How to Force Quit an App on Your Apple TV

Just like apps can misbehave on your phone and tablet, apps can misbehave on the Apple TV. Read on as we show you how to force quit an out of line application on your Apple TV.

Note: This tutorial applies to the 2015 4th-generation Apple TV hardware update and the subsequent updates running tvOS.

Why And When Do I Want To Do This?

The new tvOS optimized apps that port your favorite iOS applications (and some new ones along the way) over to the Apple TV aren’t immune to the occasional glitch, crash, or ghost-in-the-machine funny business anymore than regular iOS applications are.

If you find an app isn’t updating right, is acting quirky, or is outright frozen (but the rest of the tvOS is still responsive) then the best course of action is to force quit the application and restart it fresh without going through the hassle of restarting your entire Apple TV. Let’s take a look now at how easy it is.

How to Force Quit Apple TV Apps

Readers familiar with iOS, and most people researching how to do something on the Apple TV will be as there’s a high overlap between iPhone owners and Apple TV owners, will find the process for force quitting a tvOS application to be quite similar to how it is done in iOS.

Let’s say, for example, that the popular game Crossy Road is frozen (in fairness to the Crossy Road development team the tvOS-optimizes version has not caused us any problems despite sending thousands of chickens to their deaths since our Apple TV arrived).

In order to force quit the application and restart it we need to double tap on the Home button on the Apple TV Remote.

Upon double tapping upon the Home button the Apple TV interface will engage the application-switching mode as seen below.

If the app is already in front of you, great, if not swipe left or right until the application selector is centered on the problematic application.

Now simply slide your finger up the Apple TV remote trackpad until the preview of the application begins to slide off the screen as seen below.

Just like swiping up on an application in iOS forces an application to close the same thing happens in tvOS.

At this point the application is completely closed and you can either leave it closed or restart it from the Home screen.


Have a pressing Apple TV question? Shoot us an email at ask@howtogeek.com and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.