How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector

Go ahead. Give that presentation straight from your phone

What to Know

  • VGA: Use a Lightning to VGA Adapter to connect any iOS device to the VGA cable for your projector or monitor.
  • HDMI: Use a Lightning Digital AV Adapter to connect any iOS device to the HDMI cable for your projector or TV.
  • Wireless: You need a Wi-Fi-enabled projector to connect wirelessly. Or, use AllCast or Apple TV (AirPlay) to mirror an iPhone screen.

There are lots of apps for giving presentations, such as PowerPoint and Keynote, but no one wants to huddle around your phone to squint at your slides. In this guide, we show you how to connect your iPhone to a projector or TV—either wirelessly or with cables. You can also connect your iPhone to a mini projector.

How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector With a Cable

Perhaps the easiest way to connect your iPhone to a projector is to use a simple adapter cable. Every projector has a video cable that is used to connect it to the laptop, tablet, or phone whose content is being projected. That's what you'll use here. But because the iPhone doesn't have a standard video port, you'll need to get an adapter.

Apple Digital AV Adapter cable
Apple Inc.

Apple sells two adapters that help you connect an iPhone to a projector:

  • Lightning to VGA Adapter: This adapter plugs into the Lightning port on the bottom of modern iPhones and connects to standard VGA video cables.
  • Lightning Digital AV Adapter: Rather than connecting to VGA, this adapter lets you connect an iPhone to an HDMI cable.

If you have an older iPhone with the wide, 30-pin Dock Connector, there are video cable adapters available for your models, too.

If you regularly use the same projectors with your iPhone, you can probably get away buying just one of these cables. Just check the cable on the projector you want to use (VGA is the thick, 30-pin cable with the screws on either side; HDMI is the thin, wide plug used with HDTVs).

If you're on the go a lot and can't know ahead of time what kind of cable is available on the projectors you're going to use, it probably makes sense to have both cables on hand for maximum flexibility.

How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector Wirelessly

Not every projector requires a cable. In fact, some newer projectors let you ditch the cables and connect your iPhone (or laptop) to them wirelessly.

The exact steps to do that differ based on the model of the projector, so there's no single set of steps we can offer here. Some of these projectors actually display the instructions for connecting when you turn them on. In most cases, you connect to the projector via Wi-Fi. Just follow the instructions projected on the screen, or given to you by whoever is providing the projector, and your iPhone presentation should be projected in moments.

How to Connect an iPhone to a TV via Apple TV

In some modern offices, expensive projectors are being replaced by a more affordable and more flexible combination: an Apple TV and an HDTV. In this scenario, you can use Apple's wireless media-steaming AirPlay technology to send the presentation from your iPhone to the Apple TV. Here's how:

  1. Begin by making sure that your iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Apple TV you want to present on.

  2. Open Control Center.

  3. Tap the Screen Mirroring button.

    screenshots of mirroring iphone screen to apple tv
    screenshots
  4. Tap the name of the Apple TV you want to connect to. In newer versions of the iOS, your iPhone screen will appear on the TV connected to the Apple TV at this point. For some older versions of the iOS, you'll need these next two steps.

  5. Move the Mirroring slider to on/green.

  6. Tap Done to begin presenting.

For a more in-depth look at AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring, check out How to Use AirPlay Mirroring.

How to Connect an iPhone to a TV With AllCast

The Apple TV isn't the only media-streaming device that supports wireless streaming from the iPhone. In fact, you can mirror your iPhone to any TV that has one of the following devices connected to it: Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, smart TVs from Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony, and other DLNA-compatible devices.

To do that, you need the AllCast app. AllCast essentially works like AirPlay, except for devices that don't support AirPlay. Just install the app, launch it, and select which device you want to mirror your iPhone's screen. Once your iPhone appears on the TV, launch your presentation app and get started.

Remember, when mirroring your screen anything which appears on your screen will appear on the projected image. Turning on Do Not Disturb can save you from some embarrassment moments.

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