Apple TV: Basic troubleshooting
If you have an issue with Apple TV, there's usually a quick and simple solution you can try.
Apple TV (1st generation), Apple TV (2nd generation), Apple TV (3rd generation)
Tip: If you have an Apple TV (1st generation) and you can't view your Apple TV under Devices in iTunes, go here and try the troubleshooting steps.
First things to check
- Make sure the television you are using supports the Apple TV resolution requirements. Please reference the Apple TV technical specifications.
- The audio and video cables between Apple TV and your television are connected properly.
- The power cords for Apple TV and your television are securely connected to a working power source.
- Your TV is turned on and switched to the correct input.
- Apple TV is connected to the network. Go to the Settings menu on Apple TV, select General then Network, and make sure Apple TV has a valid IP address. If it starts with 169.x.x.x, then the router or base station may not be configured properly.
- Your network and Internet connections are on and working properly.
- You are able to sign-in to the iTunes Store on Apple TV.
If you are still having trouble, you can try to reset your equipment by unplugging Apple TV, your television, your wireless networking equipment or AirPort Base Station, and your router from their power outlet. Wait 30 seconds, then plug everything back in.
If an issue still occurs, refer to the appropriate section below.
If your TV screen appears fuzzy or black (you see no video)
- Make sure the television you are using supports the Apple TV resolution requirements. Please see the Apple TV technical specifications.
- When you connect power, check to make sure the LED turns on. If the LED is not on, then verify with a known good power outlet or connect something else to the outlet you're using for Apple TV and make sure it works (such as a lamp or clock).
- Make sure you're using the correct video cables and that they are connected firmly to Apple TV and to your TV.
- Connect the HDMI cable directly into the Apple TV and your television, remove any third party devices or adapters.
- Make sure the input setting you've selected on your TV matches the input you have your video cables connected to. See the documentation that came with your TV for more information.
- Change the Apple TV resolution by pressing and holding the Menu and Up button for six seconds. The Apple TV will automatically cycle to the next resolution at approximately 20 second intervals. Pressing the Select button will immediately cycle to the next resolution.
- If you are connected via HDMI, try unplugging and replugging your HDMI cable.
- If HDMI isn't working on an Apple TV (1st generation), try component cables instead (and disconnect the HDMI cable temporarily). Read more about HDMI vs component video.
If you can see a picture but Apple TV isn't responding
Note: If the Apple TV status light does not flash white when you press a remote button, the issue may be with the remote. In this case, go to the the "If the remote isn't working" section below.
- Press and hold Menu on the Apple Remote to return to the Apple TV main menu.
- Reset Apple TV by unplugging it from the power outlet, waiting about five seconds, then plugging it in again or by pressing and holding Menu and down / scroll on your Apple remote.
- Power off your TV, wait five seconds, then power it back on.
- Make sure your TV is functioning correctly. See the documentation that came with your TV for more information.
If you can see video but can't hear sound
- If Apple TV is connected to a receiver, make sure the receiver is turned on.
- Make sure the input setting you've selected on your receiver matches the input you have your audio cables connected to. See the documentation that came with your receiver for more information.
- Make sure the volume on your TV or receiver is turned up and isn't muted.
- Check whether you can hear sound while playing video only. Also, check whether you can hear audio feedback while clicking through menu options.
- If you're connected to the HDMI port on your TV and Apple TV, make sure your TV supports audio through its HDMI port. The HDMI ports on some older TVs support only video.
- If you are using HDMI audio, try disconnecting and reconnecting the HDMI cable.
- If you're connected to the HDMI port on your TV and Apple TV, make sure your TV is setup to receive audio from HDMI. For some TV's this is automatic, but for others there is a choice between digital and analog (for HDMI audio, choose digital). Read more about HDMI audio.
- Try the other audio outputs on Apple TV to see if they work.
- If possible, try using different audio cables.
If your Apple Remote isn't working with Apple TV
- If you paired the Apple Remote with Apple TV, make sure you're using the paired remote. Go here to read more about pairing and unpairing your Apple Remote.
- If you are using the wrong remote on a paired Apple TV (2nd generation or 3rd generation), the status light will quickly flash 3 times. If you're using the wrong remote with a paired Apple TV (1st generation), the Apple TV status light flashes amber.
- If you're using the remote and the Apple TV status light flashes white once, the issue isn't with the remote. See the "If you can see a picture but Apple TV isn't responding" section.
- If you've paired Apple TV and Apple Remote, and you can't find the paired remote, set Apple TV to work with any remote by pressing and holding Menu and the Previous/Rewind (left scroll) button for 6 seconds.
- Point the remote directly at Apple TV.
- Make sure the IR receiver on the front of the Apple TV isn't blocked.
- Apple TV (1st generation) only: The up/scroll and down/scroll buttons on Apple Remote control the volume of music playback only. Click here for more information.
- If Apple TV displays an image of a remote and a warning symbol, you need to replace the battery in the remote. Go here to learn about changing the Apple Remote battery.
- Try a different remote if available.
If you're not able to associate with a wireless network:
- Check the IP address Apple TV is using. If it starts with 169.x.x.x, then the router or base station may not be configured properly. Check to see if DHCP access is available or configure Apple TV with a manual IP address.
- If DHCP is available, go to Settings menu, select General then Network and Configure TCP/IP. Make sure the Apple TV is set to Automatic.
- Check for any obstructions and adjust the location of the base station and/or Apple TV if necessary.
- If security is enabled on the network, temporarily disable it on the base station and try connecting again.
You can also check the following articles to see if any apply to your network:
- Apple TV: Troubleshooting wireless connections
- Configuring Firewalls on Windows for use with Apple TV
- Apple TV (1st generation): Wireless networking list does not display my wireless access point's name
- Apple TV: WPA-Enterprise encryption does not ask for a user name
- Apple TV: Switching between wired and wireless networks
- Apple TV: Connections through proxy servers are not supported
If other Apple TVs show up periodically in your iTunes Devices list (Apple TV 1st generation only)
This means that iTunes has found other Apple TVs on your network. To prevent this, choose Preferences in iTunes, click Apple TV, and make sure "Look for Apple TVs" is not selected.
If Apple TV isn't playing or streaming your photo albums or slideshows
Make sure you have photos in your photo library or in a folder on your computer. For more about syncing and streaming photos to Apple TV please see the following:
- Apple TV (1st generation): Syncing photos via iTunes
- Apple TV (2nd generation and 3rd generation): How to use your photos with your Apple TV screensaver
If you are having issues streaming content from a computer, see these articles
- Setting up Home Sharing for Apple TV (2nd generation and 3rd generation)
- Troubleshooting Home Sharing
- Can't enable Home Sharing for multiple accounts