How to Update to the Latest the Apple TV Operating System

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Every update to tvOS, the operating system that powers the Apple TV, brings valuable new features with it. Because of that, it's generally a good idea to update to the new OS as soon as it's available. When OS updates are released, your Apple TV usually displays a message that prompts you to upgrade. 

Instructions in this article apply to 4th-generation Apple TVs and later.

How to ​Update tvOS on Apple TV

The Apple TV 4K and 4th Generation Apple TV run software called tvOS, which is a version of the iOS (the operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad) customized for use on a TV and with a remote control. Because of that, the process of updating the operating system will feel familiar to iOS users:

  1. Launch the Settings app.

    Settings App in tvOS
  2. Select System.

    System option in tvOS Settings
  3. Select Software Updates.

    Software Updates in tvOS
  4. Select Update Software.

    Update Software in tvOS
  5. The Apple TV checks with Apple to see if there's a new version available. If so, it displays a message prompting you to upgrade.

  6. Select Download and Install.

    Download and Install in tvOS
  7. The size of the update and the speed of your Internet connection determine how long the process takes, but assume it will be at least a few minutes. When the installation is complete, your Apple TV restarts and is now running the latest OS.

How to Automatically Update tvOS

Updating tvOS may be easy, but why bother going through all those steps every time? You can set the Apple TV 4K and 4th Gen. Apple TV to automatically update itself whenever a new version of tvOS is released so you never have to worry about it again. Here's how:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Software Updates like in the previous section.

    Software Updates in tvOS
  2. Highlight Automatically Update.

    Automatically update in tvOS
  3. Click this option to toggle it to On.

    Automatically Update in tvOS
  4. When an update is available, your Apple TV will download and install it without you having to check.