By Trae Jacobs,
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Apple TV is renowned for its fairly understated design. Boot it up, the light on the front flashes. Press a button on the remote, and the light flashes again.
This all seems fairly simple. But, what if the light is flashing continuously?
Reasons and Fixes if Your Apple TV Light is Flashing
In your attempts to research the blinking light on your once happy Apple TV, you may have come across the moniker “flashing white light of death.”
But before you give up hope and decide it’s easier to buy a new Apple TV, consider the other reasons your Apple TV’s light might be flashing.
1. Your Apple TV is Updating
Apple TVs sometimes flash while updating their firmware. Apple pushes updates to their devices fairly frequently to introduce new features, fix bugs, or improve compatibility with third-party apps.
How to Fix
If your Apple TV is flashing because it’s updating, you’ll just need to wait for it to finish.
Apple updates are generally pretty quick, but depending on your internet speed and the size of the update, it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
2. Software Issues
Apple’s updates tend to be pretty straightforward. But whether something happened to interrupt the installation or there’s a glitch in the operating system, software issues can cause your Apple TV’s light to continuously blink.
When these types of problems occur, your Apple TV will usually go into recovery mode.
How to Fix
You can sometimes fix software issues by power cycling your Apple TV.
To force restart your Apple TV, detach the HDMI cable and power cable from your Apple TV. Wait a minute or two, then plug everything back in and reboot it.
If this doesn’t work, you’ll need a laptop or PC to restore your Apple TV.
- Start by connecting your Apple TV to your computer or laptop using a micro-USB or USB-C cable, depending on which your Apple TV model uses.
- If you’re using a Windows computer or a Mac running Mojave or older, open iTunes. If you’re using a Mac running Catalina or newer, open Finder.
- Select or right-click on your Apple TV, then press “Restore Apple TV.”
Once the process is complete, disconnect your Apple TV from your computer and reconnect it to your TV.
Restoring your Apple TV reverts it to factory settings, meaning you’ll need to sign back into your Apple account and set everything up like new again.
Note: This process won’t work for an Apple TV 4k. You’ll need to have Apple Support do it for you.
3. Contact Support
If you can’t get your Apple TV to work after following the troubleshooting methods above, you’ll have to contact Apple Support.
There are a few ways to get in contact with an Apple Support representative. You can:
- Visit your local Apple store
- Start a chat or phone support session
- Download the Apple Support app
- Look for answers on Apple Communities
Apple can usually offer more advanced troubleshooting techniques.
4. Replace Your Apple TV
If the light won’t stop flashing no matter what you do, your Apple TV might be too far gone to fix.
If even an Apple Genius can’t fix your device, you have no other option than to replace it with a newer model.
FAQ: Apple TV
Why is My Apple TV Flashing White?
Temporary flashing of the LED status light is normal. Even prolonged blinking can indicate a simple firmware update.
But if your Apple TV’s LED light is continually flashing white with nothing appearing on your TV screen, you’ve got a problem.
What is the Apple “Black Screen of Death?”
Nothing on your screen and a blinking white light usually means there’s a problem with your Apple TV’s software.
Sometimes, a power cycle is enough to do the trick. But other times, you’ll need to completely restore it to factory settings before it’ll work properly again.
If your Apple TV is too far gone, sometimes replacement is the only option.