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How to AirPlay From a Mac to TV: 3 Quick and Easy Methods

AirPlay from Mac to TV and stream content seamlessly.

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Last updated: December 12, 2023

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To AirPlay from a Mac to TV on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, and Monterey, follow these steps:

  1. Click Control Center in the menu bar and select Screen Mirroring.
  2. Choose your Apple TV to mirror your Mac’s screen.
  3. Wait a few seconds for the screen to display on your TV.
  4. To stop, go to Screen Mirroring > Display Settings > Disconnect.

To use AirPlay, your Mac must be compatible with your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible TV. Both devices should be on the same Wi-Fi network, and the TV set to the correct input.

As an Apple user, I’ve often enjoyed the convenience of AirPlay. It lets me wirelessly stream audio, video, and other content from my Mac or iOS device to Apple TV, AirPlay-enabled speakers, or smart TVs. Through this guide, I’ll share my insights and tips on using AirPlay from a Mac to TV. I’ll cover everything from initial setup to solving common AirPlay connectivity issues you might encounter.

The steps explained in this guide are compatible with Macs operating on macOS Sonoma (14), macOS Ventura (13), macOS Monterey (12), macOS Big Sur (11), macOS Catalina (10.15), and macOS Mojave (10.14).

What Do You Need to AirPlay From a Mac to TV?

Before you can AirPlay from a Mac to TV, you must have the following:

  • 💻 A Mac With macOS Mountain Lion or Later: You need a Mac running on macOS Mountain Lion (10.8) or a newer version. To check your macOS version, click the Apple menu, select About This Mac, and look at the macOS version.
macos version in about this mac info
  • 📺 An Apple TV or an AirPlay 2-Compatible TV: To use AirPlay from a Mac, you need an Apple TV (a small set-top box that connects to your TV) or a TV that supports AirPlay 2 natively. To check if your TV supports AirPlay 2, go to the Apple Support page, the manufacturer’s website, or the TV’s documentation.
  • 📶 Your Mac and TV Connected to the Same Wi-Fi Network: AirPlay creates a direct wireless connection between your Mac and your TV. So, both devices need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • 🔌 Your TV is Turned On and Set to the Correct Input for Your TV: For AirPlay to work, your TV must be turned on and set to the correct input for your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-enabled TV. This usually involves selecting the HDMI input your Apple TV is connected to.

If you’ve got everything you need, you’re ready to AirPlay from a Mac to TV. I’ll guide you through the specifics in the sections below.

Are Your Devices Capable of Working With the AirPlay System?

If you want to use AirPlay to stream from your Mac to a bigger screen, remember that not every device is compatible. Here’s a breakdown of devices that work with AirPlay and the ones you can broadcast to:

Devices That Can Broadcast With AirPlayDevices That Can Receive AirPlay
iPad 2 and higherHomePod, HomePod mini
iPhone 4S and higherApple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, and Apple TV 2nd/3rd Generation
iPod TouchSpeakers connected to the Audio Out port on AirPort Express
Mac or MacBookThird-party speakers
Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD

How to AirPlay From a Mac Running Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, or Big Sur to a TV

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To AirPlay from a Mac to TV using macOS 14, macOS 13, macOS 12, or macOS 11, you can access AirPlay through the Control Center. However, you need to have an Apple TV device or an AirPlay-compatible smart TV connected to the same network as your Mac.

Now, follow the instructions below to start AirPlaying your Mac’s content to a TV:

  1. Click the Control Center icon in the Mac menu bar.
click control center in the menu bar
  1. In the Control Center, select Screen Mirroring.
click screen mirroring in control center
  1. Choose your Apple TV device or the name of your smart TV to display your Mac’s screen on the TV.
  2. Wait for a few seconds, and your Mac’s screen will start showing on your TV.
  3. To stop AirPlay on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, and Monterey, return to the Screen Mirroring menu, select Display Settings, and tap Disconnect.
  4. To stop AirPlay on Big Sur, click Control Center and select Display Preferences. Click the dropdown menu next to AirPlay Display and select Off.

If you encounter any issues while setting up AirPlay, check out the troubleshooting section of this guide for help.

How to AirPlay From a Mac Running Catalina or Mojave to a TV

Here’s how to AirPlay from a Mac to TV if your Mac is running Catalina (10.15) or Mojave (10.14):

  1. Make sure your MacBook and the AirPlay-enabled device are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar at the top-right corner of your MacBook screen.

If you don’t see the icon, go to System Preferences > Displays and select Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available.

  1. Select the device you want to AirPlay to from the list of available devices under AirPlay To:
  2. Alternatively, choose a device by opening the Control Center > Screen Mirroring and choosing the name of your Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV.
  3. You may be prompted on your Mac to enter a code displayed on your AirPlay-enabled device.
  4. Now that you have turned on AirPlay on your Mac, it will automatically mirror your Mac’s screen to your TV.
  5. To modify the screen resolution, reopen the AirPlay menu and select This Mac or Your Apple TV (or the name of your smart TV).
  6. To stream specific content, open the app or content you want to AirPlay and look for the AirPlay icon within the app. Click the icon and select the device you want to stream to.
  7. To stop AirPlay, click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar and select Turn AirPlay Off or Stop Mirroring.

Some older MacBooks may not support AirPlay or have limited compatibility. Also, not all AirPlay-enabled devices may be compatible with all features of AirPlay.

