Gotechtor select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links, we may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Apple TV Not Working? (Try this Fix First!)

Published on

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Gotechtor's Editorial Guidelines

There is a reason that Apple TV is a very popular product, and a lot of it has to do with its typically flawless performance.

However, as with any streaming service, such as when a Roku is not working, various glitches, bugs, and random malfunctions can create a frustrating experience.

If there are any problems with the device, you should first consider the type of problem encountered in order to resolve it. 

Is it a particular app that will not play? Is it missing audio? Perhaps the remote is not responding or pairing. Maybe you are short on storage space, or perhaps, the unit seems to not be responsive at all. 

To fix an Apple TV that’s not working, we will break the following list down by the issue type and cover how you should go about resolving it.

What to Do If Your Apple TV Is Not Working

If your Apple TV is not working, you need to reset it. Click and hold the back and TV buttons on your Apple TV remote and release them when the white light on the front of your Apple TV begins to flash quickly.

Apple TV Isn’t Responding to the Remote

If you pick up your Apple TV remote, you would expect it to power on your Apple TV and help you navigate around the menus. Sometimes, however, you may find that your Apple TV remote is not working.

The most likely issue here is the charging level of the remote. While a single charge will keep the Siri remote charged for months, if it has been too long, the problem might be that the remote is simply out of juice.

You can check the level of charge from the Remotes & Devices section of the Apple TV Settings menu, though you may not be able to get to it with the current condition.

Charge the remote via its Lightning port for about half an hour, then try it again. You may also need to re-pair the remote with the Apple TV.

You can do this by bringing the two within inches of each other, then press the Menu and Volume Up buttons together for about 4 seconds.

There should be an indicator light flashing and the screen should show that the pair has been successfully paired.

A Particular App Will Not Work

If some particular app crashes or will not respond, the issue may not be with the Apple TV device but with the software behind the app itself.

You can use the Downdetector tool to check if a particular service provided through the app has outages at the current time.

Try some of the other apps of the same kind and see if they work. For instance, if Netflix won’t respond, try connecting to Hulu, Disney +, or Apple TV+, and see if they stream successfully. If they do, it’s the app that has an issue.

You can uninstall and reinstall the app to see if that helps resolve that app’s particular issue. If not, try it in a few minutes and see if it comes back to working order.

Apple TV Won’t Power On

If the Apple TV device won’t turn on, there are a few things to evaluate. If you are pushing the remote’s power button to power it up, see the remote check steps above to make sure that it isn’t the problem.

Also, make sure that the cable plug is tightly connected to the back of the Apple TV and that it is still plugged into the outlet. You wouldn’t be the first to have a kid, pet, or errant touch from a vacuum cleaner to have pulled it out.

It is also possible that the Apple TV is, in fact, turned on, but because the video signal is down, you cannot realize that it is working. Typically you can tell if this is the case if your TV remote’s menu will still come up while Apple TV doesn’t.

Check that the HDMI wires are tightly connected in the back and that both ends are plugged in. You can unplug both ends and replug them back in to be sure.

One interesting strategy some users claimed worked is to reverse the HDMI wires ends before plugging them into the ports of the TV and the Apple TV.

Apple TV Has No Audio

If your Apple TV has no sound while you are using a particular app, try exiting the app and going back in. You can also try another app to see if its audio works.

If you are finding that none of the apps have audio, or it cuts out suddenly, it could be an issue with the audio system or hardware (like a sound system) connected to your TV.

Ensure that the Audio Output and Audio Mode in the Audio And Video section of the Settings menu are correct.

You can also try simply restarting Apple TV by unplugging it from its power source, then plugging it in a few seconds later, booting it up, and trying again.

Apple TV Storage Space Is Low

There is no limit to how many apps you can install on your Apple TV. There are so many and it’s a lot of fun to explore.

The problem is that the Apple TV has a finite amount of space. In the long run, if you keep installing lots of apps, the Apple TV’s storage space will gradually fill up.

Since Apple TV requires some resource overhead to run optimally when space starts to become tight, it’s time to remove some of the apps.

Look through the app listing and you are sure to find at least a handful of apps you don’t use enough to warrant keeping them around. 

You can uninstall them right from the home screen. Simply highlight the app you want to remove and press the remote’s trackpad until its icon starts to wiggle, then press the Play/Pause button.

You will be presented with a few options, of which you will simply select Delete. (You will need to choose to Delete twice to confirm).

Final Thoughts on Apple TV Won’t Play

We hope that this post covered most of the situations in which you can encounter Apple TV malfunctions.

There are some more, even rarer problems, but if everything else seems to fail, never underestimate the power of a restart. If that won’t do, you can contact Apple support for more technical assistance.

I hope this assisted you in fixing your Apple TV not working problem. In case you fixed the problem with any other solution, please do share it in the comments section.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

's latest stories

Leave a Comment

Be kind. Ask questions. Discriminatory language, personal attacks, promotion, and spam will be removed. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.