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5 common problems with Apple TV and how to fix them

Apple TV is only getting better with age, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. Here are five of the most common problems with Apple TV and how to fix them.

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Apple TV is a very capable streamer that has only gotten better over time, with the addition of the Siri remote, apps and a TV guide. Still, the Apple TV is not impervious to problems; there are a handful of common issues with the box. Fortunately, most of those problems are easily solved.

Here are five common problems with Apple TV and how you can fix them.

An app stops working

Just like with your smartphone, things can go awry with apps on Apple TV. Sometimes they lag or stop responding altogether. When this happens, your best option is to simply force close the app.

To force close an app, double-press the TV or Home button swipe left or right to highlight the app and swipe up on the Siri remote touchpad.

The Apple TV is acting glitchy

Sometimes it's more than just one app that's acting up. Also, from time to time, while the Apple TV is connected your wireless network and there is internet access, it's as if the apps just aren't receiving data, for no clear reason.

If the Apple TV is doing either of these things or is acting glitchy in general, it's best to just reboot it. You can do this by going to Settings > System > Restart, or by holding the Menu and TV button until the light on the front of the Apple TV begins blinking rapidly. When you release the two buttons on the remote, the Apple TV will restart.

The remote stops working

If the Siri remote stops working, first try charging it via the Lightning port along the bottom edge of the remote. You can check the charge level on the Apple TV under Remotes & Devices by using an iOS device as a remote.

If that doesn't work, try resetting the remote by putting it into pairing mode. Do this by holding the remote close to the Apple TV and holding Menu and Volume Up buttons for two to three seconds.

Audio isn't playing

Every so often, without explanation, audio will cut out on the Apple TV. Obviously, this will depend on your setup and settings, but if it happens to you, try restarting the television and any audio hardware connected to the Apple TV, such as a sound bar.

This will usually solve the problem. If it doesn't, however, try restarting the Apple TV. Also, make sure your audio settings are correct. Go to Settings > Audio and Video and ensure the correct speakers are selected for Audio Output and Audio Mode is set to Auto.

Not enough storage space

If you've installed a lot of applications or games on your Apple TV, storage space might get tight over time. The obvious solution is to remove unused apps and games. However, if you choose to do this from the home screen, it will take four steps to remove each app:

  • Highlight the application you want to remove and long press on the trackpad until the icons begin to wiggle.
  • Press the Play/Pause button.
  • Select Delete.
  • Click Delete once more to confirm.

If you're removing multiple apps, this could take quite a while. A faster way to remove apps that also shows how much precious storage space is being used by each app is to go to Settings > General > Manage Storage. Applications will be sorted in descending order by file size. Just click the trash can icon to the right of an app and click Delete to remove each app.