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 by selecting 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. Once you’ve enabled AirPlay on your Mac, you can cast from your Mac to your Apple or compatible smart TV with a few clicks.

These instructions apply to Macs running macOS Big Sur (11.0), macOS Catalina (10.15), and macOS Mojave (10.14).

How Do I Enable AirPlay on My Mac?

To turn on AirPlay on your Mac, use the menu bar or Control Center.

  1. Select the AirPlay status icon in the menu bar.

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

  2. Choose the Apple TV or AirPlay-compatible TV from the list of options under AirPlay To.

    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 TV. To AirPlay audio from the Control Center, click the AirPlay audio icon and choose a compatible speaker from the list.

  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 Do I Mirror My Mac to My TV?

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. Select the blue AirPlay status icon in the menu bar after enabling AirPlay.

    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 enabled with AirPlay. 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 enabling 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, follow the above instructions for enabling and using 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 use the above instructions to AirPlay from your Mac to select Toshiba and Insignia Amazon Fire smart TVs that are AirPlay 2-enabled with a software upgrade.

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