How To

Spring cleaning: How to hide apps on Apple TV

Apple TV homescreen

What had become a hobby for Apple, there has been an ever-growing interest in the set-top box, with an increasing number of adding channels that include SkyNews, HBO Go, Disney XD, Disney Junior and lesser known channels like KORTV and RedBull TV. With a 2-year old, I’ve got a great appreciation for those Disney channels, but little interest in Korean news provided by KORTV. Some folks have zero interest in Disney, so it all depends on what’s important from your couch. While it’s great to see Apple add new channels, it can make for an interface that can be unruly at times. At the end of the day, no one wants to scroll unnecessarily through a number of channels they never watch. Thankfully, Apple makes it relative easy to hide apps on Apple TV and here’s how to do it.

Apple TV

While it’s typically a good idea to run the latest software release, you’ll need to be sure you are running version 6.1 or later. You’ll need either a 2nd or 3rd generation Apple TV.

Hide Apps On Apple TV

  1. On your Apple TV, navigate to Settings > Main Menu.
  2. From your list of channels, scroll to select a channel you would like to hide
  3. Press the center button and toggle to ‘hide’.
  4. Repeat the process for any channel you’d like to hide.

Hide apps on Apple TV

Once you’ve finished, press the Menu button to return back to your home screen. There is no restart required for these changes to take affect. I should also note that the process is different from the iPhone and iPad, where you are actually physically deleting apps from the device. When you hide apps, they are still on your Apple TV, but hidden. Repeating the process outlined above will restore the apps.

Apple TV Ask

When toggling through the selections to ‘hide’ apps, you might be wondering about the ‘ask’ option. If you’ve setup parental restrictions on your Apple TV, setting an app to ‘ask’, requires a user enter the device passcode in order to watch. This is particularly useful to prevent young children from accessing R-rated content found on channels like HBO Go.

Apple TV homescreen

I love that Apple is adding channels and at some point maybe we’ll get games like the Amazon Fire TV. Having the capability to hide channels makes it easier to navigate to your most frequently used channels, removing those which you might never use. Here’s my current Apple TV channel setup. What apps are you removing?

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