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How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Kevin Parrish
How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a macKevin Parrish
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Kevin Parrish has been writing online since the mid-1990s. For a decade, he wrote reviews, previews, news, and more covering PC and console gaming. In 2008, he began covering hardware and devices after Tom’s Hardware closed its dedicated gaming website. He’s published news, reviews, how-to guides, and op-ed pieces on websites like Digital Trends, Android Authority, Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, and Maximum PC. Read more.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Grabbing screenshots is a great way to visually instruct someone on how to use their Apple TV. But there’s no real on-device tool for capturing these images. This guide shows you how to take a screenshot on Apple TV using a Mac.

Technically, you can take screenshots on your Apple TV, but they’re not accessible to you. Called “stackshots,” these are used by Apple Support for diagnostic purposes. You can capture these shots by pressing the Volume Down and Play buttons simultaneously on the Siri Remote.

In this guide, however, you’re not capturing screenshots directly onto your Apple TV device for diagnostics. Instead, you want screen captures for instructional purposes, wallpaper creation, and more. This requires a Mac to capture the Apple TV output using AirPlay and Apple’s QuickTime Player app.

Keep in mind that you can’t control the Apple TV device using your mouse and keyboard. You’ll still need to use the Siri Remote. You also can’t play media while streaming your Apple TV device to a Mac due to digital rights management. If you try, you’ll see the following denial:

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

You can read more about High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) in a separate guide.

Verify Your Connections

First, make sure your Apple TV device and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network. On the Apple TV unit, use the Siri Remote to navigate to and open the “Settings” app. It’s designated by a gear icon set against a silver background.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Once inside, scroll down to the “Network” option on the list and press the trackpad to open the submenu. Verify you’re connected to the same network name (SSID) as your Mac computer.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Read our guide for additional information about setting up your Apple TV device on the local network.

On the Mac end, click on the Wi-Fi or Ethernet symbol parked on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Make sure you see a checkmark next to the same network name (SSID) shown on the Apple TV device.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Take Your Screenshots

First, locate the QuickTime Player app on your Mac. It’s designated as a silver “Q” highlighted by a blue background within the letter. If it’s not pinned to the Dock, you can find it by clicking the Launchpad icon.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

On our test Mac, we found the app stuffed in the “Other” folder.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Once the QuickTime Player app loads, click the “File” option on the menu bar and then select the “New Movie Recording” option on the drop-down menu.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

A window appears on the screen streaming live video from your connected camera. Hover your mouse over the screen until an overlay appears. Click on the down arrow rendered next to the red record button and then select your Apple TV device on the drop-down menu.

In this example, we’re using the Apple TV labeled “Living Room.”

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Move to the screen connected to your Apple TV device and record the random four-digit number. As shown below, you’ll also see the name of your Mac requesting access.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Enter those numbers in the pop-up prompt on your Mac and click the “OK” button to proceed.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

That’s it. You should now see your Apple TV unit streaming to your Mac via QuickTime. As a visual verification, you’ll see a red border outlining the screen connected to your Apple TV device.

Remember, you can’t navigate your Apple TV device using your Mac’s keyboard and mouse (or trackpad), Instead, grab the Siri Remote and position the shot using the QuickTime app as a frame.

To take a screenshot, press Shift+Cmd+5 simultaneously. You’ll then see a toolbar with three options to capture a screenshot and two for capturing video. Click the “Capture” button when you’re ready to grab a screen. The image will be saved to your Mac, available for you to edit and share with others.

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How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac Kevin Parrish
Kevin Parrish has been writing online since the mid-1990s. For a decade, he wrote reviews, previews, news, and more covering PC and console gaming. In 2008, he began covering hardware and devices after Tom’s Hardware closed its dedicated gaming website. He’s published news, reviews, how-to guides, and op-ed pieces on websites like Digital Trends, Android Authority, Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, and Maximum PC.
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You can capture the entire screen, a window, or just a portion of the screen.

