An Error Occurred Loading This Content? (Do This!)

Apple TVs are quickly rising in popularity with many users selecting the new streamer as their go-to option in a marketplace that is filling up with choices.

But in relative terms, Apple TV is still relatively new, which means it is still susceptible to certain types of technological issues. While Apple prides itself on putting out the best in its products, it still has some issues to tackle. 

One common issue that tends to irk users is when they’re watching their favorite show, only to see a message that states “An error occurred loading this content. Try again later.”

If you are here for a similar reason, we are here to help out. Luckily most solutions to this error are quite simple, and some of them are not even the fault of your Apple TV device at all.

We have 8 easy and practical solutions to help you overcome the problem and get back to what you were enjoying.

What Does “An Error Occurred Loading This Content” Mean?

Simply put, “An error occurred loading this content” indicates that your music or movie was unable to load. In some cases, this can be a result of a slow internet connection. Additionally, it’s possible that the servers that supply content to Apple TV aren’t functioning properly.

Check If Apple TV Servers Are Down

Before we get to the methods of repairing this issue, we need to determine whether this is a network or device issue, or a server-side issue.

Check Apple’s status page for updates on their services. A red dot will appear next to services that are down. If for some reason the Apple TV servers are down, you’ll have to wait for Apple to fix the problem.

You can also use the handy Downdetector online tool to quickly confirm if the problem is on your end or not. 

To use this tool, simply plug in the app that you are experiencing problems with and you will be informed if the app is experiencing any outages in your location.

So if the error popped up while you were watching a show on Netflix, you would want to check if Netflix is down through the Downdetector tool.

Reboot Apple TV

The most underrated and most effective fix to most technical glitches, including the error in question here is also very simple: rebooting the Apple TV device.

The restart refreshes the system, potentially applying fixes to particular software bugs. The process to reset the device is quite simple too.

Head over to the Settings section from the main menu and select the General section. You should see the Restart option at the bottom.

Selecting that option will automatically reboot the device and potentially overcome the glitch at the source of the error.

Check Internet Connection

The error may not be with the device but could be on your local network. This is the case where your Wi-Fi signal, for instance, is unstable or weak.

Perhaps your Apple TV won’t connect to the Wi-Fi because it’s sitting on the brink of your Wi-Fi range and the signal drops in and out periodically.

It is also possible that your internet connection is down. To verify the viability of the signal, go follow the steps below:

  • Go to the Settings menu.
  • Tap the General section.
  • Go over to Network.
  • Select Test Network and choose Ok after that to initiate the test.
  • Then, select Yes to get the test to start.

Once the test completes, you will be informed about the connection. If it isn’t active, try to unplug your modem or router for about 20 seconds, then plug it back in. Wait a few minutes to give the router time to reboot and then try again.

Check for Software Updates

The issue you are dealing with may have multiple causes, but rest assured Apple is aware of most of them and has probably developed a fix for many.

The problem is those fixes may not have been applied yet due to the update that carries them not having been installed.

You can check to see if there is a new update available in the Software Updates section of the Settings menu. You can choose the Update Software option. This will either load the update or tell you that everything is up to date.

A good tip is to trigger the update once it is downloaded and installed and disconnect from your Apple TV device during the update processing time period.

Disable VPN

Your VPN service may be having issues. You can quickly rule this out by disabling the VPN connection and trying again. If the VPN service was the issue, the error message should go away with your standard connection.

Disable Apple TV Subtitles

A known quirk with Apple TV is that subtitles could sometimes trigger a malfunction of particular streaming apps.

You can try to overcome the error by turning the subtitles off from the Settings menu’s Audio & Video section. Note the Closed Captioning section, and turn it off if it is not currently in that state.

Reduce Video Quality

Sometimes the error occurs when the internet connection is enough to keep the stream going, but not enough bandwidth exists to support HD quality.

By reducing it from an HD to an SD quality, you can also potentially overcome these types of errors. From the Settings menu’s Audio & Video section navigate to TV Resolution and if it is set to 1080p, try to turn it down to 720p. 

Disable the “Send Data to Apple” Feature

Having the “Send data to apple feature” turned on sends anonymous usage data to Apple. While this is not a risk to integrity, it does tend to create buffering problems because it occupies bandwidth space while running in the background.

By disabling it, you’re sparing the device from using up part of its data for this transfer. This will reduce the taxing effect that could render it unable to load the desired content.

To do so, go to Settings > Privacy and find the Send to Apple feature, then turn it off.

Verify HDMI Cable Quality

The HDMI cable carries the signal back and forth from your Apple TV device to the screen, so there may be a faulty connection.

Disconnect the HDMI cable on both ends if possible and examine it to make sure that there are no damaged or kinked parts in it.

Another clever trick users have discovered is to flip the HDMI connections around. You can also try another HDMI port to see if this helps the problem be alleviated. 

Wrap UP: Apple TV Unable to Load Content

One of the above steps should have almost certainly handled your problem. If the error occurs again, try running through the list one more time to see if another step will resolve the error.

If you have any feedback or questions, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially with smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work.

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