Fix “An Error Occurred Loading This Content”

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Is There a DDoS Attack?

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is where malicious code is executed on several devices. These devices hammer away at DNS servers. The overwhelming traffic prevents the servers from handling legitimate requests. This is one of the most common attacks. It’s not very sophisticated, but effective at obstructing Internet traffic.

If your ISP or content provider is subject to a DDoS attack, your Apple TV may display “An error occurred loading this content”. If you run an Ookla Speedtest, it may very well show that you have adequate Internet speeds. DDoS attacks affect Domain Name System (DNS) servers. These servers translate a domain name (netflix.com) into an IP address. Domain name lookup is affected, not IP traffic. Unfortunately, this is enough to bring down most Internet services, including video streaming.

A DDoS attack is likely if Speedtest shows fast speeds but you can’t connect to any websites on a computer. If you can still access a website by IP address, then it is probably a DDoS attack.

You can search for DDoS attacks in Google News to find out if there is a rash of attacks. These usually happen as outbreaks until network engineers can block the malicious IP addresses. Technology to automatically handle these attacks is improving, but they still happen.

Restart Apple TV

If all else fails, try restarting your Apple TV. This can sometimes fix streaming, but “An error occurred loading this content” is usually caused by Internet-related issues. You can restart your Apple TV by going to Settings > General > Restart. You can also restart Apple TV with a remote control shortcut. Hold down the bottom button (on the ring) and menu button for 6 seconds, until the light on your Apple TV starts flashing.

Restore Apple TV to Factory Settings

As a last resort, you can restore your Apple TV to factory settings. Do this only after everything else has failed and your Apple TV persistently displays the error. A factory reset is not a huge deal. After the reset, you will need to sign in to services again, such as iTunes, Netflix and any other subscription. If you purchased these subscriptions via iTunes, it’s even easier. You will also need to connect to your WiFi router with a password. Just make sure you know all of your user IDs and passwords before you proceed.

Go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Restore, to begin the process. Apple TV will guide you through the initial setup process.

Watch Apple TV Later

You can’t fix problems with your Internet service provider or a content provider’s data center. At best, you can find something else to watch. If your Internet connection is down, this isn’t even an option. You’ll just have to wait it out and enjoy your streaming program later.

Keep a Collection of Downloaded Video

Apple TV is my main source of entertainment. I cancelled cable a few years ago. When Apple TV isn’t working, I do have a few options. If you are a cord-cutter, it’s always a good idea to keep a collection of downloaded videos. For example, I purchased all six Star Wars movies from iTunes when they were on sale. They are all downloaded onto my iPad. If my Internet connection is too slow or content providers are having problems, this won’t affect AirPlay. AirPlay works over your local WiFi network. (continue…)

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38 comments

  1. Got an apple tv 3rd generation handed down to me. I’m able to play a lot of podcasts but for some of them, I get this “error loading this content message.” I’ve tried all suggestions, soft reset, factory reset, restore, power cycle, turning off restrictions, adjusting video quality (shouldn’t matter for podcasts tho), using ethernet cable (internet speed is 400 mbps), signing in to my apple ID, software update (7.9), every suggestion I could find online. The same podcasts work on my iphone so it’s not that the episodes I’m trying to listen to are unavailable. Is this just the fact that it’s 3rd generation? Help!

    1. The third-generation Apple TV is extremely old. It came out almost a decade ago. I think the software may be out of date. Perhaps some Podcasts require encoding software that isn’t available to the third generation model. Try using AirPlay to beam the content to your Apple TV. Let us know how it works out!

  2. I also get this error on my Apple Tv when trying to use Airplay through the Peloton app on my iPhone. Any suggestions?

    1. I don’t use Peloton, however, it’s most likely an issue on their end. Their stock tanked, so they probably lost a lot of talent. After all, they were attached to the fruits of their actions before they even ripened. I was in a similar workplace, so it’s fairly common.

      Unfortunately, you’re paying customers, but it’s hard to find good tech workers, and with the current crisis, bringing in talented Indians on H1-B visas is not going to happen.

      Peloton will eventually fix their data center and scaling issues and it should work again. The problem is not on Apple’s end. It has nothing to do with Apple, Apple TV or the source AirPlay device.

      It’s unfortunate that paying customers have to put up with this when gyms are shut down. Peloton is a premium product, so there’s no good excuse.

  3. My peloton app should be easily streaming my classes to the tV via airplay but I keep getting the dreaded code- error, can not load content. I’ve checked all my setting. Restarted Apple TV 3x my Fios internet is fabulous & working well.

    1. Thank you for your comment!

      It’s probably an issue on Peloton’s side. The content is streaming from Peloton’s data center. I bet if you try again later, it will work. Servers go down from time to time.

  4. Thanks for the suggestion to restart AppleTV. We did that and it appears to have fixed the problem. We are using AppleTV in Germany.

  5. I am getting the following error message when I play any video clip in Foxnews on Apple TV, I am in Singapore.

    Unexpected Error
    Unable to play video
    Go Back

    I updated my Apple TV software but problem persists.
    I can still access Foxnews on my iPad and iPhone.