How to take a screenshot on your Mac

  1. To take a screenshot, press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 3.
  2. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

How to capture a portion of the screen

  1. Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 4.
  2. Drag the crosshair to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
    How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac
  3. To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button.
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

How to capture a window or menu

  1. Open the window or menu that you want to capture.
  2. Press and hold these keys together: Shift, Command, 4, and Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera icon . To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
    How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac
  3. Click the window or menu to capture it. To exclude the window’s shadow from the screenshot, press and hold the Option key while you click.
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Where to find screenshots

By default, screenshots save to your desktop with the name ”Screen Shot [date] at [time].png.”

In macOS Mojave or later, you can change the default location of saved screenshots from the Options menu in the Screenshot app. You can also drag the thumbnail to a folder or document.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

You might want to take a screenshot on Apple TV to share a cool app or get some troubleshooting support. But the process is not as straightforward as on other iOS devices and requires the help of your Mac. Before tvOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, you would need to use the Xcode developer utility, which complicated matters. But now, on tvOS 11 and later, and with macOS High Sierra and later, there’s an easier way. Let’s check out both these methods to take a screenshot on Apple TV.

How to make a screenshot on Apple TV using QuickTime Player

  1. Open QuickTime player on your Mac.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  3. Now on your Mac in QuickTime player, go to Filemenu and select NewMovieRecording.

Xcode workaround to take a screenshot on older tvOS

  1. Install Xcode on your Mac.
  2. Plug the Apple TV and connect it to the television.
  3. Now connect your Mac to Apple TV using a USB Type-C cable.
  4. Open Xcode on your Mac.
  5. On Xcode, click on the Windows menu.
  6. Now click on Devices, and select Apple TV from the list of devices.
  7. Now click on Take Screenshot.

Voila! The screenshot you just took will be saved on your Mac in a desktop folder. By default, the resolution of your screenshot will be 1920×1080; regardless of the resolution, you have set on your display.

Share your Apple TV screenshots with us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or in the comment box given below.

You may also like to read these articles:

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

iGeeksBlog has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. We may earn commissions on purchases made using our links. However, this doesn’t affect the recommendations our writers make. You can read more about our review and editorial process here.

When you are eager to tell friends about great games, discuss fun apps, or get troubleshooting support, you may want to share what’s happening with a screenshot of your Apple TV. Before tvOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, the screenshot process was complicated, and it required the Xcode developer utility. With the release of tvOS and High Sierra, the process to capture the screen of your Apple TV using your Mac became simpler.

Information in this article applies to 4th-generation Apple TV and Apple TV 4K running on tvOS 11 or later and Macs with macOS Catalina (10.15) through macOS High Sierra (10.13). A workaround for older Apple TVs is included.

Make Apple TV Screenshots

If your Mac has macOS High Sierra or later and your Apple TV operates tvOS 11 or higher, you can make a screenshot of the image on your Apple TV using a Mac. Both the Mac and the Apple TV must be on the same Wi-Fi network. If they are the same, you're ready to take a screenshot.

To check the network on the Apple TV, go to Settings > Network. Then, to compare the network to the one your Mac uses, on the Mac, go to System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi.

Here's how to take a screenshot:

Launch the QuickTime Player app on the Mac. It is located in the Applications folder.

At the top of the QuickTime Player screen, go to File and select New Movie Recording, which opens a window on the Mac showing live video from the Mac's camera.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Hover the mouse over the window until you see the red recording button. Click the small arrow to the right of the red button, then select Apple TV in the Camera section of the pop-up menu.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Enter the code that appears on the Apple TV in the corresponding field on the Mac to make the connection. The Apple TV screen appears on the Mac screen.

To take a screenshot of the Apple TV image on your Mac, press Shift+Command+4.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

The Xcode Workaround for Older Operating Systems

You can take Apple TV screenshots with a Mac in older versions of the operating systems, but it takes more work.

Connect the Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C cable. Plug the Apple TV into a power source, then connect it to the television using an HDMI cable.

Download Xcode from the Mac App Store. Xcode is Apple's development software that developers use to create applications for iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and macOS. You're only going to use Xcode to capture screenshots on Apple TV.

