How to Disable an Apple Remote

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Having an Apple remote control in the house can be a source of aggravation for Mac owners. When you begin playing a movie on an Apple TV, you may suddenly discover that iTunes has launched and is now playing in the next room. Disabling your Mac's infrared, or IR, sensor in System Preferences will solve the problem. If you happen to have more than one Apple remote, try pairing your Mac with only one. This way, your Mac will ignore the other remote.

Disabling the Remote Sensor

  • Click the "Apple" menu on your Mac OS X Mavericks desktop and select "System Preferences."

  • Click the "Security & Privacy" icon. Click the "Advanced" button. If the button is grayed out, click the "Lock" icon and enter your password when prompted to access the Advanced settings.

  • Click the "Disable Remote Control Infrared Receiver" check box and click "OK." With the receiver disabled, the Apple remote control can no longer access your Mac unless you deselect this option.

Pairing an Apple Remote

  • Launch "System Preferences" from the Apple menu. Select "Security & Privacy" icon and then the "Advanced" button. If the Advanced button isn't accessible, click the "Lock" icon and enter your password as prompted.

  • Click the "Pair" button. To pair an Apple Remote control with the Mac, hold the remote three or four inches from the computer while pressing the remote's "Menu" and "Next" button at the same time. If your remote doesn't have a Next button, use the "Right" button instead.

  • Release the buttons when the Mac informs you that the pairing has been successful. An Unpair button now appears in the window. Click this button at any time to free the Mac from this remote.

Tips & Warnings

  • Placing a piece of black electrical tape on a Mac's IR sensor won't likely block the remote's signal. Although infrared is a type of light, it's on the far end of the visible spectrum. It has a lower frequency and a longer wavelength than visible light, which means it responds to materials differently.

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