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How to Add an App to a VIZIO Smart TV

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Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

The general expectation with Smart TVs is that you should be able to add your favorite apps and enjoy the content that they offer. Some Smart TVs are just like that, whereas others only provide a limited number of built-in apps that you have no control over. For several years, VIZIO Smart TVs allowed you to add your favorite apps. However, in 2016 they changed their approach with the launch of their SmartCast platform. This guide will show you what options you have to adding apps on your VIZIO Smart TV.

Before You Begin:
Connect to the Internet
To be able to use apps on your VIZIO Smart TV, it needs to be connected to the Internet:
Vizio Logo.

How Are Apps Installed on a VIZIO Smart TV?

The capability of installing apps on your VIZIO Smart TV depends on the platform it is running on, the model series and when it was released:

  • VIZIO VIA & VIA Plus TVs released until 2017 allow you to install apps from the Connected TV Store.
  • VIZIO SmartCast HD TVs released between 2016 – 2017 do not allow you to install apps nor do they provide any built-in apps, but you can cast content from Chromecast-enabled apps installed on your phone or tablet.
  • VIZIO SmartCast 4K UHD TVs released between 2016 – 2017 as well as all SmartCast TVs released since 2018 do not allow you to install apps. All the available apps are built into the platform. Besides that, you can also cast content from Chromecast-enabled apps installed on your phone or tablet as well as cast from Apple devices over AirPlay.

To easily determine which platform your VIZIO Smart TV is running on, check the images below for reference:

VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA)
VIA interface on VIZIO Smart TV.
The VIA platform is found on VIZIO Smart TVs released between 2009 – 2013. You can install apps on this platform.
VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (VIA Plus)
VIA Plus interface on VIZIO Smart TV.
The VIA Plus platform is found on VIZIO Smart TVs released between 2013 – 2017. You can install apps on this platform.
SmartCast with No Apps
SmartCast interface with no apps on VIZIO Smart TV.
The SmartCast platform with no apps is found on VIZIO HD Smart TVs released between 2016 – 2017. You cannot install apps on this platform.
SmartCast with Apps
SmartCast interface with apps on VIZIO Smart TV.
The SmartCast platform with apps is found on VIZIO 4K UHD Smart TVs released between 2016 – 2017 and all VIZIO Smart TVs released since 2018. You cannot install apps on this platform.

1 Add App on a VIZIO Smart TV

The only VIZIO Smart TVs that allow you to install apps are the ones running on the VIA Plus and VIA platforms. Expand the instructions below for the type of TV you have:

VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (VIA Plus)
  1. Press the V button twice on the remote.
    VIA Key on VIZIO TV remote.
  2. In the Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window you will see your installed apps under the My Apps tab.
    My Apps tab highlighted on Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window on VIZIO Smart TV.
  3. Browse through the Featured, Latest, All Apps or Categories tabs to find the app you want to install.
    Featured, Latest, All Apps and Categories tabs highlighted on Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window on VIZIO Smart TV.
  4. Press and hold the OK button until "[App Name] has been added to your My Apps list" appears.
    OK button on VIZIO TV remote.
VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA)
  1. Press the V button on the remote.
    VIA Key on VIZIO TV remote.
  2. Select CONNECTED TV STORE.
    Connected TV Store Highlighted
  3. Choose All Apps.
    All Apps highlighted
  4. Navigate through the list of Apps and press OK on the desired App to bring up the option to install it.
    OK button on VIZIO TV remote.
  5. Select Install App which is often located in the lower-left corner of the screen.
    Movie App with Install App highlighted

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The general expectation with Smart TVs is that you should be able to add your favorite apps and enjoy the content that they offer. Some Smart TVs are just like that, whereas others only provide a limited number of built-in apps that you have no control over. For several years, VIZIO Smart TVs allowed you to add your favorite apps. However, in 2016 they changed their approach with the launch of their SmartCast platform. This guide will show you what options you have to adding apps on your VIZIO Smart TV.

Before You Begin:
Connect to the Internet
To be able to use apps on your VIZIO Smart TV, it needs to be connected to the Internet:
Vizio Logo.

How Are Apps Installed on a VIZIO Smart TV?

The capability of installing apps on your VIZIO Smart TV depends on the platform it is running on, the model series and when it was released:

  • VIZIO VIA & VIA Plus TVs released until 2017 allow you to install apps from the Connected TV Store.
  • VIZIO SmartCast HD TVs released between 2016 – 2017 do not allow you to install apps nor do they provide any built-in apps, but you can cast content from Chromecast-enabled apps installed on your phone or tablet.
  • VIZIO SmartCast 4K UHD TVs released between 2016 – 2017 as well as all SmartCast TVs released since 2018 do not allow you to install apps. All the available apps are built into the platform. Besides that, you can also cast content from Chromecast-enabled apps installed on your phone or tablet as well as cast from Apple devices over AirPlay.

To easily determine which platform your VIZIO Smart TV is running on, check the images below for reference:

VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA)
VIA interface on VIZIO Smart TV.
The VIA platform is found on VIZIO Smart TVs released between 2009 – 2013. You can install apps on this platform.
VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (VIA Plus)
VIA Plus interface on VIZIO Smart TV.
The VIA Plus platform is found on VIZIO Smart TVs released between 2013 – 2017. You can install apps on this platform.
SmartCast with No Apps
SmartCast interface with no apps on VIZIO Smart TV.
The SmartCast platform with no apps is found on VIZIO HD Smart TVs released between 2016 – 2017. You cannot install apps on this platform.
SmartCast with Apps
SmartCast interface with apps on VIZIO Smart TV.
The SmartCast platform with apps is found on VIZIO 4K UHD Smart TVs released between 2016 – 2017 and all VIZIO Smart TVs released since 2018. You cannot install apps on this platform.

The only VIZIO Smart TVs that allow you to install apps are the ones running on the VIA Plus and VIA platforms. Expand the instructions below for the type of TV you have:

VIZIO Internet Apps Plus (VIA Plus)
  1. Press the V button twice on the remote.
    VIA Key on VIZIO TV remote.
  2. In the Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window you will see your installed apps under the My Apps tab.
    My Apps tab highlighted on Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window on VIZIO Smart TV.
  3. Browse through the Featured, Latest, All Apps or Categories tabs to find the app you want to install.
    Featured, Latest, All Apps and Categories tabs highlighted on Fullscreen VIA Plus Apps Window on VIZIO Smart TV.
  4. Press and hold the OK button until "[App Name] has been added to your My Apps list" appears.
    OK button on VIZIO TV remote.
VIZIO Internet Apps (VIA)
  1. Press the V button on the remote.
    VIA Key on VIZIO TV remote.
  2. Select CONNECTED TV STORE.
    Connected TV Store Highlighted
  3. Choose All Apps.
    All Apps highlighted
  4. Navigate through the list of Apps and press OK on the desired App to bring up the option to install it.
    OK button on VIZIO TV remote.
  5. Select Install App which is often located in the lower-left corner of the screen.
    Movie App with Install App highlighted