Restore your Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)

Learn how to restore your Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation).

Follow the steps below to resolve issues with your Apple TV, such as:

  • Unexpected or inconsistent behavior by your Apple TV.
  • An interruption during software update.
  • The unit doesn't start or doesn't take you to the main menu.
  • The unit stops responding to the remote control (for example, the status light (LED) on the front is solid white).

Restore your Apple TV to factory settings

If you can get to the Apple TV main menu, try the steps below. If you can't get to the main menu, skip to the next section.

  1. Choose Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Choose Restore.

This process restores your Apple TV to factory settings and downloads and installs the latest software. Your account information and settings (for example, your Apple ID or Netflix password) will be erased as well. Once the restore is complete, you'll need to re-enter this information.

The restore process might take some time. Don't disconnect your Apple TV's power cable during the process.

Restore your Apple TV in iTunes

For this process, which installs the latest software and reverts the device to factory settings, you'll need:

  • A micro-USB cable (sold separately).
    Micro-USB cables used only to charge a device won't work for this process.
  • A computer with iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version.
  • A high-speed Internet connection.

Follow the steps below to restore in iTunes:

  1. Disconnect the power and HDMI cables from the Apple TV.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.
  3. Find out which Apple TV model you have.
  4. Connect your Apple TV to your computer.
    Apple TV (2nd generation): Connect one end of the micro-USB cable to the back of your Apple TV, and the other end to one of your computer's USB ports.
    Apple TV (3rd generation): Connect one end of the micro-USB cable to the back of your Apple TV, and the other end to one of your computer's USB ports. Connect the power cable from your Apple TV to a power outlet.
  5. From the Apple TV summary page in iTunes, click Restore Apple TV. This step might take some time, depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

    If you don't see the restore screen in iTunes, find your device.
  6. During the restore, do not unplug any cables.
  7. After the restore process completes and the Apple TV icon disappears from iTunes, disconnect the micro-USB and power cable (if applicable).
  8. Reconnect your Apple TV to your TV and plug it back in to a power source.

If you leave your Apple TV plugged in to your computer after restoring, it might loop back into restore mode. If this happens, unplug all of the cables from the Apple TV, then connect to your TV normally.

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