    1. Due to the pandemic, a lot of people are under stay-at-home orders. They’re online and Apple’s servers are overwhelmed. No amount of capacity planning accounts for pandemics. They have throttled video quality on Apple TV+ and other services, however, it’s not enough. Expect the virtual world to be slow and full of hiccups until the stay-at-home orders are lifted throughout the world.

  6. Yup, I’m having this issue on my gen 3 as well. But only with the Youtube app. Like so many others I’ve tried everything from restarting and resetting the ATV. I’ve changed DNS and tried with a different ISP altogether. But honestly, I find the whole thing getting worse for each update. Using Airplay from another device used to work perfect every time but these days I find this to be shit ass well. Fuc*ing Tim Apple.

  7. Same here YouTube music does not load an error occurred loading this content other videos will tried resetting restarting resolution change network nothing helps but then I noticed it worked yesterday for about 3 hours and now it’s back to s–t

  8. I am having the same problem: Loading content try later. Well now I have a lot of time on my hands as I’m quarantined. But “..try later” geeze! Lots of replys above but has anyone come up with a solution. FYI my apple tv is a 1st gen and was working fine until about mid March, 2020.

    1. Same here. VEVO music isn’t working and few other music channels. Everything else is fine.
      And all these videos work fine on on my laptop and phone. It started happening from the 27/3. Anyone else?

      Am using an Older version of Apple TV.

      1. Same here … youtube wont play videos. Only ads. And Vevo as well but i can cast them from my phone to the apple tv tho. Netflix works

      2. Yes same with me YouTube music vids
        On Apple TV 3rd gen. Same vids work
        Streaming airplay from YouTube on ipad and iPhone I started about two weeks ago. Not all YouTube music vids does this. Tried everything but restore
        ?

    2. Same, my Apple TV only shows this msg on music videos. Its been going on a week now. Anyone know why its only on select Music channels/videos?

      Thank you

        1. Yes same here. It’s just you tube om my apple tv3 usually live music shows. I’ve tried every trick in the book. All other apps are wirking perfectly.Could it be some sort of overload due to the lockdown??

          1. Nailed it! Apple has actually reduced Apple TV+ streaming quality down to 3G bandwidth. Their backend is still having problems. Overall, Internet speed is slower and virtually every tech company is throttling bandwidth to serve more users.

      1. Yep same here, I noticed it a few days ago on 27/3/20 on all of my gen 3 apple tv’s. I can play normal YouTube videos but not music videos for some reason. Just keeps saying “An Error occurred loading this content try again later”

        1. Same here!!! I noticed it this week! But I didn’t use it for like a week before that so it might have start by that date too… no vevo videos or other music channels. It will perfectly play cartoons and YouTubers content. I updated the software. Got out and into my account in YouTube and nothing. I have to mirror my phone screen to be able to see them. SO WEIRD!!!!

  9. Totally an Apple problem. It’s a joke. I switched to Apple TV from Roku. Bought a Movie on Apple TV. Won’t be doing that again. Movie stop just before last 12 minutes. Best part. And I had people over. Never ordering from them again.

    1. I’m not surprised. I often rent movies on Google Play for the same reason. Apple TV doesn’t download movies, so if something happens anywhere between Apple’s data center and your home, no movie. There is some caching, but if you pause for “too long” and come back, the buffer is deleted.

      Apple thinks everyone has excellent Internet service. I have Comcast, but right now, I am using the hotspot on my iPhone, because Comcast is the worst Internet service provider on the planet. Developing nations have better Internet service, at a fraction of the cost.

      I feel your pain, because this has happened to me before. ?

  10. I get “Error loading this content” ONLY when watching Morning Show. Or trying to watch it. No other show or movie has this problem.

  11. Didn’t work for me. Not an Internet issue as all other apps and services stream just fine. Apple TV + has bugs they need to fix.

    1. Hi, i ve managed to fix it. My apple tv box was connected to router via cable, i just took cable out and connected the box via wifi and it solved the problem. Hope it ll help some people.

      1. That’s interesting. Usually ethernet is far more reliable than WiFi. It must have been a network configuration issue. You could probably reset your router to factory settings and try again, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

      2. Tried switching to WiFi from Ethernet. No Difference. App is HayU, I sold my family on going down the Apple path because, “it just works”, so much for that. Funny enough my google Chromecast does “Just work”

    2. Why do all solutions say this happens when there is a problem with my Internet, but I have other devices and smart TVs that don’t have this problem. Maybe Apple TV just sucks?

      1. It could be an issue with Apple’s data center. Every other device may work, but your Apple device might not be able to access content. Also, the Internet’s network topology is fairly complex. It’s possible for the route to Apple’s servers to be slower, perhaps to the point of failure, while other services seem to work.

        I would agree that Apple TV sucks. It’s kind of irrelevant these days. Apple never put the effort into the product. They’re supposedly launching a new one, which will be positioned as a game console. It won’t be as good as PlayStation or Xbox. Apple TV is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

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