Recently, my Apple remote has stopped working from a distance of more than one meter. I thought maybe it was the battery, so I bought a new one, but nothing changed. I thought I had broken the remote and could not pass a signal at a distance greater than one meter, but I did a test with my friend's Macbook and it works fine from this distance. So, I think that the problem could reside inside my iMac. Does anyone know what's happening?

  • 3
    Did you try the test with the MacBook in the same location as the iMac? As Jish alludes to in his answer (which is better-elaborated in comments below the answer), it could be you have too much light (or other infrared emissions) near your iMac and they drown out the signal from the remote.
    – Cajunluke
    Aug 3, 2012 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


It is hard to say for sure without more information, but my first guess would be interference.

Do you have another piece of electrical equipment near your iMac that could be impacting the signal? Speakers? A wireless headset? A router?

In my new apartment whenever I get a phone call on my 2.4Ghz land-line telephone it drops my WiFi connection on my iMac so interference can definitely cause odd problems!

  • close to my iMac is a repeater of wireless headphones, but they are there for a year and the problem has begun to occur only a few days!
    – JellyBelly
    Oct 20, 2011 at 7:45
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    Nevertheless: Try to reposition your hardware to see if anything changes. In case you live in a flat, it might be interference from a neighbor's apartment as well.
    – nohillside
    Oct 20, 2011 at 14:16
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    Have your lighting conditions changed at all? F/ex, I've seen IR remotes that work well at night, work poorly in a sun-lit room.
    – JRobert
    Nov 19, 2011 at 16:02
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    Could you explain the mechanism how a infrared remote is susceptible to radio interference? The idea of isolating the issue is good but the OP has isolated the issue to the iMac receiver.
    – bmike
    Aug 3, 2012 at 14:35
  • I don't know the technological reasons the interference could happen, I am just saying that this a common reason for these types of problems. Patrix seemed to agree with my assessment as well. I disagree that the issue has been isolated, he says the same problem happens with two remotes and doesn't occur when using a friend's computer, but never says that he has removed potential interfering objects from around his computer.
    – Jish
    Aug 3, 2012 at 14:39

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