How to Easily Reset Your Apple TV Device in 3 Steps

Have you ever needed to fully restore your Apple TV back to its factory settings? Resetting your Apple streaming box can actually fix a lot of issues, whether that‘s glitches, frozen screens or getting the device ready to sell. Don‘t worry – restoring your Apple TV is simple no matter which model you own.

In this guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly how to reset both the latest Apple TV 4K and older models in just minutes. With some visual pointers along the way, you can painlessly get your device refreshed.

Why You Might Need to Reset Your Apple TV

Before we dive in, let‘s review the most common reasons for needing to reset your Apple TV:

  • Fixing software crashes or laggy performance
  • Preparing to sell or gift your device to someone else
  • Changing or resetting the Apple ID on the device
  • Installing pending software updates

Resetting brings your Apple TV back to day one condition – perfect for clearing up issues, handing off the device or setting up fresh.

I actually just went through this process myself after my Apple TV 4K began randomly cutting out and lagging. Despite trying other troubleshooting steps, a full reset ended up being the solution. It was easier than expected and quickly got my device working good as new.

Now let‘s walk through how to reset both the newest Apple TV 4K and older models…

Apple TV Generations Comparison

First, here is a quick cheat sheet comparing relevant specs if you need to determine which Apple TV generation you own:

GenerationInitial ReleaseMax ResolutionReset Process
Apple TV 4K (1st)Sep 20174K HDRVia System menu
Apple TV 4K (2nd)Apr 20214K Dolby VisionVia System menu
Apple TV 4K (3rd)Nov 20224K HDR10+Via System menu
Apple TV HDOct 20151080pVia General menu
Apple TV (3rd)Mar 20121080pVia General menu

As you can see, the System menu is used for current 4K models, while General handles older types.

Now let‘s walk through the steps to reset both varieties…

Step-by-Step Instructions to Reset Apple TV 4K

Thanks to the intuitive settings layout, restoring any of the Apple TV 4K models is straightforward:

1. Navigate to the Settings Menu

From the home screen, select the Settings app. Remember, this looks like a small grey gear icon.

Settings icon

Tap on the gear to enter Settings

2. Choose System Settings

Next, go down to System in the left column of the Settings menu. Tap it to continue.

System settings

Open the System options

3. Select Restart or Reset

Finally, select either Restart to quickly reboot your Apple TV, or Reset to fully erase and restore.

If you pick Reset, you‘ll also get the choice between:

  • Reset – Restores factory defaults without updating
  • Reset and Update – Also installs latest Apple TV software

Reset options

Then confirm your choice

And that‘s it! Just let the reset process complete, which typically takes 3 to 5 minutes. Your Apple TV 4K will be restored.

Recommended: Apple TV 4K (3rd Gen)

title="Apple TV 4K (2022)"
features="- Fast A15 Bionic chip

The 2022 Apple TV 4K is my top pick – crazy fast and built for tomorrow‘s video formats. And it‘s easy to reset!

Next let‘s go over the small differences when resetting older Apple TVs…

Resetting Older Apple TVs

For Apple TVs released before the 4K models, the menu navigation is almost identical. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the General section rather than System
  2. Scroll down and select the Reset tab
  3. Finally, choose either:
    • Reset All Settings – To erase accounts and preferences
    • Restore – Fully resets and installs updates

And you‘re done! Allow the reset procedure to finish.

Restore setting

The full Restore option does take more time – perhaps 5 to 10 minutes. But it leaves your older Apple TV fresh and ready to go!

Extra Tips for a Healthy Apple TV

Beyond basic resets, here are a few pointers for keeping your Apple TV running smooth long-term:

  • Close unused apps to increase free memory
    *Rearrange your Home screen apps so favorites are up front
  • Check for software updates monthly at minimum
  • Use ethernet over WiFi whenever possible for faster streaming
  • Add an extended warranty for cost-effective accident protection

And if issues do pop up even after a reset, don‘t hesitate to reach out to Apple support. Their remote diagnostics and over-the-phone troubleshooting can fix more complex matters.

Well hopefully you now feel equipped to easily reset and restore your Apple TV. Give your device an occasional fresh start and it will provide many evenings of delightful entertainment! Let me know if any other questions come up.

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