Launch Xcode with the Apple TV turned on and connected to the Mac. Click Window > Devices in the menu bar in Xcode. Select Apple TV and click Take Screenshot.

The screenshots are stored wherever your Mac regularly stores any other kind of screenshot, usually on the desktop.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Whenever a new gadget is released, we tech writers have to figure out how to take screenshots of the device. It is important that we are able to show readers what the display looks like when we are describing features. You may wish to do this too: you may want to capture a screen to share with a friend or you may need to take a screenshot for someone providing tech support.

With the Apple TV, it’s not that simple. You can’t take a screenshot on the device itself; at least no one has found that magic sequence of button-presses on the remote that captures the display and sends a photo to your iCloud Photo Library. But you may still, even if you’re not a tech writer, need to capture images from the Apple TV, if you are, say, a teacher or trainer. You could just take photos of your TV screen, but that never looks very good.

There are two ways to grab screenshots of the Apple TV, though one is much better than the other. I’ll start with the one I don’t use, then explain the better way to do this.

Use Xcode

If you have an Apple developer account, you can download Xcode, the software needed to write and package apps for OS X or iOS. You can get access to this software with a free account. After you’ve downloaded and installed Xcode—it’s a 4GB download, and takes up 9.5GB on disk—you can connect the Apple TV to your Mac and use Xcode to take screenshots.

To do this, you need some extra hardware. The Apple TV has a USB-C port on the back; that’s the type of connector that the new MacBook uses. You’ll need a USB-C cable that you can connect to your Mac. But you’ll also need a TV; Xcode doesn’t display anything from the Apple TV. So, next to your Mac, you’ll have the Apple TV, an actual TV set (it doesn’t matter what size), an HDMI cable to connect to the TV, and a USB-C cable to connect to the Mac. And a power cable. And the Apple TV remote.

Once all this is connected, launch Xcode, choose Window > Devices, and then select your Apple TV. Click Take Screenshot, and Xcode dumps a photo of the screen on your Desktop.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

You can take a screenshot of your Apple TV using Xcode.

The disadvantage to this is the need for a TV, but with Xcode, all you need to do is click a button to get a screenshot.

Use QuickTime Player

There’s another way to get screenshots, and it involves the OS X app QuickTime Player. In this scenario, you connect the Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C cable, as above, but you don’t need a TV. You do, however, need to trick your Apple TV into thinking it’s connected to a TV. It’s not enough to connect an HDMI cable to the device and not connect the other end of it to anything. You need a special dongle that makes the device think it’s connected to a display. I happen to have one, which I use on my headless Mac mini server to be able to change its screen resolution; I explain the device in this article.

Once you’ve done this, launch QuickTime Player, choose File > New Movie Recording, click the down-pointing arrow next to the Record button, and then choose Apple TV.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Let QuickTime Player record your Apple TV.

You don’t need to actually record anything with QuickTime Player. You can use the Apple TV’s remote to move around the interface and then take screenshots on your Mac of the QuickTime Player window. To do this, press Command-Option-4, then press the spacebar, hover your cursor over the window, and click your mouse or trackpad.

You can also record video, if you want to make, say, a tutorial. Just click the Record button; when you’re finished recording, however your mouse over the window and click the Stop button. Save the recording, and you can use the video. You cannot, however, record any DRM-protected content; if you try, you’ll see a message like this:

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Oops. Can’t play any videos purchased from the iTunes Store.

If you need screenshots from the Apple TV, either of these methods works; if you want screen recordings, only the latter does what you need. If you need to do this often, getting that HDMI dongle makes it a lot easier.

Apple doesn’t go out of its way to advertise the fact, but it’s perfectly possible to connect a Mac to a fourth-generation Apple TV or later and grab screenshots and video output from the set-top box. In this article, we’ll show you how it’s done.

Note that this method can’t be used to record DRM-protected content off the likes of Netflix or iTunes, but it will let you capture your driving skills in Asphalt 8: Airborne, for instance, just as it will allow you to take screenshots for use in troubleshooting, training, blogging, or any other purpose.

alt=”screenshot record apple tv on mac” width=”800″ height=”313″ />
The way to connect a Mac to an Apple TV used to depend on the presence of a USB-C port on the rear of the fourth-generation set-top box to establish a wired connection. But since there’s no such port on the latest fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, that’s no longer an option for a growing number of users.

