How to control iTunes with your iPhone or iPod Touch

One of the great new features of the 2.0 iPhone/iPod Touch software is the App Store. One of the great (free) things in the App Store, is Remote. This tutorial will guide you through downloading, installing, setting up and using Remote to control iTunes from your iPhone and/or iPod Touch.

  1. Head over to the Remote page, and click on the Download on iTunes now link.
  2. iTunes will launch (if it isn’t open already) and open the App Store section for Remote. Click the GET APP button.
  3. remote section of the app store in iTunes
    click to enlarge

  4. The App will download, and then you’ll be able to find it in your Applications section of iTunes.
  5. Applications section in iTunes

  6. Now sync your iPod Touch/iPhone and the Remote application will install.
  7. remote installed on iphone or ipod touch
    click to enlarge

  8. Click Remote from your iPod Touch/iPhone springboard. Then select Add Library.
  9. remote options on iphone or ipod touch
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  10. Make note of the 4 digit passcode.
  11. remote add library passcode on iphone or ipod touch
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  12. Back in iTunes, select Your Name’s iPod (or iPhone) from the devices list. Note that you’re actually selecting the Remote item in your devices list (see screenshot below), not your actual iPod/iPhone.

    Enter your 4 digit passcode in the space provided.

  13. remote setup in itunes
    click to enlarge

  14. Your iPhone or iPod Touch will recognize the iTunes library immediately, and now you can control iTunes using your device. NOTE: your iPhone/iPod Touch must be using WiFi connected to the same network as your Mac/PC with iTunes. This will not work if your iPhone is using 3G.
  15. remote controlling itunes
    click to enlarge

  16. Select a song, and iTunes will start playing it. On your iPod Touch/iPhone you can pause that song, skip to the next, increase the volume etc. It can now completely control iTunes.
  17. remote controlling itunes playing a song
    click to enlarge

  18. NOTE: If you have trouble getting Remote to work, please see the tutorial titled Troubleshooting Remote for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

  • mike

    I add this app but can’t get the remote icon to show up under the device list any suggestions on how to make this work?

  • carl

    me too! I have installed the app and nothing under Device List.
    Running Vista with iTunes 7.7 and iPod Touch 2.0

  • Jeremy

    ahhhh…. this just doesn’t work on Vista as far as i can tell. Every review on iTunes speaks highly of this, but I can’t get it to work.

  • Barry E Abrahamsen

    Nope, no matter what I do, the app doesn’t show up for me either. Mac OS X 10.5.4 and iPod Touch 2.0

  • Beto

    please tell me how- I want to have a new Itunes library but without losing what I have on my Ipod, I would like to transfer what I have on the Ipod and put it to the new itunes library…is it posible?

  • jonny

    I have vista and I can not get the icon. I will be trying this on XP. I would really like this feature on my laptop, if someone knows a solution.

  • jonny

    I tried it on XP and could not get it to work. I don’t believe it’s a vista issue but a iphone 2.0 issue. damnz you apple for not making your applications work with your new firmware! I suggest we just get it a few weeks

  • I can not get this to work either I am running Windows XP SP2 Ipod Touch 2.0 Apple needs to get this fixed and fast. This is a great app and I really wanted it. I pay apple $10, this is one of the apps made by apple, and so far they show no signs of fixing it, usally they would put it in the info for future updates. but so far nothing.

  • scott

    Make sure you are currently CONNECTED TO YOUR LOCAL NETWORK VIA WIFI… IT WILL NOT WORK OVER EDGE NETWORK… Once youre on your WIFI it should pick it up in ITUNES…EVEN ON VISTA..

  • jonny

    thank you for the advice but like I said, it’s not the OS it is the phone. the program does not work with the iPhone 2.0. I have tried both Vista and XP

    I have already sent in a complaint to apple.

    I think everyone who is having this problem would best get it fixed by leaving one star reviews in the app store. I can assure you, apple will respond quickly to Remote getting negative reviews.

