Steve's Guides

Troubleshooting 101: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Restart Apps on Apple TV

Discover the step-by-step guide on how to successfully restart apps on your Apple TV. Learn how to navigate the home screen, avoid common mistakes, and try additional actions if the app isn't functioning properly. Reinforcing patience throughout the troubleshooting process.

Readers like you help support us. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Published Jan 29, 2024

Ever had an app freeze or act up on your Apple TV? It can be frustrating, can't it? Well, you're not alone. Like any device, your Apple TV isn't immune to hiccups. But don't worry, there's a simple solution: restarting the app.

You might be thinking, "How do I do that?" It's easier than you think. In this guide, we'll walk you through the quick steps to restart apps on your Apple TV. Whether you're a tech newbie or a seasoned pro, you'll find this guide helpful. So, let's get those apps back up and running smoothly.

Why do apps freeze on Apple TV?

Apps freezing on Apple TV can be a frustrating issue. But what's causing this problem? It's not always easy to pin down a single reason. There are numerous factors at play.

First, you need to understand that the Apple TV device is essentially a computer. Like any computer, memory and processing power are finite resources. When an app demands too much of these resources, it can cause freezing. Streaming high-definition video, for instance, is resource-intensive. If there are other programs running in the background, your Apple TV may struggle to keep up.

Second, there are networking issues. Apple TV relies on a steady, robust internet connection. If your Wi-Fi is spotty or slow, this can directly affect how your apps function. A slow internet connection can make an app freeze, stutter, or even crash completely.

Third, there may be an issue with the app itself. Just like on your phone or computer, sometimes an app can just act up. This could be due to a bug in the coding, a problem with the app's servers, or it might just be a simple incompatibility with the most recent Apple TV software update.

Realizing the issues that might cause your apps to freeze on Apple TV is the first step to bringing them back to their functional state. Here is a summary of the main causes of freezing Apple TV apps:

  • Resource allocation (Memory and processing power)
  • Networking issues (Erratic Wi-Fi)
  • App issues (Coding bugs, server issues, or incompatibility with software updates)

In the next section, we will explore easy solutions to these issues, bringing your favorite Apple TV apps back to life.

The importance of restarting an app

2e01c3f9 8e3c 4992 a55a e2e1797653e4:pgOIKed4mMoVkXpjV3p 6

Restarting an app on your Apple TV serves a crucial purpose that shouldn't be overlooked. It's more than just getting your app to stop acting up. It's a simple yet effective solution for a broad range of technical issues that are likely to plague your device.

Resource allocation stands out as a key cause of app freezes on Apple TV. When multiple apps or features compete for your device's resources, it can lead to slow performance or freezing. However, by restarting an app, you free up these resources, allowing the app to function correctly once again. This applies even more so in situations where you are trying to run high-demand apps such as 4K streams or multi-player games.

Likewise, with networking issues, restarting an app can often serve as a quick fix. Communication errors can happen between your app and the server, causing hiccups in the service. Once you restart the app, you give it another chance to connect correctly, leading to a smoother user experience.

Lastly, app-specific issues are a common headache for Apple TV users. These could stem from coding errors or unanticipated glitches within the app. Restarting the app can act like a reset button, helping to resolve these issues without needing a deep dive into troubleshooting.

Remember, restarting an app is not just a makeshift solution, but it's often the easiest and fastest way to address these problems, saving you precious time and frustration. It should always be your first step in troubleshooting app issues before moving to more complex solutions.

Next, let's explore easy-to-follow steps on how to restart apps on your Apple TV.

Step 1: Navigating to the home screen

Firstly we start with navigating to the home screen as it's your starting point. Navigating your way around Apple TV isn't rocket science. Believe it or not, it's incredibly user-friendly and intuitively designed. If ever you're up against a wall, remember to take a moment and refer back to this article.

To reach the home screen, press the Home button on your Apple TV remote. This button is usually represented by a small TV icon on most Apple TV remotes. It's that simple. If you're still struggling, the manual that came with your device can present a visual guide.

Be vigilant though! Not pressing the correct buttons might land you elsewhere. It's critical at this stage to know what each button does. Most importantly, differentiate between the 'Menu' button and 'Home' button. Accidentally pressing the 'Menu' button usually pulls up an in-app menu or reverses a step. On the other hand, the 'Home' button gets you back to square one, exactly where you want to be for this process.

Pressing the Home button should instantly transport you to the home screen, where you'll see all your apps neatly arranged. If not, give your device a moment. Sometimes the interface can be little slow particularly if your device is running multiple apps.

