Knowledge Base

The Apple IR Receiver or Apple Remote don't work.

If you press a button on your Apple Remote and Remote Buddy 2 does not respond, please go through the following list to find the issue:

1. Check that your Mac has an IR Receiver - and that it is recognized

Please open (in /Applications/Utilities), select USB on the left and look for a device called IR Receiver.

If there is such a device, proceed to the next step.

If there is no such device, either your Mac does not have an IR Receiver - or it is not recognized on the internal USB connection.

Apple removed the last Mac with IR Receiver from their line-up in 2018, so if your Mac was built after that, chances are it does not have a built-in IR Receiver. In that case, you can get a Flirc USB receiver to use your Apple Remote with Remote Buddy 2.

If you're sure that your Mac does include an IR Receiver but it does not show up in, resetting the SMC and NVRAM may fix the problem. Please see Apple's support site for instructions for your Mac model.

2. Check that your IR Receiver is not disabled or paired

Button pressed from your Apple Remote will be ignored by macOS and not be made available to Remote Buddy 2 if the IR Receiver is disabled or has been paired to a different remote ID than your Apple Remote sends.

To check if that's the case, quit Remote Buddy 2 if it is running, then open System Preferences, select Security, open the lock in the lower left and then click on Advanced… in the lower right corner.

First, check that Disable remote control infrared receiver is turned off. If it is turned on (which is the default setting for a couple of macOS releases now), please turn it off.

Second, if there is an Unpair button, please press it to remove the filtering for a particular Apple Remote ID.

If these options are not shown, please verify your Mac actually has an Apple IR Receiver (see step 1) and that Remote Buddy 2 was not running when you launched System Preferences. If other software is using the Apple IR Receiver at the time you open System Preferences (see step 3), the options may also not appear.

3. Check for other software using the IR Receiver

The Apple IR Receiver can only be used by one third-party app at a time. Therefore, if you have other apps installed that are using the Apple IR Receiver at the time you launch Remote Buddy 2, it can not get access and can't receive or react to your button presses.

To find out which other app might be blocking access to the Apple IR receiver, use the Diagnostics feature of Remote Buddy 2 and check if it reports that another app is already using it.

If multiple users are logged into your Mac, please also check if an app using the Apple IR Receiver is running inside their session(s).

4. Check the remote's battery

If the battery in your Apple Remote is empty or no longer has enough power, it needs to be replaced. You can quickly check for an empty battery by launching Photo Booth, pointing your Apple Remote at your Mac's built-in webcam and pressing a button.

If you see the LED flashing behind the remote's black cover, it has at least some charge still. This test will not work with cameras with IR filters (like those built into iPhones and iPads).

To replace the battery in your Apple Remote, please follow Apple's instructions.

5. Check your settings in Remote Buddy 2

Please check that

  • your Apple IR Receiver and Apple Remote are enabled (green light) in the settings of Remote Buddy 2
  • the actions mapped to the buttons of your Apple Remote trigger the action(s) you expect.

We've picked the default settings so that they generally should work just fine out of the box.

6. Check that Remote Buddy 2 is actually running

To ensure Remote Buddy 2 is actually running, simply double click its icon in the Finder. If it was not already running, it will then be launched.

Last updated: Mar 20, 2021 – Filed under: Apple IR