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How to update Apple TV to tvOS 15

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Discover all the new features that tvOS 15 brings to your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD and how you should proceed to update it to the latest version.

We already know all the news about tvOS 15, the latest version of the Apple TV devices that Apple has just launched, and with which the device acquires a much more relevant role within what should be the center of the digital home.

In this article, we want to show you how to update your Apple TV to the latest version released by Apple and solve all the doubts you may have related to the update process. We have also dedicated a special section to the new features provided by tvOS 15.

What are the incredible features of tvOS 15?

Indeed, there are new features that are pretty promising, as is the case of Space Audio which we can also enjoy in the content that is played through Apple TV, in addition to being extended to the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

It also adds something that all Apple users expected, such as the compatibility of the HomePod mini with Siri, so it will be possible to use the voice to play episodes or movies on the Apple TV. This is something that other similar devices already allow, such as the Amazon Fire TV with Alexa.

Apple has also introduced the SharePlay feature in FaceTime with iOS 15. In this way, we will be able to watch videos and play content so that it is shared by FaceTime, with the possibility of commenting live or starting viewing simultaneously.

Users will be able to choose between using the iPhone to watch both the video and the FaceTime call, or they will be able to watch the content directly from another Apple device, such as the Apple TV that we are discussing here, using the tvOS 15 version.

When can I install tvOS 15 on my Apple TV?

As has been happening with the rest of Apple products, the company has announced all the novelties that come with the new versions of its operating systems. Since September 20, the tvOS 15 version has been available for all compatible Apple TVs.

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How do I know which Apple TV model I have?

There are several ways to know which model of Apple TV you have in your possession, something necessary if you are thinking of updating its operating system version. In addition to using the model number, it is also possible to know which generation your Apple TV belongs to by analyzing its external appearance, ports, and dimensions.

Which Apple TV models are compatible with tvOS 15?

Indeed, before showing you how you can carry out the update process, let’s make sure that your Apple TV will be compatible with the new version. Not all models are upgradeable, like iPhones, iPads, or Macs.

Currently being marketed by Apple models Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, both can be updated without problems to the latest version of tvOS 14. As confirmed by official sources, tvOS 15 will be supported by the following Apple TV models:

  • Apple TV HD (4th generation)
  • Apple TV 4K (1st generation, 2017)
  • Apple TV 4K (2nd generation, 2021)

tvOS is the software that powers the latest generation of Apple TV. It was first released alongside the fourth-generation Apple TV in October 2015, bringing significant changes from the software featured on the company’s older Apple TVs.

One notable change was the introduction of the App Store for Apple TV, from where you can browse and download a wide selection of TV apps like Netflix, iPlayer, Now TV, games, and more.

The software uses Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, to help you with your TV viewing and movie-like content needs. Older Apple TVs also have their software, but Apple is unlikely to update it.

However, if your old Apple TV software isn’t up to date, you may encounter performance issues, so we recommend checking below to find out how to know if you’re running the most up-to-date software on your Apple TV.

As a general rule, whenever your Apple TV finds a new update for your device, the recommendation is that you install it automatically, although that may not be the case. Read on to find out how to update your Apple TV.  

How do I install tvOS 15 on my Apple TV?

Unlike other Apple product operating systems, it’s impossible to back up your Apple TV. In this way, Apple offers two options to update tvOS: over the air, which only updates the system, or through USB-C, which restores the device to factory values.

How to install tvOS 15 with MAC

To install the tvOS beta configuration profile wirelessly, you’ll need to use a Mac, an Apple configurator, and the latest version of Xcode if you’ve never done it before. Over-the-air update only updates the operating system software (settings and apps remain on your Apple TV).

  1. Access from your Mac.
  2. Click Discover, tap tvOS, then tap Download.
  3. Enter your developer username and password to sign in.
  4. Scroll down and click the blue ‘Download‘ button to the right of the tvOS 15 beta settings profile. Be sure to save the profile to your desktop.
  5. Install the ‘Apple Configurator‘ app from the Mac App Store.
  6. Turn on your Apple TV and connect it to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac.
  7. Open Xcode on your Mac. Make sure you’re running the latest version.
  8. Click on ‘Window‘ from the menu bar.
  9. Tap on ‘Devices and simulators.’
  10. Open ‘Settings on your Apple TV.
  11. Select ‘Remote & Devices‘.
  12. In Xcode, select your Apple TV when it appears in the left column.
  13. Enter the code that appears on your Apple TV. Xcode will pair with your Apple TV.
  14. Now open ‘Apple Configurator’ on your Mac.
  15. Click your Apple TV within ‘Apple Configurator.
  16. Drag the tvOS 15 settings profile from your desktop to the Apple TV icon in ‘Apple Configurator.
  17. Finally, the Apple TV will be updated to the beta version of tvOS 15.
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How to install the latest official version of tvOS on my Apple TV?

