How to Use AirPlay Mirroring

Wirelessly cast your iOS device screen to an Apple TV

Even with the iPhone and iPad offering bigger screens—the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, for example—sometimes you want a massive screen. Whether it's a great game, movies, TV shows bought from the iTunes Store, or photos you want to share with a group of people, sometimes even 12.9 inches isn't enough​. In that case, if you meet the requirements, AirPlay mirroring comes to the rescue.

Information in this article applies to iOS devices with iOS 5 or later and 2nd generation or later Apple TVs, except as noted.

AirPlay and Mirroring

The Apple AirPlay technology streams music from your iOS device over Wi-Fi to any compatible device or speaker. Not only does this allow you to ​create a wireless home audio system, but it also means that your music isn't confined to your iPhone or iPad. You can go to a friend's house and play your music over their speakers if those speakers are connected to Wi-Fi.

At first, AirPlay only supported audio streaming. Because of that, the feature used to be called AirTunes. If you had a video you wanted to share, you were out of luck—until AirPlay mirroring came along.

AirPlay mirroring, which Apple introduced with iOS 5, expands AirPlay so you can display everything that's happening on the iPhone or iPad screen on an HDTV. More is involved than streaming content. With AirPlay, you project your screen, so you can open web browsers, photos, tutorials, or games on your device and have them show up on a huge HDTV screen.

AirPlay Requirements

To use AirPlay, you need:

Using AirPlay with Wi-Fi-connected speakers follows the same process as mirroring to an Apple TV.

How to Use AirPlay With Apple TV

If you have ​the right hardware, follow these steps to mirror your device's screen to the Apple TV:

  1. Connect your compatible devices to the same Wi-Fi network.

  2. On the iPhone X and later, swipe down from the upper-right corner to open Control Center. On earlier versions of the iOS device, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal Control Center.

  3. On iOS 11 and iOS 12, tap Screen Mirroring on the left of Control Center. On iOS 10 and earlier, tap AirPlay on the right side of Control Center.

  4. In the list of devices that appears, tap Apple TV or another available device. On iOS 10 and up, you're finished. Tap the screen to close Control Center and display the content you want to see on the TV.

    Screen Mirroring on an iPhone
  5. In iOS 7 through iOS 9, move the ​Mirroring slider to green and tap Done.

Your device is now connected to the Apple TV and mirroring begins. Sometimes, there's a brief delay before mirroring starts up.

If you can't find the AirPlay Mirroring options on your iOS or macOS devices, fix it by finding the missing AirPlay icon.

How to Turn Off AirPlay

When you're finished watching the movie, playing your game, or streaming audio to your speakers, it's time to turn off AirPlay.

  1. Return to the Control Center.

  2. Tap the button that has the name of the connected device on it. It says Apple TV if that is what you are projecting to. It is in the same position as AirPlay was previously, but now it has a white background.

  3. Select Stop Mirroring at the bottom of the screen that opens.

    Stop Mirroring on an iPhone

If you are running AirPlay on your Mac computer, turn the feature on and off using the AirPlay icon on the right side of the Mac menu bar. It resembles a TV with an arrow going into it.

Notes About AirPlay Mirroring

If there are significant delays between what's happening on the device screen and when it appears on the HDTV, there may be interference with the Wi-Fi signal, or your Wi-Fi network may not be fast enough. Make sure no other devices are trying to connect to the Apple TV, end ​other devices' use of the Wi-Fi network, and turn off Bluetooth on the device you're mirroring.

Depending on your TV and the content you're mirroring, the image you mirror may not fill the entire screen and instead shows a square image with black bars on either side. This is due to a difference between the iPhone and iPad screen resolutions and the resolution of the content they show on the TV.

To use AirPlay Mirroring on Windows, you'll need some extra software.

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