Do you ever actually turn off your Apple TV, or do you just leave it on all the time? If you‘re like most users, properly shutting down your streaming device is probably not high on your priority list. But powering down the Apple TV completely when not in use provides some important benefits that can save energy, extend the life of your device, and improve performance.
In this detailed guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about powering down your Apple TV for various models, along with tips for safely and successfully turning off your streaming box every time.
Why You Need to Turn Off the Apple TV
With a streaming device like the Apple TV, it‘s easy to think you can just leave it on 24/7 with no issues. But there are a few good reasons why you should make it a habit to fully shut down your Apple TV:
Save on electricity costs
Electronics continue to draw power even when powered "off" or in sleep modes. This phantom draw, as it‘s known, leads to wasted energy usage and higher electricity bills.
According to energy use estimates, the Apple TV 4K draws about 11-15 watts when streaming video. But even when powered off it still draws nearly 2 watts. This may not seem like much, but it adds up fast. Leaving an Apple TV on non-stop can add over $25 to your annual energy costs.
By fully shutting down your Apple TV when not in use, you can conserve energy and save a few dollars each month. It‘s one simple way to cut your home energy usage for electronic devices.
Prevent your device from overheating
The Apple TV can generate a considerable amount of excess heat, especially after long streaming sessions of 4K video or playing graphics-intensive games. This heat can damage internal components if left unchecked.
Shutting down your Apple TV allows the components inside to fully cool off to normal levels. This reduces the risk of heat degradation over time.
Reset performance and install updates
Power cycling your Apple TV completely resets the device, clears cached memory, and ensures any system software updates are properly installed. This can fix random performance issues like lagging, freezing, or apps crashing. Updates in particular require a full shutdown to correctly finalize installation.
Avoid accidental button presses
For homes with kids or pets, there‘s always the risk of the remote being accidentally sat on or a button held down for too long. This could turn on your Apple TV at random times or interfere with the sleep timer settings. Completely shutting down the device avoids any unintended powering on.
Save your display screen
Modern TVs with OLED or QLED displays can experience temporary image retention or uneven wear when displaying static images for long periods of time. The Apple TV interface and screen savers may accelerate this. So fully powering down your Apple TV when not in use can also prolong the life of your expensive TV screen.
Now that we‘ve looked at why properly shutting down your Apple TV is so important, let‘s dive into how to actually do it for each model.
How to Turn Off an Apple TV 4K (3rd Generation)
The latest 2022 model of the Apple TV 4K makes the shutdown process easier than ever thanks to the addition of a physical power button right on the Siri Remote.
Step 1: Locate the Power Button
The third-generation Siri Remote that comes with the latest Apple TV 4K has a prominent silver power button on the top right edge. Pick up your Siri Remote and get familiar with the location of this key button.
The new physical power button on the Apple TV 4K 3rd generation Siri Remote is located on the top right edge.
This dedicated power button makes shutting down your Apple TV as simple as pressing a button, rather than having to dig into on-screen menus.
Step 2: Press and Hold to Power Down
With your Apple TV 4K on, press and hold the power button on the Siri Remote for about 5 seconds. Don‘t let go too soon or the device may go into sleep mode rather than fully powering down.
Keep the button held down until the Apple TV status light begins flashing rapidly, indicating the shutdown process has started. Continue holding for another 5-10 seconds, then release after the status light goes completely dark.
Step 3: Allow Time to Fully Shut Down
Give your Apple TV about 30-60 seconds after the status light goes out before unplugging power or turning off connected devices. This ensures the shutdown process finishes completely.
And that‘s all there is to it! With the long-press of a single button, your Apple TV 4K 3rd generation will power down quickly and easily.
Turning Off Older Apple TV 4K Models
For 1st and 2nd generation Apple TV 4K models, there is unfortunately no dedicated power button on the Siri Remote.
Instead, you‘ll need to use the on-screen menus to fully shut down the device. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Access the Home Screen
Press the Home button on your Siri Remote to get back to the main Apple TV home screen interface. This button has a simple TV icon on it.
The Home button on the Siri Remote takes you back to the main Apple TV interface.
Take note of any games or apps you have open that you‘ll want to properly close before shutdown.
Step 2: Open Settings
From the Home screen, scroll down and select the Settings app icon. This looks like a small gray gear symbol.
