What Is Apple TV Single Sign-On?

How it works and how to use it

The Apple TV 4K and remote

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The Apple TV and iOS app stores offer access to content from a variety of sources, many of which you log into with your cable subscription. However, authorizing each one before you can watch anything sometimes involves going to the app developer's homepage, entering an authorization code from your device, then logging in with your TV provider information. Luckily, the Apple TV has a single sign-on feature to make this process way easier.

These instructions apply to Apple TVs running tvOS 10.1 or later and iPhones and iPads running iOS 10.2 or later. Single sign-on is only available in the United States.

What Is Apple TV Single Sign-On?

True to its name, single sign-on lets you enter the login information from your TV provider one time and use it automatically on compatible apps. If you aren't using it, you'll have to go online and sign in to your provider whenever you download a new app. You won't have to do it every time you open it, but the initial setup might be more involved than you like when you just want to watch TV.

Once you've activated single sign-on, your Apple TV or iOS device will pull your provider information every time you get a compatible app, and you won't have to break out your laptop to punch in an authorization code just to watch the new season of your favorite show.

Hundreds of TV providers and dozens of apps in the U.S. support single sign-on. So odds are pretty good yours is among them.

To make full use of single sign-in, both your provider and the app you're using need to be compatible. While both tvOS and iOS devices support it, the same apps don't necessarily support the feature on different platforms.

How to Use Single Sign-On on Apple TV

If you haven't cut the cord and are still using a combination of streaming and standard cable for your entertainment needs, your TV provider account will open some extra options on your Apple TV. Here's how to make sure you only have to enter this information once, no matter how many new apps you download.

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Accounts > TV Provider.

  2. Select Sign In.

  3. Find or search for your TV provider on the list, then select it.

    Selecting your TV provider for Single Sign-On on Apple TV.
    Apple 
  4. Enter your email address or choose it from the list of previously used ones, if any are present.

  5. Enter your password and select Done.

If your Apple TV doesn't prompt you to enter your login information after you select your provider, it means you don't have access to the feature and will still have to enter your password to authorize apps.

How to Use Single Sign-On on iOS

You don't have to have an Apple TV to use this feature, your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch can use many of the same apps.

  1. Open Settings and tap TV Provider.

  2. Choose your provider from the list.

  3. Enter your login information and tap Sign In in the upper-right corner.

How to Find Apps Compatible with Single Sign-On on Apple TV

Dozens of apps work with single sign-on, and you can get an idea of which ones directly from your Apple TV.

  1. From your Home Screen, open the App Store.

  2. Stay on the Featured tab, which should the one you'll start on.

  3. Select the TV Providers icon. If you're already signed in, you may also be looking for your provider's logo.

  4. If you selected TV Providers in the previous step, find and select your TV company. This will provide a selection of apps that work with single sign-on.

  5. Once you find an app you want, select it, then download it from the download page.

How to Change Your TV Provider for Single Sign-In

If you've found a better deal or service with a new company, you'll want to update this information on your devices. Here's how to swap out your old provider with a new one.

  1. In tvOS, go to Settings > Accounts > TV Provider.

    If you're using iOS, go to Settings > TV Provider.

  2. Tap the name of your TV provider.

  3. Select Remove TV Provider.

  4. Find your new provider on the list and sign in using your login info.