Couch Potato Diaries: Stop Losing the Apple TV Remote

I’m not going to say it’s the worst thing, but it ranks. Let’s set a scene. Maybe you’ve made your dinner. Maybe you had a long day. You go to curl up on the couch and finish the Netflix series you’ve been binging (it’s Wild Wild Country, if you know what’s good for you).

The fucking Apple TV remote is nowhere to be found. It could be between the cushions. It could be under the sofa. It could be in your pocket. Maybe it’s already in your hand. The night is ruined until you find it, and your dinner is cold.

There simply must be a better way. This cannot stand.

You know what’s funny about this future-time we live in? Both pieces of technology above are still relevant and do the same thing. It’s like…COME ON television and cable companies, get your shit together! Why does a cable box still need to be so enormous? Why do television clickers still need a thousand buttons? Apple sorted this mess out like a decade ago and y’all still using, like, original Betamax players as design inspiration. It’s a crying shame.

But also…the Apple TV remote is so slim, so tiny, so easily misplaced that I often wonder if it’s actually terrible design masquerading as good design? I, for one, lose the thing constantly. (And yes, I know there’s a remote app on my iPhone, but I can never get it to work so like most technology that doesn’t work immediately without issue, I pretend it doesn’t exist.)

So if you are like me and tired of this bullshit, I have a very complicated project for you. See if you can keep up.

Get some stick-on velcro. Put some on the back of your Apple TV remote, and then put some on the back of that black brick that came with your TV that you can’t possibly lose because it’s the biggest thing on your coffee table. Line up the velcro and press the clickers together.

Classy. Elegant. Impossible to lose.

Carry on. You’re welcome.


57 Comments

  1. I have a little basket that is the perfect size for all my remotes, and I have trained myself to follow the law that That Is Where Remotes Live, Amen.

    ….Then I got a roommate who had a better TV than me, but the catch is that his TV/Entertainment system works entirely through his X-box and so now one of the “remotes” is the X-box joystick thingy which I still cannot comprehend and has shot my remote storage system all to hell. So I just mooch off him being there to control it for me (which works out because most of the time it’s him trying to get me to watch things anyway because he was appalled I hadn’t seen any episodes of “the Good Place”).

  2. Hahahah oh this was just what I needed today. My dad did this very thing, with two GIGANTIC remotes, in 1996.
    Some solutions just never go out of style :D

  3. This might be the best post I’ve ever read. Crying laughing! So genius.

  4. Ha – nice. I would totally do this. I have a Roku and I’ve seen they apparently make these little devices that click onto the side of them and somehow run your TV and stuff? They’re only like 30 bucks and if it could control my dumb tv and my bluray player so those two ancient remotes could get lost in a junk drawer, I’d be an extremely happy couch potato.

    Also – The Americans. Such an amazing show. I just got my sister/b-in-law into it and they’re all “we-hate-you-but-thank-you-so-much”

  5. I got a Harmony remote for Christmas and its basically the best thing in the world. One button and it turns on the cable box and everything to watch TV. Another button and it turns on the Apple TV to watch Netflix or whatever (rather than hitting “input” 7 times). I also don’t know where my Apple TV remote is, but I no longer need it because the Harmony remote does it all. VERY convenient, although certainly a little bit more of an investment than Velcro, HA.

  6. LOL! I clicked expecting you to tell me how to program the TV remote to owrk with Apple TV. This cracked me up. But also it’s very useful!

    • Haha I need you to dial those expectations way down, there’s a reason this isn’t a tech blog! (the reason is I know nothing!)

  7. Same with my Roku remote! It’s small and black and gets lost in my blankets so easily. I need like a glow in the dark version.

    Also, THE AMERICANS!!!! I try to get everyone I know to watch it because I need to talk about it with people!!! We are so close to the end and I am so stressed. I just want to protect my precious baby spies, especially Paige. Leave Paige alone!

    • Everyone SHOULD watch it! The best!! And yes so stressful. Am I evil for never being a Paige fan so kind of not caring??? Although she’s been rocking some hysterical pants selections so I enjoy that. Who knew a 501 jean could be even less flattering if you crop the bottoms??

