 tips to help you master the streaming box. And another handful that are just as useful. Did you know you can use your Apple TV to stream workouts in your living room using Fitness Plus? Here's what you need to know