How to Use the Apple TV App on Your Mac
In the past, Mac users who wanted to watch and buy videos were forced to use iTunes. But with the release of macOS Catalina in 2020, Apple replaced iTunes’ video features with a dedicated app called Apple TV. Available to anyone who’s since upgraded their Mac, the Apple TV app offers access to your existing library of TV shows and movies. It also lets you buy and rent videos and watch a curated selection of content.
If you subscribe to Apple TV+, the streaming service resides in the TV app, where you can watch Apple’s original shows, including Ted Lasso, WeCrashed, and Breakup. Here’s how to use the Apple TV app for your video fix.
Navigate in the app
The app organizes its content and offerings into different categories at the top, including Watch Now, TV+, Store, and Library.
Click Watch Now to access all TV shows and movies currently available through Apple. Scroll down to see titles you’ve recently purchased or watched, other channels, new shows and movies, popular picks, and shows that you can browse by collection or genre. It’s also where the app offers subscriptions to its own Apple TV+ service, as well as other streaming services like HBO Max, Starz, Showtime and Paramount+.
Click on the TV+ header to find everything at your fingertips through Apple’s subscription TV service. Scroll down to find original Apple TV+ shows and movies, all feature films, all series, and more.
Next, click on the Store header. Here you can choose to check movies or TV shows. Click Movies to buy and rent different movies. Under TV Shows, you can buy or rent individual episodes of different series or access Apple TV+ content, if you subscribe. Scroll down to find shows and movies for everyone as well as those for kids and family.
See the library
Finally, click on the Library header to access your existing collection of purchased movies and TV shows. You can then filter what you see by clicking on different categories on the side panel. View recently added media, movies, TV shows, and downloads, or search for titles by genres including Action & Adventure, Comedy, Kids & Family, and Sci-Fi & Fantasy.
Click on a movie or TV show image to view title information. Click Play to start watching. To manage a title, click the ellipsis icon or right-click on the image. From the context menu, you can mark the item as watched or unwatched, add it to a playlist, get info on it, copy the title, show the location of the video in Finder, or delete the video from your library.
Recommended by our editors
Stream with AirPlay
You can use Apple’s AirPlay feature to send videos to different devices, such as media streamers, Apple TV, and smart TVs. To do this, before starting a video, click the AirPlay icon in the Mac’s menu bar and select the device you want to mirror your screen to. To do this while a video is playing, click the AirPlay icon at the bottom left of the screen, then select the device you want to stream your current video to.
Full screen mode
If you are watching the video on a small screen and want to enlarge it, click on the View menu and select Enter Full Screen. To return to your previous screen size, click the Esc key.
You can create playlists for your favorite videos by clicking File > New > Reading List in the top menu. In this menu, you can also create a smart playlist, which will automatically update according to the rules you set, such as the date added.
Subscribe to our Weekly Apple Brief for the latest news, reviews, tips and more straight to your inbox.