How to set up and start using your new Apple TV

How to set up and start using your new Apple TV

Apple TV is a small, $99 box that runs a version of iOS on the inside and streams iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, MLB, NHL, and dozens of other services in up to 1080p directly to your big screen HDTV. It can also AirPlay content from, and even mirror the display of, your iPhone or iPad. What's more, the Apple TV is Amazingly simple to set up and use... once you know how!

How to set up your new Apple TV with tap-to-set-up and Bluetooth LE

If you have a newer Apple TV and an iPhone or iPad that meet the system requirements, you can use the tap-to-set-up method in order to quickly transfer settings from one device to another. Check this guide out first to see if your devices are compatible. If not, return here to set up your Apple TV manually in the next section.

How to manually set up your new Apple TV using the silver remote provided

  1. Connect your Apple TV to your television and plug it in.
  2. Switch to the input on your tv that you chose to connect your Apple TV to in step one.
  3. Now using the silver remote provided, select the language you'd like to use with the click wheel. Once you've found it, click the center button to select it and move to the next screen.
  4. Now scroll through the list and select your wireless network.
  5. If you have a WiFi password, you'll be prompted to entire it now. Just be sure to enter capitals exactly as they appear for your password. Also, keep in mind the pause/play button on the Apple TV remote is a quicker way to cycle through the different menus (capitals, small letters, and symbols).
  6. Your Apple TV will now connect to the network and activate and do any updates if necessary.
  7. On the next screen choose whether or not you'd like to allow Apple to collect data in order to improve their products. This choice is completely up to you.
  8. You should now see the main screen of your Apple TV, which means you're done!

That's all there is to it. You can now start to explore your new Apple TV. The top row of icons all represent Apple services such as iTunes Radio, Music, Movies, and TV Shows. The next several rows feature channels such as PBS, HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. For some services, you may need a specific subscription in order to access them. Clicking into a channel should tell you any information you need to know about accessing it.

As a side tip, if you don't fancy using the little silver remote that comes with the Apple TV, which most people don't, you can pick up the Remote app for iPhone and iPad in the App Store for free. This gives you better range as well as a full keyboard for text input. It's a much better way to experience the Apple TV and if you have an iPhone or an iPad, it's a must download app.

How to get more help with your Apple TV

If you need any additional help or have specific questions check out our Apple TV Forum!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to set up and start using your new Apple TV


The iOS Remote app easier to use for typing in passwords than using the remote control that comes with the AppleTV.

The Apple TV setup is so straightforward, it doesn't warrant a guide. People don't need to be told how to choose a language out of a list...

Just because it's straight forward to you it isn't to someone that has no idea and no experience with apple products.

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No idea how to say "English"--"oh, that's my network, this is my password"? The bluetooth setup is nifty, but i bet most people will just use the silver remote initially. I guess what I'm saying this isn't an instruction booklet with bad pictures and in broken English. My 8 year old cousin could figure this out on her own. It may be what people are searching for, but if you plug in the Apple TV and don't know how to navigate the basic prompts, there are bigger problems.

If folks are searching the Internet for information on how to properly set up an Apple TV, then there is every reason to have a guide they can find.

And honestly, I wasn't aware of the Bluetooth set up method, and I work here. I plugged mine in and set it up with the silver remote like an animal!

Advice: if an article is too basic for you, skip it. There are lots of folks out there that flinch at the word technology or setup. These things help them. And no it doesn't mean they have problems. It means it's not their comfort zone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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Thanks for the tip. Hopefully you will have to do this again shortly for the rumored new appleTV.

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There are a lot of gadgets today that are very easy to set up but for some people you say the word technology and they get overwhelmed. This is a guide that can ease the the mind of the technology challenged.

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