How to AirPlay From a Mac to a TV

Cast your Mac display to Apple TV or a non-Apple smart TV

What to Know

  • Choose your TV from Control Center > Screen Mirroring, or select the AirPlay status icon in the menu bar.
  • When the AirPlay icon turns blue, AirPlay is active and mirroring your selected Apple or smart TV.
  • Adjust the mirroring display size from the AirPlay drop-down menu or System Preferences > Displays.

This article explains how to AirPlay from Mac to a TV. Instructions apply to Macs running macOS Monterey (12), macOS Big Sur (11), macOS Catalina (10.15), and macOS Mojave (10.14). Once you’ve turned on AirPlay on your Mac, you can cast from your Mac to your Apple TV or compatible smart TV with a few clicks.

How to AirPlay From a Mac to a TV in macOS 12 or macOS 11

Access AirPlay on a Mac running Monterey (macOS 12) or Big Sur (macOS 11) in the Control Center. You need an Apple TV device or an AirPlay-compatible smart TV on the same network as the Mac.

  1. In the Mac menu bar, select the Control Center icon.

    Mac running macOS 12 with Control Center icon highlighted in the menu bar
  2. In the Control Center, choose Screen Mirroring.

    Screen Mirroring highlighted in the Mac Control Center
  3. To start displaying your Mac's screen on your TV, select Apple TV or the name of your smart TV.

    Apple TV selected in the Mac Screen Mirroring menu
  4. To stop AirPlay, return to the Screen Mirroring menu and select Display Preferences.

    Display Preferences highlighted in the Mac Screen Mirroring menu

    You can also go to the Mac menu bar, select the AirPlay icon, and then select Display Preferences.

  5. In macOS 12, choose Display Settings in the window that opens. (The process differs from here slightly in macOS 11, as shown below.)

    Display Settings highlighted on a Mac
  6. In macOS 12, select Disconnect to stop AirPlay. Choose Done to close the window.

    The Disconnect button on the Mac Displays screen
  7. In macOS 11, turn off AirPlay by selecting Display Preferences in the Screen Mirroring window, then use the menu next to AirPlay Display to select Off.

    AirPlay Display menu in macOS 11

How To Turn on AirPlay in macOS Catalina and Mojave

To turn on AirPlay on your Mac in macOS Catalina (10.15) or macOS Mojave (10.14), use the menu bar or the Control Center.

  1. Select the AirPlay status icon.

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

  2. Under AirPlay To, choose the Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV.

    AirPlay status icon and AirPlay To devices highlighted from the macOS menu bar.
  3. Alternatively, open Control Center, select Screen Mirroring and choose the name of your Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV.

  4. If it’s your first time connecting to your smart TV, input the code you see on your TV when prompted on your Mac.

    AirPlay Device Code box that appears on a Mac when connecting to a smart TV.

How To Mirror My Mac to My TV in macOS Catalina or Mojave

Once you’ve turned on AirPlay on your Mac, mirroring your display to your TV happens automatically. You can make adjustments to the mirroring size for the best experience.

  1. After turning on AirPlay, select the blue AirPlay status icon.

    Blue AirPlay status icon on macOS menu bar.
  2. Review the mirroring options from the AirPlay drop-down menu under AirPlay: TV_Name. Mirror TV_Name is the default setting, which means the content mirrored to your TV will match your TV’s display size. 

    The default mirroring option highlighted from the AirPlay status icon drop-down menu.
  3. To change mirroring to your Mac’s built-in display, select Mirror Built-in Display_Name.

    The option to match a Mac's built-in display size while mirroring highlighted from the AirPlay drop-down menu on a Mac.
  4. If you want to mirror the content from a particular app or video with AirPlay functionality, select the AirPlay icon and choose your smart TV from the list of available devices.

    AirPlay icon and device options highlighted from within an AirPlay-enabled app on a Mac.

How Do I AirPlay From My Mac to My Smart TV Without Apple TV?

You don’t need an Apple TV to enjoy AirPlay screen mirroring or audio casting from your Mac, provided you have a compatible television. The steps for turning on and using AirPlay are the same as connecting to an Apple TV.  However, here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you can AirPlay seamlessly from your Mac to a non-Apple smart TV.

  • Make sure your smart TV is AirPlay-compatible: Many smart TVs now come with AirPlay or AirPlay 2 support for audio casting. Roku TVs and streaming devices and several Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs come with with AirPlay turned on. To make sure your TV can AirPlay, check with the manufacturer or browse this list of AirPlay 2-compatible TVs
  • Connect to the same wireless network: For the best results with getting AirPlay up and running, connect your Mac and smart TV to the same Wi-Fi network before turning on AirPlay.
  • Update your TV software: It’s always wise to keep your smart TV current with the latest software upgrades. Check for an update before you try to AirPlay from your Mac.
  • Adjust AirPlay settings on your smart TV: The exact AirPlay settings location will vary depending on your TV model, but generally, you’ll find this section from the Settings area of your smart TV. To choose whether you’ll require a passcode each time you connect to your TV from your Mac or reset the connection with specific devices, you can do so here.
  • How do I AirPlay from my Mac to a Samsung TV?

    If you have an AirPlay 2-compatible Samsung TV, use AirPlay mirroring or casting from your Mac. Both Apple and Samsung list compatible TVs and monitors on their support sites. For help finding your TV model number, look on the packaging, in the user manual, or on the back of the device.

  • How do I AirPlay from a Mac to a Fire TV?

    To cast to a Fire Stick from a Mac, download an app such as AirScreen on your Fire Stick. Then select your Fire Stick device from the AirPlay icon drop-down menu on your Mac. You can also AirPlay from your Mac to some Toshiba and Insignia Amazon Fire smart TVs.

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