Apple TV Can Be Restored With an iPhone Starting With iOS 17

Starting with the iOS 17 and tvOS 17 software updates released on Monday, any Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K model experiencing problems can be restored with a nearby iPhone, according to a new Apple support document.

tvOS 17 iPhone Recovery Mode
If a black screen with an iPhone appears on the TV, users can unlock their iPhone, hold it close to the Apple TV, and follow the on-screen recovery steps on the iPhone. When the recovery process is completed, the Apple TV will reboot.

On the Apple TV HD, there is a USB-C port that allows the device to be restored with a Mac over a wired connection. However, there is no USB-C port on any of the Apple TV 4K models, so Apple advised customers to contact Apple support to restore those models. With the new iPhone-based restore method, that is no longer necessary.

Read our tvOS 17 release post for an overview of other new Apple TV features, such as a FaceTime app and a redesigned Control Center.

Related Roundups: iOS 17, iPadOS 17, Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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Top Rated Comments

CarAnalogy Avatar
11 months ago
This is what portless looks like, people. Let’s not be so quick to get rid of tried and true connectors.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
11 months ago
Cool, but I hope to never have to use it. lol.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Heat_Fan89 Avatar
11 months ago
One feature that is welcomed is the addition of power off mode instead of sleep mode. My ATV4 that I purchased in 2015 is still getting OS updates. That's 8 years of OS upgrades. I do plan on upgrading when the OS upgrades stop.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
11 months ago

How do I mess my Apple TV up enough so that I can try this?
Try unplugging it during an update to tvOS 17 when it specifically tells you not to. That aught to do it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
11 months ago

This is what portless looks like, people. Let’s not be so quick to get rid of tried and true connectors.
Yes, now we need a thousand dollar dongle to restore instead of a $5 cable. Progre$$$$$$! ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LedRush Avatar
11 months ago
I’ve been using Apply TV since near the beginning, and I’ve never had this issue. But this sounds like a very welcome improvement for those who have.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)