How to reveal and use tvOS’s hidden remote diagnostics mode on your Apple TV

tvOS 9.2 Diagnostics mode Apple TV screenshot 001

Nearly five years ago, Apple started taking advantage of a new feature that lets customers send diagnostic data to an Apple advisor to help troubleshoot any problems they might be having, without having to take their device to an Apple Store Genius.

This remote diagnostic mode, which has since been implemented across all iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, is also available on the fourth-generation Apple TV. In this quick tutorial, you’re going to learn how to access and take advantage of tvOS’s hidden Diagnostics screen on your Apple TV.

How to access Apple TV Diagnostics

1) Use your Siri Remote to navigate to the Settings → General → About section on your Apple TV.

3) On the About screen, press the Play/Pause button on the Siri Remote three times in quick succession.

Up pops an overly with a Ticket Number field.

tvOS 9.2 Diagnostics mode Apple TV screenshot 002

To have an Apple advisor diagnose your device remotely, enter your support ticket number and then press Start Diagnostics. This will run some quick tests on your device and send the results along with crash logs to Apple.

“To start diagnostics, enter the ticket number you received from Apple Support,” reads the description. To leave the Apple TV Diagnostics mode, press the Menu button.

You’d obviously first contact Apple Support with the problem you’re having in order to receive a valid ticket number to use for the Apple TV Diagnostics mode.

Sharing crash logs and usage data with Apple

Apple TV users can opt to share crash logs with tvOS developers.

If you did not elect to share crash logs with developers when setting up your Apple TV for the first time, you can easily enable this option at any time: go to Settings → General → Privacy and click Share with App Developers underneath the Diagnostics Data heading.

In the dialog that appears, click Send to Apple to confirm your choice.

tvOS 9.2 Settings General Privacy Diagnostic data Apple TV screenshot 001

To also send usage data and crash logs to Apple to help it improve its products, click Send to Apple right below the Diagnostic Data heading and confirm your choice. To browse crash logs on your Apple TV, go to the Diagnostic and Usage Data section.

tvOS 9.2 Settings General Privacy Diagnostic data Apple TV screenshot 002

To learn about what happens when you run remote diagnostics or share crash logs and usage data with Apple and its developers, select the About Diagnostics and Privacy option.

tvOS 9.2 Settings General Privacy Diagnostic data Apple TV screenshot 003

Your Apple TV has other secret menus, too.

For example, you can show a hidden Advanced Settings menu, which contains some interesting Apple employee-centric features or put your Apple TV in Retail Demo Mode, which is basically what you see when looking at an Apple TV while in an Apple Store.

Other hidden shortcuts and gestures available on tvOS allow you to manually update the firmware for your Siri Remote and put your Apple TV in recovery (DFU) mode.

Check out other Apple TV how-tos in our archive.

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