However, thanks to macOS High Sierra and tvOS 11, it’s now possible to connect your Mac wirelessly to a fourth- or fifth-generation Apple TV on the same Wi-Fi network, and you don’t have to download Xcode or any other additional software to do so. Simply follow the steps below, and you should be capturing video and taking screenshots in no time.

How to Grab Images and Video From Apple TV on a Mac

  1. Turn on your Apple TV and your HDMI-connected display.

Note: If you want to try the traditional method of taking Apple TV screenshots, you need to download Apple’s Xcode developer utility from the Mac App Store. Bear in mind that it’s a hefty 5.5GB download, and you might run into connection issues if you’re running a beta version of tvOS.

After installing Xcode 9.2, launch the utility and select Window -> Devices and Simulators from the menu bar, and you should see the screenshot button in the Devices tab once you’ve successfully connected to Apple TV.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

4. Next, Click on Devices under the windows menu option.

5. here, you can list connected devices, Apple TV 4 will be shown in the left pane.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

6. On the other end, You can see Take a screenshot for Apple TV on the Mac screen.

Your Apple TV screenshot will save on a desktop screen in High-resolution quality.

Record Video of your Apple TV 4K, or Apple TV 4

Quiet time for record Mac’s screen is a fantastic official tool by apple. For Apple TV 4, Quick time also works the record the Apple TV screen on your Mac in high resolution.

The Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4 screen video recording are also helpful on make preview videos on gaming, Application functionality, or presentation. Follow the below steps to record Apple TV 4 screen on your Mac.

1. Connect your Apple TV 4 to Mac using a USB-C lighting cable.

2. Open quick Time player on Mac under the /Applications or from spotlight search.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

3. Next, From the Quick Time top menu > Files > New Movie Recording.

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Near to the red recording button, click on an arrow. Choose Apple TV under Camera and Microphone.

Then Start recording, by click on the red record button.

To save the recorded apple TV 4 video, Go to File > Save.

Now you are done.

What is Stackshot on Apple TV?

Stackshot on Apple TV is used by Apple mainly for diagnostic purposes, and can’t be accessible to you. If you’ve pressed the Play button and Volume Down button at the same time on the Siri remote, the Stackshot is captured and the same message will appear on the Apple TV. Besides, you can say it’s a debugging tool used by Apple to diagnose any issue on ATV.

How to View Screenshot on Apple TV?

Can you screenshot on Apple TV? Yes, you can take a screenshot on your Apple TV but with the help of Apple TV, refer to the above section to know how to take a screenshot on Apple TV using a Mac. I assume you know how to take screenshots on Mac and where are the screenshots go on Mac, usually the Mac screenshot is saved on the desktop, likewise, Apple TV screenshots are saved on the Mac desktop unless you’ve changed the location.

After taking a screenshot on Apple TV using Mac, check the Mac desktop and double-click on the screenshot to view.

Why Can’t I Take Screenshots on Apple TV? Troubleshoot

It’s really hard to find out why Apple TV can’t take screenshots using Mac or Xcode, however, determining the root cause behind this bug is not our issue, rather that we’ll look into potential solutions and fix it.

First and foremost, have you restarted the Apple TV and Mac? If not, then reboot the Apple TV and Mac to troubleshoot the screenshot issue on Apple TV.

Make sure the Apple TV and Mac are up to date running the latest version of tvOS and macOS, this would absolutely rule out the random bugs in one shot.

I hope you will quickly navigate through given above steps for capture Screenshots or record videos on Apple TV 4. Want more help share with us in the discussion section.

jaysukh patel

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac

Whether it’s for business or something more entertaining, you can screenshot and record from an Apple TV with your Mac. Doing so requires both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, and you use macOS’s built-in QuickTime Player app to get the job done.

1. Confirm Wi-Fi settings

The first thing you need to do is confirm your Mac and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. In a home environment, confirmation is less important since there’s probably only one network being used in your house. In an office, this is less certain.

