How To Get Safari On An Apple TV

You may have noticed that it is not easy to do a web search on your Apple TV. Does anyone know how to get Safari on Apple TV?

safari apple tv 1 How To Get Safari On An Apple TV

Table of Contents

Can you get Safari on an Apple TV?

Apple TVs no longer support Safari. However, you can still get a web browser, including Safari, to work on it. There are a few ways to do this, none of which are very complicated.  

I have a newer Apple TV that does not support Safari or any other web browser. However, I connect my Laptop to my Apple TV using an HDMI cable. If I wanted to connect my Apple TV to my iPhone, I would use the AirBrowser app. 

Your Apple TV isn’t Made for Web Browsing

For some reason, you can’t normally use a web browser on your Apple TV. Even though Safari is for Apple devices, the Apple TV still doesn’t officially support it. 

You need to connect your Apple TV to a phone or laptop to make it work. Even if you don’t have a smart TV, this should still work, as Apple TV works perfectly well with non-smart TVs.

Why Does the Apple TV not Include a Browser?

Apple must oddly assume that it would be a bad business decision to include a browser. Possibly, they want people to think of the Apple TV only as a TV and not as a substitute for a laptop or desktop computer. 

They might also not want people using a remote for typing in web searches because that is clunky and slow. 

You Can Still Use a Web Browser With Apple TV

Even though your Apple TV wasn’t designed for web browsing, you can still use a web browser including Safari on your Apple TV. There is often a way to get two not normally compatible technologies to work. 

Thankfully, it does not require any complicated technical knowledge. Most of the methods I recommend also don’t require you to buy anything. 

How to Use Safari On Your Apple TV

If you have a Mac, the easiest way is to connect your laptop or desktop to your Apple TV directly. If you connect the two with an HDMI cable, your Apple TV will display everything you see on your computer monitor. 

You can then open up Safari on your laptop, go to any website you want, and everything should display on your Apple TV. This is the best way to connect the two, but unfortunately, not everyone has a port for an HDMI cable on their computer. 

If yours doesn’t, you buy an adapter that connects your USB port to an HDMI cable. Even if this involves buying both an HDMI cable and an adapter to make it connect to a USB port, it may still be the best way. 

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Controlling Your Apple TV With Your Phone or Tablet

Normally, you control your Apple TV with a remote, not a touchscreen or keyboard. A remote is good enough most of the time, but it has its limitations. 

You can hook your Apple TV up to your phone to allow it to do anything your phone can do, except on a bigger screen. You can also type with the keypad if you hook it up to your phone. Since an iPhone has Safari, you can do web searches on your Apple TV this way. 

Screen Sharing Using AirPlay

First off, turn on your Apple TV and make sure AirPlay is turned on. It is turned on by default, but it could possibly be turned off. You can find AirPlay under settings.

Then, get your iPhone and find your Control Center. You sometimes have to swipe upward to find it. 

Press the AirPlay Mirroring button, and a list of devices on your WiFi network should appear. This should include your Apple TV unless they are somehow not on the same network. Select your Apple TV.

You Need to Enter a Code

After you select your Apple TV on your iPhone, your Apple TV’s screen should display four numbers. You will have to then enter these four numbers on your iPhone to confirm. People could abuse this technology if it were not for this security check.

After you enter the four numbers, it should work – everything you see on your iPhone should appear on your Apple TV screen. You can then open up Safari and search for whatever you want on your Apple TV. To turn off Airplay, go to your Control Center, pick your Apple TV from the list of devices, and disable it. 

How to Set Up Screen Sharing Without Airplay

Sometimes, an app is not compatible with Airplay. Thankfully, there is a way to get the two devices to connect without using Airplay. 

On your iPhone, go to settings and from there to the control center, then from there to customize controls. You may have to scroll down to find the more controls section. In the more controls section, there should be an option called screen recording

Near the words “screen recording” there should be a + sign.  

Tap the + sign and your iPhone should start recording and broadcasting everything on your screen. 

Then, select your Apple TV from a list of devices and tap it. You will then enter a code to make it connect. 

Use the AirBrowser App With Your Apple TV

If you only have a smartphone and not a laptop, you can download an app that connects your phone to your Apple TV. There are many apps that do this; I recommend the straightforward AirBrowser App. 

With AirBrowser, you can find a video on your phone and broadcast it into the room around you. Your Apple TV can then pick up the signal and stream the video from your phone. 

Apple TV is very compatible with AirBrowser, so this is not a hassle to do. If there is Safari on your phone, you can search for whatever video you want, broadcast it, and play it on your Apple TV. This works for nearly any video. 

Using Browsers On Devices That Don’t Support Them

A lot of the time, you can use a web browser on a device that doesn’t normally allow web browsing. For example, you can search the web on an Xbox if you know the tricks. It is kind of a hassle to search the web with an Xbox controller, but you can still make it work. 

Did Apple TVs Formerly Support Safari?

Yes, earlier models were built for web browsing as well as playing shows and movies. Earlier models used the Safari browser. However, this stopped being true, and you now need third-party technology to run Safari on an Apple TV. 

Can You Use a Custom Web Browser?

Yes, there is a custom third-party web browser that you can install on your Apple TV. However, it is not necessary to do this, as Safari will work perfectly fine. If you are interested in installing a web browser, look up the tvOS browser. 

Key Takeaways

  • Oddly, the Apple TV is not normally compatible with any web browser, not even Apple’s Safari browser. However, there are still ways to get Safari to work even though your Apple TV doesn’t officially support it. 
  • The easiest way to run Safari is to connect your Apple TV to a laptop using an HDMI cable. This lets you control everything on the Apple TV’s screen from the laptop. 
  • You can control your Apple TV with your iPhone using Airplay or using screen recording. Once you connect the two, you can do a Safari search on your iPhone and it will show up on your Apple TV. 
  • You can also connect your iPhone to your Apple TV using a third-party app like AirBrowser.