How to Factory Reset Any Apple TV Device


Factory resetting an Apple TV device erases all data and settings and restores it to original factory condition. This can fix issues, prepare it for resale, or wipe personal data before gifting it. However, many users find it difficult to find the reset option. There are a few ways to reset an Apple TV depending on the model.

Why Reset an Apple TV

Common reasons for factory resetting an Apple TV include:

  • Fixing issues: A reset can resolve problems like freezing, crashing, slowness, or strange behaviors by wiping the device and starting fresh.
  • Preparing to sell or gift: Resetting removes all personal data like accounts, settings, and downloaded apps from the device before giving it to someone else.
  • Starting over: Some may want to wipe their Apple TV to set it up again from scratch if too many customizations were made.

Identify Apple TV Models

The reset process varies slightly between Apple TV models. To identify your model:

1st Gen (A1218): Component video outputs

2nd & 3rd Gen (A1378, A1427/A1469): Micro USB port, optical audio port

4th Gen/HD (A1625): USB-C port

4K (A1842): No USB port

You can also check Settings => General => About and look at the model number.

How to Reset Apple TV 4K and HD

For 4th generation “HD” and 4K models, head to Settings => System =>scroll down and find Reset and select one of two options:

  • Reset: Restores factory settings without updating software. Works offline.
  • Reset and Update: Restores factory settings and updates to latest tvOS. Requires internet.

Keep the Apple TV plugged in until resetting completes. It will then restart ready to set up again or be packed away.

How to Reset Older Apple TV Models

For 2nd and 3rd generation models, go to Settings => General =>scroll down and findReset instead. Again there are two options:

  • Reset All Settings: Resets settings but not apps or accounts. Works offline.
  • Restore: Full factory reset that also updates software. Requires internet.

Select the option you want and let the Apple TV complete the process before unplugging it.

How to Reset a Frozen/Unresponsive Apple TV

If your Apple TV is fully frozen or bricked, you can force a factory reset using a computer:

  1. Disconnect power and HDMI cables from the Apple TV.
  2. Connect Apple TV to computer via USB-C (4th gen) or microUSB (2nd/3rd gen) cable.
  3. Open iTunes (Windows or older Mac) or Finder (newer Mac).
  4. Select Apple TV and choose “Restore” to reset to factory settings.

This will reinstall the Apple TV software and restore it to defaults.

After Resetting an Apple TV

Once your Apple TV has been reset, whether normally through settings or by force, you’ll need to run through the initial setup again. This means:

  • Connect to Wi-Fi
  • Sign into accounts
  • Download apps and media
  • Customize settings

If you reset to fix issues, test everything carefully to ensure it is fully functional now. If you reset to sell/gift it, the Apple TV will now be ready for the new owner to set up.

Resetting an Apple TV restores it to factory fresh condition, providing the most thorough way to resolve issues, change ownership, or start over if too many customizations were made. Just be sure to backup any important data first.

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By Betty
She started her career as a journalist and ended up being a good content writer at Since she has journalism quality, she loves to be in trend by collecting and writing on the latest iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple product related stuff on the website. She has little birds everywhere.
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