Apple Remote (aluminum, 2009)

The Apple Remote Generation 2 was made of aluminum and featured a circular button array at the top with two buttons below. The button array had an aluminum button at the center (unmarked) used to select, and four directional buttons on a single ring-shaped button marked with white dots at the top, bottom, right, and left positions. The dots were meant to serve multiple purposes. The up and down buttons could be used as volume up/down or moving up/down on menus, while the left and right buttons could be used as forward/rewind or moving right/left in menus. The two buttons below were marked “Menu” and Play/Pause (using symbols).

The remote was aluminum with black buttons and matched the aluminum iMac at the time. This remote was powered by a CR2032 battery accessed on the back of the remote using a coin.

The design of this remote was slightly revised after initial production. The original design had the ring of buttons flush with the aluminum front. The revised design of the ring button bulges out slightly. This example uses the revised button.

This remote shipped with the first generation Apple TV and could also be used with IR-capable Mac computers. This remote can be configured to pair with a single device.

References:,, Apple Developer

Apple IR Remotes (c. 1995)

Apple included a few different versions of IR remotes in the various AV kits and expansion cards sold throughout the 1990s. The remotes shown here represented two designs with the same functions. The remotes were not marked as “official” Apple parts, lacking both model numbers and serial numbers.

The buttons include Mute, Power, Volume up, Volume down, Channel up, Channel down, Display, Stop/Eject, TV/Mac, Reverse, Play/Pause, and Forward.

Apple Remote (original, unopened, 2005)

The original Apple Remote had a design resembling the original iPod shuffle. The remote had six buttons. In a circular layout at the top, five buttons included Play/Pause/Select (center), Volume Up, Next/Fast-forward, Volume Down, and Previous/Rewind. A round Menu button was centered below the circular layout. 

The remote was white with a black top. The IR emitter was placed behind the black top. This remote was powered by a CR2032 battery accessed by inserting a thin wire (such as a paper clip) to release a battery “drawer.”

The Apple Remote was designed to navigate Apple’s Front Row multimedia system built into Mac computers at the time. Front Row allowed users to browse and play music in iTunes, view videos saved on the Mac in iTunes, play DVDs, and browse photos in iPhoto. The Front Row system was removed from macOS in Mac OS X version 10.7, but the Apple Remote could continue be used to control Keynote presentations, play movies in QuickTime, and control iTunes.

The original Apple Remote could also control an iPod in an iPod Dock with IR capabilities and the iPod Hi-Fi. 

Early models of the white flat panel iMac included a magnet on the lower-right side to attach the Apple Remote. The iMac Mid-2007 model removed this feature.

These Apple Remote devices are unopened in two different types of packaging. Both shipped along with other Apple devices. I also have several remotes of this style no longer in the packaging.