Most of the gadgets and devices will be getting frequent updates. Updating the firmware will enhance the features and functionalities of the device. It is more important to keep your device up to date. Moreover, updating the firmware will fix the previous bugs and minor issues. Most updates will even change the UI and make it more intuitive. Likewise, Apple TV will release frequent system updates for its software. The latest available version is 14.3. It is easy to update Apple TV. Either you can set automatic updates or perform a manual update by yourself.

Update Apple TV

You can update your software manually, or you can set it up for an automatic update. System updates will be available for all generations of Apple TV. Let’s learn how to update Software in Apple 4th Gen and 3rd Gen as well. Before that, make sure to connect your Apple TV to uninterrupted WiFi. Don’t unplug or power off your Apple TV during the process.

How to Update Apple TV: 4th Generation

  • On your Apple TV home screen, go to Settings.
Apple TV Settings
  • Then, select System from the Settings menu.
Apple TV System Settings
  • Now, choose the Software Updates option.
Update Apple TV Software
  • Now select Update Software.
Update Apple TV
  • If there is any available, the following screen will appear.
Install Apple TV Software update
  • Now choose Download and Install. Now your TV will download the new update.
  • After download completion, the Apple TV will restart.
Installation of Software
  • After preparation, the TV will start installing the update.
  • Now again, after installation, your Apple TV will restart again. After the restart, your Apple TV will be updated to the latest version.

How to Update Apple TV: Third Generation

For third generation and lower, you can follow the below steps. But the steps won’t vary much like that of 4th Gen Apple TV.

  • Now in your Apple 3rd Generation TV, open Settings and navigate to General and then to Software Updates.
  • Then, select Update Software.
  • If an update available, then choose Download and Install.
  • Now, Apple TV will restart two times.
  • After the restart, your Apple TV will be updated.

How to Update Apple TV: Using Computer

You can update Apple TV using a computer via iTunes. Follow the below steps.

  • Disconnect the HDMI cable from your Apple TV.
  • Also, unplug the power cord and also Ethernet cable.
  • Connect your Apple TV and PC with a USB cable.
  • Then, open the iTunes application.
  • Select the Apple TV listed under devices.
Restore button
  • And click on the Restore button.
  • There will be a few pop-ups.
    • If you disabled automatic updates, then click Check.
    • On the next dialog box, click Restore and Update.
    • Now you have Apple TV Software Restore window, click Next.
    • Agree on the Apple TV Software License Agreement.
  • Now the Apple TV software will be updated, and the system will restore the Apple TV.
Update Apple TV using Computer
  • And click OK on the dialog and unplug it from the computer.
OK button
  • Then connect it to your TV and start using it as usual.

Sometimes, using your computer or laptop to update Apple TV will have some issues. Generally, this method is not recommended. Update your device from the Settings menu, or turn on automatic updates if you want.

How to Automatically Update Apple TV

You can enable the Automatic Update feature in the Software Updates menu. Follow the below steps to do the same.

Automatic Update: 4th Gen Apple TV

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then navigate to System.
  3. Now choose Software Update.
  4. And the Turn on Automatically Update.
Automatic Update

Automatic Update: 3rd Gen Apple TV

  • Go to Settings >> General >> Software and Updates >> Turn on Automatically Update.

How to Update Apple TV: Without Remote

If you don’t have an Apple TV remote, you can also use your iPhone or iPad to control your Apple TV.

  • If you had set up your iPhone to control Apple TV before then, Apple TV remote app will be automatically added to your iOS device on iOS 12 or later.
  • If not, make sure to connect your iPhone to the same WiFi network as that of your Apple TV.
  • Add Apple TV remote from the Control Center.
  • Now tap the Apple TV icon and then choose your respective Apple TV.
  • Enter the 4 digit PIN that appears on your Apple TV.
  • Now that your iPhone has been set to control your Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV (3rd Generation). You can follow the same method as prescribed above to update your Apple TV OS.

How to Update Apple TV 1st & 2nd Gen

It is not possible to update Apple TV 1st and 2nd generation. Apple has discontinued the Apple TV 1st and 2nd Generation. Apple TV 1st Gen cannot connect to iTunes anymore. And 2nd Gen Apple TV can show messages asking for updating payment information. Moreover, Apple TV 3rd Gen and earlier will not be receiving any software updates.

Update Apple TV: Issues and Errors

Updating Apple TV is a straightforward process. But sometimes, there may be a few issues and problems that need troubleshooting.

If the update wasn’t successful, the first thing you need to do is to check the network connection. Go to Settings > General > Network > Test Network and press OK. When the network connection is fine, then just try updating again. If not, then try changing the network.

Related: How to Update Apps on Apple TV.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest version of Apple TV available right now?

As of now (25/01/2020), tvOS 14.30 is the latest version of Apple TV firmware available. I mean at the time of writing this guide.

How do I know what generation of my Apple TV is?

You can know the Apple TV generation from the Apple TV itself. Go to Settings > General > About. On the About screen, you will find the model number. Based on your model number, you can find the generation.

  • A1218 – 1st Generation
  • A1378 – 2nd Generation
  • A1427 or A1469 – 3rd Generation
  • A1624 – Apple TV HD
  • A1842 – Apple TV 4K