Tip: How to manually "mark as watched" on Apple TV

Wondering how to manually force your movies, TV shows, and podcasts to be "mark as watched" on your Apple TV? You might be considering the current Apple TV (2010) is really, really buggy about doing it automatically. Watch something and it's a coin toss as to whether or not Apple TV realizes it. Hopefully Apple will fix it in the upcoming iOS update. Either way, when Apple TV fails, we'll show you how to do it yourself after the break.

Here's how to manually "mark as watched" on your Apple TV:

  • Highlight the movie, TV show, or Podcast you want to mark as watched
  • Press and hold down the menu button
  • A popup will appear asking you to "Mark as watched" or Cancel
  • Click the menu button again

And you're done.

It's extra steps, yes. It's annoying, for sure. But even if/when Apple fixes the bug it can come in handy, especially for old content you've added to your Mac or Windows iTunes collection that you want to have handy but isn't really new or "unwatched".

Bonus tip: If you've added a ton of old content, say a bunch of home movies you've ripped, it's much fasted to go to iTunes on your Mac or PC, select it all, right click, and choose "mark as watched" right in iTunes.

Let us know how this tip works out for you, and as always, ask any questions you have in the comments below or get even more help in our Apple TV Forum!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

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

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Tip: How to manually "mark as watched" on Apple TV


In iTunes we have the ability to set it up so that our media starts at a specified point (ex. 5 seconds) into the movie. Can we transfer these settings to Apple TV? If not, is there a way to specify it on the actual device?

Yeah, I've noticed this bug. Good tip.
But is that really true that the new Apple TV will be updated, too? I know that the Apple TV 2G is running iOS, but it's clearly a different version.

Thanks for sharing the tip. Though I had already found this tip when I reported this to ya, it will be a nice tip for others. I wish I would have known about this a week or 2 ago.
Thanks again Rene. Keep the tips coming.

Matthew, I imagine the Apple TV will have to be updated to support AirPlay video from iPads/iPhones.

this never works for me. clicking mark was watched just throws me back to the main menu and does not actually mark it as watched