Ways to Take Apple TV Screenshots

Use a Mac to capture Apple TV screenshots

When you are eager to tell friends about great games, discuss fun apps, or get troubleshooting support, you may want to share what's happening with a screenshot of your Apple TV. Before tvOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, the screenshot process was complicated, and it required the Xcode developer utility. With the release of tvOS and High Sierra, the process to capture the screen of your Apple TV using your Mac became simpler.

Information in this article applies to 4th-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K running on tvOS 11 or later and Macs with macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS High Sierra (10.13). A workaround for older Apple TVs is included.

Make Apple TV Screenshots

If your Mac has macOS High Sierra or later and your Apple TV operates tvOS 11 or higher, you can make a screenshot of the image on your Apple TV using a Mac. Both the Mac and the Apple TV must be on the same Wi-Fi network. If they are the same, you're ready to take a screenshot.

To check the network on the Apple TV, go to Settings > Network. Then, to compare the network to the one your Mac uses, on the Mac, go to System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi.

Here's how to take a screenshot:

  1. Launch the QuickTime Player app on the Mac. It is located in the Applications folder.

  2. At the top of the QuickTime Player screen, go to File and select New Movie Recording, which opens a window on the Mac showing live video from the Mac's camera.

    QuickTime Player menu bar showing File drop-down menu
  3. Hover the mouse over the window until you see the red recording button. Click the small arrow to the right of the red button, then select Apple TV in the Camera section of the pop-up menu.

    QuickTime Player Movie Recording Options menu
  4. Enter the code that appears on the Apple TV in the corresponding field on the Mac to make the connection. The Apple TV screen appears on the Mac screen.

  5. To take a screenshot of the Apple TV image on your Mac, press Shift+Command+4.

    Apple TV home screen

The Xcode Workaround for Older Operating Systems

You can take Apple TV screenshots with a Mac in older versions of the operating systems, but it takes more work.

  1. Connect the Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C cable. Plug the Apple TV into a power source, then connect it to the television using an HDMI cable.

  2. Download Xcode from the Mac App Store. Xcode is Apple's development software that developers use to create applications for iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS. You're only going to use Xcode to capture screenshots on Apple TV.

  3. Launch Xcode with the Apple TV turned on and connected to the Mac. Click Window > Devices in the menu bar in Xcode. Select Apple TV and click Take Screenshot.

The screenshots are stored wherever your Mac regularly stores any other kind of screenshot, usually on the desktop.

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