How to enable high-contrast cursor on Apple TV

By , Nov 18, 2015

Apple TV screenshot

Navigating the tvOS interface on the fourth-generation Apple TV using the Siri Remote couldn’t be easier—that is, unless your vision is impaired or you simply have difficulty discerning if an on-screen item is selected or not.

Apple’s robust set of Accessibility controls come to the rescue via a dedicated switch in Settings that enables a nice glow effect around the selection rectangle to highlight selected items further.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to turn on a high-contrast cursor on your fourth-generation Apple TV with just a few taps to better delineate focused content.

How to enable high-contrast cursor on Apple TV

Even if you have perfect vision, you still might have trouble making out which Home screen icon is selected at a given moment. Check out the screenshot top of post: the Music app icon is currently selected but it’s not immediately obvious, now is it?

To enable a high-contrast cursor on your Apple TV, do the following:

Step 1: Launch Settings on your fourth-generation Apple TV.

Step 2: Go to General → Accessibility → Increase Contrast.

tvOS Settings Accessibility Incrase Contrast Apple TV screenshot 001

Step 3: Now turn on Focus Style.

Doing so will put a white border around the selected item, like this.

Apple TV fourth generation high contrast cursor screenshot 001

For the comparison’s sake, here’s what default selection styli looks like.

Apple TV fourth generation regular cursor screenshot 001

My vision is fine, yet I’m happily using the high-contrast cursor. In my personal opinion, the default selection style that simply pops an item forward a bit is bad from design and usability standpoint and this setting fixes that.

The thick white outline does a fine job highlighting selected items further and should most definitely help you navigate the interface faster. And if you choose Bold Text,you can make the text easier to read across elements of the tvOS interface.

Kill those blurred backgrounds

tvOS provides more ways to make on-screen items easier to see and read.

In Settings → General → Accessibility → Increase Contrast, turn on Reduce Transparency to kill blurred image backgrounds and reduce the transparency of background elements on Movie and TV Show pages, menu tabs and more.

Suffering from motion sickness?

People suffering from motion sickness can select General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion. This will stop the movement of app icons, movie posters, and various other screen elements on the Apple TV while making some actions visually simpler, including moving between app icons on the Home screen and launching apps.

I wish we could change the background color as well…

Did you find this tip useful?

If so, do pass it along and send us your feedback at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

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  • I think the old remote was easier and more precise. I don’t like the new one at all.

    • Merman123

      Same here. It was cool at first, but now it’s just unpractical. Find myself accidentally scrolling and scrubbing all the time.

    • Nolan I.

      The good news is that you can still use the old one!

      • Orly? Do you just pair it?

      • Nolan I.

        I believe so. Won’t have access to Siri though, and have to hold menu to go home. Don’t know about the app switcher, might not be possible.

      • You don’t even have to pair it because it uses IR. My old remote (and my Harmony universal remote) worked right away with new Apple TV, no tweaking required.

  • Unknow Unknow

    Mess around with the atv there is one thing just one thing will be make atv amazing just one thing movie box app

  • @sexyhamthing

    Thats’ not a cursor