How to Close Apps on Your Apple TV

Shut down a malfunctioning app

If an app on your Apple TV is giving you trouble, shutting down or force-closing the app can sometimes solve the problem. While Apple TV apps don't have the same easy-to-manipulate functionality as iPhone apps, closing them down is still a simple process.

Apple TV
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What Closing an App Means

As with iPhones, opening and closing an app means having it appear and disappear from view. An app pauses and mostly stops "running" once it's out of sight.

Also, similar to the iPhone, 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 down the Apple TV. You can close an app without forcing it to quit.

Close an App on 4th or 5th Generation Apple TVs

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

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

    Apple TV remote overview
  2. Click the Home button.

  3. If you're taken back to the grid of apps, you've successfully closed the problematic app. It's now paused in the background; if you closed a video app, the sound should stop.

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

How to Force-Close 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 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 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 the Control Center on your iPhone can also be used to perform all the tasks mentioned here. The software mimics the look of the physical remote, so the virtual buttons function in the same way.

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

Apple TV Remote in Control Center

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 by going to Settings, selecting System, and then selecting 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.