Nothing’s worse than losing the remote control to your TV. It’s like a modern American horror story, an instant of hysteria, panic, and frustration melded into a single moment of helplessness, bereft of all of your TV channeling power. So what do you do? Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this, and your smartphone has the answer.

Whether you’re an Android or an iOS phone user, there are plenty of apps that will allow you to control your TCL smart TV without a remote.

If you happen to have a Roku TCL smart TV, you’re in even better luck, as the Roku app—available for Android and iOS—is an excellent app for remote control along with several other intuitive features.

Using the Roku Remote App to Control TCL Smart TVs

Because Roku TCL TVs are so prevalent, we’ll begin here. The Roku – Official Remote Control app can control all Roku TVs, regardless of what brand it was manufactured under.

  1. Download the Roku – Official Remote Control app.
  2. Open the app and log in to your Roku account.
  3. Select Devices at the bottom, right-hand corner of the screen.
  4. If your TCL Smart TV is already connected to the internet, it will show up.
  5. Select TCL Roku TV.
  6. Now you will have a virtual control that exactly mimics the real deal.

Everything that your Roku remote has is mapped out on your smartphone’s screen. If your original Roku remote lacked a microphone feature, congratulations, you now have voice control access as it’s included in the Roku Remote app.

From now on, you can also use the app to turn your TCL smart TV on and off, as well as other features, such as scrolling through streaming services compiled on your Roku app that can be immediately transferred to your TCL.

Like Apple TV, the Roku – Official Remote Control app compiles every available streaming service that you can watch on your TCL Smart TV onto a single screen for you to go through. It’s one of the better apps out there, and even if you had your remote, you should download it anyway.

Other Apps Available for Controlling a TCL Smart TV

There are many universal remote control apps on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The problem people are usually faced with is, which ones are worth downloading?

There are two great universal remote control apps, each for Android and iOS.

Sure Universal Remote

Android Universal Remote apps are a dime a dozen. However, there are a couple of good ones that are well-reviewed, such as the Sure Universal Remote app.

Sure Universal Remote—similar to the Roku app—does a lot more than just controlling your TCL Smart TV. It simplifies smart homes by serving as a “pseudo-hub” for many of your connected devices. The universal remote portion of the app is minimalist in design and function.

It also gives you voice control, screen mirrors your phone to your TV, and also has its own media player. Sure universal remote will give you back control of your TCL Smart TV, while it also gives you a lot more in terms of compatibility and smart home integration.

Peel Smart Remote

Peel Smart Remote is right up there with Sure and Roku as a do-it-all app with exceptional universal remote control features. Like the apps mentioned above, Peel aggregates all of your content onto your phone screen.

Its remote control feature is simplified and gives you complete control over everything you need from your TCL, including switching inputs and accessing the TV’s settings. You will also get voice control which is becoming more and more common in remote apps.


TCLee is similar to the Roku remote, all the way down to the color scheme, and is specifically designed for standard TCL Smart TVs and TCL/Roku TVs. This means you get all of the features of your original remote all on a single, virtual display.

The best part about this app is that it’s both simple and also mimics the functionality of a TCL Smart TV remote. It syncs with your TCL in the same way that the Roku app does, so everything is simplified, and you’re ready to go.

Universal Remote TV

Universal Remote TV is a standard but very functional remote control that pairs with your TCL Smart TV with ease. It has all the functionality you would expect from a standard remote, with a unique, white-background look.

Final Thoughts

You can control any smart TV—LG TVs and TCL TVs included—with a downloaded, universal app. However, you want to make sure that you get a quality version, as there are so many universal apps out there. If you have a Roku TCL, you’ll be able to download one of the best apps out there.

No matter where your old, physical remote happens to be hiding, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that.”