Are you having a hard time figuring out why your Apple TV is stuck on a spinning wheel?
Get in line! You’d be surprised by how many people face this same issue every day and are left nothing short of confused.
I know it can be super annoying to be paying monthly for a service you’re currently not enjoying. Streaming should be relaxing, but things like these can make the experience feel quite the opposite.
But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list of several simple fixes that will solve this problem for good.
The 8 easy fixes you can try to stop Apple TV from being stuck on a spinning wheel are:
Keep reading to stop stressing and start streaming!
First, I’d like us to make sure that nothing’s wrong with your connection.
Granted, most of the time, spotting a struggling network or service drops is easy, as you’ll be cut off from the internet. But in some cases, you might only have a weakened signal. This would allow you to keep browsing lightly or chatting while also having your Apple TV stuck on a spinning wheel.
How come? Due to the platform’s requirements.
Texting your friends and family about a job interview is much easier on your network than streaming your favorite content online. Especially at higher resolutions.
As a general rule, streaming platforms need at least 5 Mbps to stream in Full HD resolution (1920×1080p), and a whopping 25 Mbps for 4K (3840×2160p).
If your current plan does not meet these requirements, you might find yourself experiencing this issue, and others, such as Error 1021.
Solution: Take the number of people you share your home network with and multiply them by the Mbps your favorite resolution needs. For example, if you share your network with 3 other people and want to stream in 4K, you’ll need a connection of at least 100 Mbps (4 people×25 Mbps).
If your connection is already fast enough, try calling your provider and asking if they’re having issues. If they tell you everything’s fine on their end, try resetting your modem and see if that works.
Never done it before? That’s ok, it’s very easy:
Next, let’s make sure the platform’s servers are not failing.
As you may know, these are in charge of storing important information and giving millions of Apple TV subscribers a high-quality service.
Given their importance, Apple has worked very hard to make theirs as resistant as possible. And while they’ve made some headway, it’s still not safe to say that they’ve managed to make them failproof.
Things that seem unimportant, like minor hacking, a coding bug, or even a broken hard drive, can affect how the platform works.
When this happens, you’ll experience issues, such as constant buffering, out-of-sync subtitles, blurry video, and much more.
Solution: To confirm our suspicions, we must check out the real-time status of the platform’s servers. You can either do this by using Downdetector, or Apple’s proprietary server status website.
Let’s start with how you can do the former:
Assuming that you want to try checking the servers through Apple’s proprietary website, here’s how to do it:
Sadly, if the platform’s servers are, in fact, down, your hands are tied.
But I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Apple has a very capable IT department, so I’d be surprised if this issue lasts longer than 24 hours.
Moving on, let’s talk about your VPN.
I know, I love mine too. Being able to browse the web privately while accessing international content is a great advantage. There’s a lot to appreciate and very little to complain about!
… which makes it a real shame that streaming companies dislike them so much.
Believe it or not, many platforms, like Apple TV, Disney Plus, Netflix, and many more, have been very clear about their intolerance towards this software. Many of them have even blocked subscribers who use them often.
I don’t agree with this, but I can understand why it must be done. And when I explain it to you, you might too.
You see, a lot of the content available on Apple TV is only licensed to be played in certain countries. Since VPNs allow people from all over the world to stream it, the company has to take action. It’s either that or face million-dollar lawsuits.
If you can’t live without using a VPN while streaming, I’d recommend getting one that has obfuscated servers. These will make it harder for Apple TV to detect your VPN traffic, thus decreasing your chances of being blocked.
Solution: The best way to tell if your current VPN is to blame for this, is to disable it and stream without it for a while. If your Apple TV is no longer stuck on a spinning wheel, there’s your answer.
It’s time to look into other alternatives.
Sometimes, the simplest answer might be the right one.
There’s a good chance that all you need to do to stop your Apple TV from being stuck on a spinning wheel is to close and relaunch it.
Why does that work? Simple!
When we use our favorite apps, there are thousands of background processes running at the same time. More often than not, they work normally, and that’s that. But sometimes a bug or corrupted file can make them crash.
When this happens, the streaming platform can start acting weird.
