How to Make Apple TV Screen Savers

Life beyond the Aerial collection

What to Know

  • Gather the images for screen savers into one folder in the Photos app on your computer or mobile device and share with iCloud.
  • On the Apple TV, go to Settings > General > Screen Saver. Select Type and choose Apple Photos.
  • Select the album containing your screen saver images and select from options to personalize it.

This article explains how to make custom Apple TV screen savers using the Photos app or Family Sharing. It lists recommendations for image preparation including the most suitable aspect ratio and resolution.

Using the Photos App for Apple TV Screen Savers

The Apple TV comes with a range of beautiful screen savers, including a collection of moving images of places across the planet, but you can also create your own screen saver sets using your images. When you share your Photos images to your iCloud account, you can use the images as screen savers on your Apple TV.

  1. Gather all the images you want to use as screen savers into one folder in the Photos app on your computer or mobile device.

  2. On the Apple TV, go to Settings > General > Screen Saver.

    Apple TV General Settings screen showing Screen Saver option
  3. Select Type.

    Apple TV Screen Savor Type preferences
  4. Choose Apple Photos.

    Apple TV Screen Saver Type screen with Apple Photos selected
  5. Select the album containing the screen saver images.

Using Home Sharing for Apple TV Screen Savers

You can also use Home Sharing to create and enjoy your own photo screen savers on Apple TV. The process is the same as for using the Photos app, except you select Home Sharing on the Type screen instead of the Apple Photos app.

Preparing Images for Apple TV

Make sure your images are high resolution, focused, and easy to see. Apple recommends the following:

  • Images should be designed for a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Images should be at a screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels.

When you are choosing images for use as screen savers, you may want to use Photos (Mac), Pixelmator (Mac, iOS), Photoshop (Mac and Windows), Microsoft Photos (Windows), or another image editing package to edit your images on your Mac, Windows computer, or mobile device.

In some cases, you may need to crop images to get them into a 16:9 aspect ratio so that they fill your television screen.

Once you have perfected the images you want to use as screen savers, gather them in a folder on your computer or in the Photos app on your mobile device and share them with iCloud.

Personalizing Apple TV Screen Saver Settings

Once you’ve chosen between Photos and Home Sharing as a way to get your image collections working on Apple TV, you need to explore the different screen saver options.

  • Start After: This setting allows you to choose when your screen saver runs. You can delay the start for up to 30 minutes.
  • Show During Music and Podcasts: When you set this to Yes, your screen saver works whenever you play music or podcasts on your device.
  • Preview: Lets you preview how your screen saver will look.
Screen Saver Options on Apple TV

Using Apple's Aerial Videos

Apple regularly publishes new Aerial videos but only a few are stored on your Apple TV at any one time. Here's how to download and use Aerial videos

  1. Open Settings > General > Screen Saver.

  2. Choose Type > Aerial.

  3. Tap Menu once to back and you’ll see a new option Download New Video. You can choose to download new videos monthly, weekly, daily, or never.

Snowy mountainscape screensaver.
Apple Inc.
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