Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware How to Mirror a Laptop to a TV Mirroring your laptop's screen with your TV is pretty straightforward by Jerri Ledford Writer, Editor Jerri L. Ledford has been writing about technology since 1994. Her work has appeared in Computerworld, PC Magazine, Information Today, and many others. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Jerri Ledford Updated on September 11, 2020 Accessories & Hardware The Quick Guide to Webcams Keyboards & Mice Monitors Cards HDD & SSD Printers & Scanners Raspberry Pi Tweet Share Email What to Know Windows computers use Miracast or Wi-Fi Direct under Settings. Macbooks use Airplay; go through Settings or use the Airplay icon.Before you attempt to mirror to a TV, be sure the TV and the laptop are connected to the same network.Can't go wireless? Connect the HDMI cable to your laptop and to your TV. Macbooks can use an adapter for a mini DisplayPort or USB-C. This article explains how to mirror a laptop to a TV both wirelessly and using wires. The instructions in this article apply broadly to both Windows and Mac laptops when connecting them to smart HDTVs. It may be possible to mirror a laptop to a non-smart TV, however, it requires the use of additional equipment, not covered in this article. How to Wirelessly Mirror a Windows Laptop to an HDTV In all Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 computers, including laptops, there's a built-in capability for mirroring your screen on a television called Miracast or Wi-Fi Direct. There are a few things to keep in mind, though: Both the television and the laptop need to be connected to the same network.Your laptop and TV both should be current and completely updated with any operating system patches or security updates.It is possible that a laptop that was upgraded from an older version of the operating system may not support Miracast (because of outdated hardware).While most HDTVs will support Miracast, there are some that do not, and you will not be able to mirror your laptop to those TVs using Miracast unless you buy a separate Miracast dongle. As long as your computer and your TV support Miracast, mirroring your TV should be a simple process. Make sure both your laptop and your TV are connected to the same network and then go to the Windows logo button (Start) > Settings > Devices. To get to Settings you could use the keyboard combination Windows Key + I (uppercase 'i'). In Bluetooth & other devices click Add Bluetooth or other devices. An Add a device dialog box opens. Select Wireless display or dock. A list of available devices appears, select the television you're trying to connect to. Your laptop will try to connect to the TV, and a message will appear on your television prompting you to allow or deny the connection. Select Allow and the connection will be established. It might take a few seconds for the image of your desktop to appear on the screen. If you have ever connected your laptop to an external monitor, your laptop might see the television as an Extended display. To change this, press the Windows Key + P on your keyboard to open the Projection screen. Select Duplicate or Second Screen Only to show your desktop on the television. Duplicate shows the desktop on both the laptop and the TV and Second Screen Only shows it only on the TV. How to Stop Mirroring a Windows Laptop When you're finished mirroring your screen on Windows, you can go back to Settings > Devices and find the name of the TV you're mirroring to. Select it and then click Remove Device. Mirroring will stop immediately. How to Wirelessly Mirror a Mac Laptop Screen to a TV Apple notebook computers, called MacBooks, have a feature called AirPlay. If your television supports AirPlay, then wirelessly mirroring your screen to your TV can be accomplished in two ways. Wirelessly Mirror a MacBook Using Settings Depending on how you have AirPlay set up on your MacBook, you may need to go through Settings to mirror your screen. Open System Preferences. Select Displays. In the dialog box that appears, click the AirPlay Display menu and select the TV you want to mirror your screen to. Your laptop will mirror to your TV and an options box will appear where you can change the optimization and brightness for the screen. You can close out of these windows without ending your AirPlay session. How to Wireless Mirror a MacBook to a TV With the AirPlay Icon If you have enabled Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available you should have an AirPlay icon on your menu bar that you can use to shortcut the process of mirroring your MacBook to your TV. If you haven't enabled the AirPlay icon, you can do that now by going to Settings > Display and placing a checkmark in the box next to Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available. All you have to do is click the AirPlay icon and select the TV you want to mirror to. (Yes, it's really that simple on a MacBook). How to Stop Mirroring your Laptop on a MacBook When you're finished working and want to end your mirroring session on a MacBook, click the AirPlay icon again and select Stop AirPlay. Your MacBook should stop mirroring and your TV will immediately become available again. How to Mirror Your Laptop Using Cables If you don't have a newer laptop or a smart TV, you can probably still mirror your laptop to your TV, you'll just need to use an HDMI cable to do it. If you're using an older laptop, you may need to use a VGA cable. The problem with VGA cables is that they don't carry sound, so you'll also need an audio cable if you want to hear the sounds your computer makes. Also, check your TV to make sure it has VGA ports. If not, you will need to purchase a VGA adapter, too. All you need to do is connect the HDMI cable to your laptop and to your TV. Then, using the remote on your TV, select the input that corresponds with where you plugged the cable in. On Windows, you can then use the keyboard combination Windows Key + P to open display settings and choose how you want to display/mirror your laptop screen. On a MacBook, you may not have HDMI connections so you'll need an adapter for a mini DisplayPort or a USB-C. Once connected you can go to System Preferences > Display to adjust display settings if necessary.