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(9 Fixes) Apple TV Not Working [Updated 2023 Guide]

Apple TV Not Working

The Apple TV app is everywhere.

From Apple gadgets and smart TVs…

To media players and gaming consoles.

You can access this app anywhere. 

But what if it isn’t working on your device?

Worry not. I’ve got a few easy fixes up my sleeve.


Continue reading to find out:

  • 9 effective ways to fix Apple TV.
  • Whether your device is actually compatible with Apple TV.
  • Apple TV’s download speed requirement to stream without issues.
  • And this is just the beginning…

Why is Apple TV not working?

Apple TV isn’t working because you’re having connectivity issues. Resetting your modem and router should fix that.  Also, the app may be glitching. Closing and relaunching it should resolve that. You may also do a power cycle on your device. And you may opt to delete and then reinstall the app. 

Apple TV not working: 9 fixes

#1: Verify if Apple TV is experiencing a service interruption

As of 2022, there are over 1.4 billion Apple devices in use worldwide.

Most of those have the Apple TV app preinstalled. 

And since early 2019, Apple TV has also been available on non-Apple platforms. 

So from there, you can get an idea of how broad the reach of this app is. And how many people are actually using it. 

That’s why it’s inevitable that Apple TV experiences outages from time to time. 

So regardless of where you’re watching it…

If the app isn’t working, check first if it’s down. 

The easiest way to check is by going to Apple’s System Status page.  

Look for Apple TV Channels and Apple TV+. If there’s a green mark beside them, it means they’re up and running. If the mark’s red, then the service is down. 

In addition, you may also check its status via 3rd party websites:

You may also try to stream from another device. You can watch Apple TV from a web browser instead of the app. 

And if it’s still not working, then there really is a service interruption. 

To their credit, Apple TV’s outages don’t last long. And they’re usually resolved almost immediately. 

So you won’t have to wait that long to watch your favorite series on the app. 

#2: Check if you’re having network connection issues

Check If You're Having Network Connection Issues

Are you watching Apple TV from your laptop? From a smart TV? Or from a phone connected to your TV?

Regardless of where you’re watching, you need a stable internet connection. 

Apple TV gives you the option to view in either High Definition (HD) or 4K.

HD would require at least 5 Mbps to stream without buffers. With 4K, you’d need at least 25 Mbps. 

So if you’re struggling to play a video, chances are it’s with your connection.

An easy way to fix your WiFi connection is by performing a power cycle on your modem and router.

A power cycle means resetting your electronic device. It only takes a few seconds to do. Yet it’s really effective in fixing a lot of technical issues.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Unplug your modem and router from the outlet.
  2. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Plug both devices back in.

Wait for all the lights to stop blinking. And wait until your device successfully reconnects. 

Then try to relaunch the Apple TV app. Check if you’re now able to stream. 

Now, do you happen to have multiple devices connected to your WiFi?

If so, try to disconnect them first. That way, Apple TV doesn’t have to compete for bandwidth. 

And if you’re using cellular data, try to go to Airplane Mode for a few seconds. And then reconnect. 

You may also move to a spot where you can get better network coverage.

#3: Restart your device

When Apple said that the Apple TV app is everywhere, they really meant it.

Aside from Apple devices, you can also stream from the app on these platforms:

And if your device isn’t on the list, you can always stream via a web browser.

Now here are the common Apple TV issues you’ll encounter on all of those devices:

  • Buffering.
  • Gray screen.
  • Black screen.
  • Frequent crashes.
  • Stuck at the Welcome screen.

But regardless of the device or the issue… 

One of the most effective ways to fix glitches is simply doing a power cycle. Basically, just restart your device.

If you’re using a smart TV, streaming device, or gaming console, here’s how to do it:

  1. Unplug your device from the power outlet.
  2. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  3. Plug it back in.

For phone and laptop users, you may press the Power button until your device shuts off. And then press it again to turn it on. 

Power cycling almost always works because it returns a device to a stable state. 

That’s why it’s extremely effective. Even on issues with other services and devices. Such as Netflix not working on Smart TV

So after your device finishes restarting, try to relaunch the app. 

You should now be able to stream from Apple TV without a hitch.

#4: Resolve any billing issues

One of the great things about Apple TV is that you can pick and choose which channels to subscribe to. 

Love streaming original movies and series? Go for Apple TV+.

If you’re into documentaries, there’s CuriosityStreams and History Vault. 

