Harmony experience with Mac

It's compatible with Harmony IR remotes

It's compatible with Harmony hub‑based products

Harmony and Mac

Harmony hub‑based products connect to your computer via Bluetooth and use the Harmony mobile app to send voice and text commands, making password entry or movie searches quick and easy. If your computer doesn't have an interal Bluetooth adapter, you can use a Bluetooth USB dongle.

If you don't have a Harmony hub‑based remote, you can turn on Mac's infrared reception and establish a connect this way. You can use any Harmony remote for Mac control and navigation when using an IR connection.


Setup

After adding Mac as a device, you'll need to create a Watch PC Activity and configure it to control Mac with your Harmony remote. You'll also need to make some additional changes, which are discussed in this section, to fully control Mac with Harmony.



Add Mac to Harmony
When adding Mac, Harmony will ask you for the manufacturer and model numbers of your television, AV receiver, and other devices that will be included in your Watch PC Activity.
Configure your Mac Activity
Configure your Activity, allowing it to open, close and control a Mac program using your Harmony remote.

Please be aware

When starting your Mac Activity for the first time, you must use the Harmony mobile app to initiate Bluetooth pairing. Harmony will appear as Harmony Keyboard in your list of devices when pairing.


Add Mac to your Harmony setup

Print Mobile Steps

Adding Mac to your Harmony setup:

  1. Launch the Harmony mobile app and connect to your Harmony hub.
  2. Select MENU, then Harmony Setup > Add/Edit Devices & Activities > DEVICES.
Harmony app select devices
  1. Select the ADD DEVICE button at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select COMPUTER and enter OS MAC, tap > in the upper right-hand corner.
Add Mac Device on Mobile

Setting up an Activity

  1. Once added, Harmony will prompt you to create an Activity. Select YES.
  2. Continue through the process of including devices and selecting your inputs, followed by > in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. You'll be prompted to Bluetooth pair with Mac. If you're using an IR receiver, select SKIP at the bottom of the screen.

Configuring a Mac shortcut

  1. On your Mac, launch Automator and navigate to File > New > Service > Choose.
  2. In the Service receives dropdown box, select no input.
  3. Select Launch Application by double clicking or dragging it onto the empty canvas on the right.
  4. In the Launch Application window, select the program you'd like to control with Harmony (e.g., VLC Player) then press Command-S to save.
  5. Navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts, select Add Shortcut and set it to Ctrl+S, Ctrl+W or Ctrl+Z.
  6. Add a step at the start of your Activity, selecting the keyboard shortcut for the program you'd like to control with Harmony as the new command.
  7. You can configure closing a program with Harmony by customizing a button on your remote to do so (Quit).
  8. Once complete, remember to sync your remote.
Print Desktop Steps

Adding Mac to your Harmony setup:

  1. Sign into the MyHarmony desktop software and select your remote from the gallery.
  2. Select the Devices tab, followed by Add device.
  3. Select Add Computer, click the Apple Mac radio button, then Add.
Harmony Desktop Software

Setting up an Activity

  1. Sign into the MyHarmony desktop software and select your remote from the gallery.
  2. Select the Activities tab on the left and click Add Activity.
creating a Watch TV Activity
  1. Select Activity type Watch PC and click Next.
  2. You'll be guided through naming your Activity and configuring included devices.

Configuring a Mac shortcut

  1. On your Mac, launch Automator and navigate to File > New > Service > Choose.
  2. In the Service receives dropdown box, select no input.
  3. Select Launch Application by double clicking or dragging it onto the empty canvas on the right.
  4. In the Launch Application window, select the program you'd like to control with Harmony (e.g., VLC Player) and press Command-S to save.
  5. Navigate to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts, select Add Shortcut and set it to Ctrl+S, Ctrl+W or Ctrl+Z.
  6. Add a step at the start of your Activity, selecting the keyboard shortcut for the program you'd like to control with Harmony as the new command.
  7. You can configure closing a program with Harmony by customizing a button on your remote to do so (Quit).
  8. Once complete, remember to sync your remote.

Control

Harmony Smart Keyboard can act as a fully functional Mac keyboard, many apps will also allow you to use your mobile device for control functions. Listed below are some popular Mac apps and ways to control them using Harmony.

