I have two third gen Apple TVs and a Macbook Pro running 10.8. I use the remote app on my iPhone and iPad all the time, but it seems silly that I have to reach for them when my Macbook is right on my lap.

I'm not looking for a remote iTunes solution or home sharing, I want to actually be able to navigate the Apple TV menus from my Mac and do things like launch Hulu+ and Netflix.

I've searched around a little and can't find anything that claims to do this. Is it possible?


4 Answers 4


I managed to control Apple TV from Mac with 1Keyboard application (http://www.eyalw.com/1keyboard) that turns Mac OS X into a bluetooth keyboard. Another app that does this is Type2Phone, probably there are even more of them.


I don't think there's any way to do that since iOS apps don't run well off an iOS device.

On a recent model Apple TV and software 5.2.1 for it, you now have three methods for controlling an TV:

  • Infrared Remote
  • iOS Remote App
  • Bluetooth Keyboard

So, unless you have software on the Mac that can control hardware that will send infrared signals to the TV you might be bound to the above control options.

  • 1
    Why do you think that apple wouldn't want me to do it? I could accept "No, there's no app for that" as an answer, but "they don't want you to" is a bold statement. To me, it just seems like an oversight given the different management paths that OS X and iOS have had until very recently with the departure of Scott Forstall. Do you have any actual facts to back up your claim that they actively do not want people to be able to do this?
    – MDMarra
    Feb 22, 2013 at 18:09
  • The Apple TV is an accessory; Apple does not generally want to provide users with ways to control accessories from a computer. They do it from iOS devices. This is the same as, say, not being able to control an iPod - even in a dock - from a computer. Also, the Apple TV's main interface is a TV set, not a computer, so adding an additional layer of abstraction - giving access from a computer, where you wouldn't be playing the content - makes no sense. Feb 23, 2013 at 7:58
  • 1
    Folks - this is actually the root of a decent answer (and potentially correct one). 1) the opinion about what "Apple" wants "you" to do is unsourced, so I removed that. I'd say add it in again if it could be clarified, or sourced or plain old just attempts to explain. 2) I think the brevity made it look more negative than @KirkMcElhearn probably intended.
    – bmike
    Apr 9, 2013 at 12:45
  • @KirkMcElhearn when you say "Apple does not generally want to provide users with ways to control accessories from a computer" you're just making an almost identical claim and presenting it as though it gives evidence, but it's not evidence, it's just another unsubstantiated claim. Just because you classify both Apple TV and iPod as "accessories" does not mean that Apple sees them or treats them exactly the same. (After all you can control an Apple TV from an iPhone but you can't control an iPod from an iPhone as far as I know. Belonging to a common category does not make them identical.)
    – iconoclast
    May 6 at 3:49
  • I'm not sure why you claim it makes no sense. I currently have my Apple TV playing music through the HomePod in my bedroom, and I'm sitting on my bed with my laptop, which is the most convenient way for me to find music and add it to the queue without interrupting the current song. Why did I play music from my Apple TV to my upstairs HomePod? Because I was previously playing it in my living room and had lots of songs queued up that I wanted to simply transfer upstairs. If you can't think of a reason, that doesn't mean it makes no sense, and saying so implies that the question is dumb.
    – iconoclast
    May 6 at 3:59

find software that lets you use your computer as a wireless keyboard/mouse. then hook that software into the apple tv instead of a computer device. BAM, you can control your apple tv with your laptop

  • Sorry, but this answer is garbage.
    – MDMarra
    Jun 17, 2013 at 11:27
  • 1
    Actually he's right... that's exactly what 1Keyboard for Mac does: eyalw.com/1keyboard
    – eyalw
    May 9, 2014 at 8:53
  • As they say, that's a lot of down votes for a correct answer. Some people don't like it when you answer different... seems this user didn't bother to come back after the great reception he got for this correct answer. First and only answer. Dec 4, 2014 at 17:22
  • Seriously, this is the same answer (albeit not as high-quality) as the accepted one!
    – gerwitz
    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:15
  • This is the first correct answer. WHY OH WHY does it have only one point!?
    – iconoclast
    Jul 11, 2017 at 20:52

I can advice to try CiderTV app from Mac AppStore. It's a remote to control 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV from your Mac.

The app works as a bluetooth keyboard and provides simple navigation between Apple TV menus. Quite easy to pair

With CiderTV for Mac you can manage without the native remote at all (detailed quick-step manual is given on the web page and in FAQ). Besides that, the OS X version lets you to pair other remotes (ex, CiderTV for iOS or Android) with your Apple TV. For more details go for AppStore or see the web page cidertv.com

Gotta try!

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