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Learn moreHugh Langley


The Apple TV is one of our top streaming boxes, due to its intuitive UI and support for a broad range of standards.

The latest version of tvOS brings some big additional features: multi-user support, Apple Arcade, game controller compatibility, and more.

Read this: How to pair a PS4 or Xbox One controller with Apple TV

But to make sure you’re getting all the latest features, you’ll need to keep your Apple TV up to date. You can do this manually, or choose to have the TV update itself when a new software refresh rolls out.

Below, we’ll walk you through the process for both, and break it down for the different Apple TV models.

How to update Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD

If you’re using one of the latest Apple TV devices, here’s how to update it.

1. Boot up the Apple TV and open the Settings app.
2. Go to System.
3. Select Software Updates.
4. Select Update Software.
5. If it discovers there’s an available update, select Download and Install. (Alternatively, you can select Update Later).
6. Let it download the update and allow the Apple TV to restart, before the update is installed. Don’t unplug it while it’s doing it.

To check the current software version running, go to Settings > General > About. You’ll also see the current version displayed on the left side of the screen in the Software Updates section.

How to update the Apple TV

How to turn on automatic updates on Apple TV

Both the Apple TV 4K and HD models allow for automatic updates. You might wonder why this isn’t the default, and there are various reasons. For example, Apple has been known to roll out buggy software updates, and so you might want to maintain a position where you can avoid those.

1. Open the Settings app.
2. Select System.
3. Select Software Updates.
4. Select Automatically Update.

How to update Apple TV 3rd Generation

For the older model, here’s what you need to do:

1. Open Settings.
2. Go to General.
3. Go to Software Updates.
4. Select Update Software.
5. If an update is available, select it and wait for the Apple TV to download and install.

More handy Apple TV how-tos

  • How to set up multi-user accounts on Apple TV
  • How to watch 4K on the Apple TV
  • How to get more out of Siri with Apple TV
  • How to use the HomePod as an Apple TV speaker
  • How to restart the Apple TV
  • Top tips and tricks for the Apple TV
  • How to pair an Xbox One or PS4 controller with Apple TV



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