How to AirPlay From a Mac to a Non-Apple Smart TV

If you have a compatible TV, you can AirPlay screen mirroring or audio casting from your Mac without an Apple TV. The steps to activate and use AirPlay are similar to those for connecting to an Apple TV.

However, you must keep the following considerations in mind to ensure a smooth AirPlay experience from your Mac to a non-Apple smart TV:

  • Verify that your smart TV supports AirPlay by checking with the manufacturer or referring to a list of AirPlay 2-compatible TVs. Many Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs, as well as Roku TVs and streaming devices, support AirPlay.
  • Connect both your Mac and your smart TV to the same Wi-Fi network before turning on AirPlay.
  • Keep your smart TV’s software up to date by checking for updates before attempting to AirPlay from your Mac.
  • Adjust your smart TV’s AirPlay settings. The location of these settings will vary depending on your TV model, but they are generally found in the Settings area of your smart TV. Here, you can choose whether to require a passcode each time you connect to your TV from your Mac or reset the connection with specific devices.

Troubleshooting AirPlay on Mac

Sometimes AirPlay on Mac can run into issues. I’ve had a few myself. So let’s walk through some common AirPlay problems and their fixes. These solutions are practical and tested to get your streaming working without a hitch.

AirPlay Not Showing Up

If you can’t find the AirPlay icon in your Mac’s menu bar, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can follow:

  1. 📶 Check Your Network: Make sure your Mac and the device you want to stream to are on the same Wi-Fi network. This is an essential requirement for AirPlay to function correctly.
  2. ⚙️ Double-check AirPlay: Verify that AirPlay is enabled on your Mac. To do this, go to System Settings > General > AirDrop & Handoff. Then, select Anyone on the Same Network in front of the Allow AirPlay for option.
  3. 🔁 Restart Your Mac: If the above steps don’t work, you can try restarting your Mac and the device you want to stream to. Restarting can sometimes help clear up any temporary issues interfering with AirPlay connectivity, allowing you to AirPlay from a Mac to TV seamlessly.

AirPlay Not Connecting

If you’re unable to AirPlay from a Mac to TV due to connectivity issues with the device you want to stream to, try these troubleshooting steps:

  1. 🔁 Restart Devices: Restart your Mac and the target device. It can help resolve connectivity issues.
  2. 📶 Check Wi-Fi Connection: Make sure your Mac and the target device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you’re having trouble with the connection, try restarting your router or modem.
  3. 📡 Enable AirPlay: Check the device settings to ensure that AirPlay is turned on. Depending on the device, you may need to manually navigate to the settings menu and enable AirPlay.
  4. 🚫 Disable Firewalls/Antivirus: Make sure your Mac is not running any firewalls or antivirus software. Some firewalls or antivirus software may block the AirPlay connection. Try disabling these temporarily to see if it resolves the issue.
  5. ⬆️ Update Software: Make sure your Mac and the target device have the latest software and app updates installed. Outdated software can sometimes cause compatibility issues with AirPlay.

AirPlay Disconnects Frequently

If you’re encountering frequent disconnections when using AirPlay, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. 📶 Check Wi-Fi Signal: Ensure both your Mac and the target device have a robust Wi-Fi connection. Move closer to the router for better signal strength.
  2. Minimize Bandwidth Usage 🚦: Disconnect non-essential devices from your Wi-Fi network to reduce bandwidth usage and improve AirPlay connectivity.
  3. 🛑 Reduce Interference: Keep your Mac and target device away from appliances like cordless phones and microwaves that can interfere with Wi-Fi signals.
  4. 🔁 Restart Devices: Restart your Mac and the device you want to stream to. It may fix the issue and allow you to AirPlay from a Mac to TV.

Start AirPlaying Your Mac Content to Your TV

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should easily set up and AirPlay from a Mac to TV. If you encounter any issues, refer to the troubleshooting section for help. Here are some more tips to improve your screen sharing experience:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I AirPlay from my Mac to a non-Apple device?

    Yes, you can AirPlay from your Mac to a non-Apple device. While AirPlay is primarily designed to work with Apple devices, you can easily use it on devices compatible with AirPlay 2. You can also use an HDMI cable to hardwire your Mac to your TV. Also, some third-party apps allow you to AirPlay from your Mac to non-Apple devices.

  2. What is the range of AirPlay?

    The range of AirPlay is around 30 feet (10 meters) in most cases. However, this may vary depending on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal and any obstructions in the way.

  3. What is the difference between AirPlay and AirPlay 2?

    AirPlay 2 is a newer version of AirPlay that offers additional features, such as multi-room audio support and better compatibility with non-Apple devices. However, it requires newer hardware and software to work properly.

  4. How do I AirPlay from my Mac to a Samsung TV?

    To AirPlay from your Mac to a Samsung TV that is AirPlay 2-compatible, ensure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. Then, click the AirPlay icon in your Mac’s menu bar, select your Samsung TV, and choose the content to stream. If the AirPlay icon isn’t visible, enable it in System Settings.

  5. How do I AirPlay from a Mac to a Fire TV?

    To AirPlay from a Mac to a Fire Stick from a Mac, download an app like AirScreen on your Fire Stick. Then, from your Mac, select your Fire Stick device from the AirPlay icon drop-down menu. This method also works for AirPlaying to some Toshiba and Insignia Amazon Fire smart TVs.

Hashir Ibrahim

Author

I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.

Ojash

Reviewer

Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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