Reduce clutter on Apple TV

Recently Apple has picked up the pace on adding content to Apple TV. Just yesterday Yahoo! Screen and PBS were added. Considering the wide array of content there is now (HBO, Disney Channel, ESPN, Smithsonian Channel, Hulu, The Weather Channel…) chances are that you have icons on your Apple TV home screen that you don’t want or don’t subscribe to. But it’s easy to tame the overflow of content.

  1. Software update. These features were added with a software update months ago, but until recently software updates were installed manually. Make sure you’re running the latest update by going to Settings > General > Software Updates > Update Software. If the update fails, try rebooting the device by going to Settings > General > Restart (not reset, which will erase all settings after confirmation).
  2. Enable automatic updates (optional). Unless you really prefer to install updates on your own schedule, I recommend that you turn on automatic updates in Settings > General > Software Updates > Automatic Updates.
  3. Remove unwanted channels. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions. You do not need to turn on restrictions. Just scroll down the list of channels and you can select each item to show or hide it. You only need to “Turn On Restrictions” if you want to password protect your selection.
  4. Rearrange your remaining channels. While on the home screen, move over a channel you want to relocate and press-and-hold the select (center) button on your remote. Let go when the icon starts to jiggle. Use the directional buttons to move it into its desired position. Press the select button again to drop. Repeat this for each icon you want to move.