Apple TV 4: Hidden Advanced Settings Menu

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I think it’s better to turn off automatic updates. This will ensure that network bandwidth is only used for streaming. It will also give you a chance to confirm that a tvOS update is stable and reliable before upgrading.

MobileAsset Logging will track OTA (over-the-air) installation of tvOS system updates. The average user can’t read these logs on Apple TV. This setting, if activated, will create a log of all the different components installed with a tvOS update. Although your Apple TV is not a mobile device, this name originates from iOS OTA updates.

Other Apple TV 4 Secret Menus

The Advanced Settings menu isn’t the only hidden functionality on Apple TV. I found a few more hidden features, and there’s probably even more. It seems that pressing the Play/Pause button four times is the key to displaying these hidden items.

Apple TV 4 offers a retail demo mode. This feature is intended to provide an in-store demonstration for customers. There are two settings for demo mode — Apple Store and Channel. You can enable the retail demo mode by launching the Settings app and clicking on General. Next, tap the Play/Pause button 4 times. A screen will appear, prompting you to select Apple Store or Channel as the demo mode. Both demo modes will disable many of the menu options and disable app installation, ensuring that customers can’t fiddle with the in-store display model. This might actually be useful if you have guests that fiddle with your home electronics.

Demo mode allows configuration of a custom screensaver URL. Retail outlets could use this feature to brand or promote Apple TV or other products while the device is idle. The default screensaver for Demo Mode will display Apple’s marketing video in a loop. It may take a few minutes for this screensaver to replace your existing one, as the content needs to be downloaded.

It’s also possible to restrict video playback duration, ensuring that customers can’t “hog” the display model. This feature could also be used to limit viewing time for children. Make sure to click on Apply Changes to launch demo mode or to turn it off.

Home screen layout and installed apps are not affected by Demo Mode. This configuration simply prevents app installation and changes to settings, while providing a mechanism for custom screensavers.

Diagnostics mode is for use by Apple employees only. It requires a support ticket number in order to be activated. You must enter a valid number, which is verified before diagnostics can be run. It’s possible that an Apple customer service representative could guide you through this process over the phone. You can launch Diagnostics mode by going to Settings > General > About and tapping the Play/Pause button four times. You won’t be able to do much with this screen unless you have a valid support ticket number.

Even More Secret Menus?

As you can see, Apple products aren’t as simple as some may claim. They can work in many different ways. Although they shield the average user from complexity, hidden menus provide advanced settings and capabilities. There may be more hidden features in Apple TV. I will keep looking for these hidden screens. If you happen to find any, please mention them in the comments below.

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2 comments

  1. FYI AppleConnect is Apple’s internal VPN, used for installing any version of iOS uploaded to it, circumventing the signing restrictions on most iPhones making them only able to update to the latest several versions. The advanced settings menu is basically a version of PurpleRestore built into tvOS. Also, I found two other secret menus- pressing play/pause 4 times on the iCloud section of accounts will give you an option to add an AppleConnect account, and pressing it 4 times in networking will let you use a secure WiFi profile to connect, as well as giving an AppleConnect signin.

  2. Using the down arrow on my Vizio TV (M80-D3) remote, I can get the Part number and HDMI Firmware version to show on Settings: General: About menu!

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