Apple TV not showing up in iTunes

Recently, I got my Apple TV back from repair. After setting up the wireless network connection and trying to connect it to the shared iTunes library on my Mac I was expecting it to show up in iTunes so I could enter the key to pair both devices. Apple TV usually shows up within seconds in iTunes. Not this time! No matter what I did, it just wouldn’t show up. I rebooted the Mac a dozen times, made sure the Mac OS X firewall is disabled, rebooted Apple TV, set Apple TV back to factory settings, restored it to the initial firmware release, upgraded the firmware again, ran it in diagnostics mode, moved it closer to my Wi-Fi access point, made sure the checkbox in iTunes was set to discover Apple TVs, made sure my iTunes library was shared on the local network… all to no avail.

After three hours of investigation I found out that one reason was a setting called Block wireless bridging I (stupidly) activated the other day on my router/access point without precisely knowing what it does :-) I thought it would do something else but according to the manual, this is what it does: it isolates all wireless clients on your network from each other. Wired clients will be seen and internet access works from Wi-Fi clients but you’re unable to see other wireless network clients on the same local network.

But guess what, even after fixing this issue, Apple TV still wouldn’t show up in iTunes. I had a look at my Mac’s log files and found some mDNSresponder warnings in it. I installed a Bonjour browser and sure enough, Apple TV didn’t show up in the list of devices even though I was able to ping it. So it seemed that there was some kind of Bonjour related problem on my Mac. I then downloaded the Bonjour conformance test:

Ran it with sudo ./BonjourConformanceTest -I en0 -L p -M hu
(It will ask you for your root password)
and while the conformance test was still running, Apple TV suddenly showed up in iTunes and the Bonjour browser! I entered the 5-digit code displayed on Apple TV to pair it and now it all works as expected. Apple TV shows up in iTunes every time. Somehow the conformance test fixed whatever was wrong with Bonjour on my Mac.

24 replies on “Apple TV not showing up in iTunes”

  1. Same problem: I had inadvertently toggled off the “Look for AppleTV” option in iTunes and never thought about it, a while later I reset my AppleTV to factory settings – planning to re-organize the library/settings – and then it disappeared. Some genius at Apple decided to put the “Look for AppleTV” toggle under the “AppleTV” icon in the preferences window, only the “AppleTV” option disappears when the “Look for AppleTV” option is toggled off making it impossible to restore the setting. Best solution I can think of is the unthinkable – re-format my iMac – reinstalling Snow Leopard and restoring all the defaults… A less time-consuming solution would be great!

  2. I’m sorry I’m not an expert like you guys.. but how can i run a test on Bonjour Browser?
    I’ve had to erase everything in my apple tv and restore it to its factory settings like a thousand times but this time I want to fix this.. thank you!

  3. A bit more information if someone can help. I can see the ATV in Bonjour Browser, and I can see also when its available for pairing, can’t see it in iTunes obviously. I can’t ping it, permission denied but I can ping ATV from the other computer and the computers can ping each other. So my thoughts are there is something wrong in iTunes, which, I have reloaded!! Ideas?

  4. How is this, we have 2 intel macs in the house, side by side. One can see ATV, the other can’t and as far as I can tell the settings are identical, the software is the same. The one that can’t was the first to go on and sync with ATV and has never been able to connect again. The other one can connect any time! Driving me nuts. I’ve tried most of what has been shown above but getting nowhere.

  5. I too have lost my ATV connection on En1. Running the test I get the following failure log beneath. Any ideas as I guess this is the root of the problem. (btw _appletv._tcp shows in Bonjour Browser – but ATV does not show in iTunes).

    Cheers, Ross

    *** Beginning Link-Local Address Allocation Test ***

    15:00:22 starting test: INITIAL PROBING
    Received probe for [00:1f:3f:84:08:61].

    15:00:44 starting test: PROBING
    (skipping probe denials)
    Sending conflicting probe for
    Received probe for new address
    Sending conflicting probe for
    Device did not select a new IP address when its candidate address was probed for by another (simulated) device.
    Unable to recover from failures. Aborting link-local address test.
    Could not recover from failures. Aborting test.

