How to AirPlay content to your Apple TV and mirror your phone or computer to a TV screen

laptop and TV child watching tv
If you have an Apple TV, you can AirPlay from any Apple device.

  • You can AirPlay to an Apple TV by connecting your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV and clicking the AirPlay icon.
  • When you AirPlay to your Apple TV from a Mac, it’ll mirror your computer’s screen exactly.
  • On a device like an iPad or an iPhone, you can mirror your entire screen, or a specific video app like YouTube.
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AirPlay is a useful tool that allows you to project content from an Apple device to your Apple TV. If you use AirPlay on a Mac computer, your computer’s screen will replace your Apple TV’s screen. Everything you look at on your computer will appear on your TV, allowing you to watch video content or even simply use a bigger screen for a video conferences, presentations, or other apps.

You can also use AirPlay from an iPad or iPhone. On these devices, you can use AirPlay directly from an app that supports the feature, such as Photos, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others. You’ll know if AirPlay is supported in the app if you see the AirPlay icon in the corner of the video screen on your device. If AirPlay isn’t an available option on the app, you can mirror your iPhone’s screen to your Apple TV instead.

Before you start, you have to make sure your iPhone, iPad, or Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. If they’re not, your Apple TV won’t be able to find your other devices.

How to AirPlay to Apple TV from a Mac computer

1. Click on the AirPlay icon in the right corner of the toolbar at the top of your computer screen. It looks like a rectangle with a triangle at the bottom.

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The AirPlay icon is the square with the triangle pointing into it.

2. Scroll down to locate your Apple TV. Your Mac should see any devices it can AirPlay to, including your Apple TV. Click on “Apple TV.”

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Scroll down to your Apple TV.

3. Your computer’s screen will now appear on your television and anything you do or view on your homescreen will appear on the TV.

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Your TV should now mirror your computer screen.

How to AirPlay to Apple TV from an app on your iPhone or iPad

1. Open the app with the content you want to AirPlay to your Apple TV.

2. Find the content you want to AirPlay.

3. While it’s playing, tap on the video. If it can AirPlay to your Apple TV, you will see the AirPlay icon in the top right corner of the content. If this is the first time, you should get an authentication prompt asking you to input a code that will show up on your Apple TV.

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If you can AirPlay it to your Apple TV, you will see the AirPlay icon in the upper right corner of the content you want to cast.

4. Tap on the AirPlay icon. It will give you the option to AirPlay to your Apple TV.

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When you tap the AirPlay icon, you will see what devices you can AirPlay to, including your Apple TV.

5. Your content will now be streaming on your Apple TV.

How to airplay your iPhone or iPad’s entire screen to an Apple TV

1. Make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV. 

2. Go to the Control Center on your device. If you have an iPhone X or later, or an iPad with iPadOS or later, swipe down from the upper right corner of your screen to open Control Center. If you have an iPhone 8 or earlier or an iPad with iOS 11 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.

3. Tap “Screen Mirroring” from the Control Center, beside the icon of two overlapping rectangles. 

4. Choose your Apple TV from the list of available options. An AirPlay passcode may appear on your TV screen – if it does, enter the code in the pop-up on your iPhone or iPad screen.

5. Your entire screen should now be mirrored. To play video from a specific app, simply start playing the video in the app on your device and it should appear full-screen on the Apple TV.

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