Skip to main content

How to use AirPlay on a Mac

One of the greatest oversights of MacOS is not letting users AirPlay to their Mac screen from their iPhone or other Apple devices. While that glaring issue will be fixed in the upcoming MacOS Monterey update, users can still work around this to get Airplay working on their Mac. Users can also AirPlay their Mac screen to an AppleTV for a wireless display.

If you want to use AirPlay on a Mac, here’s how to do it until MacOS Monterey arrives.

Use AirPlay to cast your screen to AppleTV">Use AirPlay to cast your screen to AppleTV

If you want to watch a video on your Mac from your AppleTV or use it as a secondary monitor, this is how to do it. To AirPlay from your Mac to an AppleTV, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. In most cases, you only need to do this once to pair them. After that, you can usually Airplay and Airdrop without them being on the same network.

Step 2: In the menu bar on the top-right, tap on the AirPlay icon (a box with an arrow pointing inward). The AppleTV should automatically appear. If it doesn’t, double-check to make sure it is set up on the correct network.

AirPlay options in the Menu Bar on a Mac.

Step 3: Once you are connected, the AirPlay icon will turn blue. At this point, your display should cast to your AppleTV. To adjust the settings, such as the resolution color, head into the regular Display settings. By default, the AppleTV will mirror your Mac, but you can also set it up to be a secondary monitor, making it a great option for a wireless setup.

You can also use this method to setup Sidecar on a compatible iPad.

Use AirServerThe AirServer logo surrounded by icons for various mirroring options.

If you’re more interested in casting media to your Mac, we recommend the app AirServer. If you want to cast media from your phone to your Mac, this is the way to do it. Once installed, AirServer works just the same as AirPlay, except it is also compatible with Chromecast, Android, and Windows devices.

After you download AirServer and follow the install instructions, it should automatically appear in your MenuBar and your Mac in any AirPlay searches you make, so there’s no extra setup necessary.

AirServer is free for 30 days, and then it’s a one-time fee of $20 for lifetime use. That may be a bad deal now that Airplay is officially coming in an update, but it will still be worth it if you need the feature now or don’t plan on upgrading.

For more on MacOS Monterey, read up on what we know so far. And for more Mac advice, check out how to download the Monterey beta, as well as our review for the latest iMac.

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Clark
Caleb Clark is a full-time writer that primarily covers consumer tech and gaming. He also writes frequently on Medium about…
Here’s why WWDC could be a ‘critical event’ for Apple
Apple CEO Tim Cook looks at a display of brand new redesigned MacBook Air laptop during the WWDC22

Apple is planning a packed line-up for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 5, which could become “one of the most critical events in the company’s history.” Aside from the company’s upcoming Reality Pro headset, there will be major updates to Apple’s software systems, including the biggest watchOS revamp since the Apple Watch launched in 2015.

That’s according to a new report from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who has a history of accurate predictions and leaks surrounding Apple products. It suggests that WWDC will be a chance for Apple to set out its future ambitions for a “post-iPhone era.”

Read more
Your next MacBook Air could be even faster than expected
The Apple MacBook Pro 14 laptop propped up at an angle on a desk.

Apple’s upcoming 15-inch MacBook Air could be launching sooner than expected, which is encouraging for anyone who has been waiting for this much-rumored device. But the good news doesn’t end there, as it could also get a sizeable chip upgrade that would leave rival devices in the dust.

For months, it had been suggested that Apple was working on a new 15-inch version of the MacBook Air that was going to be released at a spring event. However, now that Apple has announced it will host its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) -- but not a spring event -- it seems that the latter isn’t happening. That suggests the 15-inch MacBook Air will have to wait until WWDC before seeing the light of day.

Read more
Own an iPhone, iPad, or MacBook? Install this critical update right now
IOS 16.4.1 UPDATE.

Apple has released software updates for iPhones and iPads that are light on features, but they are critically important from a security perspective. The updates — iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 — started rolling out on Friday, but you should install them on your iPhone and iPad as soon as possible to protect your devices from attacks.

In its official release note, Apple says the updates patch two security flaws that “may have been actively exploited.” Now, Apple doesn’t disclose security issues before conducting thorough research, both in-house and in collaboration with cybersecurity experts. In a nutshell, when Apple publicly announces a security flaw, and it comes with a “Critical Vulnerability” badge, you should grab the fix as soon as Apple makes them available.

Read more