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How to update your Apple TV to the latest version of tvOS 15

We already know all the news that the version of tvOS 15 will offer to Apple TV devices, once its main novelties have been announced by Apple during the celebration of the annual event for developers of the WWDC 2021 brand.

This way, you may be wondering if you’re really going to be able to update your device to the latest version, and how you can update and run this new version of the operating system on your Apple encoder.

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

What’s new in tvOS 15?

Certainly, there are new features that are quite 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 that it will be possible to use the voice to play episodes or movies on the Apple TV. This is something that other similar devices such as the Amazon Fire TV with Alexa already allowed.

Apple has also introduced the SharePlay feature in FaceTime with the arrival of 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 start viewing at the same time.

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 will I be able to 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. However, these editions will not be available to the general public until the autumn months (September or October) of the year.

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However, developers can already start enjoying the features with the arrival of the first beta version, which will be released throughout the month of July. To do this, it is enough to be signed up and belong to the Apple Beta Software Program.

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 through the model number, it is also possible to know which generation your Apple TV belongs to by analyzing its external appearance, ports and dimensions.

Check out our special article in which we show you through four foolproof methods, how to know which Apple TV models you have. We make it easy for you.

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. As with iPhones, iPads or Macs, not all models are upgradeable.

Currently are 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 with it major changes from the software featured on the company’s older Apple TVs.

A 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, and Now TV, as well as games and more.

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

Check here the best Apps for Apple TV to download

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 developer beta 1 on my Apple TV?

Unlike other Apple product operating systems, it’s not possible 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 beta over the air

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

  1. Access from your Mac to developer.apple.com/ .
  2. Click Discover, tap tvOS, and 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 on your Apple TV inside ‘Apple Configurator’.
  16. Drag the tvOS 15 settings profile from your desktop to the Apple TV icon in ‘Apple Configurator’.
  17. Finally, your 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 14 on my Apple TV?

Compared to previous versions of tvOS, as you can imagine, each version of Apple TV may offer different behavior depending on the version you’re trying to install on each device. Below, we offer you the way to proceed in each case.

How to update tvOS 14 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, below you will find the most ideal ways to update the software:

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

The Apple TV can be restarted during the process. In fact, it will show you a progress bar that tells you the status of the update. Once the process is complete, your Apple TV will reboot to start now with the most up-to-date version of the software.

To enable automatic updates, you must ensure that you have automatic updating turned on under ‘Settings> System> SoftwareUpdates’.

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

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

  • tvOS 14 has been released on September 16, 2020, with new features such as controls of the Home App.
  • 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 launch of the Apple TV App Store.

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 here. 

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 in case there’s a problem (although if 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, it means that the software update has failed. You’ll need to connect your Apple TV to your computer to restore it through iTunes.

Blocked

If an update has locked your Apple TV, in other words, it no longer turns on and might be locked, then you should try 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 your memory.

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.

You can see how to watch TV and movies on Apple TV using the Apple TV app. 

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