It’s rare that I ever encounter any bugs or software problems with the Apple TV 4K that stop me in my tracks. But in the event you do have trouble, restoring Apple’s streaming box has always been something of a hassle. With the older Apple TV HD, you’ve got to plug it into a Mac via the rear USB port. But this isn’t even an option for the 4K model, leaving customers little choice but to contact Apple for servicing. That hassle is finally changing with the release of iOS 17 and tvOS 17, which can now use your iPhone to restore an Apple TV and reset its software.
As noted by MacRumors, Apple has outlined this new troubleshooting step in a support document. “If your Apple TV HD or later with tvOS 17 or later is experiencing problems, an image of an iPhone next to an Apple TV may appear on your TV screen,” the page reads.
After unlocking your phone and holding it near the Apple TV device, you’ll see a prompt appear on screen. Follow the given steps, and an “Apple TV is recovering” confirmation message will pop up soon after. Once it does, you can go about using your iPhone normally while the set-top box resets.
tvOS 17 is one of the more substantial updates for Apple’s streaming box in quite some time. Among other features, it brings FaceTime to the TV screen, includes a redesigned Control Center, a new “enhanced dialog” mode, and the handy ability to locate a misplaced Siri Remote with your iPhone. Both tvOS 17 and iOS 17 are now available.