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Our AppleTV 4K remote control is getting clunkier, getting slower to react to touches and swipes on the remote control.

When choosing an app, I make a swipe-swipe-swipe to select the third adjacent app icon. And I wait. Sometimes the wait is half a second, sometimes more.

Inside apps, selecting a program from a list of icons is similarly slow. YouTube may be the worst, but other apps show slowness too. The selection of an app might take around a second. This is aggravating, as the user thinks the pad did not register any swipe at all. So you swipe again, and suddenly the selection ring jumps two icons over rather than the intended one icon.

Oddly, using the remote while plugged into a USB charger seems to restore some speed, at least for a while. But of course using a corded remote is annoying. And a weak battery charge is not the issue, as the slowness occurs whether the battery level is at 46, 60, or 100% charge.

We routinely restart the AppleTV as a desperate attempt to avoid this problem. Each user does a restart before and after usage, and often does it while using the AppleTV. This seems to help for a short while.

The AppleTV has the latest version of tvOS, with regular updates occurring.

When originally purchased, the remote control was instantaneous.

During this Covid season, we have been wiping the remote control routinely with 70% isopropyl alcohol as recommended by Apple. This definitely makes the remote control go crazy with wrong inputs, but a restart of the AppleTV always straightens it out.

➥ Is there anything to be done about the AppleTV remote getting slower to react to touch?

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  • RE: " we have been wiping the remote control routinely with 70% isopropyl alcohol This definitely makes the remote control go crazy with wrong inputs" -- What are you using to wipe it with (100% cotton is best) and whatever it is it shouldn't be dripping wet, just barely damp and the front should be held face down so as not to allow any of the fluid to seep beyond the top surfaces regardless of orientation. If done properly there should never be any sort of glitch or "go crazy with wrong inputs" from cleaning it! From the sound of it, you've damaged the remote from improper cleaning technique. Jan 26, 2021 at 3:06
  • @user3439894 Nope, no dripping. In fact, we hold the button side done so gravity draws any droplets away. The going crazy is is definitely a software issue, as it resolves immediately after a restart. Jan 26, 2021 at 6:05

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➥ Re-pair the remote with the Apple TV device.

I did this inadvertently. After getting even worse behavior, the remote became unusable, even after restarting the Apple TV. So I purchased another Siri Remote.

I paired the new Siri Remote by simply pressing a button, and holding the remote physically close to the Apple TV device. New remote worked well. So out of curiosity, I re-paired the old remote simply by pushing any button and then holding close to Apple TV. Two things happened:

  • The old Siri Remote works well again! After being re-paired with the Apple TV device, the old remote works just like new. The pairing process seems to have fixed the problem.
  • The new remote was no longer paired. Pushing any button starts the pairing process. So you cannot have more than one Siri Remote connected at a time. Bummer.

If anyone else is having this problem with their Siri Remote getting cranky and slow, try re-pairing. I do not know how to un-pair an existing remote unfortunately, except by buying the new remote. Rather than buy, perhaps borrow a friend's Siri Remote to pair and then re-pair the old one.

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