How to Take Screenshots on Apple TV

Apple TV 4K and Siri Remote

Taking screenshots on your Apple TV is not as simple as pressing two buttons on your Siri Remote. In fact, Apple does not even talk about this in their Apple TV User Guide. But hey, it’s doable with some work.

Before we begin, it’s important to know you won’t be able to capture copyright-protected content on an Apple TV, or any Apple device for that matter. Try grabbing a screenshot on your iPhone while it’s playing video content from iTunes, all you get will be a black screen.

In order to capture screenshots or record videos playing on your Apple TV, you need a Mac connected to the same network as the Apple TV.

In our demo, we are using a Mac running macOS Catalina (version 10.15.4) and an Apple TV 4K running tvOS 13.4.

Throughout the process, you will see prompts on your Mac asking for permission to access the Apple TV screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to grant access.

How to Capture Screenshots or Record Video on Apple TV

    1. First, make sure your Apple TV and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. On your Apple TV, go to Settings and Network to see or change your Wi-Fi network. On your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi icon (Apple TV Network Settings) in the menu bar.Apple TV Network Settings
    2. Once both devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network, use Spotlight to launch Quick Time Player on your Mac. 
    3. In the QuickTime Player menu bar, click on File and then select New Movie Recording.
    4. In the Movie Recording window, click on the dropdown arrow next to the red Record button and select your Apple TV under Camera and Microphone. You should now see the content of your Apple TV’s screen on your Mac in QuickTime Player’s Movie Recording window.QuickTime Player New Movie Recording Select Camera and MicrophoneApple TV Screen in QuickTime Player New Movie Recording Window
    5. To take a screenshot, press Shift, Command and 4 on the keyboard. You’ll see the cursor turn into a crosshair.
    6. Move the crosshair over the QuickTime Player Movie Recording window and press the Space bar. The crosshair will now turn into a camera.
    7. Wait for QuickTime Player’s interface to disappear and then click to take the screenshot. By default, the image will be saved to your desktop on your Mac.
    8. To record your Apple TV’s screen, hit the red Record button.

By now I think you’ll agree taking screenshots on Apple TV is not as simple as it is on an iPhone. Here’s to hoping that Apple will add this functionality to their Siri Remote someday!

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