My elderly father enjoys watching movies through YouTube through Apple TV, which we purchased in 2012.

Last night, I was woke up because the icon of YouTube has disappeared from Apple TV.

I tried searching Google, and performed the following

  • changed my location to my current location
  • reset Apple TV
  • reboot the Wi-Fi

Others suggest seeing a movie on iPhone and iPad and then clicking the triangle in box to make it play in Apple TV.

No matter how many times I tried explaining this process to my father, he couldn't understand, and was very frustrated and irritated (he suffers from lot of chronic pain, so seeing serials from YouTube's Apple TV gives relief, it takes his mind away from things)

What other workaround can I try so that the YouTube icon will appear on Apple TV?


We purchased Apple TV 3rd generation and my father absolutely HATES the new layout. He says he is not able to view a history of search terms he entered for movies and serials. It's just not user friendly. He says he will pay $20 a month just to get the YouTUBE from the old Apple TV back, because the interface was suitable to him ..... we're keeping the old Apple TV in case there is a workaround to get YouTUBE back ......

  • I don't know if you can afford to simply buy him a new apple tv, but that might be the best solution. I just googled and found out that youtube support on older devices has been discontinued. iosdaily.org/2015/04/…
    – Tyson
    May 4, 2015 at 14:14
  • @IconDaemon not on 1st and 2nd generation apple tv's. see link above, or google
    – Tyson
    May 4, 2015 at 14:41
  • If you jailbreak the apple tv, there may be an alternative app to use. if you are running 5.3, you should be able to do an unteathered jailbreak using seas0npass seas0npass.org
    – bret7600
    May 4, 2015 at 23:29

4 Answers 4


YouTube has changed their API from version 2 to version 3, and on May 1st they shut down access to any program/web page or service that accessed the YouTube v2 API. This included older Apple TVs. In order to actually get a working YouTube program on his Apple TV, he will need a new one, which has an updated YouTube program using the new API.

Other than that, AirPlay is your only option. Which he doesn't seem to like.

Update: AirPlay may no longer works as a fix for this on older Apple TV's. It thinks it is playing an audio file and no picture appears on screen.

  • I tried using Airplay just few minutes ago and (1) the movie keeps freezing (2) the content is not clear according to him (3) now AppleTV gives error that content cannot be loaded ..... He's extremely frustrated at this...But it's quite unfortunate that YouTUBE decided to do this because it is forcing people to pay for newer equipment when the old one is just fine ..... whatever happened to backwards compatibility? We only bought this in 2012, few years ago.
    – Glowie
    May 4, 2015 at 17:35

Apple has officially ended youtube apps on atv2 Im in a similar situation like urs We will have to wait and watch for a workaround

  • hope workaround comes soon
    – Glowie
    May 4, 2015 at 15:41
  • we're keeping the old Apple TV just in case of a workaround.
    – Glowie
    May 9, 2015 at 15:47

It is possible that your father accidentally removed the Youtube button from the interface. You should go the the Apple TV Settings > Main Menu and select "Show" for the Youtube channel. While in this menu, you can "Hide" all the other channels not in use. See this page for a visual guide on how to hide and show channels.

Here's Youtube displaying on my third gen Apple TV: enter image description here

  • 1
    I just tried, and YouTUBE is not on the list
    – Glowie
    May 4, 2015 at 15:20

I found a way to play all my fav youtube movies, talk shows, songs & episodes. It might be a hassle for you but it's working fine by me...

Get you iPad>>>play ur fav stuff on youtube>>> click AirPlay (on iPad)>>> choose Apple TV

And there you go!! You can have it all - try it & let me know your thoughts.


  • the airplay to quite cumbersome, especially for our seasoned citizens, but thanks :-)
    – Glowie
    May 18, 2015 at 18:52

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