How to set a sleep timer on Apple TV

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Apple’s annual software updates always bring a slew of new features. And the update for Apple TV to tvOS 17 (currently in public beta) is no exception to that. But one new feature we want to highlight is one we’ve been clamoring for — well, pretty much forever.

You can now, finally, set a sleep timer on your Apple TV. Not on the television itself — which almost certainly required a second remote control — but on the Apple TV hardware. Here’s how.

Open the new Control Center

The tvOS 17 update comes with a revamped Control Center. Basically that’s the thing you get if you swipe inward from the top right corner on an iPhone or iPad. But seeing as how there’s no way to swipe on Apple TV, it’s always been kind of hidden. The tvOS 17 update makes Control Center more prominent. And it’s where you’ll find the Sleep Timer feature.

Step 1: Hold down the TV button (it’s the one just above the volume-up button) on the Apple TV Siri Remote. It’ll just take a couple seconds, and you’ll see Control Center expand.

The Apple TV Siri Remote in hand.
Hold down the button that looks like a TV (or computer monitor) to open Control Center on Apple TV.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Step 2: Select Sleep Timer.

The Sleep Timer option in the Control Center on Apple TV.
The Sleep Timer option in the Control Center on Apple TV.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Step 3: Choose how long you’d like your Apple TV to remain on. The initial options are 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours.

Apple TV Sleep Timer options.
Sleep Timer has four options.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

And, well, that’s it. That a sleep timer is so simple a feature only underscores how badly it was needed, and it was a black mark on what otherwise remains the best streaming hardware you can buy. But now it’s here. Now you can watch your Apple TV late into the night and not worry that it’ll stay on until the wee hours of the morning. Instead, the Apple TV sleep timer will shut things off at a reasonable hour.

And you can sleep soundly.

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