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Why Do Apple TV Movies Take So Long to Load?

Why Do Apple TV Movies Take So Long to Load?

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Saturday night, you are lounging in your comfiest sweatpants. Snacks ready. Drinks cold and ready for consumption. Remote on hand, you sit back and get ready to see you’ve been dying to watch on Apple TV.

You hit the play button and the movie starts to load. The movie loads. But nothing happens. The movie is not playing. You exit the movie and try again- same thing. The movie is stuck loading.

What. The. Heck?

This is not how you envisioned your Saturday night to go. What’s wrong with your Apple TV?

Why Is My Apple TV Loading Movies So Slow?

There are many reasons why your Apple TV is not working properly. Some of these reasons include it needs to restart, be updated, or have a slow internet connection.

How to Restart an Apple TV?

How to Restart an Apple TV

The first thing you can do to fix a slow-loading Apple TV is to restart it. Your Apple TV is like a computer; it has a random access memory (RAM) where all temporary data is stored. If the RAM gets full, it can cause your Apple TV to run slowly.

Restarting your Apple TV clears the RAM, forcing all running programs to close, purging all temporary data, and making your device run faster. Don’t worry; rebooting your Apple TV won’t erase your passwords or login details. 

Restarting an Apple TV can be done in three ways and all three methods are easy to perform.

Soft Restart

2021 Apple TV 4K (32GB)

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Using your remote, you can access the Apple TV Setting to restart it. If you’re using a 3rd Generation Apple TV, you need to go to Settings, select General, then scroll down to see the Restart button, then click it.

Apple TV 4K  or Apple TV UHD  users can go to Settings, scroll down to Systems and select it. Look for the Restart button on the screen and click it.

Hard Restart

Apple TV Siri Remote (2nd Generation)

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If your Apple TV is frozen and you cannot access the Settings, the next option is to perform a hard restart using your Apple TV remote.

If you have a first-generation Siri Remote, with a glass touch surface, you can do a hard reset by simultaneously holding down the menu and home buttons. Press the buttons until the lights on your Apple TV start flashing. You can now let go of the buttons when you see the flashing lights.

On the other hand, simultaneously press the down and menu buttons if you are using the second-generation Siri Remote or an older Apple TV remote. Press them both until the Apple TV light flashes. Release the buttons to restart your Apple TV.

Unplug It

If faced with an unfortunate scenario wherein your Apple TV is frozen and your Apple TV remote is not working, there’s still a way for you to restart the device. Unplug the Apple TV from the power source for 6 to 15 seconds, then plug it back in. 

How to Update My Apple TV?

2021 Apple TV HD (32GB, 5th Generation)

Click image for more info

If after restarting, your Apple TV is still loading movies and TV shows at a turtle’s pace, the next thing you need to check is if your Apple TV software needs to be updated. Be sure your device is connected to the internet before checking if your Apple TV needs a software update.

Users of Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD, can access Software Update by going to Settings then System. For 3rd Generation Apple TVs, go to Settings, but instead of System, you will see General, then Software Updates.

When you select Update Software, the Apple TV will check if you have the latest version or not. Once it’s done analyzing, it will tell you if the software is up to date. If not, you will see the Download and Install button.

Your Apple TV will download the software update. Be sure to keep your Apple TV connected to the internet and do not unplug it from the power source until the software has been downloaded.

Once the software download is completed, your Apple TV will automatically restart and then install the update. Once it is done updating, your Apple TV will once again restart. After that, your Apple TV should start running smoothly again.

Reset and Update

updating Apple TV via Iphone

Another way to fix your Apple TV is to reset and update it. Be warned though, when you reset your Apple TV, it reverts to its factory settings, erasing all your data from the device. The upside is, the slate is clean and it also gets updated to the latest firmware.

To reset and update, just go to the Apple TV’s Settings, then go to Systems or General, depending on which generation of Apple TV you have. Choose Reset and update.

If your Apple TV remote is missing or not working, you can still perform a reset. You need to download the Apple TV app on your phone. Make sure that your phone, where the app is installed, and the Apple TV are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The next step is to pair your phone with the Apple TV. A code will appear on your TV screen which you will input on your phone. Once pairing is complete, you can now use your phone as your Apple TV remote and follow the reset instructions above.

Another option is to unplug your Apple TV from your TV and the outlet. Connect the Apple TV to your PC or laptop that is running the latest version of iTunes. After connecting, look for the Apple TV icon on iTunes then go to Summary. Select Apple TV then click on the Restore Apple TV button.

Check Your Internet Connection

checking wifi modem

If restarting and updating your Apple TV doesn’t resolve the slow loading issue, the next step is to check if your internet connection is okay.

In some cases, the problem with movies slowly loading on the Apple TV is the speed of your internet connection. To check your internet connection speed, you can use a service like Speedtest tool by Ookla.

If the speed is slow, power cycling your router or modem usually solves this issue. After power cycling and the slow loading issue on your Apple TV is not resolved, it’s now time to check your Apple TV’s connection to the internet.

Use your Apple TV remote and go to Settings. Go to Network and look under Status. If there is no IP address, that means you have no internet connection on your Apple TV.

Restart your Wi-Fi modem or wireless access point to solve the connectivity issue. If after restarting, programs are still loading slowly, your Wi-Fi signal might be too weak.

You might want to consider a wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi. To physically connect your Apple TV to the internet, you would need an Ethernet cable to connect it to your modem or WAP.

To solve weak Wi-Fi signals, you can invest in a Wi-Fi repeater or mesh to ensure your Apple TV, and other connected devices, get strong Wi-Fi signals.

If everything has been sorted out and you are still having trouble with your internet, it would be best to contact your internet service provider as there may be a service outage in your area.

When to Contact Apple Support

Apple staff supporting customers

When you have done everything you possibly can to solve the slow loading issue on your end, and there is no problem with your internet connection, the next best thing to do is to contact Apple Support. They will assist you and determine if there is a problem with your Apple TV.


Like any gadgets we have today, your Apple TV can sometimes malfunction. It could be as simple as restarting it to get it working properly again, but sometimes its software needs updating to keep performing smoothly.

In some cases, your Apple TV loading very slowly is not even related to the device itself. Your internet connection might be the issue. Either your router needs to be rebooted or updated or there is a service outage.

And if all else fails, get in touch with Apple’s support team so they can help you with your problem.

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