tvOS 17 Lets You Restore A Problematic Apple TV Player With An iPhone

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If you’ve got a problematic Apple TV player, and it is running on tvOS 17, you can now use an iPhone to restore Apple’s streaming player.


tvOS 17 has been in development for some time now, but the public-ready version was only released this week. With the latest tvOS update, Apple TV users get access to a ton of new features and improvements, including support for FaceTime.

One of the lesser-known improvements is support for restoring an Apple TV with an iPhone. First spotted by MacRumors, an Apple support document published yesterday explains how the process of recovering an Apple TV player with an iPhone works.


Basically, if an Apple TV user sees an image of an iPhone next to an Apple TV player (shown below) on the screen of the Apple TV player, then they can hold their unlocked iPhone close to the streaming player.

Apple TV restore iPhone
Image: Apple

At which point, a prompt on the iPhone will appear allowing the user to initiate the recovery of the Apple TV player.

In reality, the Apple TV player is a fairly reliable device, so it is unlikely that users will ever need to use this feature. However, and especially considering how expensive an Apple TV player is, the new support for recovering by iPhone could prove extremely useful if and when a problem does arise.


This is especially true for the Apple TV 4K, as restoring that streaming player was notably harder than older Apple TV models, and typically required Apple’s involvement.

It is worth noting that this support not only requires the Apple TV player to be updated to tvOS 17, but the iPhone also needs to be updated to iOS 17. The latest version of iOS was released yesterday alongside tvOS 17, so both updates are now available to eligible iPhone and Apple TV models.

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at or say hi on Twitter

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