How to Mirror an iPhone to a Mac

When a bigger screen is simply better

man in office using iMac and iPhone

Thanasak Wanichpan/Moment Mobile/Getty Images

While the iPhone is sufficient for most things, being limited to a handheld screen size doesn’t always provide the ideal user experience. In times like these, you may need to know how to mirror iPhone to Mac so you can access everything you need on a bigger screen. 

This tutorial is intended for iPhones running iOS 11 or above and Macs running macOS 10.13 and above.

How to Mirror the iPhone Screen on Mac Via AirPlay

AirPlay functionality allows you to show your iPhone’s display on a Mac screen without the need for a physical connection.

By default, AirPlay is intended to mirror your iPhone screen to Apple TV or an Airplay 2-compatible Smart TV. To utilize it for mirroring to a Mac, third-party software such as the application mentioned below is required.

For the purposes of mirroring your iPhone screen to a Mac wirelessly, we recommend using the Reflector application developed by the Squirrels software company.

Reflector costs $14.99, but there is a 7-day free trial available if you’d like to test it out beforehand.

  1. Download and install Reflector on your Mac.

  2. Open the Reflector app. The Welcome to Reflector screen should now be displayed. For the purposes of this tutorial, it's recommend you select Try Reflector 3.

    Try Reflector 3 button on website

    If you're satisifed with the mirroring functionality Reflector offers, you can opt to purchase it on or before the trial’s expiration date.

  3. Ensure your iPhone and Mac are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network

  4. Open Control Center, then tap Screen Mirroring. If you don't see the Screen Mirroring option, tap Airplay instead.

  5. A list of available devices should now be visible. Tap the name of the Mac you wish to mirror to.

  6. You’ll now be prompted to enter an AirPlay code, which will appear on your Mac’s screen in a Reflector window. Enter this code and tap OK.

    Screen Mirroring, MacBook to connect to, OK button in Control Center on iOS
  7. A new Reflector window will now appear on your Mac, mirroring your iPhone’s display. You can drag this window to move it to a new location or expand its size, as well as record its contents or take screenshots using the icons found toward the top of the interface.

    Reflector 3 mirroring iOS screen on macOS
  8. To stop mirroring at any time, simply exit the Reflector application on your Mac or return to the Control Center on your iPhone and tap Stop Mirroring.

How to Show the iPhone Screen on Mac With QuickTime

To mirror iPhone to Mac using QuickTime you’ll need to utilize the Lightning cable that came packaged with your phone. For some newer Mac models, you may also need a Lightning-to-USB adapter to make this physical connection.

QuickTime is no longer supported in macOS 10.15 or above, so the instructions below are only applicable if you're still running an older version of macOS.

  1. Establish a physical connection between your iPhone and your Mac using the aforementioned cable. 

    If iTunes or the Photos app launches automatically upon connection, simply close those applications and continue on to the next step.

  2. Launch QuickTime Player through the Launchpad interface or your Applications folder. If you cannot find the QuickTime icon, use the Search feature in either location.

  3. Click File > New Movie Recording.

    New Movie Recording menu option in QuickTime Player
  4. QuickTime Player will ask to access your microphone at this point. Click OK.

  5. You’ll then be asked for permission to access the camera. Click OK again.

  6. The Movie Recording interface should now be displayed. Click the down arrow located directly to the right of the Record icon.

    Down arrow for QuickTime Player source
  7. Click iPhone from the CAMERA section.

    iPhone option for macOS Movie Recording
  8. The QuickTime Player should instantly expand, displaying the contents of your iPhone screen.

    QuickTime Player mirroring iPhone
  9. While your screen is being mirrored you can choose to record its contents using QuickTime’s recording tools, or simply utilize it as a mirroring tool only.

  10. To stop mirroring at any time, close the QuickTime Player application.