tvOS 16 final version is now available for download if you have an Apple TV HD or the Apple TV 4K model. Here's how to install it.
Final Version of tvOS 16 Arrives for Apple TV With Next to No Features at All - Here's How You Can Download it Today
tvOS 16 may not ruffle any feathers at all compared to other software releases from Apple. But, it is an extremely important release for the smooth functioning of your Apple ecosystem. In fact, tvOS 16 is such a small update on the features end that Apple didn't even talk about it at WWDC 2022 keynote. Now that's something.
Nonetheless, if you have an Apple TV and want to download the new update, we will walk you through all available routes in one place instead of making you hop around different articles.
Download tvOS 16 Final Over the Air
This is the simplest method and one which everyone's going to follow because it makes sense for the majority of users out there. Just turn on your Apple TV and follow the steps below:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Scroll all the way down and open System.
- Now open up Software Update.
- Install the available tvOS 16 software update from here.
During the installation process, your Apple TV will restart several times, and your TV screen may go blank. This is completely normal and should not alarm you in any way. It is important that you do not turn your Apple TV or television set off during installation. When the installation is complete, your Apple TV will start up normally.
Download the tvOS 16 Final IPSW File
If you have an Apple TV HD, you can download the tvOS 16 IPSW file for a clean install. It is linked below:
Clean Install tvOS 16 Final (Apple TV HD Only)
You do have the option to clean install the latest tvOS software, but this method is only applicable on the Apple TV HD model since it comes with a USB-C port. This also means that you must have the necessary USB-C cable in order to connect the Apple TV to your PC or Mac.
Depending on what type of PC or Mac you have, either you'll need a USB-C to USB-C cable or a USB-C to USB-A cable. Once you've sourced your cable, plug your Apple TV HD to your PC or Mac and power it on.
- Launch iTunes or Finder.
- Your Apple TV will be detected in a few seconds and will appear as a tiny little box on the left-hand corner of iTunes or Finder. Click on it to reveal more settings.
- In the center of the screen, you'll see several options. Click on the Restore Apple TV button. You will be required to accept a software agreement therefore follow the on-screen prompts.
- Once done, iTunes or Finder will start downloading the tvOS 16 final firmware file and restore it onto your Apple TV.
iTunes / Finder will inform you when the installation is complete and will ask you to disconnect the Apple TV from your PC or Mac and connect it back to your TV.
A clean installation is absolutely amazing as it gives you the maximum performance benefit compared to an over-the-air installation. The downside? It is only applicable to the Apple TV HD model. But, you can experience something similar on the Apple TV 4K by simply doing a factory reset of the tvOS and setting it up as new. Not exactly the same, but sort of works.
Downgrade tvOS 16 to tvOS 15 (Apple TV HD Only)
This is basically a clean installation of tvOS 15 and only works on Apple TV HD due to its USB-C port. This is also a temporary method of installing tvOS 15 since the signing window could close down without any notice at all.
If you want to downgrade your tvOS 16 final running Apple TV HD to tvOS 15, then here's what you need to do:
- Download the tvOS 15.6 firmware file from here and save it to your desktop.
- Connect your Apple TV HD to your PC or Mac using a USB-C cable.
- Once your Apple TV HD is detected, launch Finder or iTunes.
- Select your Apple TV HD from the left-hand side.
- Now hold down the left Shift key (Windows) or the left Option key (Mac) and then click on the Restore Apple TV button.
- Select the tvOS 15.6 firmware file you saved to your desktop.
- Once the installation is complete, you will be asked to unplug your Apple TV HD from your PC or Mac. Do so and connect it back to your TV.
If you love using your Apple TV for watching movies, TV shows, and more, tvOS 16 should offer you a smoother experience compared to before. Also, the Apple TV should be more stable as a hub for your HomeKit setup - it always is with new tvOS updates.