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Use grid-style password entry on new Apple TV

This morning, after waking my fourth-generation Apple TV, I was prompted for a password, and was very surprised when I saw the password entry screen, because it was not the two-row layout I’ve grown to hate. Instead, I saw this:

Yes, that’s the third-gen Apple TV’s password entry screen, on my fourth-gen Apple TV. Just how did I get it to appear? Very easily, though it took me a bit to figure out exactly how I did it. Here’s how:

To use the old-style password entry screen on the new Apple TV, wake the Apple TV using the old silver remote, and don’t touch the new Siri remote.

And that’s it. If you wake the Apple TV with the silver remote, and don’t touch the Siri remote until after you get to a password entry screen, you’ll get the grid. If the Apple TV pairs with the Siri remote, though, you’ll get the new-style line entry screen.

I haven’t extensively tested this, but I did try on two different fourth-gen Apple TVs, and got the same results on both. So if you want to use the old password entry grid on your new Apple TV, get yourself a silver remote (if you don’t have one already).

5 Comments

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  1. Rob, thanks for this! The line entry thing is probably the most annoying thing about the new Apple TV. This hint helps–a little. Apple did such a great job allowing setup using the iPhone, I can’t understand how they omitted the abiltity to use the iPhone keyboard (or bluetooth!).

  2. I have a silver remote previously paired with an Apple TV 2. That remote now wakes the Apple TV 4 and doesn’t work with the Apple TV 2 even when I try to pair the remote back to the Apple TV 2. Love the grid though!

    1. Odd – mine still works with both the new and old Apple TVs. Mine was a 3rd gen unit, but I can’t imagine that matters.

      -rob.

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