Apple TV remote volume not working? 12 Ways to fix it!

Written By Ayush Reviewed By How-to 14 Min Read
Apple TV remote volume not working

Key takeaways

  • The Apple TV Remote volume not working issue usually stems from a discharged battery, incorrect configuration, pairing issues between your remote and Apple TV, or glitches in tvOS.
  • To fix this issue, you may restart the remote or Apple TV, disconnect Bluetooth devices, adjust the volume control settings, or update tvOS.
  • If the basic fixes don’t help, you can re-pair the remote, factory reset your Apple TV, use your iPhone as a makeshift remote, or contact Apple for technical support as a last resort.

Are you trying to turn up the volume on your Apple TV only to find that the volume buttons on the Siri Remote or any other universal remote aren’t working? If so, don’t worry! It is common for the Apple TV remote’s volume control to malfunction, and thankfully, there are several easy ways to fix this.

In this article, I’ll explain why the Apple TV remote volume stops working and provide you with some actionable solutions to fix the issue. So, grab on to your Siri Remote or Apple TV remote, and let’s dive in!

Why is Apple TV remote volume not working?

In most cases, a single issue or a combination of issues can cause volume issues on an Apple TV remote. While pinpointing the exact reason behind this annoying issue is not possible, here are some potential causes.

  • Interference or obstructions: The Apple TV remote uses infrared signals to communicate with the Apple TV. Obstructions or interference between the remote and the Apple TV can block the signal.
  • Low battery: If the battery in your Apple TV remote is low on charge, it may cause issues with the volume buttons.
  • Configuration or setup issues: Incorrect configurations related to volume control, such as HDMI-CEC, can often prevent the remote’s volume buttons from working/
  • Pairing issues: Although unlikely, if your remote isn’t paired with the Apple TV, the volume controls may fail to work. 
  • Software glitches or outdated firmware: Occasional software bugs or outdated firmware on either the Apple TV or the remote can lead to an array of issues, including unresponsive volume controls.
  • Physical damage: If you’ve accidentally dropped or mishandled the remote, it may have affected the volume buttons or some of its associated hardware components. If it is too damaged, you might need to get a new one.

How to fix Apple TV remote volume not working

Regardless of the reason you’re facing issues with the volume controls on your Apple TV Remote, here’s a set of solutions that can help you.

1. Restart your Apple TV Siri Remote

Sometimes, simply restarting your Apple TV remote can help you resolve frustrating issues like the Apple TV Remote not working. Usually, the same method will also help you fix the remote’s volume controls not working.

Here’s how you can quickly restart an Apple TV Remote to fix potential issues:

  1. Press and hold the TV and volume-down buttons together for at least five seconds.
  2. Apple TV’s status light will turn off, and you will see a “Connection Lost” notification.
  3. Wait 10 seconds until the remote restarts and a “Connected” notification appears.
Restart Apple TV remote by pressing TV and Volum down buttons

2. Check the issue isn’t app specific

Before you move on to more complicated solutions, verify that the problem is not app-specific. There are chances that the app you are using is experiencing some glitches. So, try changing the volume in various apps to check if the problem really lies with the remote buttons.

If you are having volume control issues only in certain apps, update those apps from the App Store or re-install them if no updates are available.

3. Bring the remote closer and clear obstructions

If you are using the remote a little too far away from the Apple TV or objects are obstructing the path of the signal, things like volume control may not work as intended.

The Apple TV Remote can only be used within 6 meters (approximately 20 feet) of the Apple TV. Additionally, anything that might get in the way of the remote or the front of your Apple TV, receiver, or sound bar must be moved elsewhere.

4. Disconnect your Bluetooth devices

Do you occasionally use Bluetooth speakers or headphones with your Apple TV? If yes, it is essential to ensure that all Bluetooth devices are disconnected.

If you have connected a Bluetooth device that features dedicated volume controls, the volume buttons on the Apple TV remote may cease to work.

  1. Navigate to SettingsRemotes and DevicesBluetooth.

    Go to Remotes and Devices and tap Bluetooth and disconnect the bluetooth with your Apple TV
  2. Select your Bluetooth speaker → Then, select Unpair Device.

5. Adjust Apple TV remote volume control settings

Apple offers multiple ways to configure your Apple TV remote so that you can use a single remote to control the volume on your TV and audio system.

Often, misconfiguration with these volume control settings can cause the volume buttons on your remote to malfunction. Here’s how you can fix this:

  1. On your Apple TV, go to SettingsRemotes and Devices.
  2. Select Volume Control to apply either of these options:

    Go to Remotes and Devices, Select Volume Control to adjust the volume settings on your Apple TV
    • Auto: This option will select the suitable method to control volume according to your setup.
    • TV via IR: This option lets you control the volume of your TV or audio system using infrared.
    • CEC: This option allows you to control the volume of your audio system using HDMI-CEC.
    • Off: This option will turn off volume control for all other devices besides your Apple TV.

