Apple TV App Store: How to Download Apps on the Apple TV

Adding apps to Apple TV is as easy as on your iPhone or iPad. To download an app on Apple TV, you just navigate to the App store, find the app you want, and click Download. The trick is, if you have an Apple TV third-generation or older, you're limited to pre-installed apps. If you have the Apple TV 4K or the fourth-generation Apple TV, you have access to the App Store and can get apps from a selection of thousands of free or paid apps, just like on your iPhone or iPad. Whether you're looking for fitness, sports, games, recipe, or even shopping apps, let's get started learning how to find and download apps so you can get the most out of your Apple TV.

Related: How to Connect & Set Up Your Apple TV & Apple TV Remote 

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What's in This Article:

Apple TV App Store

To navigate to the App Store on your Apple TV:

  1. Click the Menu button on your Apple TV remote to go to the Home screen (if you're not already there). 
  2. Swipe through your apps until you see the App Store icon; click on it. 

    apple app store
  3. Navigate to the app you wish to download (see below).

No App Store Icon on Your Apple TV

If you see no App Store on your Apple TV, then you probably have a 3rd-Generation Apple TV or earlier. Those models cannot download apps, so the App Store is absent from the homescreen. Sorry, buddy! We recommend that you try using AirPlay from your iPhone to play content on your Apple TV, bypassing the need to download apps.

How to Download Apps on an Apple TV

Once you've opened the App Store, you'll have a few different options for finding an app you'd like to download.

  1. You'll see a menu bar at the top of your screen. If you know exactly what you want, click on Search.

    go to app store
  2. From here, you'll be able to use the trackpad on your Apple TV remote to scroll left and right, tapping letters to spell out the app you're looking for. You can also choose to enter text using your iPhone keyboard.
  3. Once the app comes up in the options, click on it. 

    app store app
  4. Now you'll see an app description and price; if you decide you'd like to download the app, click on Buy. If the app is free, click Get. You may be asked to enter your password to complete this process. 

    apple tv app store
  5. You'll be able to find your apps, including recent purchases and updates, by clicking the Purchased tab in the top menu of the App Store app. My Tetris app will be in Recent Purchases.

    how to download apps on apple tv

Download New Apps on the Apple TV App Store

If you don't have any specific app in mind and would like to explore your options then:

  1. Click on the Categories tab in the App Store menu.

    how to add apps to apple tv
  2. Look through games, cooking apps, apps for kids, and much more.
  3. You can also click on the Featured or Top Charts tabs to see the most innovative and popular apps available for your Apple TV at any given time.
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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.