Q: I recently bought a new iMac and Universal Dock for my iPod. I love both, but the one annoying feature of the dock is the IR receiver. I don’t have a use for this feature of the dock. If my iPod is docked when I use the Apple remote to control Front Row, however, it turns my iPod on. Is there a way to disable the IR function of the dock or make it so that it doesn’t recognize the Apple remote?
A: Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to actually disable the IR port on the Universal Dock, but if you have another Apple Remote, you can “pair” so that it will only accept commands from that specific remote, and then simply put that remote away somewhere else (or use it for a device in another room). The instructions on how to do this can be found in Pairing the Apple Remote with the iPod Universal Dock in Apple’s knowledge base.
Unfortunately, this determines which remotes the receiving devices listens to, as opposed to which devices a given remote will actually control. In other words, it changes the settings on the Universal Dock, not the remote itself. So pairing your existing remote with your iMac would only prevent your iMac from listening to other remotes.
Therefore, this solution will only work if you have another Apple Remote to pair the dock with. This does not have to be a remote you plan on actually using with the Universal Dock, however, and can still be used to control other Apple devices, such as a MacBook or iPod Hi-Fi.
Alternatively, if you only have one remote, a small piece of electrical tape on the front of the dock sensor will also prevent it from receiving any stray IR signals from the Apple Remote. This may seem a low-tech solution, but it works.