  • jonny –

    I have it working in both Vista and XP. I suspect you’ve already tried, but if you haven’t, delete the app from your iPhone, delete it from iTunes, and try re-downloading/installing.

  • jonny

    I have tried it. I also tried it again at your request. Do you have the new iPhone 3G 2.0 or the older 1.1.4 version?

  • this is rubbish. i cant find none of my music library its like it dont exist. its useless good job its free.

  • The problem is the Windows Firewall. Try to turn it off and you will see the icon appear. Note that for some reason, once you get your iPhone connected with the library, you can re-enable your firewall and it will continue to work.

  • Rastuss

    After hrs of searching my problem was down to my antivirus firewall ( bitdefender ) as the guy above stated i turned off the firewall and it worked straight away. Just gotta figure how to make an exception now.

  • Mike

    My problem is also my Bitdefender firewall. It blocks access to itunes from my iPhone.
    If i turn then bitdefender firewall off it connects straight away.

    If anyonw finds at solution to this (what to allow through the firewall and how) let me know, thanks.

  • Branden

    people are saying how this doesnt work with their iphones…if you look above at step 8 it says if your iphone is connected to 3G EDGE or whatever it wont work unless it is connected to the same wifi as itunes is…it works for me and i have XP and a IPod Touch 2.0

  • aj

    how can i download new icons example (remote)

  • MG

    Disabling Firewall does work for Vista!
    Now just to make it an exception so I can keep it up…

  • Carl Behrent

    Same here, Disabling the Vista firewall doesnt do anything

  • To those of you having trouble w/ Remote, please see the tutorial Troubleshooting Remote for the iPhone or iPod Touch. Cheers! -Ross

  • Pingback: Troubleshooting Remote for the iPhone or iPod Touch - Simple Help()

  • Bob

    $10? its free

  • @Bob – I think he was talking about the $9.99 (9.95?) 2.0 update “fee”. I could be wrong..

    But yes, you’re right – Remote is free.

  • Great Buddy!!!! Really great…it worked and Thanks a lot… for your advise..

  • brian

    On my mac, I have iTunes 7.7.1 (the latest) installed and I don’t find a “Devices List” anywhere.. what’s up?

  • brian

    Oops, you have to have your iPhone attached to register it… got it.

  • Markus

    I had problems pairing my iPhone 3G with Windows iTunes 7.7 but following your tips it works. But after pairing my iPhone cannot connect to my iTunes library. Message:”Could not find Library.” WiFi for phone and Laptop is enabled and works. Please advise.

  • Markus

    Solved it by myself. I had still a firewall service active on the specific network card. Disabled this dependency and now it works like a charm! Thank you.

  • ottoman

    yep the firewall was the issue on vista

  • Gibo

    Make sure you have the bojour service running (if you disabled it, re-enable it), otherwise you will not be able to see the remote under devices.

  • leon

    The remote works, but when I got to another feature in my iphone(send a text or answer the phone) then go back to the remote app. It’s loses it connection. I have to close out itune and open the program again to connect back.. Is this normal?

  • Charlie

    mine was connected but then for some reason stopped working. Now ive tried to restart the app again, but where my macbook recognises ive previously had the application, it wont let me re add my phone as a remote again.
    Now all i have is a message telling me to enter the passcode in itunes, but itunes wont give me the option to do so!

  • Jrek

    Was working and stopped. I got the phone 9/22 and got it working on 3 of my computers and went on vacation for 5 days. couldn’t get it to work on my laptop on vacation. no firewall at all. had the latest itunes also. and on same wifi network. it shows up as device, however thinks about the passcode for a minute then asks for it again.never pairs. same thing with my 3 computers at home, cannot pair up or whatever you want to call it. I tried it at my friends house and worked in one shot. that does remind me 2 of my computers did take 2 or 3 tries of reentering the passcode to activate them initially. I’ve tried reentering each passcode 5 times, tried new passcodes, tried uninstalling remote and reinstalling remote app, tried port forwarding just in case, tried “frogetting all remotes” on each computer, deleted all libraries from remote app and tried adding them again. nothing nothing nothing

  • Joe

    Hi – thanks for the guide.

