Here’s How to Set the Apple TV Remote to Not Launch the TV App

1 minute read
| Quick Tip

Apple released iOS 10.2 for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch on Monday with support for the new TV app, and a matching update rolled out for the fourth generation Apple TV, too. That’s pretty cool, unless you aren’t watching any channels the TV app supports. If that’s you, then tapping the Home button on your Apple TV remote doesn’t need to take you right to the TV app. If that’s you, here’s how to change the remote back so it takes you to the Home screen.

The Home button on the Apple TV remote now launches the TV app

Surprise! The Apple TV remote’s Home button now launches the TV app

To change the Apple TV remote Home button so it doesn’t launch the TV app, do this:

  • Choose Settings on your Apple TV
  • Select Remotes and Devices
Remotes and Devices in Apple TV Settings hides the control for changing the Home button on the remote back to its original function

Choose Remotes and Devices in Apple TV’s settings to change how the remote Home button works

  • Click Home Button
Use the Home Button setting to change the Home button from launching the TV app back to taking you to the Home screen

Apple TV’s Home Button setting lets you switch the remote’s Home button between the TV app and jumping to the Home screen

The Home Button setting is a toggle, so choosing it once switches the Home button so it takes you to your installed apps, just as it did before today’s update. Select it again to change back to the new function where it launches the TV app.

The TV app has great potential because it promises a unified interface for the shows and movies you watch instead of forcing you to jump from app to app—something TMO’s Dave Hamilton recently lamented. The problem is that some apps are noticeably missing from the compatibility list—like Netflix—and cord cutters may not have much more than their iTunes library showing up.

Still, seeing the TV app on the fourth generation Apple TV is a big step towards getting us into a content-centric viewing experience instead of the app-centric world Apple has kept us in so far. Now if Apple could get Netflix onboard, and convince Amazon to release Prime Video for Apple TV, the TV app would be awesomely useful.

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