While taking screenshots of your Apple TV might not be a thing many people want to do, it’s nice to know that there is actually a way to do it. Likewise, while not many people probably desire to capture video content from their Apple TV, the ability could come in handy in instances, for example, where you want to show a remote elderly relative how to navigate their Apple TV (what better a way than sending them a video walkthrough?) or where you want to record footage from an Apple TV game and post it online to show off your skills to the world.
It should be noted that there are a few caveats to grabbing screenshots and recording video from your Apple TV. First, you’ll need a 4th or 5th generation Apple TV. That’s the Apple TV with the Siri Remote. Next, you’ll need a Mac running macOS High Sierra. You’ll also need both devices connected over the same Wi-Fi network. Finally, know that you can’t use this method to capture DRM-protected content from Netflix, iTunes, or similar apps, like Amazon Prime Video.
So, if you meet all the requirements above, let’s get started. Here’s how you take screenshots and capture video from an Apple TV.
- Tune on your Apple TV and make sure its connected to your television by an HDMI cable.
- Go into the Settings app on your Apple TV and select Network.
- Under Connection, you’ll see the Wi-Fi network the Apple TV is connected to. Remember this network’s name.
- One your Mac, go up into the menu bar and click the Wi-Fi icon. You’ll see a list of Wi-Fi networks. Make sure your Mac is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV.
- Next, on your Mac, go into your Applications folder in the Finder and launch the QuickTime application.
- In the QuickTime, menu bar go to File > New Movie Recording. A new blank QuickTime window will open.
- In the QuickTime window, click the small arrow next to the red button.
- In that drop-down menu, select Apple TV in both the Camera and Microphone sections.
- Back on your Apple TV a screen sharing message will appear. Use the Siri Remote to select the “Allow” button.
- Now back on your Mac, click the red button in the QuickTime window. This will begin recording whatever the Apple TV is streaming to your Mac.
- If you just want to take a screenshot of whats on the Apple TV, there is no need to click the red QuickTime record button. Instead, use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-4 and move the crosshair cursor over the QuickTime window.
- Press the spacebar on your Mac Keyboard and the crosshairs will turn into a camera icon. The QuickTime window should now be highlighted in blue.
- Now click the mouse button and a screenshot will be taken of the Apple TV content in the QuickTime window and that screenshot will be saved to your desktop. Easy!
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.