The Settings app is used to control various preferences on your Apple TV.
The Settings menu is where you‘ll find the option to power down the device.
Step 3: Select "Sleep Now"
In the Settings menu, use the Siri Remote to scroll all the way to the bottom of the list of options. Select the button labeled "Sleep Now" near the bottom.
The "Sleep Now" settings option will begin fully powering down your Apple TV.
Step 4: Wait for Shutdown to Complete
After selecting Sleep Now, your Apple TV will take about 10-15 seconds to fully power down. The status light will blink rapidly then turn off once finished.
The TV display will go black when the shutdown process completes. Allow at least 30 seconds before unplugging power or turning off other devices.
And that‘s it! Your older generation Apple TV 4K is now powered off. Just follow these same on-screen steps whenever you want to fully shut down your device.
Quickly Power Down an Apple TV HD
For older Apple TV HD models, whether the 4th generation unit or previous, the method to power down is even more straightforward.
You simply press and hold the Play/Pause button on the standard Apple remote that came with the device.
To fully shut down an Apple TV HD:
- Pick up the Apple TV remote
- Press and hold the Play/Pause button
Hold down the Play/Pause button for at least 5 seconds, until the status light blinks rapidly then turns off. This indicates the device is shutting down. Keep holding for a few more seconds after that for a complete power down.
To quickly turn off an Apple TV HD, press and hold the Play/Pause button for 5+ seconds
Unlike using the menus, this fast remote button method will immediately initiate a full shutdown on any Apple TV HD model.
Tips for Safely Powering Down Your Apple TV
Follow these tips whenever powering down your Apple TV to ensure a smooth and safe shutdown process:
Close any open apps or games – Take the time to properly exit apps and close unfinished games before shutting down to prevent data loss or software issues.
Disconnect accessories – Unplug any connected accessories like gaming controllers, keyboards, or headphones before turning off power.
Wait for software updates – If an Apple TV system update is in progress, delay shutdown until the update fully completes.
Use Sleep Timer at night – Enable the automatic sleep timer under Settings to have your Apple TV turn off overnight after a set period of inactivity.
Store remotes safely – Keep remotes out of reach of kids and pets to avoid accidental button presses that could disrupt the shutdown.
Check status light – Watch for the Apple TV status light to blink then go fully dark to confirm the device has powered down.
Allow cooling before unplugging – Let the Apple TV cool down for a few minutes before unplugging the power cord to prevent internal overheating.
Troubleshooting – If your Apple TV won‘t power down, hold the relevant remote button down for up to 15 seconds, or unplug power for 10 seconds.
Taking these few simple precautions will allow you to successfully power down your Apple TV fully and safely every time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Powering Down Apple TV
Here are answers to some common questions about properly shutting down your Apple TV device:
Does Apple TV sleep mode fully power down the device?
No. The sleep timer under Apple TV settings simply puts the device into a low-power standby. Apps remain open, video playback pauses, and the Apple TV continues drawing a small amount of power. Only fully shutting down will completely stop energy use.
What is the benefit of fully powering down vs sleep?
Shutting down completely resets the Apple TV, closes all apps, allows components to cool, and ensures total energy savings. Sleep still draws power and leaves apps running. The only benefit of sleep is faster wake times.
Is it bad to unplug Apple TV before fully shutdown?
Yes, you should avoid unplugging the power cord before the device has finished the shutdown process. This could corrupt software or interrupt an update. Always wait for the status light to go out first.
How long should I shut down Apple TV for?
There is no minimum time needed. Feel free to start your Apple TV right back up after powering down. The main benefit comes from allowing components to cool by being off for a short period.
What happens if I hold the remote button too long?
If you continue holding the power or play/pause button down for over 60 seconds, the Apple TV will reboot in recovery mode after fully powering down. This is handy for troubleshooting.
Why does my Apple TV turn back on randomly?
This is likely due to HDMI-CEC settings that allow your TV remote to also control the streaming box. Disable CEC or avoid using your TV remote‘s power button to prevent this.
Hopefully these tips and FAQs help explain the ins and outs of properly shutting down your Apple TV. Take a minute to fully power down your device each night or when not in use, and you‘ll enjoy a better streaming experience.