How to Extend your Desktop with Chromecast

Google Chromecast is one of the simplest ways to watch videos from your gadgets to your TV. With this device, you will be able to access video contents from online streaming websites even without a smart TV. Watching from small screen to big screen – that’s the basic concept of it.

How to Extend your Desktop with Chromecast

Google Chromecast mirrors your display from an Android device, an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, or Chromebook. “Mirroring” means having another device show your screen exactly as you see it on your computer or mobile device. In addition, you can also extend your desktop surface wirelessly, not just mirror it. This can be more useful in a lot of situations–you’re opening up a whole new screen to use as a second desktop.

Here are the steps needed to extend your display from a Windows 8 or Windows 10 desktop:

Cast Your Desktop to your TV with Chromecast

Casting your computer screen is very easy; just make sure that your computer and Chromecast device are connected to the same WiFi network. You can display the whole computer screen using Chromebooks, Mac, and Windows. Follow these simple steps:

  1. On your computer, launch Chrome.
  2. Click the three dots icon at the top right of the screen and click Cast.
  3. Next to Cast to, click the drop down arrow, and select Cast desktop.

  4. Choose your Chromecast device where you want to watch the content.
  5. When you are finished, simply click Stop Casting.

Extend Your Desktop with Chromecast

This walkthrough includes screenshots from Windows 10. However, this method of extending your display works with Windows 8 as well.

  1. From the Start menu, select “Settings.” (An alternate route is to right-click on “Display Settings” on your desktop as a shortcut to get into System > Display.)
  2. In Settings, go to “System (Display, notifications, apps, power).”  
    Windows 10 System
  3. Once in Display, click on Detect. Here, we are going to trick Windows into thinking there’s a secondary display already attached, even though it isn’t. It says “Display not detected,” but shows a blue screen—click on it.                 
    Detect display
  4. Go down to “Multiple displays” and click the drop-down box. Then, select “Try to connect anyway on VGA.”  
    Connect to VGA
  5. Select display 2. In the drop-down box, select “Extend these displays.” Click the “Apply” button. A message will pop up and say, “Keep these display settings?” Click the “Keep changes” button.
Keep these display settings

Now you are ready to use the secondary display to extend your desktop surface with your Google Chrome browser and Chromecast.

  1. Open Google Chrome on your desktop.
  2. Before you can connect to your Chromecast by clicking the Chromecast icon in the upper-right of your Chrome browser, you first need to click the small arrow on the Chromecast icon area. From there, scroll down to “Cast screen/window (experimental).” Then, select it.
    Click Google cast arrow
  3. As the “Cast screen/window”, choose display number 2, the one we just fooled Windows into thinking we have. Now you should be able to see your Windows desktop on both your computer and your TV screen.

You now have an extended desktop surface. This allows you to move extra open windows, open programs, and applications between your desktop and TV screen.

Extend Your Desktop Using Chrome

Get Chrome Browser

The easiest way to extend your desktop on both Windows and Mac is to use Chrome’s built-in Chromecast service. Since Google has built both the Cast protocol and the world’s most popular browser, it’s simple to just combine the two to make a wirelessly-extended display. In order to cast to your Google Chromecast from your computer, you’ll need to download and install the most current version of Google’s Chrome browser. Chromecast support now comes built into the Chrome browser. (In the past, you would have needed to download and install a separate extension to use Chromecast.)                                          

Once your Google Chrome browser is downloaded and installed, or open on your PC or Mac if you already had it, you’ll want to make sure you have the most current version.

To do this, click on Chrome in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Then, select “About Chrome.” As of the end of 2018, Chrome is up to version 71. As long as your Chrome browser is up to date, when you select “About Chrome” it will notify you that you are using the most current version of Chrome available. Otherwise, click on the button to get updates when given the option.

When your Google Chrome browser is up-to-date and ready to go, do the following:

  1. Click on the menu button in Chrome, then select Cast from the dropdown menu.
  2. Once the “Cast to” box opens, select the drop-down arrow. You’ll be presented with two choices: “Cast tab” or “Cast desktop.”
    Chromecast cast to
  3. Choose “Cast desktop.” You’ll be returned to the main Chromecast selection box.
    Chromecast Desktop Mac
  4. Next, select your Chromecast device. Ours keeps telling us it’s “Unable to mirror system audio” at this time.  
    Chromecast no audio
  5. Another box pops up on the screen, asking, “Do you want Chrome Media Router to share your screen?” Click on the “Yes” button. 
    Chromecast media
  6. Your Mac desktop should now be extended to where your Chromecast device is plugged in.  
    Mac Desktop extended CC

Keep in mind that the sound will still only be audible on your Mac, not on your extended display and sound set-up. To hear audio on your TV, use a Windows computer.

