How to Reset / Restore / Restart Apple TV

Apple TV can develop a variety of issues and can stop communicating with your TV, or can become unresponsive to the instructions you give.  Most of the time, the issue is software based. Whatever the issue is, there are three methods that normally tend to work. The reset, restart and the factory restore option.

Restart will simply reboot the unresponsive device, and reset will erase the temporary memory to clear existing and current settings so it can start over again. Restore will download a new image of the latest firmware from the Apple Store via iTunes and install it on your Apple TV.

Solution 1: Restart Your Apple TV (If Responsive)

If you are able to use the Apple TV, go to Settings > System and click on Restart. If you own a 3rd or 4th Generation Apple TV, go to Settings > General and then click on Restart. A normal reboot of your Apple TV usually takes care of most problems that could occur. If however it does not help and you still sit there with a unresponsive or half-working Apple TV, try solution 2.

restart apple tv

Solution 2: Restart using the Remote (Not Responsive)

If your Apple TV is unresponsive and does not take any further commands, then you will also not be able to navigate around in the menu. This usually happens due to a lost HDMI handshake and can be easily fixed with a simple reboot, done with the remote. To do just that, press and Hold the Menu and Down keys and keep holding them for 6 seconds. The white light on the Apple TV should start flashing and blink rapidly. Let go of the buttons and wait till the devices finished rebooting. This should fix it and get your Apple TV back to working again. In case this also did not help, try the last solution.

Solution 3: Disconnect the Power (Not Responsive)

When solution 1 and 2 just did not do anything, try to simply cut the power to your Apple TV. To do that, just unplug the device and leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds. Then plug it in again and wait till it finished rebooting and check if the device is working again.

Solution 4: Factory Reset your Apple TV (If Responsive)

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. This will return the Apple TV to it’s factory settings (as it came when you set it up the first time.

Solution 5: Restore via iTunes (Last Resort)

You will need to connect the Apple TV to a computer running iTunes. Once connected, open iTunes and use the Restore Apple TV option to reinstall the factory image from Apple. This should normally fix all issues you previously had unless the issue is a hardware-related.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.