  6. I had trouble with ATV not showing up in itunes. I have a Macbook with OS X 10.5.8, itunes version 9.0.2, a BT Homehub router and new Apple TV, version 3.0.1. When I first set it up it worked ok, took ages to sync and never synced the whole library then worked very seldom at all after that. I tried all sorts of things I found on the net to no avail. I eventually phoned Apple Support and was asked about the type of security that was set up on my wireless broadband router. I had WEP, the technician said to go into the router settings and change it to WPA. I tried this and itunes detected my apple tv straight away! I’m not sure how permanent this fix is but it seems to be working so far…

  7. Quitting the mDNSresponder service solved my problems too! By the way – also my Twonky DLNA server didn’t work either, but now it does – so I guess this is not a Bonjour problem.

  8. Apple TV was showing up in Bonjour Browser, rebooted everything, inc the router, ping worked ok, but wouldn´t show up in iTunes.

    unpairing from my computer´s library and pairing it solved the problem. Silly but works!

  9. For me, my Apple TV sits next to our Wii. Turns out, when the Wii is on it causes interference with the Apple TV. There’s 5 hours down the drain. Hope that helps someone else.

  10. This problem has been driving me nuts for days. The solutions offered here seen to be better than any others on the web, the trouble is I cannot keep track of the final recommendation. The solution seems to be:
    1. Try to open the Utilities – Activity Monitor and do a Quit on the mDNSresponder service. It will restart automatically and force a refresh of the Bonjour scan. If that does not work …
    2. Install and run bonjour browser
    3. Try en0 and en1 in the IPv4 address

    Is that it?

  11. In case somebody is using a Hackint0sh OS86X: Do not use the original Realtek drivers. Use the RealtekR1000.kext. The original driver is unable to work with Bonjour.

  12. I had a similar issue connecting my Apple TV to iTunes 8.0.1 on WinXP Home. None of this helped, but it turns out that my issue was that I had “turned off” IE by checking “Work Offline” in the File menu of IE. Once I unchecked that, they paired just fine.

    And now I have a huge gaping security hole in Windows. Yay…

  13. i had the problem that my apple tv was not in itunes and i solved this by changing my router back to my old netgear from bt hub. i think the router had locks which would not allow apple tv to show unless configured. could not be bothered to configure router so just used my netgear wireless

  14. Apple TV is listed in the Bonjour browser but it also says “can’t resolve link-local name”. My 2007 Macbook doesn’t pass the conformance test either. Any ideas?

  15. Ran the process.
    stays in listening… device not responding or something like that. What am I missing?

  16. mDNSresponder doen’t show up on my activity monitor…so no quitting that. What the hell? Why do I run updates. Damn thing ran fine before I updated!

  17. Well, not sure if that fixed it but it works now. It’s been days. Thanks.

  18. I have done what you have said above and still no luck. I’m using a linksys wrt54g router v4. It use to work and I don’t know what has happened. I connected my macbook directly with an ethernet cable and it worked fine. My G5 is connecting the network via wireless. I think it might have been when Cox ISP went down. I restarted the router, modem, G5, apple tv, restored ATV to factory. nothing is working. SO FREAKING MAD!!

  19. Just to let anyone who reads this great solution know, most wireless routers / access points call this option “AP Isolation”. It just means the access point / router tries to prevent wireless devices from seeing each other or being seen by other network devices. It is hardly consistent and this is why ping works fine. Turning it off should not have any serious effect for a home wireless network – and if you are using WEP/WPA/WPA2 (and you absolutely should be) then the security risk is virtually nothing.

    I cannot stress what a great find this was, as quite a lot of people have been having the problem.

    Regarding the Bonjour fix, another “fast” solution on a Mac is to open the Utilities – Activity Monitor and do a Quit on the mDNSresponder service. It will restart automatically and force a refresh of the Bonjour scan.

  20. I have been having the same problem and it has been driving me nuts, so I was glad to read your post.

    I tried (to the best of my meager unix ability) to execute your fix, but I got the following message:

    “No active interface en0 found with assigned IPv4 address”

    I checked my DHCP settings and I do have an IP address (and all Internet apps are working fine). Any thoughts?



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