Display extension will come in handy when you are working on something from your laptop or desktop and want to watch, look at, or work on something else on a bigger display like your television. Whatever your needs are for extending your desktop screen—work or pleasure—this is an excellent way to use the Chromecast to your advantage when you need a bigger desktop.

26 thoughts on “How to Extend your Desktop with Chromecast”

Vince says:
Simplest solution, dont waste your money on a chromecast, get a roku instead and connect your computer to it as a wireless display in 2 minutes, and allows you to extend desktop like any second monitor, super easy. Glad my chromecast was a free promo cause its does not compare to the roku capabilities on most levels (other than allowing BT headphones to connect).
mb says:
For those who have found they can no longer manually select VGA for win 10, you can still get the VGA trick to work if you get an HDMI to VGA adapter for $8-$10 and plug that into the HDMI port on the PC. The adapter alone will trick win 10 into thinking you have a VGA monitor attached, you don’t actually have a VGA display connected. With adapter plugged in, a 2nd monitor in the display settings will appear and you can make your resolution adjustments and extend that faked display. Then when you cast the desktop it will give you a choice of which display to use and you can pick the virtual 2nd monitor. Most likely your default VGA resolution options will be for old 720p, but you can add your own custom 1920 x 1080 and 3840 x 2160 for HD and 4K then choose a higher res. Do a web search to find details on how to do this, it is not right in the default display settings app screen. You’ll have to use an NVIDIA control panel or dig into the particular display adapter settings and add from there.
Jones Greenly says:
Wouldn’t it be easier to just make a virtual VGA- port and attaching a virtual monitor to it?
Darrell says:
Lol for the mac guide, this is not a 2nd monitor extension but simply a mirroring. please change your title as it is deceiving.
Arnold says:
I guess they never got back to the testing and or found a solution. . . I’m here in 2019 trying to figure it out still.
Silas says:
1.) Cast to chromecast as you usually do
2.) press (Windows + Ctrl + D)
-Your computer monitor will create a new desktop, while casting original desktop to chromecast. This is not the same as extending the desktop, as your mouse cannot move between the screen, but it does allow you to reference two screens and easily switch between them.
Hope this helps
Yash Tibarewala says:
This is not working as of now……Moving between desktops on laptop also switches desktops on chromecast display. It mirrors the screen as it is…I am curious there should be a way for windows to detect it as a wireless display.
PKNT says:
Looks like this is a Windows 10 update issue that the ‘Phantom’ display not appearing after the latest windows 10 update. Would be great if anyone was able to get around this problem so that one can use their chromecast as an extended display.
Joshua E Drake says:
It’s been much longer than the last windows update. This article keeps getting reposted with the new published date because the Writer can’t come up with a new content.
jd says:
you have to change the projecto mode extended check to make sure its not set to pc only mod
Ruen says:
This work really good to mirror my MacBook screen on the TV. The question remains as to how to extend the desktop (Second Monitor/Scree). Any advise?
Thijs says:
if this is like any other second screen you just have to press the apple logo in the left corner. Then you want to press System Preferences… After that you press displays and then you have to go to Arrangement and there you can just turn off Mirror Display. I hope this is of any help, since this was placed 2 years ago.
Jason says:
I was looking for a solution to extend my Windows 10 desktop and cast the second screen to my Chromecast connected to my TV. I was able to do so after playing with it for a while. If you press Windows+P, you can choose to extend your desktop. Then a second monitor will display under Display settings. When you use Chromecast and cast your desktop it will ask you which screen to cast ,screen 1 or 2. If you choose screen 2, your normal desktop is display on your computer and what ever you put on the extended screen will show on your TV.
Ben says:
Jason, thank you for this answer. Interesting that your post was made almost two years ago and it just worked today. Saved me from throwing this Chromecast against a tree!
Heather says:
Hello All,
It seems that some updates to Windows 10 have made this walkthrough non-applicable to it. To get a second desktop on your television or where ever you’ve got the Chroemcast hooked up, you’ll need to press the Windows + Ctrl + D. Then; you can switch between your Windows 10 Pc and secondary screen with the task view icon in the taskbar. Hope this helps!
HM says:
but when I do that, the the screens also switch on chromecast itself. is there a way to have a static screen?
Erwin Bruin says:
exactly the same problem as HM over here
Xavier says:
Hi Heather, thanks for the article. I also found the same problem as Alan and Nate. You say that in the display section of Settings, after clicking on “Detect” I would get a message that says “Display not detected.” Instead, I get a message under the box where the blue screen is that says “Didn’t find another display.” When I click on the blue screen nothing happens: I can’t see “Multiple displays” with the drop-down box anywhere. I’m on a dedicated windows only pc running windows 10. Any ideas?