On Mac, click on the networking icon at the top right of your computer screen. In the pull-down menu, confirm the active Wi-Fi network. In macOS Big Sur, the current network is shown in blue.

Moving to Apple TV, go into the ‘Settings’ app, then choose ‘Network’. Confirm the Wi-Fi networking under ‘Connection’ is the same one being used on your Mac. If not, click on the existing connection, then choose the correct one from the list of active connections.

2. Screenshot Apple TV

Now it’s time to screenshot Apple TV on Mac. Search and select ‘QuickTime Player’ from Spotlight, or choose the app under the Applications folder. When in the QuickTime Player app, click ‘File’ followed by ‘New Movie Recording’ on the menu bar.

Most likely, you’ll now see a photo of yourself being streamed! You need to change this, so the QuickTime Player is streaming the Apple TV screen. Click on the pull-down icon to the right of the record icon in the middle of your Mac screen. Then select your Apple TV as the camera.

In the pop-up box, add the four-digit code that’s shown on the Apple TV display. Then click ‘OK’. This number verifies that you wish to connect the two devices.

You are now recording your Apple TV. To confirm, you’ll see a red border around the Apple TV screen. To screenshot, go to the location on your Apple TV you wish to snap using your remote just as you always do.

To take a screenshot, press Shift+Cmd+5 simultaneously on your Mac keyboard to bring up the macOS Screenshot tool. We also have an in-depth guide on how to take a screenshot on a Mac for more information.

There are five actions in the Screenshot tool. These actions include capturing the entire screen, capturing a window, or capturing a portion of the screen for screenshots. The choices are to record the entire screen or record a portion of the screen for video recording.

To start a screenshot or screen recording:

  • For the entire screen or a portion of it: Click ‘Capture’.
  • For a window: Move the cursor to the window, then click the window.
  • For recordings: Click ‘Record’. To stop recording, click the ‘Stop Recording’ button in the menu bar.

Repeat this process to take additional screenshots from your Apple TV.

3. Copyrighted material

  • How to fix the most common macOS Big Sur issues

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn’t have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan’s a single father of a 14-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!

You might want to take a screenshot on Apple TV to share a cool app or get some troubleshooting support. But the process is not as straightforward as on other iOS devices and requires the help of your Mac. Before tvOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, you would need to use the Xcode developer utility, which complicated matters. But now, on tvOS 11 and later, and with macOS High Sierra and later, there’s an easier way. Let’s check out both these methods to take a screenshot on Apple TV.

How to make a screenshot on Apple TV using QuickTime Player

  1. Open QuickTime player on your Mac.
  2. Connect your Apple TV to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  3. Now on your Mac in QuickTime player, go to Filemenu and select NewMovieRecording.How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac
  4. Click on the down arrow “v” icon located near the record button.
  5. From the list of available options, select Apple TV for both: Camera and Microphone.How to take a screenshot on apple tv using a mac
  6. You will now see your Apple TV feed on your Mac screen.
    Note: You don’t need to record anything using QuickTime Player on Mac. Just use the Apple TV’s remote to move around the screen and then take screenshots on your Mac.
  7. To take a screenshot of the Apple TV screen, press Command+Shift+4, then hit the space bar. This till turn your cursor to the camera icon.
  8. Take your cursor on the window, until the title bar and recording interface disappear.
  9. Now click the trackpad or mouse to take a screenshot.

Xcode workaround to take a screenshot on older tvOS

  1. Install Xcode on your Mac.
  2. Plug the Apple TV and connect it to the television.
  3. Now connect your Mac to Apple TV using a USB Type-C cable.
  4. Open Xcode on your Mac.
  5. On Xcode, click on the Windows menu.
  6. Now click on Devices, and select Apple TV from the list of devices.
  7. Now click on Take Screenshot.

Voila! The screenshot you just took will be saved on your Mac in a desktop folder. By default, the resolution of your screenshot will be 1920×1080; regardless of the resolution, you have set on your display.

Share your Apple TV screenshots with us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or in the comment box given below.