  8. For some reason we still have three previous remotes laying around in the TV area, so every search starts by going through those old remotes. This is not smart and they have been there a long time. I am going to fix this problem somehow–I like your solution. Also, our dog chews up remotes if they are left where she can get them, I’m guessing Mekko has better things to do?

    • Thankfully, Mekko isn’t really a chewer of non-food items! Unless it’s trash that smells like something maybe edible, then she’s all about it.

  9. At first I thought you were going to suggest an adorable denim pocket made from an old pair of jeans and slung over the sofa arm. I like your no-shame, make-them-easier-to-see approach.

  10. I have a brilliant solution for this: I’ve never learned how to work any of it. AppleTV/Netflix/Roku/Kodi/BootleggedDragRace is the Boyfriend’s domain, so I can’t be held responsible for losing a remote I’ve never touched. I don’t watch TV alone, it’s a social thing at our place (well, as social as two guys staying in can be) so I’m not really missing out by not knowing how to work all this newfangled technology. I suppose he could easily overrule me, but he’s nice like that and we like the same stuff. Willful ignorance is bliss.

  11. HARMONY yes!
    I have two Harmony … one is an older one that you set up with software… and it is durable and never has problems.

    The other is the new one that uses an app on your mobile devices. this one is not as reliable.

    To show you how great they are.. i moved on 3-11 and set up my entertainment stuff only last sunday .. and the older Harmony worked off the bat, without a single problem. Havent tried the newer version yet. (The den is the staging area for unpacking and assembling things etc.).

    I too have a basket that works to hold all the misc remotes and it lives on a shelf – the two i really need (the two harmony) are out in the open to use.
    but your solution its great – KISS!

  12. Argh the never ending saga. And we have a 10 year-old with ADD, so who knows what room it could even be in. I’m just glad I finally got her to stop leaving it on the floor. (Something my dad yelled at us constantly about when we were kids, so you know… Sorry, Dad.)
    Also, clicker! I feel like it’s been forever since I heard it called that. Remember when TVs had like four channels, the remotes were huge, but had fewer buttons and they actually went click? I’m also old enough to remember being the remote control. Which is another thing, if you can’t find your remote, there’s no manually switching things anymore. … I’m going to end this comment before I make myself feel any older.

  13. I made my mom a pocket for her recliner. It went over the arm and velcroed on just under the cushion. Kept her glasses, the phone, the remote. It was safe from spills if she knocked over her glass on the little table (which was always piled high anyway). Very useful. But not beautiful.
    As for binges: La Casa de Papel!!!!

    • My mother would love this. Thanks for the idea!

      PS, our moms could be friends and collect half-full water glasses on their tiny chair-side tables together.

  14. This family I dog sit for has a laptop lap desk absolutely covered with remotes, all velcroed on. Using their tv (which I don’t do because you need a BA in IT to operate) is a nightmare. They don’t have cable, but everything else that exists in that arena.

  15. It’s actually terrible design masquerading as good design!!!

    The apple tv remote is one of my favorite rants. You think it’s hard to keep track of it? Try finding that d@mn thing in a household with five people, three of them children. ARG!

    Whew. I feel better. And I really like the velcro idea. I think back-to-back remotes would drive me nuts, but I like the idea of sticking it to the (HIGH) shelf we (attempt) to store it upon.

  16. I programmed my TV remote to work as my Apple TV remote for the same reason! Did you know you could do that? It’s a lifesaver :)

  17. Dude. DUDE. I don’t watch TV but I’ve got a soundbar that I use as a music speaker and for some reason the volume can only be adjusted via a remote that we just spent 6 freaking months looking for.

    I’m velcro-in that to the top of the sound bar NOW.

  18. Or… you could could stream your tv through your computer & get rid of *all* the remotes. Just sayin’.

  19. why is the apple TV remote SO DAMN SMALL.

  20. We have a basket under our coffee table which holds the remotes AND the headphones. We use headphones for watching tv which solves two problems—the non-watching-tv people in the house don’t have to hear it, and the headphones allow each person to fine tune their own sound (I.e. I like to turn it down during action scenes or scary scenes).

