Apple TV aerial

tvOS 13 is now available for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. That means you can install and update right now if it hasn't already happened automatically. But if it times out, fails to verify, won't download, won't complete, or won't reboot, you don't have a whole lot of ways to get the help you need. Here's hoping everything goes smoothly, but if it doesn't, here's what you can try!

How to force quit the Settings app

If the Settings app won't find tvOS to install or won't let you start the update, you can try force-quitting it. Just press and hold the Menu button on your Siri remote. Easy as pie.

How to restart the Apple TV

If you're still having trouble, you can force restart the Apple TV itself:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Restart.

Or simply hold down the Menu and Home button until the Apple TV resets.

How to fix a bricked Apple TV

Apple TV Siri Remote

If your Apple TV is completely unresponsive, you can try restarting your Apple TV using your Siri Remote.

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Press and hold the Home Button (the one that looks like a TV) and the Menu Button at the same time for about 6 seconds. Let go when the status light on your Apple TV starts flashing.

Restore your Apple TV HD via iTunes

On Apple TV HD, you can plug your Apple TV into your Mac using a USB-C cable and restore it from iTunes.

  1. Plug your Apple TV in to your computer using a USB-C to USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Select the Apple TV from the Devices menu, then click Restore Apple TV.

Restore your Apple TV 4K the hard way

The Apple TV 4K does not have a USB-C port, and so doesn't easily connect to your computer for an iTunes Restore. If you call Apple support for help, it's likely that you'll be asked to send in your Apple TV. However, some users have had success by power cycling their Apple TV five or six times in a row by unplugging the Apple TV, waiting a minute, and then plugging back in the Apple TV.

This should send the Apple TV 4K into factory reset mode, which will erase all of your settings, but should unfreeze your Apple TV.

Still can't get your Apple TV to work?

It may be time to book a Genius appointment at a nearby Apple Store. You may be asked for your Apple TV's serial number; you can find it by checking one of three sources:

  • If your Apple TV boots, you can go to Settings > General > About (or Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth > Remote for your Siri Remote's serial number).
  • Can't get any signal from your Apple TV? Turn it over; the serial number is located on the bottom of the device, below the FCC symbols and information.

If you're on the developer beta, and the Apple Store knows it, they may redirect you to developer support. If you failed to install the public beta, though, or they just take pity on you, they may help you anyway.

Any other tvOS 13 questions or troubleshooting worries?

Run into a problem with the new Apple TV beta you can't fix? Let us know in the comments!

Updated September 2019: Updated for tvOS 13.

Apple TV 4K


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