I have an Apple Remote that I used with a white plastic MacBook. I no longer have the MacBook, but still have the remote. What current Macs have an infrared receiver and can work with the Apple Remote? What current Macs do not have an infrared receiver and cannot work with the Apple Remote?

2 Answers 2


Currently (March 2012) the MacBook Air and the Mac Pro are the only generally available macs that lack a built-in infrared receiver.

The white polycarbonate MacBook that is still available as a refurbished product and from educational sales channels also lacks an infrared receiver.

  • Interesting... I wonder which model of white polycarbonate MacBook lost the receiver.
    – Daniel
    Mar 19, 2012 at 5:48
  • 1
    The Mid 2009 non-unibody MacBook was the last. The late 2009 unibody model (first polycarbonate unibody) lacked it as well as the follow on 2010 model.
    – bmike
    Mar 19, 2012 at 5:53

The only current* model of Mac with an infrared sensor is the Mac Mini. Other than Mac Mini and Apple TV, no Apple products have included a sensor since 2012. Here's a list of models from each line of Mac computers which can receive input from an infrared Apple Remote:

  • MacBook Pro — non-Retina, Mid 2012 and earlier
  • MacBook Air — Mid 2009 and earlier
  • MacBook — Mid 2009 and earlier
  • iMac — Mid 2011 and earlier**

Finally, except for the 4th generation Apple TV, all Apple devices with infrared sensors can only be used with infrared Apple Remotes, and not with any other IR devices.

(Source: Mactracker)

* Most recent version of a product still sold by Apple in May 2017

** Only since the iMac G5 with iSight (from 2005), and with the somewhat surprising lone exception of the 20-inch, Mid 2009 model.

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