ATV: How to Soft and Hard Reset Apple TV

   Posted October 26, 2010 by David Kirk in Apple Mac

Most of the problems with your Apple TV (ATV) can be solved by a simple reset or reboot.

Resetting the 2nd generation Apple TV is simple; however, I always forget the remote combination to do it. Occasionally, my device will lose it’s HDMI handshake. A simple reboot fixes the process. Likewise, if the device becomes unresponsive, a reset frequently fixes the problem.

As far as the ATV is concerned, a soft and hard reset are exactly the same. The device completely reboots the OS no matter what method you use.

To reset your Apple TV, press and hold the Menu and Down keys for at least 6 seconds until the white light on the ATV rapidly blinks. Let go of the buttons and the device will restart.

Alternatively, you can just unplug the device. Let it sit several seconds before reconnecting power. The device will restart with a full reboot of the OS.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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  • brook gardner

    I have tried to reboot and reset my apple tv several times and each time it comes back to the aple and its still frozen
    all i see is the apple
    when i do the reset with the remote it blacks out but then comes back to the apple

    • David Kirk

      @brook – This is typically a sign of a dying piece of hardware in the device. If you can’t get it to respond to the hard reset, then taking to an Apple store or mailing it in for repairs is your only option. Good luck to you.

    • Sherif Abdelhameed

      > same problem i have in my Apple TV 2 , i do not what to do , Please help

  • Chris B

    I have done the reboot on my Apple…and it goes fine and then comes to the XBMC main page….then normally I just hit center “select” button…there will be a clicking and “whooshing sound” and then it take me into my menu where I see all my various icons “1 Channel” Ice Films etc……..but as of right now it is frozen on the XBMC page and will not advance. I have tried rebooting, unplugging but nothing happens. I press the select button and the light on the apple blinks but it doesn’t advance. Any ideas