If the options listed above aren’t working for you, select Learn New Device from the same menu and follow the onscreen instructions to synchronize your device remote’s volume buttons to Apple TV.

6. Force restart your Apple TV

If the previous solutions didn’t help, you may force restart your Apple TV. Force restarting the Apple TV will clear out temporary glitches that might be interfering with your remote’s functionality.

  1. Hold the Back and TV buttons on the Siri remote for five seconds.
    On 1st gen Apple TV remotes, you may hold the Menu + TV button.
  2. When you see the Apple TV LED light flash, unplug it from the outlet.
  3. Wait for 30 seconds → Then, plug the Apple TV back into the outlet.
  4. Once the Apple TV boots, go to SettingsSystem → Select Restart.

7. Charge the remote or replace its battery

Yet another reason why you might be facing issues with volume buttons could be due to low battery.

The best course of action in such cases would be to check your Apple TV Remote’s battery percentage and charge the remote or replace the battery if the need arises. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Then, select Remotes and Devices from the list.
  3. Finally, select Remote to see the battery percentage.

If your remote’s battery percentage is less than 30 percent, you may charge it using the Lightning or the USB-C port.

Charge-your-Apple-TV-remote

And if you own an older Apple TV Remote, you can replace the coin cell battery. While you can still replace the rechargeable battery on newer remotes, you must contact Apple for it.

8. Try re-pairing the Apple TV Remote

The Siri Remote usually comes automatically paired with your Apple TV. However, if you are having trouble with your Siri Remote, you can try re-pairing it to your Apple TV. Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Hold the TV button and the Volume Down button for 2 seconds.
    On 1st gen Apple TV remotes, you may hold the Menu + TV button.
  2. Then, place the remote 3 inches away in front of your Apple TV.
  3. Hold the back button and the volume up button for 5 seconds.
    On 1st gen Apple TV remotes, you may hold Menu + Volume up.
  4. You may be asked to place the remote on top of your Apple TV.

9. Ensure that you’ve enabled HDMI-CEC

The HDMI-CEC standard allows you to control all connected devices with a single remote. However, even after you’ve selected the CEC option on your Apple TV, the volume controls will not work if you forget to enable HDMI-CEC on your TV.

Therefore, you must refer to your TV’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website to ensure that your TV supports HDMI-CEC and learn how to enable it.

Note: Depending on your TV manufacturer, HDMI-CEC might be called something else. For instance, HDMI-CEC is called Anynet+ on Samsung TVs, BRAVIA Sync on Sony TVs, and SimpLink on LG TVs.

10. Use your iPhone as an Apple TV remote

In case the physical volume controls on your Apple TV remote are not working even after trying out multiple solutions, you can use your iPhone or iPad as a substitute Apple TV remote.

Set-up-Apple-TV-Remote-in-Control-Center-on-iOS

This can be a great makeshift solution while you’re troubleshooting the main remote or waiting for a replacement.

11. Update tvOS to the latest version

Outdated or buggy software can also lead to unresponsive volume buttons. However, updating your Apple TV ensures you have the most recent bug fixes and compatibility improvements.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Scroll down and choose System from the list.
  3. Then, navigate to the Software Updates section.
  4. Finally, select Update Software if an update is available.
Update Apple TV software
Source: macobserver

Apart from tvOS, it’s also possible that your Apple TV Remote needs a firmware update. On newer tvOS versions, you can easily update the remote’s firmware by placing it on top of the Apple TV and waiting for about 30 minutes. However, the remote must be charged to at least 50 percent or more.

12. Perform a factory reset on Apple TV

If your Apple TV remote’s volume controls are still acting up, factory resetting your Apple TV might be the solution.

Performing a factory reset on your Apple TV will erase all your data and custom settings, which could potentially resolve software glitches affecting your remote’s functionality.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Scroll down and choose System from the list.
  3. Then, choose Reset under the Maintenance section.
  4. Select Reset to confirm your decision to reset your Apple TV.

Contact Apple for technical support

You’ll probably be able to fix the volume controls on your Apple TV remote by following the previous solutions. However, if they aren’t able to help, you may contact Apple for technical support. If even Apple Support isn’t able to help you fix the issue, your only option would be to buy a new remote.

Wrapping up…

There are many reasons why your Apple TV remote volume might stop working. However, thanks to the troubleshooting steps mentioned in this guide, you can fix the issue and get the volume buttons working again.

If you have any further queries, let me know in the comments below. I’d be happy to respond.

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By Ayush Staff Writer
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Ayush is a writer with a keen interest in consumer technology and the Apple ecosystem. He has over three years of working experience at several big-name publications, including Guiding Tech, TechPP, and MobiGyaan. Here at iGeeksBlog, he specializes in crafting how-to guides, buying guides, and editorials related to all things Apple.
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