Apple TV Flashing Light


You’ve been looking forward to watching a particular program or movie but when you get home you find that your Apple TV is displaying the dreaded flashing white light of death! It won’t turn on and you have no idea why or what to do about it! First of all – try not to panic! There are many reasons why this may have happened and the chances are that you will be able to fix it yourself by following a few simple steps. Start with step 1 and try each step at a time, checking to see if the issue has been resolved, this is a process of elimination so be sure to follow the steps methodically.

  • The first basic step is to disconnect your television and Apple TV from the power outlet, wait for 20 seconds or so and then plug them both back in.
  • Disconnect the HDMI cable from your television and your Apple TV. Plug both back in firmly.
  • Do you have a spare HDMI cable? If so, remove the current cable and try the spare. It is always a good idea to keep a spare HDMI cable for reasons such as this.
  • Check that your television is on the correct HDMI input for your Apple TV; try using a different port on the TV – HDMI 1 or Input 1.
  • Are you using an HDMI switch or a receiver? If so, disconnect them and connect your Apple TV directly to your television. If this is successful and you can now see the Apple TV home screen, try connecting your HDMI switch and receiver one at a time, checking each time that you can see the Apple TV home screen. This simple process of elimination should reveal which, if any, unit is causing the issue.

If you are still unable to turn your Apple TV on then you may have had a firmware update interruption, this is a common reason for the flashing white light of death, was the power disconnected at any point during the firmware updating process?

You will now need to clarify which generation of Apple TV you have as the next steps you take may differ depending upon the generation. The following details from the Apple website will assist you in identifying which generation of Apple TV you own.

Apple TV – 1st GenApple TV – 2nd Gen
Year: 2007Year: 2010
40 or 160 GB
Model: A1218Model: A1378
Remote – WhiteRemote – Aluminum
Apple TV – 3rd GenApple TV HD – Apple TV 4th Gen
Year: 2012Year: 2021
Model: A1427 or A1469 for Rev AModel: 2169
Remote – Aluminum Siri Remote
Apple TV 4K – 1st GenApple TV 4K – 2nd Gen
Year: 2017Year: 2021
31GB or 64 GB32GB or 64 GB
Siri RemoteModel: A2169
Siri Remote

There are currently four generations of Apple TV still available to date and the following steps will be different for the 4th generation compared with the earlier versions.

Apple TV Force Restart (Forced Restart)

Force (or forced) restarting your Apple TV often seems to work very well and appears to resolve many issues. Follow the steps for your Apple TV generation listed below:

Apple TV 3rd Generation or earlier

The Apple TV 3rd generation or earlier are supplied with an aluminum remote control. Press the MENU and the HOME buttons simultaneously for 5 – 6 seconds until you see the Apple TV LED flashing.

Apple TV 4th Generation

The Apple TV 4th generation is supplied with a touchpad remote control. Press and hold the MENU and the HOME buttons together (often referred to as a long hold) for 5 seconds until you see the Apple TV LED flashing.

Reset Apple TV using iTunes (without remote control)

Restoring your Apple TV will resolve any issues that may have been caused by an interruption of a firmware update; this is because the latest update will be installed. Follow the steps listed below to reset your Apple TV using iTunes:

  1. Connect your Apple TV to a computer using a USB-C cable. You will probably find that iTunes will automatically be launched, should this not happen then you will simply need to open iTunes.
  2. Select Apple TV from the Devices menu.
  3. Select Restore Apple TV option.
  4. iTunes will now download and install the latest firmware on your Apple TV. iTunes will keep you updated during the entire process.
  5. Once the process of downloading and installing the latest firmware is complete you can disconnect your Apple TV from your computer and reconnect it to your television just as you normally would. The booting process will commence and, following this, your Apple TV should now work without any further issues.

Use Tenorshare ReiBoot

Still having Apple TV flashing light issues? This means that the previous steps have not been successful so we suggest that you download Tenorshare ReiBoot as a workaround solution. Follow the steps listed below:

  1. Disconnect your Apple TV from the mains power supply and unplug the HDMI cable.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your computer using a USB-C cable. As soon as Tenorshare ReiBoot detects your Apple TV, click on start.
  3. Select the Standard Repair option.
  4. Update to the most recent Apple TV firmware.
  5. Once update is complete, click to Start Repair.
  6. Once the repair stage is complete your Apple TV should now work without any further issues.

Should you still be experiencing problems with the Apple TV flashing white light of death then unfortunately you may have problems with hardware. We recommend that you contact Apple via telephone or email, or take your Apple TV to your nearest Apple Store for advice regarding repairs. For details on how to contact Apple or to book an appointment at your nearest Apple Store visit

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