Mac Media Center

All Harmony products

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate iTunes.

Media keys such as Play, Pause, Stop, Fast-Forward and Rewind commands work.

To Fast-Forward or Rewind Hold down the Fast Forward or Rewind button.

Mac Media Player

All Harmony products:

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate QuickTime.

Media keys such as Play, Pause, Stop, FastForward and Rewind commands work.

To Fast-Forward or Rewind Hold down the Fast Forward or Rewind button.

QuickTime When paused, allows you to move a frame forward or backward using the direction left and right arrows.

Netflix

All Harmony products

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate Netflix.

Media Keys such as play, pause and fast forward do not control Netflix.

With Harmony Smart Keyboard

Text entry is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard or the Harmony mobile app.

Mouse/Cursor control is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard.

Netflix offers these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Spacebar
    Toggle Play/Pause
  • Left arrow
    Skip backward 10 seconds
  • Right arrow
    Skip forward 10 seconds
  • Shift + left arrow
    Rewind
  • Shift + right arrow
    Fast-Forward
  • F
    Enter full-screen
  • Esc
    Exit full-screen

Hulu

All Harmony products

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate Hulu.

Media Keys such as play, pause and fast forward do not control Hulu.

With Harmony Smart Keyboard

Text entry is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard or the Harmony mobile app.

Mouse/Cursor control is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard.

Hulu offers these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Spacebar
    Toggle Play/Pause
  • Left arrow
    Skip backward 10 seconds
  • Right arrow
    Skip forward 10 seconds
  • Esc
    Exit full-screen

YouTube

All Harmony products

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate the YouTube app.

Media Keys such as Play, Pause, Stop, Fast-Forward and Rewind commands work. YouTube allows you to navigate between videos using the Skip Forward and Skip backward commands.

With Harmony Smart Keyboard

The YouTube app has an on screen keyboard you navigate using direction keys and does not accept keyboard text entry.

Amazon

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate the Amazon app.

Media Keys such as Play, Pause, Stop, Fast-Forward and Rewind commands work. Amazon allows you to move a frame forward or backward using the direction left and right arrows.

With Harmony Smart Keyboard

Text entry is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard or the Harmony mobile app.

Mouse/Cursor control is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard.

Browser

Direction Pad Navigation will navigate the Browser app.

Media Keys are not used within the Browser app.

Text entry is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard or Harmony app.

Mouse/Cursor control is possible using Harmony Smart Keyboard.

Other apps

The behavior of other apps may vary depending on its design.

FAQs

I need help establishing a Bluetooth connection with Mac

Before you can use a Bluetooth device with Mac, you'll need to pair them together. You'll only need to do this once then the device will remain paired until you unpair it.

  1. Make sure the device is turned on.
  2. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Bluetooth.
  3. Select the device you want from the list, then click Pair.
    • If you are prompted on the device, click Accept.

I need help establishing an infrared (IR) connection with Mac

You can turn infrared (IR) reception on or off in Security & Privacy preferences. When you turn on IR reception for your Mac, any IR device close to your Mac can control it. You can turn IR reception off to prevent unwanted control of your Mac or to prevent pairing with an IR remote control.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences click Security & Privacy, followed by General.
  2. Click the lock icon to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password.
  3. Click Advanced and select Disable remote control infrared receiver to turn off IR reception, or deselect it to turn on IR reception.
  4. To set your Mac to respond to the commands of a specific remote control (e.g., Harmony), click Pair, then follow the onscreen instructions.



For more information about how Mac integrates with Bluetooth and infrared (IR) devices, please see Apple Support.


How Harmony integrates Mac

All Harmony remotes except Smart Keyboard

Your computer requires an infrared (IR) receiver in order to receive commands. Harmony does not control computers over IP. All Harmony commands, navigation and media controls are sent from the Harmony remote, or Harmony Hub (for hub‑based products).

Harmony Smart Keyboard

If your computer supports Bluetooth Harmony Hub may pair and control Mac in this means. If your computer does not support Bluetooth, the Harmony Smart Keyboard USB receiver may be used as a connection between Harmony Hub and Mac.

You will be asked to select your control method and pair (if required) during set up using the Harmony mobile app. All navigation, mouse and text entry controls may be sent using either Bluetooth or the USB receiver.

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