How I quickly fixed a weird Siri Remote problem


Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Wonky Menu button? Try this weird trick.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been suffering with this strange issue for about a week: my Apple TV’s Siri Remote’s Menu button stopped working.

All the other buttons–Home, Siri, Volume and Play–worked, so it didn’t seem like a huge deal at first. But then I was digging around in the Settings app and realized that the Menu button is indispensible for one thing: moving backward in an app. Without it, I was stuck in the Settings pane that I had clicked through to; there was no getting back to the main Settings page.

Here’s what I did to get the Siri Remote’s Menu button working again.

First, I did what we all would do: I got on the internet and searched terms like “Siri Remote not working” and “Apple TV Siri Remote Menu button” to no avail. I got tons of fixes for the old silver Apple TV remotes, and quite a few articles about the Siri Remote I’d written myself, but none on a single button gone broken.

I did find an iMore post on how to restart my Siri Remote, but that didn’t work as it relies on the–you guessed it–Menu button.

I plugged in my Siri Remote (even though it said it was charged on the Apple TV Settings screen), and that didn’t work; I was still unable to use the Menu button.

I loaded up Apple’s support pages and set up a call with Apple. They rang my phone back in 30 seconds, and as I tapped the “1” on the keypad to speak to a representative, I remembered something we used to do all the time when I was a Mac IT guy: I power cycled the thing.

Power cycling is just a fancy term for un-plugging the device in question (in this case, my Apple TV), waiting a few seconds, and then plugging it back in. I did that as the Apple representative came on the line to find out what my issue was.

As soon as the Apple TV booted up, I pressed the Menu button and it worked. I jumped into the Settings app a few layers deep and hit it again. It worked!

I had to tell the poor Apple rep that I’d solved my own problem. “Thanks so much for your help,” I said, brightly, “I’ll give you a 5 out of 5 rating!”

So if your Siri Remote Menu button has gone wonky, be sure to power cycle your Apple TV and see if it helps. Chances are a complete power cycle will help other wonkiness, as well, with both your Siri Remote and Apple TV itself.