How to Set a Schedule to Play Photos on Chromecast

Upload your pictures and then turn on Ambient Mode

What to Know

  • Upload photos to Google Photos.
  • Set Chromecast to Ambient Mode.
  • Turn your Chromecast on without casting to it and a slideshow will begin.

This article explains how to set a schedule to play photos on Chromecast.

How to Schedule Photos to Chromecast to TV

The two steps you'll need to have done before proceeding is to have your Chromecast set up, powered on, and connected to your TV and have the photos you'd like to display on Chromecast uploaded to Google Photos. Once everything is ready to go, scheduling photos on your TV only takes a few steps.

  1. Open the Google Home app on either iOS or Android, and select your Chromecast. Then, tap Personalize Ambient.

  2. Within the Ambient Mode tab, select Google Photos.

    Google Chromecast Ambient Mode


  3. From here, select an Album from Google Photos to display, then select your desired Photos. Follow along with the prompts onscreen to confirm your selection.

    Google Chromecast Google Photos selection


    These are your album choices: Family & Friends where you can choose from pictures of people. Recent Highlights where you can choose from your most recent photos. Favorites where you can choose from pictures you've labeled as your favorites. Or you can choose any private or shared albums you have on Google Photos.

  4. Once everything is set up, simply turn on your TV, make sure it's set to your Chromecast's input, and automatically your photos will begin displaying.

    While it isn't "true" scheduling, you can set up a custom Google Home routine to make a compatible smart TV's display go dark and vice-versa, so you can choose to view your slideshow when you'd like, as long as everything is powered and set up. However, even when dark, your TV and Chromecast will still be on.

Scheduling on Chromecast

On Chromecast, there isn't really a need (or a way) to "set a schedule" in a traditional sense when you're displaying photos. Chromecast displays photos when it's in Ambient Mode (as long as it's configured to do so; more on that below), which it will automatically enter if it's powered on and you aren't casting anything.

Google will randomly shuffle through your Google Photos images, so you won't be handcrafting an order to them yourself. Accordingly, it's best not to select images that really need the context of being displayed in a certain sequence when using Chromecast to show off your photos.

So, as long as your Chromecast is on, your photos will automatically pop right up. Plus, since Chromecasts are most often powered directly by a TV's USB connection, to turn on a Chromecast all you have to do is turn your TV on, assuming you have your Chromecast's input selected on your TV.

On top of all that, you can even use virtual assistant services like Google Home to turn on your TV, if you have a compatible TV, meaning the entire process of turning on your TV, your Chromecast, and getting your slideshow going can be done with an app or entirely handsfree whenever you want.

  • How do I Chromecast photos from iPhone?

    You can't use your iPhone's built-in Photos app with a Chromecast, but you can do a workaround. Sync the images you want to display to Google Photos, and then use the app from your iPhone to link to the Chromecast.

  • How do I Chromecast photos from a laptop?

    Just like with an iPhone, the easiest way to send photos to a Chromecast is with the Google Photos app. Create a folder of the images you want to display, and then open it in Google Photos and select the Cast icon.

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