Can your neighbors connect to your Apple TV?

If you have an Apple TV, you might not be aware that it could be advertising its existence to your neighbors, showing up when they AirPlay from their Apple devices. If you look at my phone above we can see two Living Room Apple TV’s, but I have no way of knowing which is mine and which is my neighbor’s. While it’s not a disaster because I cannot actually send anything to their TV without seeing the 4-digit code displayed on their screen, there are several reasons I suggest nearly everyone disable this feature, especially if you live in a densely populated area:

  • It’s confusing to people living nearby (within about 20-50 feet of your Apple TV) because they might not know which Apple TV is theirs.
  • People nearby could accidentally attempt a connection to your Apple TV thinking it’s their own, waking up your television or interrupting what you are watching.
  • If your neighbor wants a cheap thrill and can see your television through a window, they could read the 4-digit code and take over what is playing on your television.

To disable this feature:

  1. Go to the Settings app on your Apple TV > AirPlay and HomeKit > Allow Access.
  2. Set “Allow Access” to either “Anyone on the Same Network” or, if you use the Apple Home app you can choose “Only People Sharing This Home”.
  3. “Require Password” is safe to leave off in most home use situations. That allows anyone on your WiFi network (but not your guest WiFi network if your router supports that function) to AirPlay to the TV.
  4. Under “Apple TV Options” set “Also Allow Nearby to AirPlay” to “Off”.

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or to find a local Apple consultant.

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