How to close Apps on Apple TV [Force close an App]

Smart TVs have completely changed the way people watch their content at home. We have moved from just watching TV channels on cable to getting app-based streaming services and much more. You can also download and make use of free and paid apps for your TV.

While with most Smart TVs exiting an app will usually close it, for some like the Apple TV, it will simply close the app but have it running in the background. So, if you wish to know how to close apps on Apple TV, all you need to do is follow this guide.

Should you close apps on Apple TV?

Having apps running in the background is good. Why? Well, you will always have access to the app, and when you invoke it will open faster. But sometimes, that might not be the case for all apps. Some apps might not refresh themselves automatically while in the background or they might just become unresponsive. In such cases, it is required to close the app and re-launch it. This is a particular issue spotted on a lot of Apple TV devices. Here is a guide on how to force close apps on Apple TV.

Before you jump into the guide, check out the remote controls that you will find helpful in the guide.

How to Close Apps on Apple TV

How to Close an App on Apple TV

Now, depending on what generation of Apple TV devices you have, the method to close apps will be different. However, if you have an Apple TV Gen 3 or older, there is no need to forcefully close apps. Why? Simply because when you exit the app, the app gets closed as well and doesn’t stay in memory. If you have an Apple TV 4 or newer, follow these steps to close apps.

Step 1: Go to Homescreen

If you have any app open on the Apple TV, press the TV button on the remote. You will be taken to the home screen of your Apple TV. With the home screen open you will be able to perform various tasks. And this will be easier to close an app on Apple TV as well.

How to Close Apps on Apple TV

Step 2: Open the App Switcher

Apple switcher is where you jump from one app to another. It’s like the Recent apps page on Android phones and iPhones which appears while swiping up from the bottom.

To open the App switcher on Apple TV, you need to press the TV button twice (button with TV icon) on your Apple TV remote.

How to Close an App on Apple TV

Step 3: Navigate to the App

Now that you are on the App Switcher page, you can navigate to the app that you want to close on your Apple TV. You may find it easy after knowing that it works similarly to iPhones.

To reach the app, Swipe left or right on the remote’s touchpad to cycle through the apps in the app switcher. Highlight or navigate to the app that you wish to close.

How to Close an App on Apple TV

Step 4: Close the App

Once you select the app you want to close, you can proceed further.

To close an app on Apple TV, simply Swipe Up on the remote’s touchpad. Yes same as closing apps on iPhones and Android phones. This action will now close the app that was previously opened and was consuming the TV’s memory.

How to Close Apps on Apple TV

Depending on the number of apps open, you can continue swiping up to close them all. And once you close the required apps, to get out of the app switcher screen, simply press the Home button/TV button on your Apple TV remote.

Now that you know how to close an app on Apple TV, don’t go closing all the apps every time. This will just complicate things by increasing the load time when you launch the app again. Also, Apple TV is powerful enough to handle multiple apps running in the background without an issue most of the time. So I advise only closing apps when the app is misbehaving or not working as expected.

Does Force Closing an App on Apple TV help?

Yes closing an app on Apple TV will fix issues like slow performance, app freezing, and other app issues. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when you face such issues, you know how to deal with them. But if you don’t find any issues don’t waste your time closing apps as it doesn’t help much unless there is an issue.

What if closing an App on Apple TV doesn’t work?

There could be cases like you are not able to open the App switcher to close an app, and so in that case you can follow an alternative which is to restart the Apple TV. To do that follow the steps given below.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Under Settings, head to the System.
  3. Here just click on Restart. Your Apple TV will now power off and power on.

You can also use the Apple TV remote to restart your Apple TV by holding the Back button and TV button together until the TV status light starts blinking rapidly. For the first-generation remote use the Menu and TV buttons. And if nothing works, unplug your TV and plug it back into the power source to force restart.

How to Close an App on Apple TV


And there you have it. The simple and easy way to close apps on Apple TV Gen 4 and newer. While you can close all of the apps in the apps watcher, the main home screen cannot be closed. It is just the same way how you would close off apps on your iPhone or iPad, with no differences whatsoever. If you feel that an app has some issues, or TV is not responsive, you can simply restart the TV or just perform a reset. It should help your Apple TV to function how it normally should.

You May Also Like – How to reset Apple TV with or without remote

Still, want to know more about closing apps on Apple TV? Then, drop your query in the comment box below. Also, share this article with your friends.

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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