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How to use your TV remote with a Google Chromecast (yes, it's possible)

It took Google forever to come out with its own Chromecast remote, so here's how to use your TV remote instead.
By
March 16, 2022

Google launched its Chromecast back in 2013, and it’s become one of the best ways to binge Netflix, Disney PlusAmazon Prime Video, and other streaming services. But despite hardware updates and the release of the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra, it took until 2020 for Google to release a Chromecast with Google TV that included a remote. You can’t use the remote with older devices, but it’s technically possible to use your standard TV to control your Chromecast.

Read more: Chromecast with Google TV guide

QUICK ANSWER

To use your Chromecast with your standard TV remote, you have to enable a feature called HDMI-CEC on your TV.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to enable HDMI-CEC on your TV

Four Android TV remotes on a yellow background, including chromecast with google tv remote
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

HDMI-CEC is available on most modern TVs, but older models may not support it. To further complicate matters, many manufacturers have their own names for the tech. Here’s a list of some of the most popular brands and their names for HDMI-CEC with links to guides on how to enable this feature.

To start using your TV remote, all you need to do is find the option to turn on HDMI-CEC in your TV’s settings. It’s generally off by default, but once enabled, your Chromecast will automatically accept specific commands from your TV’s remote.

What can your TV remote do?

Fire Stick 2020 Edition remote in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Before you run off to binge the latest Netflix Original series, you should know that Chromecast remote support has some severe limitations. It only supports two commands — pause and play. Although the HDMI-CEC protocol allows for complete deck control (fast-forward, rewind, etc.), the Chromecast only allows the two most common commands. That said, there is a possibility that we’ll get more controls in the future.


Read more: The best Chromecast apps for Android

FAQs

Can I get full TV remote support with my Chromecast?

Unfortunately, you’ll need to get a device with a dedicated remote control to do so. If you absolutely must have full Chromecast remote support, consider buying an Android TV box. Our favorite is the 2019 Nvidia Shield TV, which comes with a remote and can play games locally or via the cloud with GeForce Now. Another alternative is Xiaomi’s Mi Box S, which is significantly cheaper and supports 4K output.

Can I use my phone to control Chromecast?

Absolutely. Google has a guide on setting up and using your phone as a Chromecast remote.