How to Optimize Chromecast

3 ways to improve your casting experience

What to Know

  • Download content to your device and cast the file rather than stream videos from the internet.
  • Lower the video quality before casting to reduce the bandwidth required for casting.
  • Enable Optimize Fullscreen Videos to disable mirroring and optimize quality for the screen you're casting to.

This article provides instructions for how to optimize your Chromecast, including how to speed up casting, and optimizing your computer or mobile device for using Chromecast.

How Can I Speed Up My Chromecast?

There are a few ways you can improve the data transfer speed of your casting, reducing the oddes of your video lagging or pausing.

Cast Local Content

One of the easiest ways to make your casting experience with your Chromecast faster is by streaming content directly from your device rather than over the internet.

This works because whenever you cast from a service like YouTube or Netflix, the data transfer for that stream happens over the internet from the streaming service to your Chromecast device. By casting directly, you remove the lag introduced by the internet.

  1. Cast local videos from your mobile device. You'll need to use a streaming service which allows downloading content. For example, in the mobile Netflix app just tap the Download icon at the bottom of the display.

  2. In the Download section of the Netflix app, you'll see a list of content available to download to your device. Just select the content and tap the Download button.

  3. If you already have videos stored on your mobile device, just open the File Manager, locate the app, and launch it using an app that is compatible with Chromecast. One example of this is the Plex app. From within an app like Plex, you'll see the Chromecast icon to cast your local video.

    Steps to cast to a Chromecast from a mobile device.
  4. Cast local videos from your computer. From any computer, you can also cast local videos using the Chrome browser. In the Chrome browser, select the three dots at the upper right to open the menu. Select Cast.

    Opening the Cast menu from the Chrome browser.
  5. At the bottom of the Cast menu, select Sources. Then select Cast file from the list.

    Cast file selected from the Chrome Chromecast menu.
  6. Finally, select the Chromecast device you want to cast to and your local file will start casting to that display.

    Selecting the video file to cast to an available Chromecast device.

Lower the Video Quality

You can also speed up Chromecast casting by reducing the amount of data the Chromecast device has to transfer from the internet. You can do this by reducing the selected video quality in the streaming service you're casting from.

  1. When you play a video on the YouTube site, select the settings icon at the bottom of the video. Then select a lower quality than the default to improve casting speed. Select the cast icon to cast to your Chromecast device.

    Lowering YouTube video quality from the Quality settings.
  2. On the Hulu website, when you play a video just select the Settings icon and select Quality. This opens a window where you can set the quality to Data Saver which will increase casting speed to Chromecast.

    Adjusting Hulu Chromecast video quality.
  3. The quality setting for Netflix is only available in the Profile settings. On the home screen, select the dropdown menu at the upper right and select Account. In the Profile & Parental Controls section, and select Change next to Playback settings. In the Data usage per screen section, select Low.

    Video quality settings in a Netflix profile from a web browser.
  4. Most other streaming services also have the ability to adjust video playback quality. Lower this setting to optimize your Chromecast experience.

How Do I Optimize Chromecast Full Screen?

If you're casting content from your browser to another display in full screen, there's another way to optimize so the stream works more efficiently. This is a feature in the Chrome browser cast feature which lets you optimize fullscreen videos.

To enable this feature, just right-click the Chromecast icon at the upper right corner of your browser, and select Optimize fullscreen videos to enable this feature.

Enabling the Optimizing Fullscreen Videos setting in the Chrome browser Chromecast menu.

When this feature is enabled, it will turn off mirroring so the data stream for the video goes entirely to the display you're casting to and consumes much less of your computer's CPU. It also adjusts the quality of the video stream for the resolution of the display that you're casting to.

Keep in mind when Optimize fullscreen videos is enabled, mirroring is disabled. This means you won't be able to watch the video on the device you're casting from. So, if you want to mirror the video instead, you'll need to turn this feature off.

  • How do I optimize my Chromecast Ultra for 1080p?

    Make sure video smoothness isn't off for your Chromecast Ultra. This default feature selects a 1080p 60Hz connection for smooth playback. From the Google Home app, open your Chromecast Ultra settings by tapping the gear icon and check that Video smoothness is on under Display.

  • How do I optimize an Android device for Chromecast?

    If your device has Android 5.0 and later, you can cast your Android screen to a Chromecast device by tapping Cast my screen in the Google Home app. For best results, turn off power-saving mode on your Android device from Settings > Battery and enable microphone permissions to Google Play from Settings > Apps > Google Play Services > Permissions > Microphone. Also, ensure that your Android phone and the device you're casting to are on the same stable Wi-Fi network.

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