How to Fix Bluetooth Issues with an Apple TV

Introduction

This guide will take you through common problems and solutions to get your Bluetooth accessory working with your Apple TV.

Apple TV

1 Range Check

The device needs to be within a reasonable range in order to connect.

  • In general, to pair and use a Bluetooth device (like a speaker, headset or smartwatch), the device needs to be within 10 feet of your computer or other device.
  • Some medium and higher-power devices can be farther, up to about 30 feet, but this tends to be for larger devices that plug in or have very large batteries, such as another computer, media streaming device, or a plug-in speaker system.
    Diagram of Recommended Bluetooth Distance

Try moving the Bluetooth device closer if you have trouble.

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This guide will take you through common problems and solutions to get your Bluetooth accessory working with your Apple TV.

Apple TV

The device needs to be within a reasonable range in order to connect.

  • In general, to pair and use a Bluetooth device (like a speaker, headset or smartwatch), the device needs to be within 10 feet of your computer or other device.
  • Some medium and higher-power devices can be farther, up to about 30 feet, but this tends to be for larger devices that plug in or have very large batteries, such as another computer, media streaming device, or a plug-in speaker system.
    Diagram of Recommended Bluetooth Distance

Try moving the Bluetooth device closer if you have trouble.

It is important to ensure that your Bluetooth device is powered on with an adequate amount of battery life in order to complete the pairing process without interruption.

  • Ensure your Bluetooth device is powered on.
  • Check your Bluetooth device's battery power.
  • Charge the battery if necessary, or replace old or depleted batteries if need be.

Your Apple TV does not have a power button. There are three methods for restarting it.

Restart by using settings

  1. Select Settings.
    Apple TV home screen.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select Restart.
    System settings with restart highlighted.

Restart using a remote

  1. Hold down the TV and Menu buttons.
    Siri remote with menu and TV buttons highlighted.
  2. Let go when the light on your device flashes.

Restart using the power cable

  1. Unplug the power from the Apple TV.
  2. Wait 10 seconds.
  3. Plug the power back in to the Apple TV.
  1. Turn off your Bluetooth device.
  2. Wait 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. Turn your Bluetooth device back on.

In most cases, pushing and holding the power button for 3 to 5 seconds will turn most Bluetooth devices on or off.

The next step is to unpair your Bluetooth device. You will be given an option at the end to re-pair the device.

  1. On your Apple TV menu, select Settings ⚙️.
    apple TV menu with settings selected
  2. Select Remotes and Devices.
    settings with remotes and devices highlighted
  3. Select Bluetooth.
    remotes and devices settings with bluetooth highlighted
  4. Select your device from the list.
  5. Select Forget Device.
  1. On your Apple TV menu, select Settings.
    Apple TV menu highlighting the settings button.

  2. Select Remotes and Devices.
    Apple TV settings menu highlighting remotes and devices.

  3. Select Bluetooth.
    Apple TV remotes and devices menu highlighting Bluetooth.

  4. Bluetooth is always on for your Apple TV. It will automatically begin to scan for your Bluetooth device.
  5. Set your device to pairing mode. The way you do this may be differ from device to device. In most cases, you can push and hold the power button for 3 to 5 seconds to enter pairing mode on your device.
  6. Your Apple TV will attempt to find the device.
  7. Once your device has been found, select it, and it will pair.
    Apple TV Bluetooth menu highlighting an available Bluetooth device.

  8. You can now use you device!

There are two ways to keep your Apple TV up to date: Performing a manual update check, or by enabling automatic updates.

To Check for Updates Manually

  1. While your TV is on, press the home button on your remote.
    Apple TV remote highlighting the home button.
  2. Choose Settings > System > Software Updates.
  3. Choose Update Software.
    Apple TV software updates screen highlighting the Update Software button.
  4. If an update is available, you will be prompted to update. Choose Download and Install.
    Apple TV Update Software screen highlighting the Download and Install button.
  5. Your Apple TV will begin the update process. It may restart a couple times during the update.
    Apple TV performing an update.

    The update process can take a long time depending on the size of the update, and the connection to Apple's servers.

    It is critical that you do not turn off or restart your Apple TV during the update process. Doing so can cause your Apple TV to no longer function.

To Check for Updates Automatically

  1. Press the home button on your remote.
    Apple TV remote highlighting the home button.
  2. Choose Settings > System > Software Updates.
  3. Choose Automatically Update, and make sure it is set to On.
    Apple TV Software Updates screen highlighting the Automatically Update option.

Some higher-end Bluetooth devices have firmware you can update. This is especially true for higher end Bluetooth headphones.

Check with the device manufacturer, and make sure the firmware of your Bluetooth device is up-to-date.

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