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In truth, you can’t turn it off, but you can do this instead.
For cord-cutters, the Apple TV has proven a miraculous device. With Apple TV apps, you can access almost anything you’d get through a cable or satellite subscription—although in some cases, you may need to “borrow” a friend or family member’s cable credentials. Using it is easy and intuitive, for the most part, although its uber-minimal remote control can leave some questions unanswered, like… How do I turn off Apple TV?
How to turn off Apple TV
To do this, press and hold the display icon button (the button you use to wake the device) for five seconds. Then, an onscreen message will pop up asking “Sleep now?” You can choose “Sleep” or “Cancel.” If you want the device to go to sleep, select the former.
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If you really want to turn off Apple TV (and not just put it to sleep), you’ll have unplug the device. That’s not a very practical solution, but hey, it works.
If you own an older Apple TV—3rd generation or earlier—the action is similar. On the aluminum or white Apple Remote, tap and hold the Pause/Play button for five seconds. Alternatively, you can head into the device’s settings and select “Sleep Now” to put it to sleep.
To wake up the Apple TV after it’s been put to sleep, simply tap any button on the remote or the Touch surface at the top. From there, you can resume watching Netflix, movies, playing games, or whatever else you want to use your set-top box for.
While it may seem weird that you can’t turn off Apple TV, typically, turning off the device isn’t something you need to worry about. Your Apple TV will turn off on its own after a period of inactivity. (You can customize this length of time in Settings, General, and then tap Sleep After.)
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, ESPN, AMC, FX, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.