How to use grid-style password entry on the new Apple TV

Don't mess with the Apple TV's hair-pulling line entry screen. Grab an older Apple Remote and use the old grid-style password entry screen.

Apple TV remote
Jared Newman

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[Editor’s note: The original version of this article appeared on The Robservatory.]

When I woke up my fourth-generation Apple TV, I was prompted for a password and was very surprised when I saw the password entry screen. It was not the two-row layout I’ve grown to hate. Instead, I saw this:

the grid Rob Griffiths

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.

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.

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