Carlson says:
This doesn’t extend the desktop on the mac. It only mirrors it.
Pablo Pollono says:
same problem here
BUBU says:
I have an other issue. on windows 10, You have to cast your desktop and then you just have to create an other desktop (windows + ctrl + D)
Heather says:
Thank you. Your solution proves to work!
Heather says:
Hi Alan,

Thank you for your kind words. I don’t think Chromecast can do beyond two displays at a time. However, if you wanted to use your HDTV as the Secondary display, yes you could do that.

Alan says:
Hi Heather. I read your article on How To Extend Your Desktop with Chromecast. It was awesome. I have a question. I’m using my laptop and have it extended to a second monitor. I would like to know if in addition to that, I can use Chromecast to extend it to an HDTV. I would then have three devices, the laptop, the monitor and the TV. Thanks.
Chris G says:
Just voicing my interest in an updated version of this post in line with Miguel E.


Heather says:
Hi Miguel,

I’m working on an updated version of this article.


jerryboomerwang says:
I’m also very interested in this. Please keep us posted! Thanks for working on this. 🙂
Miguel E. says:
Any update on this article….I have looked high and low and it seems that Windows 10 removed both ways to force windows in thinking there is a second screen.
– 1) Settings>Display.>Detect(etc)..
– 2)) Control Panel > Display > Adjust Screen Resolution

Windows removed “Adjust screen resolution” and replaced it with Change Display Settings

tom burns says:
i have chromecast on my phone and on a tablet . im trying to figure out how to download it to my pc. when i go to Google….it wont load. ive hit the tab on Google Chrome, “cast” all it does is show or mirror that screen. please help if you can
Rainscreen says:
Regarding the Mac version. Your title says “Extending” the monitor. However the instructions are for “mirroring” the monitor.
klavergne says:
I agree. I was only able to “mirror” my screen on a Mac. I need to be able to “extend” my screen.
Heather says:
The only solution we’ve seen to create a second monitor instead of mirroring the Mac desktop with the newer versions of Chrome haven’t been found yet. A suggestion that could work for you might be the Airparrot 2 app. You’ll get a free trial period and if you’re happy with it, it can be purchased for $12.99 once the trial period expires.
Heather says:
We’ve not yet found a solution for the second monitor running on Windows. They have updated Chrome and have changed the Chromecasting function somewhat. We will update you when we have more new information.
James Slupsky says:
I’ve tried the instructions for the Mac, and it works as stated; however, how do I get a second monitor to cast? I am trying to run a presentation, where the presenter sees something different on their mac screen than what is cast. This used to work in beta mode (I could select which desktop to cast), but I don’t see to have that option with the recent updates.
Heather says:
Thanks for commenting, Nate. The only time we’ve experienced what you’re describing was when we tried to use Parallels on a Mac. Are you on a dedicated Windows only computer?
Omar Mancinas says:
I don´t get a “phantom” second monitor neither. I’m using Windows 10 x64.
Heather says:
Thanks for asking Gene. We will do some testing and get back to you.
Nate says:
When I click on “detect display” i do not get a second “phantom” option, only a notice that none was detected,
gene says:
I have a surface pro 4 with two monitors attached. Is it possible to only share one of them or a specific program like it was before the update? Now when i share my desktop it puts all three screens up on the tv and you cant read any of them because they are so small. Sure liked the way it used to work.
Zayta Thundercloud says:
Is this possible to do on a mac? I am currently unable to do it.
Will says:
We have added the information on how to extend your MacOS desktop to the post above.
b1243628 says:
The steps is to mirror the Desktop, its not for extending desktop on MacOS..!!!!

Comments are closed.

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