How to use Chromecast: Everything you need to know

Google Chromecast is a blissfully simple way to send video and audio seamlessly from your smartphone, tablet, computer, or smart device to your TV, no matter where it is in the house. To make things even better, Chromecast is wonderfully cheap and easy to pick up and use.

As long as your selection of apps includes Chromecast support, you’re using the Chrome browser, or your smart device supports Google Cast, you can send virtually anything to your TV via Chromecast. You can even mirror the screen of your device to your TV if you’d rather have a big-screen experience.

What’s more, guests can use your Chromecast thanks to the Guest Mode. Anyone within 25ft of the Chromecast, and who has the Google Cast/Home app, can beam content from their phone or device to the streamer. Alternatively, you can set them up as a user by giving them the four-digit PIN found in the app’s settings on their device.

How to Set Up Chromecast

The first step to using a Chromecast is acquiring one (that may sound obvious and you probably already have one if you’re here). If you don’t have one or you’re in the market for a new one, you can get the latest and greatest on Amazon for about $70. If you’re happy with a slightly older (but still great) model you can find them for around $35 online.

Chromecast works on wifi and connects to your other devices that are on the same wifi network. The first thing you’ll need to do to get started is to plug your device into your TV. Then you can start the simple set up process:

Download “Google Home”

Using your smartphone download the Google Home app available on iOS and Android.

Sign in to your Google account and click ‘Get Started’

Click ‘Set up new devices’

Click ‘Create another home’ then ‘Next

Give your home a nickname and address

Click ‘Chromecast’ if the app failed to find your device

If your Google Home app didn’t find your Chromecast, check your connections and make sure the light indicator is on. Verify that the device with the Google Home app is connected to wifi. Follow the connection prompts in the app to complete your setup.

The “Cast” Icon

Now that you have everything all set up it’s time to start casting. You can do this with so many devices that we can’t cover all of them so the first thing we’ll do is get you familiar with the “Casting Icon.”

This is the “Cast” icon

Any time you see this icon, on any device, you can click or tap it to pull up the option to stream content to your Chromecast (well, almost “all” but here’s a list of compatible apps for you). You’ll see it on everything from Facebook videos to Netflix content. If you’re trying to stream from your phone, computer, or tablet, locate this icon to begin.

How to Cast from Google Chrome

Google Chrome makes it super easy to cast content so we’ll start here. Pull up your web browser and visit the site you’d like to display on your TV. We’ll use Netflix as our example, but you could use any website that appeals to you.

Click on the three vertical lines in Chrome

Click “Cast”

Click on your Chromecast

Choose your source

You can choose whether you’d like to cast the tab, the entire desktop, or just a file. Once you’ve made your selections the content you’re streaming will automatically appear on your TV. When you’re finished simply click the “Cast” icon in the upper right-hand corner of your web browser.

Casting from Apps

Whether you’re using Netflix, PlutoTV, Spotify, or any other popular apps you can cast directly from your device to your Chromecast. Let’s review some of the more popular ones:

Use Chromecast to stream Netflix

On Netflix, the icon is in the top right of the screen. To cast, press the icon, select your Chromecast from the next box, and – after a short delay – the video will play on your TV.

The “Cast” icon is in the lower left-hand corner here.

Use Chromecast to Stream Spotify

Love music? Using the Spotify App you can stream your music directly to your Chromecast. Don’t have a speaker that plays music loud enough for you? Why not use the TV?

Spotify is one of those apps that doesn’t have the traditional cast icon. Instead, it has a speaker/tv icon in the bottom left. Tap that and select “Chromecast.”

My cast icon is missing? What can I do?

If you can’t find the cast icon using the app, or even a web browser, there are a few things you can do.

First, ensure that your device is connected to the same wifi network as your Chromecast. Open the Google Home app and verify your wifi source.

Second, ensure that your browser or the app you’re using is up-to-date. You won’t see the option to cast if you’re using outdated software.

Can I cast my phone’s screen to Chromecast?

Yes, if you’re an Android user. Open the Google Home app on your Android device and tap on your Chromecast. Tap “Cast My Screen” and your phone’s screen will appear on your TV.

Just make sure your microphone permissions are turned on in the phone’s settings and that you’re connected to the same wifi as your Chromecast for this to work.

Is Chromecast compatible with Kodi for streaming?

Yes, those who use a Kodi-compatible device (such as Android or PC) can stream content using their Chromecast

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