How to Close Apps on Your Apple TV

Apple TV app giving you trouble? Shut it down!

Apple TV
Apple TV.

Getty Images

If you’ve had trouble with apps on one of the recent Apple TV devices, don’t fret. There are a few methods at your disposal to deal with malfunctioning apps.

How to Close Apps on Apple TV

Apps on a TV don’t have the same touch-ability that make iPhone apps so easy to manipulate, but Apple TV tries to make doing so on the TV almost as easy as on an iPhone.

Apple TV
Apple TV. Getty Images 

To close an app on 4th and 5th generation Apple TVs:

  1. Locate the TV/Home button on the Apple TV remote, represented as a TV set, or a rectangle with a line underneath.
  2. Click the Home button.
Apple TV remote overview
Apple TV remote overview. Apple.com 

Being taken back to the grid of apps means you have successfully closed the app. It's now paused in the background; if you closed a video app, the sound should stop.

Note: This technique covers all Apple TV devices release since 2015 when the App Store launched on the 4th generation Apple TV.

To close an app on 3rd generation Apple TVs:

To close an app and return to the main menu on a 3rd generation Apple TV, press and hold the Menu button on the Apple TV remote that came with your device.

3rd generation Apple TV remote
3rd generation Apple TV remote. Apple.com

What Closing an App Actually Means

Opening and closing an app, similar to on an iPhone, means having it appear and then disappear from view. An app pauses and mostly stops "running" once it is out of sight.

Also, similar to iPhone, you can double-click the Home button on the Apple TV to see the app switcher. The app switcher is available to switch back and forth between recent apps; apps displayed here are not running or slowing Apple TV down. You can close an app without forcing it to quit.

How to Force-Close an App on Apple TV App

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

  1. Double-click the Home button to bring up the app switcher.
  2. If you’re in the app, it will be first, otherwise, swipe right until the app is most present.
  3. Swipe up and the app will disappear to the top.
  4. Click the Home button to return to the main screen.

How to Close an App Using the Apple TV Remote App

The Apple TV Remote found in Control Center on your iPhone can also be used to perform all the tasks mentioned thus far. The software mimics the look of the physical remote and so the virtual buttons function in the same way.

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

Apple TV Remote in Control Center
Apple TV Remote in Control Center. Apple.com

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, you can restart Apple TV.

  1. Click the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and click System.
  3. Scroll down and click Restart to immediately restart the device.

Warning: 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, you can unplug the power cable from the back of it, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in.