Why Your Apple TV Keep Cutting Out (With Fixes)


Apple TV device on orange background

As flawless as it might seem, the Apple TV is not impervious to problems. Sometimes the device automatically shuts itself down without any apparent reason. It used to happen once or twice a month and then gradually started to happen more frequently. You have come to the right place if you are facing a similar issue since I have prepared a list of solutions to resolve this.

The reason why Apple TV keeps cutting off can be due to various reasons. It can either be a software glitch or even be an issue with the hardware (overheating) causing the device to lag and eventually shut down to prevent internal component damage.

There are several ways to resolve the problem and I will be discussing all of them in detail. So without further ado, let’s get started.

How to fix Apple TV cutting out continuously

A hard restart usually fixes accidental cut-offs. Check the Wi-Fi to see if the internet is working properly and finally see if any of the apps is glitching out and needs an update.

Let’s discuss the details of how to address the issue and prevent the Apple TV from continuously cutting off during streaming.

How to restart Apple TV to stop it from cutting off

There are three ways to restart the Apple device. One is to go to settings, the second is to do it via the remote and the last is by forcing it to shut down by unplugging the device from the power source. Here are the steps in detail.

1. Go to settings.

2. Navigate to Systems and choose restart.

3. It’s called a soft reboot. Wait a few minutes to see if the issue is resolved. 

4. If the Apple TV is still accidentally cutting off, it’s time to do a hard restart.

5. If it’s the Apple Remote without Siri, press the Menu + Down buttons to hard reset. If it’s 1st generation Siri Remote then it’s Menu + TV and in the case of the 2nd generation remote press the Back + TV buttons together to hard restart the Apple TV.

6. Even if hard restarting does not resolve the issue, unplug the Apple TV from the main power source and then reconnect it.

7. Once the device has successfully booted up go to Settings and under System select Software Updates and choose Update Software. 

9. Check if the software is up to date. Doing so should put an end to the accidental cut-offs.

Restarting the Apple TV is the simplest troubleshooting technique, and you should not be distressed if it does not work since I have other solutions in-store.

How to prolong the Apple TV sleep timer to prevent it from cutting off suddenly

The Apple TV automatically shuts itself down if it’s kept idle for a prolonged time. The standby time can be extended by going into the settings and increasing the sleep timer from a few minutes to never letting it shut down by itself. Here are steps on how to do the same.

1. Go to Settings.

2. Under General select Sleep After and pick the standby duration.

3. The following time intervals are available: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, and Never. 

4. Pick one to stop your Apple TV from cutting off suddenly.

I  highly suggest picking an actual duration rather than choosing ‘never’. That’s because the device may remain open if you accidentally fall asleep while watching something, thereby causing it to overheat. Although there are safety protocols in place that shuts down the TV in such a situation, I think that it’s best not to exert the Apple TV beyond necessary.

At this point, it’s safe to conclude that the problem might not be with the Apple TV itself, but with other aspects of the device which are discussed in the next section.

Can backdated apps force the Apple TV to shut down abruptly?

Apps on Apple TV are prone to glitches like any other operating system. Without the latest updates, they can cause countless issues including force cutouts. The best solution is to update all the apps and here are steps on how to do it:

1. Go to Settings.

2. Navigate down to Apps and toggle on Automatic Update Apps.

3. Once all the apps are updated, restart the Apple TV. 

4. If the Apple TV is still shutting itself down, go through all your apps and see if any of them are behaving abnormally. For instance, check for lags, crashes, or total screen freezes.

5. Uninstall any apps that are causing a problem. If there are not any such apps, keep uninstalling them one by one and check if the Apple TV is cutting out or not.

If the problem is resolved, then one of the apps was to blame for all this fiasco. In case the accidental cut-off is still happening, keep reading for more solutions.

FAQ

Can a faulty power cord cause Apple TV to cut off?

Faulty power cables can stop the signal from seamlessly flowing through the cables, forcing the Apple TV to cut out abruptly. The best solution is to change them altogether, otherwise, the frequent shutdowns may damage the device.

I have had faulty cables before and the problem started when I accidentally bumped into the device. The video feed got all scrambled up before shutting down completely. Every time I nudged the Apple TV while it was switched on, the video malfunctioned. It stopped once I changed the cable and later discovered it was damaged. 

Cables get worn out on extended usage and I have been using this one for over 3 years. I mostly use the PowerBear 4K HDMI cable since it’s quite cheap and highly rated. Nonetheless, always make sure to check cables even if it’s new ones because there can always be manufacturing defects. 

PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable
PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable

Why does Apple TV turn off while using MacBook Pro?

The Apple TV usually turns off when the MacBook and the Apple TV are not on the same network.

I usually mirror content via AirPlay from my Apple TV to the Macbook. The video did not cut out often but when it did, I discovered that the MacBook somehow connected to my neighbor’s Wi-Fi. The issues were resolved when I deleted his Wi-Fi details from my MacBook and restarted both devices.

Why does Apple TV keep disconnecting from Wi-Fi?

The main reason is interference caused by other devices trying to connect to the Wi-Fi as well.

The Apple TV needs a working internet connection to function properly and without it, it’s likely to shut down. If it was a problem with the Wi-Fi, disconnect all Wi-Fi-enabled devices on the network and try connecting to it. 

If the problem persists, restart the router once to fix it. I have a TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi router which is a bit expensive but ensures there are no connectivity issues even if multiple devices are connected to it at the same time.

Conclusion

Apple TV connectivity issues are quite common and are often fixed with a simple restart. The methods mentioned here are all tried and tested so if the restart does not help, you’ll almost always have another solution at hand. Hopefully, you’ve found this article useful, and stay tuned for more tech tips in future posts.

Difference between Bluetooth versio...
Difference between Bluetooth versions

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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