How to fix an Apple TV not connecting to Wi-Fi

If you’re experiencing connectivity issues with your Apple TV and it’s not connecting to Wi-Fi, don’t worry – there are some simple steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of fixing Apple TV Wi-Fi connection problems.

Apple TV on its Home Screen with a little Wi-Fi icon on the right side

These fixes apply to all Apple TV models, including the latest Apple TV 4K.

How to know whether your Apple TV is connected to Wi-Fi or not

On most devices like iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Android phone, you can see if your device is connected to Wi-Fi by simply looking at the top status bar. However, this isn’t as simple with Apple TV.

Therefore to see whether your Apple TV is connected to Wi-Fi or not, you have to go to Settings > Network, and if you see a name in the Wi-Fi field or next to Network Name, that’s the network your Apple TV is connected to. You can also see the Signal Strength on that screen, with five dots signifying the strongest signal.

Wi-Fi settings screen on Apple TV showing the connected Wi-Fi network and the Wi-Fi signal strength

If your Apple TV is not connected to Wi-Fi, fails to connect, or doesn’t work, here are all the solutions to fix such issues.

Restart your Apple TV

If you have not turned off your Apple TV in several days, some minor glitches may have caused it to disconnect from your Wi-Fi, and prevent it to auto-join that network.

To fix this, unplug your Apple TV. After a minute, plug it back in, and hopefully, your Apple TV will auto-connect to Wi-Fi.

Restart your Wi-Fi router

Whenever you face issues with Wi-Fi, one of the first things you need to do is turn off your Wi-Fi router and turn it back on. The easiest way to do this is by unplugging the router, waiting for 30 seconds, and plugging it back in.

Once you have restarted your Wi-Fi router, Apple TV should connect to it.

Make sure your Apple TV is within Wi-Fi range

Typical Wi-Fi routers have a range of about 150 feet or 45 meters on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. But this is weakened significantly because of walls and obstructions.

Here are a few possible solutions to address this:

  • Move your router as close as possible to your Apple TV.
  • If relocating your router isn’t possible, try moving your Apple TV and see if it helps. You may need to buy a longer HDMI cable.
  • Buy a Wi-Fi extender.
  • Connect to the 2.4 GHz band.

Switch to the 2.4 GHz band, which offers a better range

Chances are your Wi-Fi router supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The 5 GHz band offers faster speeds, but the distance its signal can travel is far lower than the 2.4 GHz band.

Therefore, if your Apple TV can’t connect to the 5 GHz band, follow these steps to connect to the 2.4 GHz band or an another network:

  1. Go to Apple TV Settings app > Network > Wi-Fi.
  2. Wait on this screen until you see the Wi-Fi name you want to connect to. It will appear under the Choose a Network heading. If that Wi-Fi doesn’t show here even after waiting for a few seconds, go back and forth from this screen and retry until you see it. You can also quit the Settings app and navigate to this screen again.
  3. Once you see the Wi-Fi name, select it and enter its password if asked.
Connect to another Wi-Fi on Apple TV

Disconnect a few devices from the Wi-Fi network

Home Wi-Fi routers can easily handle dozens of devices. But still, if your Apple TV can’t connect to your home Wi-Fi or doesn’t show up under Choose a Network, go ahead and disconnect a few devices like phones and computers from that Wi-Fi network.

Now head over to Apple TV Wi-Fi settings and try connecting to the Wi-Fi. Once you’re successful, you can reconnect other devices to the same Wi-Fi network.

Turn off your VPN

Unlike iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple TV does not support VPN (unless you jailbreak it). When you search for VPN on the App Store, all you will see are a few speed test apps.

However, you can use VPN on your Apple TV by configuring VPN settings on your Wi-Fi router. If you have done that, consider turning it off. After this, Wi-Fi should connect and work on your Apple TV.

Set the correct date and time

Many devices have networking issues if their date and time are set incorrectly. Here’s how to fix this:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to General.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and make sure it says On next to Set Automatically. If not, select Set Automatically, and it will change from Off to On.
Date and time settings on Apple TV

Forget and rejoin the Wi-Fi

If your Apple TV is connected to Wi-Fi but it isn’t working, you can forget and rejoin the network to refresh the connection:

  1. Open Apple TV Settings and go to Network > Wi-Fi.
  2. Select the Wi-Fi network your Apple TV is presently connected to. It will appear above the Choose a Network heading.
  3. Select Forget Network.
  4. Now, restart your Apple TV.
  5. Finally, go to its Settings > Network > Wi-Fi, choose the network, and enter its password.
Forget existing Wi-Fi network on Apple TV

Try updating to the latest version of tvOS

Although rare, it can happen that the current outdated version of tvOS on your Apple TV has some network connectivity bugs.

But like the previous solutions, this one is also contradicting as it isn’t possible to update your Apple TV if it fails to connect to Wi-Fi in the first place. However, you can temporarily move your Apple TV near the Wi-Fi router, connect to it, and update it to the latest version of tvOS. Once that’s done, move your Apple TV to its original location and see if it stays connected to Wi-Fi.

Here’s how to update your Apple TV:

  1. Open Settings and go to System > Software Updates.
  2. Select Update Software.
Update Software on Apple TV

Reset and set up your Apple TV

If none of the above solutions work, you will have to take the drastic steps of resetting your Apple TV:

  1. Go to Apple TV Settings > System > Reset.
  2. Select Reset or Reset and Update and choose Reset again.
  3. Once your Apple TV is reset, set it up again.
Reset Apple TV from settings

Restore your Apple TV

You cannot restore Apple TV 4K models as they do not have a micro-USB or USB-C port to connect to a computer. But if you have an older Apple TV (2015 or earlier), follow these steps to restore its firmware. Hopefully, it will connect to Wi-Fi painlessly after a complete restore.

Restore Apple TV using Mac

Use Ethernet for the fastest speeds

You can use an Ethernet connection if, despite all the solutions, your Apple TV fails to connect to Wi-Fi or work on it. Note: All Apple TVs have an Ethernet port, except the Wi-Fi-only model of Apple TV 4K (3rd generation).

Ethernet, HDMI, and power ports on back of Apple TV

Contact Apple Support

At last, if nothing helps, contact Apple Support and make an appointment with your nearest Apple Service Center for an inspection of your streaming box.

Other Apple TV tips: