The Most Essential Apple TV Tips Everybody Needs

Get Even More From Apple TV With These

This short collection of essential tips features all the most useful ones we think Apple TV users will need to use every day. 

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Control Apple Music

Apple Music on Apple TV tip
Apple Music

Everyone knows they can use the Siri Remote to fast forward and rewind the Music app when it plays, but you may not have recognized that when you click the right side of the trackpad you can skip a track, or click left to restart it again – or double click to go back one track. We have many other Apple Music tips here

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Setup Remote App

Apple Watch and Apple TV
Apple TV

If you use an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or even an Apple Watch as well as an Apple TV, then you really should download and install the Remote app on your device. Once installed and set-up using the instructions here you will be able to control almost everything on your Apple TV using your iOS device. That's great if you can't find your Remote, or need to use an iOS keyboard instead of the on-screen version.

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This is the Best Siri Tip

This is the Best Siri Tip
Apple TV

This is the coolest Siri talent. When you are watching something, get distracted and miss an important piece of dialog, just ask Siri “What did he say?” Siri will rewind what you are watching a little so you can catch what you have missed.  Want more Siri tips? Then tap the Siri button once and Siri will tell you about some of the things you can ask it to do, or take a look at this collection.

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Control the Scroll

Slip sliding away
Spaces Images/Getty Images

If you’re an Apple TV 4 user who finds the touch surface on the Apple Siri Remote to be too sensitive, you can adjust this sensitivity in Settings>Remotes and Devices>Touch Surface Tracking, where you can choose: Slow, Fast or Medium.

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Changing Aerial

There are at least three Great Wall of China screensavers for Apple TV
Apple TV

Apple’s Aerial screensaver offers up beautiful HD images of cities from around the world. Apple doesn’t just supply a handful of such screensavers, in fact, it adds new footage quite regularly. To ensure you get any new screensavers as soon as Apple publishes them, follow these instructions:​

  • Go to Settings>General>Screensaver.
  • Make sure Aerial is selected and tap the item
  • In the next pane, tap Download New Videos.
  • You can now choose how frequently you download new Aerial footage as Apple releases it, choosing between Never, Daily, Weekly and Monthly downloads of the 600MB packs.
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Get Home Fast

Movies are Magic with Apple TV
Apple TV

The fastest way back to the Home screen if you happen to be nested deep inside an App interface:

Press and hold the Home button on the Siri Remote for three seconds and you’ll be taken there straight away.

Another tip: If you are playing ​Music using the Music app while exploring other apps, a quick 5-second press on the Play/Pause button will take you right back to Music's Now Playing screen.

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Keep it Clear

Apple TV and remote
Apple TV blog

If you use Siri to dictate into text fields you need to know that if you (or Siri) make a mistake, all you need to do is say “Clear” to erase all the text and start again. Siri also understands the words “uppercase” and lowercase” when capitalizing a letter.

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What's in a Name?

How to give your Apple TV a name

If you use more than one Apple TV in your home it will become confusing when you try to use AirPlay to beam content to your box if you don’t name the boxes. Doing so is easy, just navigate to Settings>AirPlay>Apple TV Name and choose something appropriate from the drop-down list. (You may not use this tip every day, but you’ll be grateful each time you do).

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Get Some Sleep

Man sleeps watching TV
Morsa Images/Getty

Send Apple TV to sleep by pressing and holding down the Home button on the Siri remote and selecting Sleep from the on-screen item that appears.

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One more thing

Hand holding Apple TV Siri Remote

If your Apple TV has missing volume, apps freeze or other problems you’ll usually be able to quickly resolve the problem just by restarting the box. In order to do this all you need to do is press the Menu and Hold buttons at once to restart it, which should make things right. Take a look at how to repair other Apple TV problems here.

You are at the Center of Future TV

Apple has done a great job with Apple TV, but the product remains a work in progress. You can tell this because of the huge range of additional enhancements the company adds each fall.