iOS 17 makes it easier than ever to fix a bricked Apple TV

Apple TV 4K 2022 box on a counter
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

If you've ever had an Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD get itself into a bit of a pickle, you're probably all too familiar with how much of a mess that can be. But with iOS 17, that's no longer the case.

While restoring an Apple TV would require either plugging it into a Mac in the case of the HD version or involving Apple for the 4K model, that's no longer going to be the case.

While it might not be a headline iOS 17 feature, being able to restore a broken Apple TV without quite so much fuss is going to be a big deal if and when people come to need it.

iPhone-based recovery

The new iPhone-based recovery feature was first reported by MacRumors and will simply require that people unlock their iPhone and place it near the Apple TV to begin the recovery process. They'll be prompted to do so by a new on-screen message that will display an Apple TV and an iPhone.

This will of course also require that Apple TV users have the tvOS 17 update installed, something that we suggest everyone does as soon as possible for this one feature alone. But other additions like support for FaceTime also make this a must-have update for Apple TV owners everywhere.

You won't need to have splashed out on Apple's best iPhones to do any of this, thankfully. The latest and greatest iOS update is compatible with the iPhone XS and newer which means there's a very good chance that anyone with an Apple TV will also have a device capable of running iOS 17.

The Apple TV and iPhone aren't the only devices with new software, either. Mac owners have macOS Sonoma while Apple Watch owners have watchOS 10. Those using an iPad can also download iPadOS 17, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.