With respect to previous versions of tvOS, as you can imagine, each version of Apple TV can offer a different behavior depending on the version you try to install on each device. Below, we offer you the way to proceed in each case.

How to update tvOS 15 on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD

If it turns out that you have an Apple TV of the new ones, still marketed by Apple, then you will find the most suitable ways to update the software:

  1. On your Apple TV, go to ‘Software Updates,’ ‘Settings> System> Software Updates> Update Software.’
  2. Click ‘Download and Install‘ to download the update.
  3. Click on ‘Update Now.’

Your Apple TV may restart during the process. It will show you a progress bar that tells you the status of the update. Once the process is complete, your Apple TV will restart to start with the most up-to-date software version.

You need to make sure you have automatic updating turned on under ‘Settings> System> Software Updates‘ to turn on automatic updates.

How to update software on Apple TV (3rd generation HD or earlier)

If your Apple TV is one of the oldest models considered to predate the App Store interface, here’s the most appropriate way to update it:

  1. Go to ‘Settings> General> Update Software
  2. If there is an update, download it
  3. Install the update

To activate automatic updates, again, just go to ‘Settings> General> Update software’ and activate ‘Update automatically.’

What is the latest version of Apple TV software?

Below, we show you the journey of tvOS and Apple TVs over the years until you reach the current situation. Apple launched the reimagined Apple TV in 2015 and created tvOS, the software interface similar to iOS but specific to these devices.

In this way, tvOS started in version 9, so there will be no versions before this one.

  • tvOS 15 was released on September 20, 2021, with important news.
  • tvOS 14 was released on September 16, 2020, with features like Home App controls.
  • tvOS 13 arrived on September 30, 2019, and new features include the redesigned home screen, different user profiles, and a control center.
  • tvOS 12, released on September 17, 2018, added screen savers, passwords, autocomplete, and Dolby Atmos sound. A later update improved the Apple TV app, ready for TV+ to arrive.
  • tvOS 11 was released on September 19, 2017.
  • tvOS 10 arrived in September 2016, offering as a novelty the ability to create folders so that the user could organize the Apple TV interface.
  • tvOS 9 arrived in September 2015 and was the Apple TV App Store launch.
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Apple TV 3 models now run with version 7.2.2. They also include the Apple TV app, which suggests that the new TV+ subscription content will be available to Apple TV 3 owners.

Older Apple TV models run 7.2.2, but they don’t have the TV app. You can find a list of software updates available for second and third-generation Apple TV devices. 

How do I know which version of Apple TV software I’m running?

On a 4th generation or 4K Apple TV model, proceed as follows:

  • Go to the ‘Software Updates’ section on Apple TV by going to ‘Settings> General> About> tvOS‘.

On a previous Apple TV model

  • Go to ‘Settings> General> Update Software‘. 

Apple TV update issues

Sometimes, updates can fix problems, but they can also cause them. It’s usually wise to wait a bit before updating your Apple TV if there’s a problem (although it’s set to update automatically, it may be too late!)

If you encounter any problems, the following advice should help you. If you discover any issues with the updates, please comment below.

Blank screen

If you get a blank screen with an image of a white cable and the iTunes icon, the software update has failed. You’ll need to connect your Apple TV to your computer to restore it through iTunes.


If an update has locked your Apple TV, in other words, it no longer turns on and might be locked. Then it would be best if you tried to restore it by connecting it to a Mac or PC and using iTunes to restore it to factory settings. Here’s how to restore it from the factory.

How to Restore Your Apple TV to Factory Settings

If it turns out that you have to restore your Apple TV to factory settings, follow these steps:

  • Apple TV 4th generation, 4K model or Apple TV 3rd generation

Use these steps to erase your Apple TV, restore it to factory settings, and delete all information in its memory.

  • Apple TV via iTunes

If you encounter a problem during a software update on your Apple TV, unplug it and plug it back in. Then, try updating the software again. If you still need help, follow the steps below for your Apple TV.


Shubham is a prolific writer who has contributed many detailed tutorials for A tech enthusiast and avid Apple fan, Shubham has shared his knowledgeable work with other many popular tech sites like Business Magazine, Thrive Global etc.

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