How to Remotely Control an iPhone
In this article, we will show you various ways of setting up remote control for your iPhone or iPad. We look at accessing mobile devices from different computing platforms using native OS functionality or third-party solutions. These methods let you get to the important data on your iPhone from any location.
We also discuss using your iPhone as a remote control for Apple TV. This can come in handy if you have misplaced your Apple TV remote control or just like the convenience of controlling everything from one device.
Apple introduced the Switch Control feature with the release of iOS 7 in 2013. The functionality added by Switch Control was originally intended to help users with disabilities control their devices. Anyone can use Switch Control to gain access to another iPhone or iPad as long as both devices are logged into the same Apple account and on the same network. You can use the following technique to remote control an iPhone from an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or any device running iOS.
Connecting to an iOS device from iOS
- Make sure that the iPhone you want to control and the iOS device that will do the controlling are connected to the same network or else Switch Control won’t work.
- Log in to iCloud on both devices using the same Apple ID.
- On the controlling device, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Switch Control.
- Select Switches from Switch Control to configure a new switch.
- Choose Add New Switch and select a source.
- Using the new switch’s Switch Control menu, choose Device.
- Choose the Use Other Device option.
- Locate the iOS device you wish to control and select Connect.
- You can now use your iPhone to remote control the target iOS device.
Connecting to an iOS device from macOS
The following procedure allows you to establish remote iPhone control from a computer running macOS.
- Both devices need to be on the same network and you need to be signed in to the same Apple ID.
- Enable Switch Control to allow remote control of the iPhone from the Mac. Click the Apple logo and choose System Preferences > Accessibility > Switch Control.
- Go to the General tab and select Enable Switch Control.
- Enter your password when prompted.
- Go to Devices on the Switch Control panel.
- Select the iOS device you want to control from the list. Once selected, you will be able to see the device’s screen from your computer.
- Click on the iOS device you want to control remotely and click Connect.
iPhone remote control for Apple TV
You can use an iPhone or iPad as a remote control for Apple TV. You just need to set up the Apple TV remote control app for iPhone in the iOS Control Center.
The Apple TV remote may be already added to Control Center if you are running iOS 13 or later. If not, it’s easy to add with the following steps.
- Open Settings on the iPhone or iPad.
- Select and tap Control Center and see if the Apple TV Remote is part of the Included Controls part of the page.
- If you need to add the Apple TV Remote, add it from the More Controls section by tapping the plus sign to the left of the item.
Perform these steps to use the Apple TV Remote app.
- Open Control Center on your iOS device by swiping up or down depending on your iOS version.
- Tap the Apple TV Remote button at the bottom of the screen.
- The first time you use the remote you need to select your Apple TV from the list and provide the four-digit code shown on the Apple TV screen.
You now have the option to control your Apple TV with the TV’s physical remote control or with the remote app on your iOS device. Using the iOS app is a quick two-step process.
From PC on Windows/ Linux OS
Controlling Apple devices from other Apple devices is a pretty straightforward process. You might want to remote control an iPhone from a PC running Windows or a Linux machine. This can be done though it is more complicated and requires the use of third-party apps for remote iPhone support or browser extensions.
Multiple solutions and remote control iPhone apps are on the market that offer various features and functionality. They all perform the same core functions, but their interfaces, prices, and feature sets differ.
Following are some solutions for remotely controlling an iPhone from a PC.
Chrome Remote Desktop
A remote desktop extension can be used to control an iPhone from a PC. Google Chrome Remote Desktop extension has recently added iOS support to the product that previously was only available for Android devices.
Before you start, you should update Chrome to the latest version and install the Chrome Remote Desktop app for iOS on your iPhone or iPad. Once you have completed these prerequisites you can use the following steps to use this free iPhone remote control app.
- Log into your Google account
- Go to the Chrome Remote Desktop web page.
- Click the arrow to Set up remote access.
- Download the Chrome Remote Desktop extension and add it to Chrome.
- Create a name for the computer and click Next.
- Create a PIN of at least 6 digits that will be used when connecting remotely.
- Launch the Chrome Remote Desktop app on the iOS device you want to control.
- Select the PC from the list of devices in the app and enter the PIN to establish connectivity.
- You can now control the iPhone from your PC.
Zoho Assist is a flexible commercial remote access solution that can be used to remotely access all kinds of devices including your iPhone and iPad. It’s possible to set up iPhone to iPhone remote control with this app by performing the following steps.
How to control iPhone remotely with Zoho Assist
- Download and install the Zoho Assist iOS Technician app on the iPhone or iPad that will control the remote device.
- Install the Zoho Assist Customer app on the device you want to control remotely.
- Open the Zoho Assist Technician app and initiate a remote session.
- Share the session ID details with the remote user to enable them to join the session.
- After the remote user joins the session, you can access and control the device from your iPhone or iPad.
ISL Light is a secure remote access solution that lets you control an iOS device from a PC. The tool has an extensive set of features that includes the ability to perform activities on unattended devices. The following steps are required to set up and configure ISL Light so it can remotely control an iOS device.
How to remote control iPhone from PC with ISL Light
- Create an ISL account with an email address and password.
- Download and install ISL Light on a Windows or Mac computer.
- Launch the app on your computer and provide your ISL account credentials.
- Click the + sign at the top left to Start New Session.
- Click Invite to send an invitation to a remote user.
- Provide the remote user with the session code so they can join the session.
- After connecting, you can control the remote device from your desktop.
A VNC server offers another option for remote control of an iPhone from a Windows machine or Android device. Unfortunately, this method involves jailbreaking your iPhone, a step that many users don’t want to take. Each iteration of the iOS operating system makes it harder to jailbreak your device.
Another issue with using a VNC server is that the software often does not support newer versions of iOS. The following steps illustrate how to connect to an iPhone from an Android device using VNC Viewer. Both devices must be on the same network.
How to access iPhone from Android/ PC with VNC Viewer:
- Tap WiFi on your iPhone’s Settings.
- Use the information icon to identify the iPhone’s IP address.
- Download and install VNC Viewer on the Android/ PC device.
- Launch the app on the Android or Windows device and tap the + icon to add a connection to the iPhone.
- Enter the iPhone’s IP address and the name of the device.
- Tap on Create.
- Tap Connect to establish the connection between Android/ Windows and iPhone.
We have shown you several ways to implement iPhone remote control from various platforms. These methods can be instrumental in providing remote technical support, working from home, or simply remotely accessing information from iOS devices.
The native compatibility built into Apple devices makes it extremely easy to remotely control an iOS device from another iOS device or a computer running macOS. If this method is available to you, we suggest you use it.
Connecting from a Windows, Linux, or Android platform requires third-party tools or browser extensions. Depending on the level of remote access and control you need, the free solution using the Chrome browser may be adequate. If more functionality is required, you should consider a tool like Zoho Assist.
Can you erase an iPad remotely?
- Open the Find My app on an iOS device.
- Tap Devices at the bottom-left side of the screen.
- Tap the name of the device you want to erase.
- Tap Erase This Device and then Continue.
- Tap Erase.
- Enter your Apple ID and password and then tap Erase again. If the device is offline you will see an Erase Pending message. The device will be erased whenever it connects to a cellular or WiFi network.