How to Control Your Samsung TV with Your Phone in 2023

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Written By Robby

Have you ever wished you could use your phone as a remote to control your Samsung TV? With modern smartphone apps and TV software, this is easier than ever! In this guide, I’ll walk you through the entire process of setting up your devices and getting full control of your Samsung TV using your Android or iPhone.

Overview of Controlling a Samsung TV with Your Phone

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s involved in using your phone as a Samsung TV remote:

  • Enable remote access on your Samsung TV – Most modern Samsung TVs have an option buried in the settings to allow remote control from mobile apps. You’ll need to enable this.

  • Connect both devices to the same WiFi network – Your phone and TV need to be on the same local network to communicate.

  • Download the Samsung SmartThings app – This free app for Android and iPhone is required for phone control.

  • Set up SmartThings and add your TV – Open the app, create a Samsung account if needed, and get your TV paired and connected.

  • Use your phone as a remote – The SmartThings app will provide a software remote with all needed controls like power, volume, channels, and more.

It’s a straightforward process, though it may take some digging through settings on your TV. I’ll provide step-by-step instructions next.

Enable Remote Access on Your Samsung TV

Before your phone can control your TV, you’ll need to enable a few settings on the TV itself:

  1. Press the Home button on your Samsung TV remote.

  2. Open Settings from the TV’s home screen menu.

  3. Select General, then scroll down and choose External Device Manager.

  4. Choose Remote Access and ensure it is enabled.

  5. Scroll down further and open Remote Management.

  6. Turn on options for Remote Button and Touch Control.

That enables the required settings for allowing remote control apps. Your TV software version may vary, but you’re looking for “External Device Manager”, “Remote Access” and “Remote Management”.

Now your TV is ready to be controlled, so it’s time to connect a phone.

Download the SmartThings App

Samsung provides an official app called SmartThings that can fully control recent Samsung TV models. It’s available for both major mobile platforms:

Download and install the SmartThings app on your Samsung Android phone or iPhone. It’s 100% free without ads or in-app purchases.

Set Up SmartThings and Connect Your TV

With the app installed, it’s time to get your TV connected:

  1. Launch the SmartThings app on your phone.

  2. Tap the menu icon in the top-left and select Add Device.

  3. Choose the option for TV.

  4. Make sure your phone and TV are on the same WiFi network.

  5. A pairing code will appear on your TV screen. Enter this code in the app and tap Register.

  6. The app will automatically detect your TV model. Tap Done to finish pairing.

Once complete, your TV will sync its status to SmartThings, including the current channel, volume, and power state.

The TV will show up as a new control screen in the SmartThings app called “Device Controls”. Tap it whenever you want to remotely control that TV.

Use Your Phone as a Samsung TV Remote

Now let’s look at how the SmartThings app provides full Samsung TV remote functionality from any phone:

  • Power – Turn your TV on and off remotely.

  • Volume – Adjust volume or mute audio entirely.

  • Channels – Change channels up/down.

  • Number Pad – Type channel numbers directly.

  • Navigation Pad – Navigate the Smart Hub menus.

  • Select – Select/confirm menu items.

  • Back – Go back one screen.

  • Home – Return straight to the main Smart Hub home screen.

  • Guide – Launch the channel guide.

  • Play/Pause – Controls for media playback.

  • Fast Forward/Rewind – Media playback controls.

  • Input – Quickly change TV inputs.

  • Apps – Launch apps like Netflix or Prime Video.

  • Text Input – Use your phone’s keyboard for text.

  • Settings – Adjust SmartThings options for the remote.

  • Media – Cast photos/videos from your phone to the TV.

As you can see, the SmartThings remote provides everything you’d expect on a physical remote, along with some bonus features like easy text input.

The main views are organized into three tabs:

  • Home Tab – Shows artwork and info for the current TV content.

  • Remote Tab – All remote buttons, organized nicely.

  • Media Tab – Displays photos/videos to cast to the TV.

Take some time to play with all the controls and get used to the interface. The SmartThings app transforms your phone into a versatile Samsung TV remote!

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble getting your phone set up to control your Samsung TV, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Restart both devices and try pairing again from scratch. This often fixes connectivity issues.

  • Make sure your TV and phone are on the same WiFi network. They can’t communicate if they’re on different networks.

  • Try moving your phone closer to the TV, especially during the initial pairing process. Distance can disrupt the connection.

  • On your TV, check that Remote Access is enabled in the settings as explained earlier.

  • If you have connectivity but some buttons don’t work, check the app permissions. Make sure SmartThings has access to Device Controls.

  • Update the Samsung SmartThings app and your TV’s firmware to the newest versions available.

  • Factory reset your TV and pair it from scratch as a last resort if other methods didn’t resolve your issue.

Alternative Apps to SmartThings

Samsung’s SmartThings app provides the most seamless and full-featured remote control experience. But there are also some third party apps you can use:

  • Peel Smart Remote – Popular universal remote app with Samsung TV support.

  • Sure Universal Remote – Another highly-rated universal remote app.

  • RemoDroid Remote Control – Android-only remote with good Samsung TV integration.

  • Simple Control – Provides a basic remote but requires a separate $5 monthly subscription for Samsung TVs.

I recommend starting with the free official SmartThings app. But the apps above can serve as alternatives if needed. Keep in mind you may lose remote features without SmartThings.

Can You Control a Samsung TV with iPhone?

Yes, absolutely! The SmartThings app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store. So both iPhone and Android users can download the app and get full control of compatible Samsung televisions.

The setup process is the same. Just install SmartThings on your iPhone, connect to the same WiFi as your TV, and pair the devices. iOS and Android devices work equally well.

The only catch is that certain functions like “text input” require allowing additional permissions on iPhone. But overall the capabilities are virtually identical.

Do Older Samsung TVs Support Remote Control?

Most modern Samsung smart TVs support remote control apps, but very old models may not. Here are the general requirements:

  • Your TV must be a 2010 model year or newer. Older models lack apps/connectivity.

  • The TV software should be fairly up-to-date. Keep your TV updated for maximum compatibility.

  • Your specific TV model must not have compatibility issues. Some older Tizen TVs partially work.

So you don’t necessarily need the newest 2023 TV model. But in general, Samsung TVs older than 2010 will NOT work due to missing hardware capabilities. The remote protocols have evolved over time.

If your TV is from 2010-2015, research your exact model online to confirm remote app compatibility. Anything 2016 onward will almost certainly work fine

How to use your Phone as a Samsung TV Remote Control (10)


How can I control my Samsung TV with my phone for free?

Control your TV or projector with SmartThings Open the SmartThings app on your phone, and then tap Menu. Tap All devices, and then select your TV/projector. An on-screen remote will appear in the app. The options available on the remote will vary depending on the device.

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