How to Close Apps on Your Apple TV

Closing an app is as simple as pressing the TV/Home button, but when an app is misbehaving, you'll need to perform a force-quit

What to Know

  • Depending on your remote, press the Menu or TV/Home button to go back to the home screen.
  • To force-quit an app using Siri remote: Double-click the TV/Home button, swipe up on unresponsive app.
  • On 3rd generation Apple TV: Hold Menu and down button to restart Apple TV.

This article explains how to close an app on your Apple TV, force-quit an app that's misbehaving or is otherwise unresponsive, as well as how to restart the entire Apple TV.

Close an App on Apple TV 4K

The Apple TV 4K has had three generations with two different remotes. Despite the differences, closing apps works the same way: You press the TV/Home button once. The TV/Home button looks like a wide, flat-screen TV. If you see a grid of apps after pressing the button, that means you've successfully closed the app on the Apple TV.

Close an App on 3rd Generation Apple TV

The Apple TV 3rd generation had a different remote than the 4K, but it generally works the same as well. To close an app, just press the MENU button once. If you see a grid of apps after pressing the button then you have successfully closed an app.

The Apple TV 3rd generation did not have the App Store, so you could only use the apps that came with it or were added via a software update.

How to Force-Quit an App on Apple TV

You may need to force-quit an app if it's not responding. Perform this action from anywhere on the Apple TV, whether you’re in an app or on the main screen:

  1. Double-click the TV/Home button to bring up the app switcher.

    Three Apple TV remotes in a row.
    Apple TV remotes (L to R): 3rd generation, 1st generation Siri Remote, 2nd/3rd generation Siri Remote.
  2. If you’re in the app, it will be first. Otherwise, swipe right until the app is present.

  3. Swipe up and the app will slide off towards the top of the screen to indicate it has been forced out of memory.

  4. Click the TV/Home button to return to the main screen.

If you are using the third-generation Apple TV remote (on the left), you can't force-quit an app. If something has locked-up or is frozen, hold the Menu key and the Down button (the bottom dot on the circle part of the remote) until the Apple TV restarts.

How to Close an App Using the Apple TV Remote App

The Apple TV Remote app can perform all the tasks of the remote. The software mimics the look of the physical remote, so pressing Menu or TV/Home will close the app and take you back to the home screen. Using the app to search or enter IDs/Passwords is far easier as a software keyboard pops up in the app.

The Apple TV Remote app is available only on iOS 11 or later.

How to Restart Apple TV 

If you tried to force-quit an app but it isn’t quitting, or the app switcher isn’t appearing, restart your Apple TV. Go to Settings > System > Restart to immediately restart the device.

Do not click Reset, which is for clearing data and returning the Apple TV to its default settings.

Alternatively, if the Apple TV is frozen and won’t respond to any inputs, unplug the power cable from the back, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in.

  • How do I know which Apple TV I have?

    Apple designs are wonderfully minimum until you have to identify precisely which identical-looking model you have. And that is exactly why Apple had to create a page on how to identify your Apple TV model.

  • How do I know which Apple TV remote I have?

    While not all the Apple TV remotes were essentially identical to one another like the Apple TV boxes were, they were so similar you could easily misidentify one over the other. For example, one change to an Apple TV remote was to add a small, raised white ring around one of the buttons. As with the Apple TV models, Apple created a page on how to identify your Apple TV remote.

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