Apple TV “the code is incorrect” error… when the code is correct!

We ran into a weird scenario where a user could not connect to Apple TV with a passcode. We tried all the usual troubleshooting stuff:

  • Does it work with another computer? Yes, it does.
  • Does it work with another user on the same computer? No, it doesn’t.
  • Toggle Bluetooth? Makes no difference.
  • Reboot the AppleTV and the computer. No difference.
  • Double-check the key mapping is fine on the Mac itself. It is.
  • Try to connect to a different Apple TV. Same problem.
  • Is the time correct? Seems to be.
Ah, but that ended up being the problem (kudos to my colleague, Jerold, for finding this)—even though the time and date were technically “correct,” we had to turn on location services and then set the time zone to be detected automatically in order for the Mac to connect to the Apple TV.

That’s weird. It’s weird because the time and date were definitely correct, and it’s weird because other Macs do not have the time zone set to be detected automatically and are still able to connect to Apple TVs on campus.

But if you run into this issue where you’re prompted for a passcode to connect to an Apple TV, and it keeps giving you the code is incorrect when you’re absolutely sure you’ve typed the correct code, consider setting the time zone for automatic detection.

17 responses to “Apple TV “the code is incorrect” error… when the code is correct!”

  1. YES YES YES !! After trying about a million other things – resetting the stupid name worked.

    My issue started when I updated my iphones to 10.3.1. Well, I didnt want to update, but Apple kept forcing the issue.

    At least this fix worked, but 30mins of my life are gone forever…

  2. Well, checked my MBP and AirPlay settings and both were set as described above, and STILL the password entered into my MBP from the AirPlay Screen showed “incorrect”. Any other suggestions?

    • Same problem here. Did you finally solved it? If so, how?

      I’ve tried to change the name. I’ve changed location from manual to auto.

      I’ve reseted everything.

      My problem started with my mac when I updated my iPhone.

      • I was able to avoid the password error going to:

        Airplay -> Airplay -> Anybody in the same network -> request password -> never.

        But now, when mirroring to apple tv the screen stays black.

        • I have a 4K Apple TV and this option worked for me after all of the previous attempts failed:

          Airplay -> Airplay -> “Everyone” -> “Use a Password”

          Using a password rather than using a pairing code seemed to be the difference.

  3. Tried all those things. Nothing worked. So, I go to Airplay and set “require a password”. Then used it. That worked.

  4. Well, 03 years ago from the post, and the issue still saving 😉
    I usually got this error ;
    Finally applied what you suggested about asynchronized time/date and yeah.. it was my LG Smart Screen that had no correct clock.
    Action : configured it to use automatic (NTP) time … synchronized and Airplay worked again immediatly


  5. Your suggestion worked great, but it didn’t work at first. I also had to update my Apple TV software manually even though it was set to auto updates. After the update, it worked the first time.

  6. Perfect!!! Saved a day.. Tried tons of approaches and finally the unrelated location service disabled was the issue. Enabling location service in my Sony bravia tv made the apple play work like a charm.

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