12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 11, 2013 10:45 AM by mabidally Branched to a new discussion.
halfyearworker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Since trying to update, my Apple TV puts nothing on screen, light blinks rapidly. Can't restore via iTunes since iTunes doesn't recognize it. Trying to restart with remote buttons causes light to pause, then starts blinking rapidly again. Is there a fix?

Apple TV (2nd generation)
  • judysings Community Specialists Community Specialists (3,965 points)

    Hi halfyearworker,


    I'm sorry to hear you are having issues with your Apple TV.

    The flashing light indicates the Apple TV needs to be reset or restored to it's factory settings.


    Apple TV: About the status light


    Flashes quicklyHaving issues. Try restarting or waking your Apple TV. If your Apple TV does not start up properly, you might need to reset the Apple TV or restore it to factory settings. See Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): Restoring your Apple TV. If this does not resolve the issue, refer to the Service FAQ for additional assistance.

    Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): How to restart your Apple TV


    You can also reset your Apple TV by unplugging it from the power source for thirty seconds.


    Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation): Restoring your Apple TV


    On Apple TV, choose Settings > General > Reset, and then click Restore.

    Your Apple TV will restore to its factory settings, and will also download and install the latest Apple TV software update. This process may take some time. Do not disconnect your Apple TV's power cable during the restore process.


    I hope you are back up and running with your Apple TV soon!


    - Judy

  • halfyearworker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, Judy. My problem seems more serious than that. To each of the above remedies:


    Unplugging for (much longer than) 30 seconds made no change. When replugged in, light flashes rapidly again.


    Restoring from TV screen is impossible since nothing shows up on the TV screen.


    Other restore method, by connecting to iTunes (version 10.0.4 (4)) does not work, since the apple TV does not show up under "devices." iTunes does not recognize it.


    When trying to restart apple TV with remote by holding down simultaneously the "down arrow" and menu keys for several seconds: the apple TV light changes to a flicker, then upon releasing the keys, it pauses for a few moments before starting to flash rapidly as before.


    All this started because I tried to "update" the apple TV as requested onscreen. I appreciate your help.

  • judysings Community Specialists Community Specialists (3,965 points)

    Hi halfyearworker,


    Of the options above, unplugging the Apple TV from the power source for 30 minutes should have restarted the device.  At this point I would refer you to the Service FAQ for additional troubleshooting:


    Apple - Support - Apple TV - Service FAQ




    - Judy

  • tailspower2001 Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    I had that issue but rixed it on Windows 7 using an borwoed Ebook raeder USB cable since my camam cables didn't fit the USB port.  I just hooked it up, let Windows 7 install the software it needed, and told ITunes to start fixing.  Easy as pie.   

  • Cal13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear halfyearworker. Forget about trying to restore by unplugging for 30 seconds or with remote.

    You have to connect to PC with a micro USB cable and might have to try several ones, because not all will work.

    In most cases you also have to connect power cord (I did not have to, but most other have to).

    Normally when you connect, windows will ask you how to open the files, close that window and wait until iTunes opens.

    If iTunes won't open, you most probably need another cable. If iTunes opens by itself, it has recognized your device and will give the option to reinstall the update. If you do only have one cable, try to borrow one from friends.

    If all that won't work, apple store is the only solution.


    Hope you are lucky

  • Noelvsantiago Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue, after updating my atv restartand just falshing light rapidly, tried to restore via itunes just says cannot restore an error occur, now i cannot use my atv

  • itcantbe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My AppleTV2 worked great until I tried to install APPLEs update in June 2013.  Since then its light flashes rapidly and I've tried to restore to factory via iTunes.  I finally took it to Apple Genius bar and they tried to restore getting the same error.  The option they presented was (a) we can't fix it ((what we Apple broke)), (b) you can pay $55 to get another refurbed AppleTV2.  What a crock! The thing worked before their update.  Now I have to pay to replace it?  Nah, I think $35 for a Google Chromecast sounds more reasonable.  Apple has really lost my trust now that S.Jobs is gone and T.Cook is in charge.  What a disaster.

  • Robertnug Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, I have the exact same issue. Tried connect to mac with mirco usb cable, The remove when I press the menu button the light stops blinking. How do I reset the TV?


    Really annoying

  • ferdinandus66 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Had the same problem - luckily had 2 micro USB cables - changed the cable for a different one and iTunes recognised the Apple TV and restored!

    Try that.

  • itcantbe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried 4 micro USB cables with the same result - flashing light & not working!  So I took it to genius bar to see if they could use their all apple micro USB, macbook, network, etc. and they too could not get it to work.  So they gave me the options I listed on 11/17/13 above.

  • mabidally Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am facing the same problem today, Apple TV 2, pop up kept coming on TV screen when Apple TV is started since past few and days asking me to update so I went ahead with the update and now after several minutes the light was blinking rapidly. Now following Judy's instructions (above) I connected it to my imac with micro USB and itunes has recognised it and offered to restore so running that now. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • mabidally Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi I tried the above procedure given by Judy and it worked, Apple TV 2 is now restored.