We've been waiting for the fourth-generation Apple TV for at least two years now, and we've been teased with vague comments, leaks from the supply chain, and analyst predictions for several years running. We thought we’d get a look at it this year at the Worldwide Developers Conference, but Apple was still not ready to show it off.

How to Customize Apple TV 4
Until we get a whole new model with, hopefully, a brand new look to the operating system, we have to stick with what we've got. The number of media channels is not getting any smaller, with Apple adding new content on a regular basis. For example, Apple recently added NatGeo TV. Content options are great, but sifting through dozens of channels can be a pain sometimes.

If you're tired of scrolling through the nearly seven dozen channels looking for the ones you use most, you can hide everything you don’t want to access, making it much easier to get to the content you want. We've got a quick tutorial to show you how.

Customizing Channels on the Main Menu

How to Customize Apple TV 2

  1. On Apple TV, go to your Settings app, which is always in the second row below your iTunes and shared computer channels.
  2. Select Main Menu from the list.
  3. Select "Hide" for every channel that you don't want showing by selecting the channel and clicking the center select button on the Apple TV remote. Channels that will be visible on the Apple TV are listed as "Show," while channels that will no longer show up are listed as "Hide."

How to Customize Apple TV 3
New channels will appear on the Main Menu whenever they are added to Apple TV. If you don't want to see them, follow the steps above for the new channel.

You can also go back and add channels to Main Menu whenever you like by clicking on it until it has "Show" next to it instead.

Troubleshooting

If your Apple TV is running slowly, shuts off randomly, or is otherwise working poorly, one way to fix it is to restart it.

  1. Unplug the connection to your television set.
  2. Unplug the power cable from the box.
  3. Plug the TV cable back in.
  4. Plug the power cable back in.
  5. Wait for Apple TV to finish reloading.

How to Customize Apple TV 6
There may be deeper issues with your set-top box that a simple restart can't fix. If so, you may need to reset it to factory settings.

  1. On Apple TV, go to the Settings app.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to select Reset.
  4. Select Restore.

This will restore Apple TV to its factory settings, removing all passwords you have entered for all of your channels. The restoration will take a while. Don't unplug your Apple TV during the process.

If you can't restore Apple TV to its factory settings from the Main Menu (like, if your box is frozen and just stops working altogether), you can perform the process via iTunes by connecting your Apple TV to your computer.

You will need a micro-USB cable and the latest version of iTunes running on your Internet-connected computer for this process.

  1. Disconnect the power and television cables from Apple TV.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer. Then connect Apple TV to your computer using the micro-USB cable. If you have the third-generation Apple TV, you will also need to plug the box into a power source.
  3. Once connected, Go to the Apple TV summary page in iTunes and select "Restore Apple TV."
  4. When the restoration process is finished, disconnect Apple TV from your computer and reconnect it to your television set.

Hopefully, we wont be waiting around for too much longer before Apple finally presents us with the next big thing for television. But, until then, at least we can organize our channels the way we want to.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

Mike Oxard Avatar
116 months ago
An alternative is to move away from the U.S., the rest of the world don't get enough channels to make it worth hiding any.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anonymous2k Avatar
116 months ago
@MacRumors

An easier way to hide channels is to simple stay on the home screen - Hold down the middle button - they'll start to "jiggle" - then hit "play" and you'll be prompted to hide the channel.

This way is much quicker.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sandstorm Avatar
116 months ago
On some fronts Apple is so pathetic and slow. This is one of them.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TsMkLg068426 Avatar
116 months ago
Removing the channels you never watch or access is not the problem but the ugly UI it is like scrolling through huge wall of bricks which causes scan lines issue with my TV. Not sure why Apple just can not change the UI for the current Apple TV for the time being.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
donniedarko Avatar
116 months ago
@MacRumors

An easier way to hide channels is to simple stay on the home screen - Hold down the middle button - they'll start to "jiggle" - then hit "play" and you'll be prompted to hide the channel.

This way is much quicker.
Yep nailed it. This is much better, the other quicker.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mike Oxard Avatar
116 months ago
Highly disagree, your overlooking regulatory and "deals in place" within other countries that prevent Apple from delivering the consistency of product found in the U.S.A. across other countries.

Channel choice is not a "black & white" situation as it should be.
Eh? My point ( though meant light-heartedly) was that other countries have less channels, I wasn't commenting on why that is so.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple's AI strategy emphasizes providing...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

Gurman: iOS 18 Will Allow Users to Recolor App Icons and Place Them Anywhere

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple's iOS 18 update will introduce new features for further customizing the iPhone's home screen, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman claimed that Apple will allow users to change the color of app icons in iOS 18. For example, "you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green." This kind of home screen...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...