Unpair white remote from 4th gen apple tv

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nottooshabby, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. nottooshabby macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I have a 1st gen apple tv, which I still use for a very simple task, viewing my personal picture catalogs while listening to music all of which is stored locally on the 1st gen apple tv hard drive and doesn't require using bandwidth to stream photos and music I already have locally. I also have the 4th gen apple tv for netflix, etc. I have the 4th gen setup for the HDMI control so when we click the sire remote it switches the receiver input. The problem is, if we attempt to use the 1st gen apple tv, the old white remote also is compatible with the 4th gen apple tv. When hitting a button on the white remote to control the 1st gen apple tv, the 4th gen turn on and switches the receiver.

    The question is: Can you unpair the white remote from the 4th gen apple tv(which was never paired in the first place). I realize I could turn off HDMI control, but i find it useful most of the time..
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    this is a bit convoluted, but it should work.
    pairing does nothing to the aTV remote, it only affects the receiver. the remote has an ID 0-255, it sends command-ID, so "play 45" and only receivers that have been paired with 45 will respond. if an aTV is un-paired, it will respond to all codes.

    You actually need to pair the 4 with a different remote.
    in these instructions i'll say "block the receiver" you can either put a heavy towel to block that aTV or you can unplug that aTV.


    -block the old aTV
    -pair the remote with the aTV4 (hold right for 5 seconds, you should see the pair icon on screen)
    -block both aTVs

    -Change the remote's ID (hold menu and center for 5 seconds)

    -unblock the new aTV and try the remote, it shouldn't work.

    -if that works, block the new aTV and unblock the old aTV

    -you now need to pair the old aTV with the new remote ID (hold right for 5 seconds)
    --if the old aTV was already paired, you'll have to un-pair before you can re-pair (hold left for 5 secs to unpair)

    now unblock both aTV, and you should be good to go.
  3. nottooshabby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Cool. I'll give this a try. Thanks. In the mean time I blocked my aTV4 IR port with a piece of foil which gives the desired results, but looks pretty tacky. Since the SIRI remote is Bluetooth, it doesn't effect the operation by block the IR port.
  4. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    Maybe use some black electrical tape? That would blend in a lot better than foil at least.
  5. nottooshabby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Yeah, I was going to do the black electrical tape, but it usually leaves a stickey residue. I wanted to see if there was a better option before going the tape route.

    I tried the method described above. I couldn't get this step to work, "pair the remote with the aTV4 (hold right for 5 seconds, you should see the pair icon on screen". I never saw anything on the screen and attempting to change the remote's id, didn't seem to make it not work with the 4th gen apple tv either...
  6. madcadder macrumors newbie


    Mar 12, 2016
    BC, Canada
    While I had the same issue with that second step not appearing to do anything, it would seem the aTV4 already recognizes it, which is the problem. The fourth step seemed to do the trick: After holding Menu and Play/Pause for 5 seconds, the light on the aTV4 started flashing rapidly. (I skipped the third step, since the second one was unsuccessful.)

    It was at this point that I noted whenever I clicked a button on the white Apple Remote, the light on the aTV4 flashed three times, and neither switched video source, nor responded to commands. Then, I removed the folded hand towel over my aTV1, and it finally works independently!

    Thank you so much for the fix! The Remote app doesn't work well with my aTV1, so this is *much* better!
  7. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    umm IDK the old white one works w the atv4 thanks! have 2 laying around doing nothing from my 07 macbook. Now I can have a controller in every place of my room lol.
  8. Gentile macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    The white remote works for me except I can't pause the video. If I need to pause it I have to use the menu button to exit out of the video.

    Did anyone else get the white remote to pause video on the atv4?
  9. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    I never used mine because I needed to replace the batteries. I use the new siri remote app as a secondary remote
    , works great.
  10. andrewkw, Oct 16, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016

    andrewkw macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2016
    I'm also having this weird problem with the white remote. Really annoying, since I bought a used ATV without the remote at a discount because I already had the white one.

    The light on the ATV shows that it's receiving a signal from the remote, but pause doesn't work when watching video. The same button works fine when using it as "enter" throughout all the menus.

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