By closing and relaunching your Apple TV app, you’ll be getting rid of any troublemakers, and giving the platform a chance to start its processes from scratch.
And the best part is that this fix works for about 90% of technical difficulties. Don’t be afraid to try it out!
If restarting your app didn’t work, the next logical step would be to try restarting your streaming device. As I mentioned in the previous point, this can help get rid of anything that might be causing trouble and give your devices a fresh start.
The broad strokes of the process should be very easy and quite similar across all platforms.
Solution: For this example, I’ll show you how to restart an Amazon Firestick and an Apple TV box:
For Amazon Firestick:
For Apple TV box (any of the following options should work):
Once you’ve completed this process, your Apple TV should no longer be stuck on a spinning wheel. If this didn’t work, don’t sweat it. We still have a lot of ground to cover. Keep reading to discover more fixes for this issue!
Keeping their favorite apps updated is not on most people’s list of priorities, but it should be! Granted, failing to do so won’t cause the end of the world, but it can be the source of many technical difficulties as time passes.
With every release, app developers try their best to install as many features and fix as many bugs as they can. Moreover, newer platform app versions are designed with the latest streaming device software in mind.
Using an older version of this app on a fully updated streaming system could explain why your Apple TV is stuck on a spinning wheel.
Now, in most cases, this shouldn’t be something you have to worry about, as there’s automatic updating. But sometimes a weak network or a glitch can get in the way.
In that scenario, you’ll have to manually download and install the latest Apple TV app version to your devices.
Solution: Here’s what the process looks like on an Amazon Firestick, iOS and Android systems, and Roku TV:
5. Find Apple TV and select it
If you don’t see the “Update” option in the new window, that’s good news! It means you already have the latest version installed.
Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad:
If you don’t see your device on the list above, that’s ok. You can always do a quick Google search by typing “How to update apps on <Your Device’s Name Goes Here>”. You should be able to find several resources with detailed instructions for your specific case.
While keeping your favorite apps updated can greatly improve your situation, you won’t see the full benefits of it unless you do the same for your streaming devices.
Like the app, your favorite streaming system should be configured to automatically update itself. But if for whatever reason this doesn’t happen, you’ll have to interfere again.
Solution: With so many streaming devices out there, it would take us hours to look at the process of updating each one.
And while I don’t mind it, I’m sure you’ve got a very busy day!
Instead, I’d recommend going to Google and searching for “How to update my <Your Device’s Make And Model Go Here>”. You should be able to find many detailed instructions for your specific case.
To paint you a picture, here’s how to do it on an Amazon Firestick and an Apple TV box.
For Apple TV:
Finally, let’s talk about your cache, data, and cookies.
If you have no idea what any of these are, that’s ok. This might surprise you, but a lot of people are in the same situation.
Now that you’re here, I’d love to shed some light on each concept, starting with the cache & data.
These are where your Apple TV app stores important information. In them, you’ll find audio, video, user preferences, and login credentials. By keeping this data handy, Apple TV can load much quicker when launched and give you a better viewing experience.
Cookies, on the other hand, are more common on PCs and websites. They’re tools that make your browsing more efficient and help targeted ads be more accurate. If you’ve ever been bombarded with ads for cupcake molds right after looking up the perfect Strawberry Shortcake recipe, cookies are to blame.
Most of the time, it’s best to leave them all alone. But in some cases, a corrupted file or bug stored inside them could be causing your Apple TV app to be stuck on a spinning wheel.
In that scenario, you’re better off clearing them:
Solution: You should be able to easily delete your cache & cookies in every browser and streaming device out there. For this example, I’ll show you how to do it on Google Chrome and an Amazon Firestick:
On Google Chrome:
On an Amazon Firestick:
Having your Apple TV be stuck on a spinning wheel can be very annoying. I bet the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is troubleshooting and playing technician. Streaming should be stress-free, and unfortunately, you’re currently getting quite the opposite out of it.
What a disaster!
Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this is very easy. In most cases, covering your tracks with the right VPN, and making sure to keep both your app and streaming devices updated, should do the trick.
Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be happy to know that we upload new content every week. Check out our other incredible resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!
I wish you nothing but the best.