AppsiPadiPhoneTips & How-to

How To Remote Control iTunes with iPhone and iPad

May 30, 2011 — by Simon Ng19


AppsiPadiPhoneTips & How-to

How To Remote Control iTunes with iPhone and iPad

May 30, 2011 — by Simon Ng19

Do you know you can use iPhone to remote control your iTunes on desktop or laptop computer? With Remote app from Apple, you can control iTunes on your computer or Apple TV from iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Think about you have a Mac or PC in bedroom, you can lie on bed and playback your music/video without touching the computer, but just using the iPhone (or other iOS devices).

Cool, right? We have covered the app nearly three years ago and I think it’s time to revisit it. If you haven’t heard of the app, you definitely need to check it out.

The Remote app is a free app developed by Apple. As long as your computer and iOS device are on the same Wi-Fi network, the app allows you to control the iTunes library remotely. You can play songs, create playlist and control video/music playback. If you have Apple TV, you can even control it via finger gestures.

Remote Control Apple TV with iPhone

Setting Up Remote App

1. To use Remote, first download the Remote app from App Store. It’s completely free.

2. The very first time you launch Remote, you have to pair with the iTunes on your computer. Tap “Choose a Library…” and select “Add an iTunes Library”.

iPhone Remote App - Choose Library

3. The app then automatically generates a passcode for you to pair with iTunes. This passcode will be used to pair with iTunes on your computer.

iPhone Remote App - Passcode

4. On your computer, launch iTunes (if you haven’t done so). Select your device on the left pane.

iTunes - Select Device

5. iTunes will prompt you for the passcode. Just key in the passcode generated by the Remote app (i.e. the code generated in step 3).

Enter Passcode in iTunes

If you’ve provided a correct passcode, the iTunes should now pair with your iPhone and you can start to control the iTunes library from iPhone.

Remote iTunes - Music PlaybackRemote App - Playlist

What if You Have Two or More Computers?

The Remote app supports multiple iTunes libraries. Say you have another computer with iTunes installed, you can tap Settings in Remote app and select “Add an iTunes Library”. Just go through the same pair process to register the new iTunes library and you’re ready to control the second iTunes library through the app.

Remote App - Add iTunes Library

If you love to use iTunes for music playback, I’m sure you’ll love this Remote app. Head over to App Store to download it for free!

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of

  • This was probably the first app in the itunes store that you have covered.
    Anyways, I am looking for an app that does the reverse, i.e. control iPhone playlist from my laptop.

    I usually work on my laptop while playing songs in the background using iPhone + speakers. So I need something to control the iPhone from the laptop.

  • Alex

    I’ve recently bought the new apple TV. although the physical remote is very cool, having an app has its advantages. So how can I pair the remote app with the apple TV?

    • @Alex,

      Here are the procedures to pair with Apple TV (2nd generation):

      1. On Apple TV, click Settings from the main menu, then select General > Remotes > Remote App.
      2. You will be prompted to enable Home Sharing first. (in case you haven’t setup home sharing before).
      3. Open the Remote app on your iPhone.
      4. Select your Apple TV from the Remote app settings screen.

      The app will then pair with your Apple TV and you can start using your device to control Apple TV remotely. For further information, you can refer to Apple’s support page.

  • For those lusting for an iPhone there seems to be a straight forward comp here the odds seem pretty good to.

  • If I know this earlier, I didn’t have to buy the remote for my iMac 🙂

  • Usman Kazaure

    Thanks to you Simon, this app is great, I have installed it yesterday on my 3GS and it works pecfectly.

    • This free app from Apple is awesome. I consider it as one of the must-have app for iPhone and iPad.

  • This free app from Apple is awesome.

  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to understand so much approximately this, such as you wrote the guide in it or something. I think that you simply could do with a few p.c. to power the message home a bit, but other than that, that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

  • mentallapse

    Great app. I have a Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi system that is linked to most of my rums in my house. B&O have a small unit “BeoPort” that you connect between your computer that contain your iTunes library and the Beolink network. Now by choosing source “PC” on the Bang & Olufsen system you can lean back and choose your favorite music from your iPhone from what room you might be in !!

  • Carl

    Nice app but is useless if iTunes is not running. What’s the point of a remote app that cannot be used unless the app it’s controlling is running?!

    Competely bizarre.


  • Patrick mc

    You obviously have more knowledge about this app than myself, so perhaps you can help me out, because apple forums cannot! I use the app On my ipad to play my imac’s library on my apple tv. It works great for the most part, however, there are some annoying querks! If i allow my ipad to sleep or if i navigate to another application i have to re-enter the app and then navigate back to where i was. I have a large library so it can become very tedious. I am aware of the now playing function, but if you are in a playlist, that function only takes you to the album that the somg currently playing resides in – not the playlist. Also it would be nice to open the app amd have the library screen show the last location i was at rather than the top. Are there any settings i can change? Any hints? I would just like to have the functionality i have in itunes. Thanks!

  • Tyler

    i have the app installed and my iPhone plugged into my computer but when i go to the screen in my iPhone that gives me the passcode and then click my iPhone in the devices list on my mac iTunes the scene does not pop up for me to type the passcode into my computer…does my iPhone have to be synced to my iTunes for this app to work? or whats my problem?

  • John

    I have downloaded this app 3 times. It will never launch. iPhone 3gs

  • This is one of my favorite apps. I’m happy they also made home sharing between itunes app on the iphone and itunes, this was an essential for me too.

  • Ian

    Is one able to control a master library from one pc but have it playing on another?

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