Want to check out the new BBC Natural History underwater screensavers or the 5 new space screensavers on your Apple TV? It’s not as easy as it sounds!
Apple does not universally push out its Apple TV screen savers as it does for its iDevices or Macs. And you can’t manually download them to your Apple TV either.
Instead, your Apple TV screensavers are temporarily cached, with new ones swapped daily, weekly, monthly, or not at all depending on your Apple TV screensavers settings.
Apple set up tvOS to self-manage its storage. So if your Apple has space available, tvOS caches screensavers. When your Apple TV has little space, tvOS caches just a few screensavers or possibly none at all. Unfortunately, since tvOS manages its own storage, it also means you cannot pick and choose which screensavers show up on your Apple TV!
Quick tip: tvOS stores the underwater screensavers under the Aerial category
- Check the requirements for Apple TV screen savers!
- Not seeing the screensavers? Free up some space on your Apple TV
- tvOS 13 new screensavers
- How to set up and use multiple users on Apple TV with tvOS 13
- Everything you need to know about Apple TV+
- How to manage storage on Apple TV
Check the requirements for Apple TV screen savers!
- First, make sure you update your Apple TV to tvOS 13 or higher
- tvOS 13 is compatible with fourth-generation Apple TV or an Apple TV 4K.
- To update, Go to Settings > System > Software Updates and select Update Software
- If there’s an update, select Download and Install
Change your Apple TV screen saver settings & frequency
- Settings > General > Screen Saver
- Choose Aerial (at this time, Apple classifies these underwater screensavers as aerials)
- Change your download setting to Daily
- Once you update your screensaver setting to daily, you should see the new screensavers within a few days. It takes at least 24 hours before new screen savers are cached.
Since we cannot designate what screensavers tvOS caches, it may take some time before the underwater screen savers appear–and even a longer time for one you really want to see! So be patient.
How to view your Apple TV screensavers
Your Apple TV shows a screensaver when it’s been idle for a defined number of minutes.
To change that defined number of idle minutes before a screensaver starts, go to Settings > General > Screen Saver and select Start After.
But you can start the screen saver at any time!
On your Apple TV Siri Remote, press and hold the Menu button to return to the Home screen and then press the Menu button again.
The screensaver immediately displays!
To find out details on the screensaver’s location
Tap the Touch surface. On some screen savers, the location information changes with the viewing area so that specific landmarks are highlighted.
To see a different location
Swipe left (backward) or right (forward) on the Apple TV remote’s Touch surface.
How to exit from a screensaver & return to the app
Press the Touch surface on the Siri Remote to return to the app you previously used.
Not seeing the screensavers? Free up some space on your Apple TV
The number of screensavers downloaded depends on how much storage is available on your Apple TV.
So let’s manage your Apple TV’s storage!
- Go to Settings > General
- Scroll down to Usage and choose Manage Storage
- A list of the apps on your Apple TV shows how much space each item is using
- Select an app you want to remove
- Highlight the trash icon
- Press the Touch surface on your remote to delete the app
- The app and all of its data are deleted
- You can also delete apps directly on the Home screen
New screensavers missing? Still not seeing any new screensavers?
Check that you set the screensaver type to Aerial.
Although it may make no sense that underwater screensavers are listed as aerials — that’s where you find them!
Yes, we know that aerial means from the air–and that things under the water cannot possibly also be from the air. However, Apple sees aerials more broadly with aerials including locations shot from all over the world, underwater, and even space.
If you select Aerial and wait a few days but still don’t see any underwater scenes, try restarting your Apple TV and confirm your settings and that your Apple TV has sufficient space for downloading new screensavers.
tvOS 13 new screensavers
Underwater sea screensavers by BBC Natural History
- Palau Coral
- Palau Jellies (3)
- Sea Stars
New Space screensavers
- The Atlantic Ocean to Spain and France
- Nile Delta
- South Africa to North Asia
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.