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How to take a screenshot or record video on your Apple TV

Whether you want to preserve a picture of your epic battlefield results or want to build an app walkthrough for your mother, the fourth-generation Apple TV has you covered: You can create both screenshots and video recordings using the set top box, a USB-C to USB cable, and your computer.

Note: You won't be able to use these commands or controls for any copyrighted or DRM-laden content; try to do so, and you'll just see a blank, black screen.

How to take a screenshot on the Apple TV

  1. Install Xcode (opens in new tab) from the Mac App Store.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac with a USB-C to USB cable.
  3. Open Xcode and go to the Window menu.
  4. Open the Devices window.


  1. Select your Apple TV.
  2. Click on the Take Screenshot button.

How to take a video on the Apple TV

  1. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac with a USB-C to USB cable.
  2. Open QuickTime Player.
  3. Go to File > New Movie Recording.
  4. Click on the down arrow next to the Record button.


  1. Select Apple TV under Camera and Microphone.
  2. Press Record.

Questions?

Drop them in the comments.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

8 Comments
  • Won't be doing that too often then !
  • I won't be doing it ever. My iMac and tv are in different rooms. Taking a simple screenshot shouldn't be this hard.
  • use your iphone camera them import to mac ?
  • That would just be taking a pic of your tv right? That wouldn't be a screenshot. Or are you suggesting something else and I'm just misunderstanding?
  • This doesn't work for me unless the Apple TV is *also * connected to an active HDMI connection. Without it, the Apple TV doesn't output its screen via USB-C
  • Neat USB-C is good for something useful besides restoring :D
  • So essentially we could record movies and tv shows directly from our MAC or does HDCP stop that still?
  • HDCP would stop that i would think There would need to be HDMI in for it to work, I guess Thunderbolt could carry this. I thought Apple had encrypted their movies/TV shows too ?? Yet another reason why it wouldn't work. However nothing stops u logging into iTunes, downloading the content and watching it.