Every Fall, Apple releases a major update to tvOS, which is the operating system for Apple TV. Apple adds new and exciting features throughout the year with smaller updates. For example, did you know that you can now use your Apple TV as a HomeKit Hub?
If you haven’t used your Apple TV in a while, it might be time to update tvOS. If you are the forgetful type, you can also enable automatic updates. If you’re the adventurous type, you can also get the tvOS Beta update on your Apple TV (and unlike the iPhone Beta, it only takes a few clicks to join the beta channel).
How to Manually Update tvOS on Apple TV (4th Generation & 4K Models)
Apple TV 4th generation launched in 2015 and it is quite different from the old version. The method of updating newer models (including new 4K models) is different from before.
- Turn on your Apple TV and from the control panel go to Setting application.
- Here, select System right to buy.
- In the System screen, go to Upgrade software section.
- You should now see the current tvOS version on the left side of the screen. To update the software, click Software updates button.
- From the pop-up, select Download and install option to instantly download and install tvOS updates.
- Apple TV will now show a download bar.
- Once downloaded, the installation will begin immediately. You should see tvOS preparing and installing the update.
- Once the update is installed, the Apple TV will reboot, and when you’re finished on the Dashboard, you’ll be running the latest version of tvOS on your Apple TV.
How to update Apple TV 3rd generation
Apple still provides updates for the older 3rd generation Apple TV model. If you’re using an older model, follow these steps to update the Apple TV software.
- First, open Setting app and go to Shared > Upgrade software.
- Here, select Software updates.
- If an update is available, download and install it.
Your Apple TV will download and install the update. Make sure you don’t unplug your Apple TV during this process.
How to enable automatic updates for tvOS on Apple TV
If you want your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD (the great Google Chromecast alternative) to always run the latest version of the operating system, you can set them up to automatically install new updates as they become available.
- To do this, visit Setting > System > Upgrade software.
- Here, turn on Auto update right to buy.
If you’re using an earlier version of Apple TV, go to Setting > Shared > Upgrade softwareand from here, turn on Automatic update right to buy.
How to get tvOS Beta update on Apple TV
To receive Beta updates for iOS or iPadOS, you must either sign up for Apple’s Public Beta program or you need to download a developer profile. Getting Beta Updates on tvOS is much simpler.
- Go Setting > System > Upgrade software.
- Here, select Get beta update right to buy.
- From the pop-up, select Get beta update right to buy.
- Apple will ask you to agree to their terms. Here, select Agree right to buy.
- Now just choose Download and install from the next screen.
- Apple TV will now download the latest Beta update and it should be installed in a few minutes.
How to find the current tvOS version on Apple TV
If you want to confirm that you have updated to the latest version of tvOS, or if you want to check the current version of tvOS on your 4th generation Apple TV, you can do so at any time. from the Settings app.
- Open Setting apps on your Apple TV.
- Here, select Shared right to buy.
- Now, go to About section.
- Here you will find all the information related to your Apple TV. See the tvOS section for the current tvOS version number.
If you are using an older 3rd Generation model, go to Setting > Shared > Software updates to see the current version of tvOS.
Troubleshoot tvOS updates
Usually, updating tvOS software on Apple TV is a smooth process, but sometimes there can be problems. Sometimes, the software update itself can cause new problems. It’s best to wait a while before updating to the latest tvOS version.
Also, when updating, make sure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection and don’t unplug your Apple TV during the installation process.
White screen problem
If your Apple TV shows a white screen with a white cord and iTunes logo, it means your Apple TV needs to be restored using iTunes.
Restore bricked Apple TV
If your Apple TV is bricked and it cannot turn on, the only thing you can do is restore it from iTunes.
- To do this, you need to connect your Apple TV to your computer first.
- You’ll find a USB-C port on the back of the Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K just for this purpose. Connect a USB-C cable to your computer (for older Apple TVs, it’s a Micro-USB port).
- Then, open the iTunes app on your Mac or PC. If you’re using macOS Catalina, open the Finder app.
- Then select your device from the sidebar and select Restore Apple TV to start the restore process.
Now that you’ve updated to the latest version of tvOS on your Apple TV, take some time to explore the new features. You will find a What’s new inner button Upgrade software This section will familiarize you with the new features.
What are some of your favorite new features in tvOS? Share with us in the comments section below. If you’re having trouble streaming Netflix after updating tvOS, check out our Netflix for Apple TV troubleshooting guide.