(Updated to include possible fixes for the issue, at the end of the article.)
If you’ve seen your second or third-generation Apple TV experience an issue where most of the menu options have disappeared, you are not alone. Some owners are reporting that they are now only able to see menu items for Music, Computers, and Settings.
Customers who are seeing the issue have had all of their menu options suddenly disappear, leaving them unable to watch Netflix, Hulu, and other Apple TV channels.
While the bug has reportedly been around for awhile, it has become more common over the last few days, with reports in both MacRumors’ forums and on Reddit. Affected users report trying the usual remedies, such as restarting the Apple TV, resetting the router, and even performing a complete reset of the Apple TV, but nothing seems to work. Some users report a partial fix by changing the DNS settings, but that doesn’t work for everyone.
One user reported the following:
All I see is a computer and settings option. In the settings option I have access to everything except the main menu setting. There’s absolutely nothing in there as an option. I’ve restarted my Apple TV as well as my AirPort Extreme. I’ve reset the Apple TV and I inserted all the info back in like my iCloud acct etc. it obviously is logging onto the Internet since I was able to connect my iCloud account. One other strange thing is that my iTunes won’t recognize the Apple TV when I plug it in directly to my Mac mini via a USB cable. It just doesn’t show up. What the heck happened? Apple do you have an explanation for this one?
While not all second and third-generation units are affected, the issue is fairly widespread. The fourth-generation Apple TV seems unaffected by the bug. (And let the conspiracy theories begin!)
A Reddit user reports Apple support told him a fix is in the works, and to expect to see a software update in the near future. Another user reports receiving similar info, and that Apple suggested the fix would be pushed today. This Reddit user says one is almost ready:
The Apple TV update issued 11/1 didn’t play well with Apple TVs – to save you all from unplugging, restarting, restoring, hotspotting, bluetoothing, etc, the representative said they are working on a new update (no ETA) but you should restart your Apple TV every hour or so to see if another update went through.
We’ll keep you posted.
(UPDATE: 11/03/16) – We don’t have a second or third-generation Apple TV, so we can’t vouch for any of the fixes below. Also, we don’t take any responsibility for any damage you may do to your Apple TV.
Some users in MacRumors’ forum say a “silent update” from Apple has fixed their issues. So you might check for an update, and maybe reboot your Apple TV before trying any of the “solutions” shown below.
Solution 1: Change your Apple TV’s DNS Settings from Manual to Automatic.
Solution 2: Go into Settings -> iTunes Store -> Location, and change your location to Namibia. Back out of Settings, go back in and change it back to US. It will restore all the apps.
There you have it. Let us know if any of these solutions fixes things for you. Also let us know if you see an update from Apple, and we’ll update everyone here.