Apple TV 4: Hidden Advanced Settings Menu

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Apple TV 4 Hidden Secret Advanced Menu

tvOS features a secret advanced settings menu. This article shows you how to access the menu and describes each setting.

Apple products are known to be simple to use. They are designed to offer straightforward, easy-to-use settings. This also provides a clean and simple user interface. Users don’t need to drill down through pages of settings to make a change. Siri can even adjust some settings for you. This is the result of decades of usability research.

A lot of people love to fiddle with gadgets, and the Apple user experience leaves much to be desired. If you are one of these MacGyver types, you may wish to access Apple TV 4’s hidden advanced settings menu. Let’s take a look at how to open this secret screen.

Accessing Apple TV 4’s Hidden Advanced Settings Menu

Although the advanced settings menu is hidden, it’s not difficult to access. You won’t need any special code. Connecting your Apple TV to a Mac is not required.

First, open the Settings app and click on System > Software Updates. Next, tap the Play/Pause button on your Siri remote 4 times. The Advanced Settings menu item will appear. From here you can click on Advanced Settings to view the screen.

Before you do anything, make sure to take photos of this screen. If you accidentally change an advanced setting, the screenshot can help you restore it. Make sure to scroll down and take another photo of the bottom of the screen. Just in case you forget to do this, or lose the photo, I have transcribed the settings for you:

Use AppleConnect: Off
Apple ID:
Password:
Asset Server URL: http://mesu.apple.com/assets/tv
Brain Server URL: http://mesu.apple.com/assets/tv
Periodic Check Interval (s): 518400
Sleep Delay (s): 7200
Slow Update Timeout (s): 3600
MobileAsset Logging: Off

These are not all of the settings, as Build Train, Build Number and a few others have no defaults. Also, Verify AppleConnect Credentials invokes an action, and is not a setting.

Although the settings are transcribed, some of them may be specific to my locale or device. I still recommend taking screenshots before you alter any settings. If you accidentally change a setting, most of them can be restored to defaults by pressing the Play/Pause button while the field is highlighted.

The Advanced Settings menu option will disappear as soon as you exit the screen. You can display the menu item again by pressing the Play/Pause button 4 times on the Software Updates screen.

What Do The Apple TV 4 Advanced Settings Mean?

The Advanced Settings menu is not intended for use by consumers. This menu is designed for Apple Store employees and other technical support professionals. This doesn’t mean that you can’t alter these settings. I recommend sticking with the defaults, however, altering these settings will not permanently damage your Apple TV. In the worst case, you can just reset your Apple TV to factory settings. If you took screenshots of the settings, you can restore them to their defaults. You can also restore most of these settings to their defaults by pressing the Play/Pause button while the field is highlighted. Let’s take a look at what these settings mean.

AppleConnect is a system used to access internal Apple apps. These apps are intended for use by Apple employees. The apps are used to troubleshoot products and provide access to support. AppleConnect apps include Concierge and Switchboard, which are used to access Apple Store employee-specific apps.

I was able to verify AppleConnect credentials using my personal Apple ID. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much. I tried looking for AppleConnect apps in the App Store, to no avail. I even tried pressing the Play/Pause button four times on the home screen. Even though my Apple ID was validated, it appears that I don’t have access to AppleConnect apps. I really don’t have any use for them anyway. I tried this merely for editorial purposes. (continue…)

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