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Apple TV Keeps (Pausing/Stopping/Freezing/Hanging/Buffering)

Apple TV is a great way to watch movies and TV shows. But, sometimes it doesn’t work and will freeze and won’t play. I did some research on how to fix Apple TV when it won’t play. Here’s what I found.

As a general rule, if your Apple TV buffers, or freezes it means that your internet connection is either slow, or disconnected. Apple TV streams movies and TV shows by downloading them from the internet in small pieces as it’s playing and when it can’t download the files fast enough it will freeze.

Female changing TV channel with remote

The easiest fix is to check that your Apple TV is connected to your internet, and that the speed and connection is good. There are also a range of fixes to try if your internet is working fine.

Below, I’ll explain everything you need to know about what causes your Apple TV to buffer or freeze, and how to stop it from occurring.

Apple TV Keeps Pausing/Freezing/Stopping/Hangs/Stalling To Buffer

Male on sofa watching TV

As with all electronic devices, when they have an issue and don’t work properly the best first step is to restart the device. You can either unplug it from the wall, or turn it off using the power button. Then, turn it back on again. When that doesn’t fix it here’s what you should do…

An Apple TV pausing unexpectedly can be due to an unstable Wi-Fi connection, disrupting streaming and causing unintended pauses. To resolve, ensure your Apple TV is within optimal range of your router, or consider using an Ethernet cable for a direct, stable connection. Navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Network’ to check your connection and reconnect if necessary, ensuring smooth, uninterrupted viewing.

Another plausible reason for your Apple TV’s autonomous pausing might be an outdated tvOS, which can lead to glitches and erratic behavior during streaming. To ensure a seamless viewing experience, regularly update the tvOS by navigating to ‘Settings’, selecting ‘System’, and then ‘Software Updates’. Choose ‘Update Software’ and if an update is available, select ‘Download and Install’. Keeping your Apple TV updated not only enhances performance but also ensures you’re utilizing the latest features and security patches, optimizing your entertainment setup.

Moreover, the involuntary pausing of your Apple TV might be attributed to a malfunctioning remote. Sometimes, a sticky or defective play/pause button on the remote might send unintended signals to the device. Inspect the remote for any visible damage or sticky residues that might be affecting button functionality. Try using the remote app on your iPhone or iPad to control the Apple TV and see if the issue persists. If it’s determined that the physical remote is the issue, cleaning it carefully or exploring replacement options will ensure that your streaming adventures remain in your control, free from unexpected pauses.

One of the easiest tools you can use is the website It will run a quick test to see what your download speed is. And give you a comparison between your internet speed and the averages for your city and country.

Why Does Apple TV Keep Pausing?

Four friends on a sofa watching TV and eating popcorn

When you watch Apple TV it should work exactly like normal TV, and run seamlessly without any interruptions. But, if it keeps pausing it’s a sign that there’s an issue with your Apple TV. Here’s what causes it.

Generally, you need around 3 Mbps of download speed to stream video. Standard broadband gives about 11 Mbps. So if your Apple TV keeps pausing it means someone in your home is downloading or streaming at the same time or you have a weak internet connection to your Apple TV.

If your internet speed is below 3 Mbps your Apple TV will pause to buffer while it’s downloading the files.

Other reasons that your internet speed could be slower than normal could be because your Apple TV is too far away from your WiFi modem, or the layout of your home doesn’t allow for a strong WiFi signal.

On some devices such as iPhones and iPads you can also download a movie or show ahead of time. That way it won’t need to have a good internet connection when you watch it.

Other than that, if you’ve got slow internet speeds it’s a good idea to contact your internet service provider to have them take a look at your setup and troubleshoot the issue.

Apple TV Always Buffering

Bored businessman watching TV

One of the most frustrating things to see when you want to watch a video, or movie is that it makes a circular loading symbol and doesn’t play. And an Apple TV is no different.

Apple TV always buffering is a sign that it’s trying to download the files and the internet is running particularly slow. You may have a faulty modem, have no internet connection, or you are using up all the bandwidth.

To start with you should exit the movie or channel you’re trying to watch and then reopen it again. Similar to a website, it might need to be ‘refreshed’ to work properly. And an error in the code can cause it to malfunction temporarily until you restart it again.

If you’ve checked your internet speed and it’s working well, then you should contact Apple Support about it. Certain channels or movies might have an intermittent problem from time to time. When these come up Apple will fix the issue with the next update.

So, it’s also a good idea to make sure you have the latest version of Apple TV. To check that go to Settings > Software updates > and it will tell you whether there is a new update for Apple TV, and there will be an option to download it.

Othertimes, it might be specific to your device and Apple Support might need to ask you some questions to get to the bottom of the issue.

How To Get Apple TV To Stop Buffering

Bored couple sitting on sofa watching TV

It’s the best when Apple TV just works, and doesn’t get stuck. However, from time to time it can get stuck buffering a range of reasons. Here’s what they are and how to get Apple TV to stop buffering

For the most part to stop Apple TV from buffering you need to have a fast and reliable internet connection. There are a range of steps you can take to make sure your internet is running fast enough such as making sure you have enough available bandwidth to stream Apple TV.

Streaming video works a lot like watching a video on Youtube. If the internet is slow because you’re also downloading a large file attachment, or downloading an update then your Apple TV can struggle to stream seamlessly.

At the end of the day, you should contact your internet service provider and they can walk you through how to improve your internet speed. They might also get you to change some settings that may be stopping your Apple TV from getting the best internet speed it can.

Mobile data can have patchy coverage

If you’re using a mobile data connection, you might also be in an area where there isn’t very good mobile coverage. Mobile networks also tend to slow down during peak times for example, when everyone gets off work at around 5pm to 6pm.

If you’re watching Apple TV while travelling you will go through patches of better or worse signal based on how close you are to a cellphone tower. A good work around for that is to download the video by clicking on the download option on your show, so that you don’t need to stream it.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on May 6, 2021.

You can only download videos from Apple TV on certain iPhones, iPads, Macs, and iPods. And that feature doesn’t work on a smartTV, or Apple TV.

Apple TV Not Buffering

Back of a female watching TV

Streaming video is great because you can begin watching nearly any movie or TV show in seconds. When the video doesn’t download and just hangs, it can be a bit frustrating. Here’s what you should do so that your Apple TV buffers as it should.

As a general rule, to ensure your Apple TV buffers at the right speed and your movie, TV show, or TV channel plays uninterrupted you need to maximize your internet speed. When the internet is too slow it won’t buffer fast enough, and it will appear on your Apple TV that it’s not buffering.

The internet speed could be temporarily slow because of a network issue. The network issue can be because of either a technical issue with Apple TV or your internet service provider. The good news is these issues are very rare.

And if your internet is too slow to buffer Apple TV fast enough, you can easily fix it by troubleshooting your internet connection with your internet service provider.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on May 6, 2021.

But, before doing that you should restart your Apple TV or Apple TV device by turning it on and off again. And update your Apple TV to the latest version.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on May 6, 2021.

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