airplay to Apple TV

AirPlay lets you stream video and mirror your display from iPhone, iPad, or Mac to Apple TV. It also lets you stream audio to Apple TV and any compatible speakers, including those connected to an AirPort Express router. If you're on the same Wi-Fi network, AirPlay simply connects and starts streaming. If you're not on the same network, AirPlay can use point-to-point Wi-Fi to stream. That makes AirPlay great for entertainment, education, and enterprise — just tap a button, choose a target, and watch your show or run your presentation.

How to AirPlay video from your iPhone or iPad

You can AirPlay any video simply by mirroring your screen. Some video players, like YouTube, will even let you AirPlay right from the video pane (there'll be an AirPlay button on the bottom right of the video window when you tap it).

  1. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap Screen Mirroring.
  3. Tap the device you'd like to AirPlay to.

    Apple TV mirroring

If you're not on the same Wi-Fi network as the Apple TV you're targeting — for example, if you're at a meeting — the Apple TV will display a code and require you to enter it on your iPhone or iPad before streaming over point-to-point Wi-Fi.

How to stop AirPlay video on your iPhone and iPad

When you want to stop AirPlay, it's just as easy.

  1. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap the device name that you're AirPlaying to. The device name takes the place of "Screen Mirroring" in Control Center.
  3. Tap Stop Mirroring.

    stop mirroring Apple TV

How to AirPlay audio from your iPhone or iPad

Just like with video, some audio apps will build in their own AirPlay button. Whether they do or not, you can always AirPlay your audio from the Now Playing card in Control Center, and send it to any Apple TV, AirPort Express-connected speakers, or any speakers with AirPlay built-in.

  1. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap the AirPlay button on the Now Playing Widget.
  3. Tap the device you'd like to AirPlay to.

    audio airplay on Apple TV

How to stop AirPlay audio from your iPhone or iPad

If you're done with your audio on AirPlay, you can quickly bring it right back to your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Swipe down from the top right corner of the screen to bring up Control Center.
  2. Tap the AirPlay button on the Now Playing Widget.
  3. Tap your iPhone (or iPad) in the device list.

    turn off audio Apple TV

How to AirPlay Mirror from your Mac

Before you can mirror your Mac using AirPlay, you need to make sure all your devices are compatible. To use AirPlay Mirroring between devices on the same Wi-Fi network, you need:

  • Apple TV 2 (2010)
  • Apple TV 3 (2012)
  • Apple TV 4 (2015)
  • Apple TV 4K (2017)

And:

  • iMac (2011 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac mini (2011 or later)
  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2011 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2011 or later)
  • Mac Pro (2013 or later)

To use point-to-point AirPlay Mirroring between devices not on the same Wi-Fi network, you need:

  • Apple TV 3 rev A (2013)
  • Apple TV 4 (2015)
  • Apple TV 4K (2017)

And:

  • iMac (2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 or later)
  • Mac mini (2012 or later)
  • MacBook (2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

You should also make sure you're running the latest software for your Mac and Apple TV.

  1. Click on the AirPlay icon on the right side of your Mac's menubar.
  2. Click on Apple TV from the dropdown. (If you have multiple Apple TV's in the vicinity, choose the one you want to use right now.)

How to switch AirPlay Mirroring modes on your Mac

AirPlay Mirroring will default to mirroring your HDTV's native resolution on your Mac. If you want to change that, it's easy to do.

  1. Click on the AirPlay icon on the right side of your Mac's menubar.
  2. Choose your preferred option:

    • Click on Mirror Built-In Display to mirror your Mac's native resolution on your TV.
    • Click on Mirror Apple TV to resize your Mac's resolution to match the resolution of your TV.
    • Click on Use as Separate Display to have your Mac extend your desktop and treat your TV as an additional display.

How to stop AirPlay Mirroring from your Mac

When you're done and want to return your Apple TV to being an Apple TV, it's easy to shut off.

  1. Click on the AirPlay icon on the right side of your Mac's menubar.
  2. Click on Turn AirPlay Off.

Or simply click on the Menu button on you Apple TV remote. That'll stop AirPlay and return you to the Apple TV interface instantly.

Enhance your Apple TV experience

There's a long list of awesome accessories for Apple TV, including these two:

SteelSeries Nimbus Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller ($49 at Amazon)

If you're a gamer, you need the Nimbus. The perfect controller offers all the standard gaming buttons and a comfortable grip.

TotalMount Apple TV Mount ($18 at Amazon)

This low-priced mount has an open-back design, which allows for proper airflow, something that is a necessity when you're running your high-graphics games in 4K. Buy, install, and forget about it.

Any questions?

Having trouble with AirPlay or have any additional questions? Let me know in comments!

Updated May 2019: Updated screenshots and instructions for AirPlaying in iOS 12.

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