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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  1. I’m a windows user and only bought an AppleTV to watch Foundation. After some 3 days of trying to get the system working, I strike one problem after another. At present what seems to be the home screen ‘Player 1 entertainment’ is unresponsive to the remote. However, the remote is charged and works as I can change the volume. I did all the usual recommended things, unplugged & waited 6 seconds (reverted back to unresponsive screen). Pressed menu & back, OK, turned off and then started again, just as unresponsive as before. I won’t mention the endless requests to enter ID & password before being instructed to buy something on iTunes. I try to buy something on iTunes only to get to the continue button which which is greyed out. At this point I give up for the night. Sorry for the rant, I just want advice how to get the system responding to the remote.

    1. No worries about the rant. I totally understand how frustrating Apple products can be, as they prioritize the iPhone over everything else. Apple TV isn’t taken very seriously.

      It seems as though your Siri Remote isn’t paired properly with Apple TV. Try the following to pair your Siri Remote:

      – hold the remote no less than three inches from your Apple TV unit
      – press and hold the Menu (or back) button and volume up button for five seconds
      – you may be prompted to place the Siri Remote on top of your Apple TV to complete the pairing

      If this doesn’t work, you can use any iOS or iPadOS device as an Apple TV remote. Simply launch Control Center on any iPhone or iPad and you should see an icon that looks like an Apple TV. This will launch the Remote App on an iPhone or iPad, which can control Apple TV. If you don’t see this in Control Center, you may need to add it. Simply go to Settings > Control Center and customize the controls to add the Apple Remote.

      I hope this works out for you. Feel free to reach out again if you’re still having problems.

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