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Apple TV: How To Restart An App (Force Quit) With The Remote


Apple TV apps

It is relatively easy to force an app to restart on an Apple TV device when things go wrong. Generally speaking, Apple attempts to make its various interfaces and operating systems easy to use and reliable, and this tends to mean that there is no need to restart an app most of the time. However, most of the time is not all of the time and when an app is not working as it should, the option to force quit an app can be found in Apple TV’s app-switching view.

Apple TV devices are going to be the preferred streaming player for anyone already invested in Apple’s ecosystem. After all, the Apple ID used to set up an Apple TV device will be linked to their other devices making it easier than on other streaming players to access accounts, subscriptions, and any other content linked to the account. Another reason Apple TV may prove the preferred option for existing iPhone, iPad and Mac device users is the overlap in the general experience. For example, just like an iPad user can multitask different apps at the same time by quickly switching between them, Apple TV users have access to a very similar feature on tvOS.

iPhone and iPad users can quickly and easily launch the App Switcher by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Apple TV users can access a similar app-switching mode by pressing the Home button on the Siri remote twice quickly. From here it is possible to force close an Apple TV app.

How to restart app on Apple TV:

  1. Press Home button twice quickly
  2. Click left to navigate to the correct app
  3. Swipe up to close the selected app
  4. Press Back (or Menu) to close the app switcher again

If swipes have been disabled by the user, they will need to press up twice quickly on the remote once in app-switching view and on the correct app to force quit the app.

Closing and switching between Apple TV apps

The app-switching view on Apple TV works just like it does on other Apple devices making it a good feature for managing the general experience. For example, if an app is proving to be problematic, using the instructions above is a way to force the app to close and require the system to reboot it again when the app is launched. In theory, this may help to fix a performance issue the user might be encountering. If the problem persists after a force close, then it may be worth restarting the Apple TV player in general and seeing if that wider system level reboot fixes issues with apps misbehaving.

For reference, the app-switching mode can also be used to quickly jump between open apps, just like on other Apple devices. This can make it easier to navigate between the streaming services that an individual or household uses the most, instead of having to continually return to the Home screen and scroll through the various apps.

The process of switching between apps is mostly the same as when attempting to force close an app. The difference is, instead of swiping (or pressing) up on a selected app to force quit, the user just needs to press the center of the clickpad on the remote (or the touch surface if using an older remote version) to switch to the highlighted app. This same action can then be repeated as often as needed to switch between any of the apps that are currently open on the player.

Restart Apple TV apps summary

Apple’s tvOS is reliable enough most of the time that users should not often need to manually force close or restart an app. At times when an app is behaving strangely, however, Apple does include the option to close the app when accessing the app-switching section of the interface. This mode can easily be accessed by tapping the Home button twice quickly.

Once in this app switcher mode, the user can cycle between any of the currently open apps by clicking left on the Siri remote. Once on the right app, the Apple TV user can then either click the center button to jump to the app or click up twice on the remote to force the app to close. If opting to close, the app will be rebooted again once launched from the Apple TV Home screen.

John Finn


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