How to Update Apps on a Vizio TV

One of the great features offered by Vizio's line of smart TVs is the built-in Chromecast device. Chromecast, of course, is Google's streaming media adapter that lets you play videos and music through streaming services right on your TV. The various channels, including music and games, are organized into "apps" on the Vizio TV. Since these apps are software-based and run on the Chromecast's built-in processor, it's important to keep the apps up to date. In this article, I will show you how to keep the apps up to date on your Vizio smart TV.

There are several generations of Vizio smart TVs and the app update procedures are different for different generations. However, there are basically two categories of Vizio TVs; there are older VIA and VIA Plus models, and there are newer models (including the P and M series) with SmartCast. I will walk you through how to update apps for both categories of TVs.

Update Apps on a Vizio VIA or VIA Plus TV

The original system for adding apps to Vizio smart TVs was called VIA, which stood for Vizio Internet Apps. If you want to update apps on these models, you have to do it manually. This requires deleting the VIA app and reinstalling it or doing a firmware update (which does the same thing).

To update your apps only, you must remove and then reinstall each app:

  1. Press the V or VIA button on your remote.
  2. Select the app you want to update and select the yellow button on your remote.
  3. If you see Update, tap it. If you don't, select Remove app, then OK.
  4. Confirm your purchase choice by highlighting Yes and pressing OK.
  5. Access the App Store using your remote.
  6. Select the app you want to update or reinstall and select OK.
  7. Select Install and let the process complete.

Vizio uses the Yahoo platform to host these apps, so you'll see the 'Yahoo Connected Store' when selecting them.

To manually update the firmware, you will need a USB key and about fifteen minutes.

  1. Turn on your TV, go to Settings and System to check the firmware version number under Version.
  2. Download the latest firmware for your TV model from the Vizio Support Site. Select Support and enter your TV's model number to get the correct firmware. Compare it to the version listed on your TV and continue if the installed version is older.
  3. Rename the file you downloaded to "fwsu.img". This allows your TV to recognize it as a firmware image file.
  4. Copy the file to your USB drive.
  5. Turn off your TV and insert the USB drive into your TV.
  6. Turn on your television. You should see a blue light on the TV telling you that it has recovered the USB and the firmware image file.
  7. Once the blue light goes off, turn off the TV and remove the USB drive.
  8. Turn on the TV, go to Settings and System to check the firmware version number under Version to make sure you are using the latest firmware.

Update Apps on a Newer Vizio TV

Later generations of Vizio TVs use SmartCast TV, which is a version of Chromecast. With Chromecast, you can use an app on your phone to cast content directly to your TV. These new models don't require you to update your apps manually; they update automatically when you're not using your TV. These models also update their firmware periodically, but you can do this manually yourself if you wish. Vizio TVs equipped with SmartCast update much faster. As long as you're already connected to WiFi, updating your TV manually should only take a few seconds.

  1. Switch on your television.
  2. With the remote control, select Menu then Settings.
  3. Select System and check for updates.
  4. Confirm updates if found.

You should see a progress indicator on the screen showing you the progress of the update process. Let the TV update without interference, and your TV will restart and load the latest firmware. You should now be able to open SmartCast TV and see any new apps or features released with the update.

How do I update my Hulu app on Vizio TV?

Many of you may have noticed that Hulu will no longer work on your TV, and Vizio has fixed this issue on their website:

“Some older VIZIO VIA devices will no longer be able to stream Hulu Plus. This is due to a Hulu upgrade made to the Hulu Plus app. This affects multiple devices across nearly every electronics manufacturer. There's no problem with your VIZIO TV or Hulu Plus. Hulu Plus will simply no longer work on the TVs listed below.

If your TV is one of the models on their website, you will no longer be able to watch Hulu.

How do I set up Amazon Prime on my Vizio TV?

Setting up Amazon Prime on Vizio is easy because the extension sits directly on the TV itself. To sign in to your Amazon Prime app, follow the instructions below.

  1. Find the Amazon Prime Video app on the home screen of your Vizio Smart TV. It should already be installed.
  2. Click on the “Amazon Prime Video” app and connexion using your username and password.
  3. Enjoy your Amazon Prime video!

TechJunkie has plenty of other tutorials to help you get the most out of your Vizio TV.

If you need to start over with your TV, we have a tutorial on how to reset your Vizio TV.

Can't hear anything on your TV? Check out our guide on troubleshooting issues with audio on your Vizio TV.

Do you have a fire stick? We can show you how to use your Fire TV Stick with your Vizio.

Just need a firmware update? Read our article on how to update the firmware of your Vizio.

One of the good things about Vizios is that you can control them with a smartphone app. You're not limited to the official Vizio app, however – check out our article on the best Android remote control apps for your TV.

Do you have any other tips or techniques for getting the most out of your television vice? Share them with us in the comments below!

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