  21. Oh my god, I can’t stop laughing. I want to cover this blog post with gold stickers and a shot of really good bourbon. Why go #blogger with it when you can just go straight-up #fuckit?!! XD

  22. Am I the only one reminded of the camera-phone from Flight of the Conchords? ;-)

    (Love your blog!)

  23. Soooo happy to see this blog post as I am constantly taunted by that little silver shit. I’ve also managed to sit/ stand/ drop it so much while looking for it that I’m on my third one. I’ve often wondered if its really a good design or a bloody good revenue raiser for Apple due to people like me

  24. DUDE i just invested in a Harmony Smart Control Hub and it changed my whole DEAL. (I sound like an ad but i ain’t)
    like.. there’s a setting that’s just “watch tv” that turns my tv on, the cable box, the sound bar, and changes to the right HMDI port if need be. Also can connect to your Sonos/Alexa/Nest/whatever and truly was incredibly easy to set up.

  25. Thanks for the show rec! Just in case you ever lose the remote again (quelle horreur!), if you have an iPhone, you can use it to control your AppleTV. The app is called, creatively enough, “Apple TV Remote,” and is in the App Store. If you have a Roku, you can also use the Roku app to control that device. It’s all pretty handy.

    • This app saved my life when we lost the apple remote for about 6 months. I now use this app exclusively and am not even sure where the actual remote is currently.

  26. You do realize there is an ios app for the apple remote, right? I think it’s called “Remote” or “Apple TV Remote.”

  27. I velcro-ed my remotes to the cubbyhole ceiling just above the headboard of the bed, in the center so we can both reach them. Don’t need to ever move them.

  28. I think you miss-titled this post. I’m thinking, Velcro, the new duct tape.
    Anyway, Velcro is magical. Our condo has entry cards and fobs to get into and out of the garage. People constantly stop to look for their cards to wave around or pass their fob by the machine, wasting so much time. I bought clear Velcro and stuck my card to the inside of my windshield at just the right spot. The readers pick it up fine. I have shared this brilliant (if I must say so myself) idea at town hall meetings and there STILL have been so few adapters. I don’t understand how saving seconds everyday in this fast paced city of ours isn’t the best thing ever.

  29. Totally ranks up there! I did two similar things, because I don’t have a big cable or TV remote. (I use Alexa to turn it on/off) I Velcro’d the bedroom one to the back of my headboard, and the living room one I attached a Tile to, so I can just ring it if it is lost in the sofa or kitchen or somewhere.
    I then also have Alexa ask Tile where my remote is, very satisfying to yell.

  30. LMFAO!! OMG this was hilarious! xD

  31. My lost remotes are always under the dog!

  32. Velcro is the best.

    My other favorite Velcro trick is to use it to keep your shower curtain closed all the way.

  33. Namaste Bhagwannatan Nest.

  34. Genius! You can also program appletv to respond to input from any remote. Works like a charm. Here’s a link to instructions for the newest appletv, my recollection was that is very similar on the older (silver sliver remote) models.
    https://www.cultofmac.com/395529/how-to-use-your-old-tv-remote-with-your-new-apple-tv/

  35. I’ve come up with a different effective solution. I always put it back where it belongs – which is between the couch cushion and armrest. Since that’s where it inadvertently ends up half the time anyway, I decided that’s where thier permenant home would be. There are currently 3 remotes and an I phone nestled between the cushion and armrest of my couch – and I know right where to look for them. !

  36. “put some on the back of that black brick that came with your TV”

  37. Hahahaaa I have had the same problem with my old roku and now fire tv remote. They always head straight for the spaces between the couch cushions. If they aren’t there, I spend 30 minutes searching for them when I just want to watch tv. I shall try this!

  38. So we have a TV remote and a speaker remote (duplicates because my husband and I cannot share), plus I have an antenna remote (he has the actual antenna control box next to his chair). My remotes live amongst the balls of yarn and dirty dishes and lamps and books on the table next to my chair. The Apple remote is God-knows-where becauseI just don’t understand it; I am old, after all.

  39. OMG this is genius!

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