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Apple TV 4K Glitchy (Causes and How to Fix)

Despite the improvements the Apple TV has gone through over the years, dedicated users still experience a fair share of issues. Among these issues is the infamous Apple TV 4K glitchy screen, which many don’t know how to fix. 

As someone who’s been using Apple TV for years, I’ve learned how to fix almost all issues related to Apple TV lag and glitches. So if your Apple TV starts glitching or stuttering out of the blue, don’t worry—I’m here to help! 

Usually, Apple TV glitches and stutters are caused by improper wiring, update issues, and Wi-Fi problems to name a few. The problem typically goes away from a restart, but if it doesn’t, there are other solutions you can try. 

Glitchy Apple TV? 5 Easy Fixes to Try!

Here are my top 5 tips on fixing a glitchy Apple TV: 

Method 1: Restart the Apple TV 

Most Apple TV issues—including lag and glitches—can be fixed with a simple restart. It’s the fastest and easiest way to fix issues at the heart of the problem.

There are three ways to restart your Apple TV: through the tvOS System screen, the Siri Remote, and by unplugging the device. 

First, let’s start with the remote. Press and hold the Menu and Home buttons simultaneously until the status light on the Apple TV box starts flickering. In about five seconds or so, the TV should turn off and automatically turn on. 

Next, we have the tvOS system screen. With the Siri Remote, go to Settings > System > Restart. Press Restart to turn off the Apple TV. 

If you’ve misplaced your remote, you can simply disconnect the Apple TV device from the power source. Wait for 15 seconds before plugging the device back in. 

Method 2: Disconnect and Reconnect the Internet Connection

If your internet connection is poor or isn’t properly connected to the Apple TV, video stuttering can occur. Disconnecting and reconnecting your Wi-Fi connection from the device might fix this issue. 

  1. On the Apple TV menu, go to Settings
  2. Select Network, then Wi-Fi
  3. Select the Wi-Fi network you’re currently connected to and click Forget Network
  4. Exit the Menu and wait for 15 seconds. Then, go to the Network settings you’ve just been in before and select your Wi-Fi network. 
  5. Retype the password and connect. 

If disconnecting and reconnecting doesn’t fix the issue, there might be a problem with the Wi-Fi network itself. Reboot your router and try again. 

You can also place the router closer to the Apple TV box as a poor signal may also be a possibility. 

Method 3: Update the Software

Outdated software can cause a bunch of issues to resurface, which is why manufacturers always recommend putting their apps on “auto-update.” 

Those who have reported glitchy screens, stuttering, and heavy lag on their Apple TVs have solved the problem by simply updating the device

Here’s how to update your Apple TV: 

  1. Using your Siri Remote, go to Settings > System > Software Updates.
  2. In this section, you’ll be given the option to Update Software. Select Download and Install to start downloading the update. 
  3. During the update, don’t disconnect your Apple TV from the internet or the power source. Updates can take anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the update size. 
  4. Once the update is complete, restart the Apple TV. 

Method 4: Check the Wiring 

Oftentimes, a glitchy Apple TV is caused by loose or improper wiring. Someone may have tripped on the cord connecting the Apple TV device or the TV itself, or the cord may have degraded over time due to electrical issues or a pest chewing through it. 

Here are three methods to try. 

  • Unplug the HDMI cable from both your TV and your Apple TV device, then plug them back in. If the screen is still glitching, replace the HDMI cable with a new one. The old HDMI might be damaged, causing the glitchy screen. 
  • Go to your TV Settings and make sure the video input is the same as your Apple TV connection. This means that if your Apple TV is HDMI 1, your TV input must also be in HDMI 1. The glitch might be caused by the screen trying to connect to multiple HDMI inputs simultaneously. 
  • Try plugging the Apple TV directly into your TV instead of using a go-between device. 

Method 5: Resetting Apple TV to Factory Settings

If the methods above don’t fix the glitch issue, try resetting your Apple TV to factory settings. I don’t usually recommend doing this because it’ll delete all the information in it, including your account passwords. As such, only use this as a last resort. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Using your remote, go to Settings > System > Reset.
  2. In this section, select Reset and Update. This option returns your Apple TV to factory settings and installs any required software updates. Note that this option needs you to be connected to the internet. 
  3. Leave the Apple TV on until it’s fully reset to factory settings. 

Conclusion 

There you have it; my top five solutions to fixing a glitchy Apple TV! 

Usually, restarting your Apple TV (i.e., turning it off and on) fixes any glitch issue. If it doesn’t work, try to disconnect and reconnect the Wi-Fi connection, update the software, or check the wiring for damage. 

If none of these fixes work, reset the device to its factory settings.