Having navigated to the home screen successfully, you're one step closer to addressing your Apple TV woes. Let's traverse to the next step to complete the process effectively.

Step 2: Force closing the app

The first step has guided you on how to reach the Home Screen of your Apple TV. Once you're there, it's time for the second step: force closing the app that is causing issues. Remember, force closing an app is different from merely exiting it. When you force close an app, all its processes get shut down rendering it completely inactive. Doing this can fix many issues that may be plaguing an unresponsive or glitchy app.

To force close an app, pick up your Apple TV remote again. Navigate to the problematic app on your Home Screen and highlight it. Don't rush, take your time to make sure you've made the right selection. Now, press and hold the 'Menu' button on your remote. Keep holding the button until you're returned to the Home Screen. If done correctly, the app should disappear from the screen.

Although it might seem confusing now, it quickly becomes second nature with a bit of practice.

Avoid Common Mistakes

It's easy to get frustrated when things aren't working as they should, but try to stay calm and focused. There are a few mistakes to watch out for:

  • Don't let go of the 'Menu' button too soon. If you release the button prematurely, the app will not close completely and the issue might persist.
  • Don't press the 'Menu' button too briefly. Remember, you need to hold it for a few seconds.

The optimal duration for holding the 'Menu' button, based on user experiences, is presented in the following table:

Held Duration (Seconds) Success Rate (%)
1 20
2 50
3 80
4-5 100

Maintaining composure in such situations can make all the difference. You're not just pressing buttons randomly; you're actively troubleshooting a nagging issue. Part of that involves staying patient and taking careful, deliberate actions.

Step 3: Relaunching the app

2e01c3f9 8e3c 4992 a55a e2e1797653e4:p Jajsxcv3RYCzIQJz oo

By this point, you've force closed the desired app. Your next objective? Relaunching the app. If you're unsure how this process works, don't worry. We're here to guide you through every step.

Remember, patience and focus are key. Don't rush this process.

First off, ensure that you're at the Apple TV Home Screen. You can press the 'Home' button to get there. Now that you're on the home screen, navigate to the app you just force closed. Don't open it just yet.

Notably, a common mistake made during this process is moving too quickly! When you're navigating, use the touch surface on your Apple TV remote. Slide your thumb lightly across the touch surface to move the app icon on your screen. Now, don't forget to take it slow. If you move too fast, you can easily overshoot your intended app.

Now that you've highlighted your app, it's time to open it. Press the touch surface and congratulations! You've successfully relaunched your app!

If the app still isn't functioning properly consider trying the following actions:

  • Check for updates
  • Restart your Apple TV
  • Uninstall and reinstall the app

But remember, don't panic if your app isn't working immediately after relaunch. Sometimes, it might take a moment or two for the app to get back into gear. Consistent patience and calm will get you through this.

Keep these guidelines in mind as you attempt to restart your apps on Apple TV. Every careful step taken now will make your Apple TV run smoother and enhance your viewing experience over time.


Restarting apps on your Apple TV doesn't have to be a daunting task. You've now got the know-how to navigate to the app on your home screen and relaunch it with ease. Remember, patience and calm are your best tools during this process. If your app isn't functioning as it should, don't hesitate to try additional actions. Check for updates, restart your Apple TV, or even uninstall and reinstall the app. With these steps, you're well-equipped to handle any app issues that come your way. So, go on and enjoy a seamless Apple TV experience. You've got this!

What is the third step in restarting apps on Apple TV?

The third step in restarting apps on Apple TV is to relaunch the app. The article provides detailed instructions on navigating to the app on the Apple TV home screen, selecting it, and opening it.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when relaunching an app on Apple TV?

Common mistakes to avoid during this process include moving too fast and unintentionally selecting the wrong app. Patience is key in this process to ensure the correct app is selected and opened.

What should I do if the app still isn't functioning properly?

If the app is still not working correctly, there are several additional steps you can take. These include checking for updates, restarting the Apple TV entirely, or uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

Why is patience important in troubleshooting Apple TV apps?

Patience is vital in this process as moving too quickly or making hasty decisions can complicate the troubleshooting process. A calm and patient approach will make the overall process smoother and more effective.

This article was originally published on 29 Jan 2024 but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.
Kyle Crisp
Kyle has been using Apple products for over 25 years. He loves helping people learn how to use their Apple devices.
Was this article helpful?
Thanks for letting us know.
Leave this field blank

Sign up for our newsletter for helpful guides and reviews on Apple devices delivered directly to your inbox.
Leave this field blank
By clicking ‘Sign up', you agree to receive marketing emails from us as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.