    I’ve got the Remote app working with iTunes on my Win XP machine. Works fine.

    I have just bought and installed an Apple Airport Express box and have successfully rigged it up so that my Windows PC can stream music from iTunes to my kitchen stereo using my WiFi connection – is v neat :)

    I am able to select the different speakers from within iTunes (using my mouse) and both sets work.

    Q: Can I use the Apple Remote app running on my iPhone to change the speaker selection ? I’ve seen some screenshots of the Remote app that have speaker selection on the settings page but I cant seem to get them to show up. I’ve enabled all the ports on my hardware firewall and have opened up the application on the ESET Smart Security firewall I run (at least I think I have !!)

    Big thanks


  • solo

    wors great on my vista machine

  • How do I uninstall this? My little brother keeps changing my music and it’s beginning to annoy me. I can’t find “Applications” in my iTunes library.

  • bmoore

    The simple directions above assume that they work. They don’t !! Itunes fails at step #7; nothing happens–there’s no prompt to enter the code.

    I have read hundreds of blog entries from people who can’t get it to work either, despite trying everything under the sun. These instructions are straight out of the Remote manual, and they don’t work, probably for most people.
    Frustratingly yours

  • Jon Norris


  • Mackenzie

    Just what I have been looking for. Such a great app!!!

  • gary d

    I bought music from itunes, i found music that i liked , and put them in my library. I have a dell xp computer. When i tried to download to iphone the songs wouldnt download.

  • Laurie S

    I’m using Remote on Ipod Touch to control ITunes on my Mac, sending to my AVR via AirportExpress. Love it!

    However, I’m having problems with the volume control on Remote. It worked for a little while, but now does not respond. I can change the volume via ITunes.

    Has anyone experienced problems with the volume control provided by Remote?

  • Dale

    Is it possible to controll the Radio in iTunes with Remote?

  • TT_Iphone

    I have just tested this app with two laptops side by side, one running WinXP and the other running Vista, both have AVG Internet Security installed. Remote works great with WinXP even with the firewall on!! On Vista (with firewall turned off), itunes does not show the prompt to enter the 4-digit passcode!! did some diggin and was able to get remote to work with iTunes Dj but that is 1/4 of the functionality of the whole app…

  • wow i just wanted to wanted to know how to put iphone programs from computer to iphone?! please tell me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    anybody here leaves a comment with the answer please!

  • All you have to do is restart itunes and then the icon will pop up…

  • Justin

    ITS AAMMMZZIINNGGG!!! YAY!!!!!!! i love you! best app EEVVVEERR

  • Andy

    Disabling Vista firewall worked for me.

  • B21

    try turning of your firewall, this works for me to get it to come up under devices, I just wish there was a way for me to not disable it every time (or not disable it ever if possible)

  • Adam

    its because you have manual sync on. go to your iPod folder (when it’s conencted), click on the applications tabs, checkmark the “Sync applications” button, make sure remote is checked off, drag and drop the remote app to a page (wherever..) on your iPod, and then click “apply” (bottom right corner) very simple.

  • The iPhone has to be physically plugged in to the Mac in order for it to show up under Devices in iTunes.

    But where do you enter the PassCode that shows on the iPhone? I don’t see a place in iTunes to put it.

  • Glenn

    I used to have an Apple TV. It worked at first but once the 3.0 software came out it couldn’t handle streaming library contents from my large iTunes library. I’ve replaced it with a Roku (Apple rentals are too slow). Now I’m trying to control iTunes from my phone but, like a lot of people, my “step #7” doesn’t work. Being dedicated to Apple is leading me back to the stone age – I’m about to give up and try something else.