And if you prefer classic movies, there’s AMC+ and Cinemax. 

This is unlike cable, where you pay for hundreds of channels at once. Most of which you don’t even watch. 

And all of these subscriptions are paid under Apple TV. So it’s really easy to manage.

However, it’s possible that you’re not able to stream because of subscription issues.

Your payment for Apple TV’s monthly fee may have been declined. Or a glitch in the app accidentally canceled one of your channels.

So you should also check this if you’re having issues streaming.

Here’s how to manage your Apple TV subscriptions:

  1. Click the Settings icon on Apple TV.
  2. Select Users and Accounts.
  3. Select Subscriptions.

You’ll see a list of all the currently subscribed channels. You’ll also see which ones have already expired. 

You may also change your payment info from there.

#5: Make sure you’re not exceeding Apple TV’s device limits

Apple TV has a Family Sharing feature. This allows the account holder to share the subscription with up to 6 family members.

But there are also restrictions. 

Only 3 devices can stream from the same channel at the same time. 

So say you’re subscribed to Cinemax. 

And currently, 3 of your family members are already watching it from separate gadgets.

That means you can no longer stream from that channel. 

This is a possible reason if you’re getting an error when trying to stream.

So what can you do about it? 

You can just switch to another one of your channel subscriptions in the meantime. Wait until one of your family members finishes streaming. 

Apple TV has plenty of channels. So you have a lot to choose from.

But always be mindful of Apple TV’s device restrictions.

#6: Install updates for the Apple TV app

Install Updates For The Apple TV App

Apple periodically releases updates for its streaming app. 

Updates are valuable because they’re meant to enhance the app’s features. They’re also intended to fix nagging bugs. 

Now if you’re using Apple TV from a smart TV, updates should come automatically. As long as you’re connected to the internet, the app will update in the background.

On some devices, you can manually check for updates. 

How to update Apple TV on iOS

  1. From your Home screen, tap the App Store icon.
  2. Click the Search icon.
  3. Type in “Apple TV” in the search bar and click Search.
  4. Click the Update button beside the Apple TV app.

How to update Apple TV on Firestick 

  1. Press the Home button on your Firestick remote.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Highlight Apple TV.
  4. Press the button with 3 horizontal lines on your remote.
  5. Select More Info.
  6. Click Update.

How to update Apple TV on Playstation

  1. On your Home screen, select the main menu.
  2. Navigate to TV & Video.
  3. Select the Apple TV app.
  4. Press the Options button on your controller.
  5. Select Check for Updates.

#7: Update your device’s firmware

Updating the firmware would also update the Apple TV app on some devices like MacBook and Roku. 

So make sure that you’re also running the latest firmware. 

How to install updates on macOS

  1. Click the System Preferences icon.
  2. Select Software Update.
  3. Click the Update Now button. 

Note: Your MacBook would need at least 50% of battery power to install updates. You may also just plug it into an outlet if the battery’s running low.

Want a visual guide?  Then hit the “Play” button on this video:

How to install updates on Roku

  1. Press the Home button on your Roku remote.
  2. Navigate to Settings and click it.
  3. Select System.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Click the Check Now option.

#8: Reset the Apple TV app

Another effective way to fix a glitching Apple TV app is by resetting it.

This is essentially a factory reset. So all of your information is erased. Including your account details and personal settings and preferences. 

This will also remove all the TV shows and movies you downloaded for offline viewing.

These are the steps to do it:

  1. On the Apple TV app’s Home screen, select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Reset and click it.
  3. Select Reset again to confirm.

#9: Delete and reinstall the Apple TV app

Another way to fix the Apple TV app is by completely deleting it from your device. And then reinstalling.

The process of deletion will vary per device. But generally, you can find it in the menu that manages your installed apps.

After deleting the app, don’t reinstall it right away. 

It’s best to restart your device first. And then download and install the app afterward. 

You can find the Apple TV app in these stores:

  • Fire TV Apps.
  • Apple App Store.
  • PlayStation Store.
  • Google Play Store.
  • Roku Channel Store.

Bonus: Contact Apple for customer support

So you’ve tried all of the fixes. Yet Apple TV still isn’t working on your device. 

Then it’s likely that the issue is on Apple’s end. 

And it’s best to contact them for customer and tech support.

Apple has a dedicated team for its streaming services. You can either schedule a call or chat with them through their website.

They should be able to help fix your Apple TV app.

You might also like: Is There A Monthly Fee For Apple TV? Is It Worth It?