Fix Frozen Apple TV 4

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Fix Frozen Apple TV 4

Apple TV 4 users are occasionally faced with a frozen, unresponsive device. This article covers how to fix a frozen Apple TV.

Apple TV 4 is a relatively new device with a recently developed operating system, tvOS. This, combined with Apple’s decline in quality, has resulted in a substandard experience for many users.

The new Apple TV is an improvement over my last Apple TV 2, which rebooted itself a few times a night, usually in the middle of a video. I have to admit, both models of Apple TV have proven to be the worst tech products I have ever owned. They’re not the quality one would expect with Apple products. I use my Apple TV every night, and it can often provide hours of trouble-free entertainment. I do experience at least one problem every day, and some nights, it is just a frustrating experience.

Among its many flaws, the new Apple TV 4 can occasionally freeze, requiring the user to restart the device. Unfortunately, with a frozen Apple TV, users can’t navigate to the Settings screen to restart it. Fortunately, Apple has provided a way to restart Apple TV even if it’s completely frozen.

Force Apple TV 4 to Restart

Using the Siri remote, one can force Apple TV to restart, even when it is frozen. Simply hold down the Menu and Home (TV screen) button for about 6 seconds. The front light on your Apple TV base unit will start flashing rapidly. Release the buttons and your Apple TV will restart. It takes about 30 seconds to restart, however, if you are running tvOS 9.2, you may have to wait longer. The home screen may be frozen after Apple TV is restarted.

Hold Menu and Home Buttons to Restart Apple TV 4

Fix Frozen Home Screen After Restarting

tvOS 9.2 introduced a defect where the home screen is frozen after Apple TV restarts. Fortunately, this is easily fixed. Simply wait about a minute and then click the touchpad on the Siri remote. You should now be able to navigate the home screen and use your Apple TV.

Turn off Automatic Updates for tvOS

tvOS seems to introduce more defects in each release. While Apple fixes some problems, they also seem to create more than are fixed. I also found this to be true of my Apple TV 2. Around 2014, something changed at Apple and their products started to lack quality.

You don’t have to upgrade to the latest version of tvOS the day it comes out. It may be better to stick with the devil you know, and do some research. I actually researched tvOS 9.2 before upgrading, however, no one was writing about the problems. Tech writers were simply regurgitating the keynote. The Apple Support Forum is the best place to research the quality of any Apple release.

tvOS is set to update automatically by default. I recommend turning this off. You can turn off automatic tvOS system updates by going to Settings > System > Software Updates. The Software Updates screen will appear. Simply turn off Automatically Update. You can manually update Apple TV by returning to the Software Updates screen and selecting Update Software. This is also a great way to check if there are any new updates. (continue…)

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4 thoughts on “Fix Frozen Apple TV 4

    • What doesn’t work? Are you unable to restart Apple TV, or does it remain frozen after it restarts? My hunch is that your Siri Remote’s battery may be dead. Try recharging it. That’s the best advice I can give based on limited information.

  1. I was having the same issue, didn’t know the remote needed to charged like a phone every now and again 🤦🏽‍♀️

    • The problem for me was that when I originally got my Apple TV, the remote connected whenever Apple TV restarted. After a tvOS update, I now have to press a button on the remote for it to connect. So the freeze wasn’t actually a freeze. It was just that the Touch surface was unresponsive when my Apple TV restarted. I didn’t know what was happening! It’s clearly a defect. I mean, who doesn’t want their Siri Remote to connect to Apple TV?!?

      So I have actually never had my Apple TV freeze. It was just a remote bug. Some people claim it has happened and these instructions will fix it.

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