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How to cast your laptop to a TV: 3 simple ways

Although we live in the age of the smart TV, where plenty of apps can be run directly on a TV’s operating system, there are still plenty of reasons why one might want to cast from a laptop to a TV.



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Maybe you want a bigger screen to share your Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge activity with others, or just find it easier to stay on your laptop to share that YouTube video rather than booting up the YouTube app on your TV.

Whatever the case, if you’re looking to cast your laptop to your TV, it’s easy to do so in 3 easy steps. Read on.

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Option 1: Use a Wi-Fi connection

The easiest way to cast your laptop display to your TV is via Miracast, if both devices support it.

Miracast is a wireless communication standard that permits transmission of video and sound over Wi-Fi rather than a physical cable. In other words, it acts like a wireless HDMI cable.

Most modern latops with Wi-Fi capabilities should support Miracast, as should most modern smart TVs. However, TV manufacturers often have their own name for each implementation of this technology. Here are just some of the most common:


Samsung

Smart View / AllShare Cast

LG

SmartShare

Sony

Screen mirroring

Roku

Screen mirroring

Hisense

Screen Sharing

To cast your laptop screen to a modern smart TV using Miracast, first ensure your TV’s settings allow for it by navigating through its settings and looking for one of the above terms (for example, ensuring “allow screen mirroring” is ticked on a Roku device).

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Then, follow the steps below to cast your Windows laptop or MacBook to your TV. If you have an older laptop that doesn’t support Miracast, you can buy a Wi-Fi adapter that does such as this one and plug it into your laptop, using it to connect and cast to your TV.


How to cast a Windows laptop to a TV

There are two ways to wirelessly cast a Windows laptop to a TV. This first way will be the most convenient if you might want to cast your laptop to your TV more than once. If “cast” is already an option in the quick settings tray, you can skip step 3.

  1. Ensure your laptop and TV are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Open the quick settings tray by clicking on the network or sound icon in the Windows tool tray.
  3. If there’s no option to “cast”, click the pencil button to edit quick settings, then click Add, select Cast, and click Done.
  4. Click Cast.
  5. From the list of displays, select your TV.
  6. If required, switch over to your TV’s casting input source and/or accept the prompt on your TV to start casting.


Now, whenever you want to cast again, you can skip step 3 and launch via the quick settings panel straight away.

Alternatively, you can cast to TV by opening Windows Settings (right click Windows button -> Settings), selecting Display, and then selecting Connect next to Connect to a wireless display.

How to cast a MacBook to a TV with Apple AirPlay

MacBook showing AirPlay cast option from Control Center drop-down menu

Casting from MacBook to TV is simple.

  1. Ensure your laptop and TV are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Click the Control Center icon on the top-right menu bar.
  3. Click Screen Mirroring.
  4. Choose whether you’d like to mirror or extend your MacBook’s display.
  5. If required, switch over to your TV’s casting input source and/or accept the prompt on your TV to start casting.

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Option 2: Connect directly via HDMI

Of course, not everything has to be done wirelessly, and there are still plenty of reasons to opt for a wired casting solution over a Wi-Fi one. Perhaps most importantly, a HDMI cable will probably provide better and more stable casting quality and latency than some Miracast connections, especially at higher resolutions where more data has to be transferred.


If your laptop doesn’t have an HDMI port, it might support HDMI over USB-C, in which case you can connect via a USB-C to HDMI cable like
this one
, or use a USB-C to HDMI adapter like
this one
in combination with a standard HDMI cable.

For this reason, connecting your laptop to your TV via a HDMI cable is a great, simple casting solution. Simply plug an HDMI cable into your laptop’s HDMI port at one end and your TV’s HDMI port at the other, switch over your TV’s input source to match the source the cable’s plugged into.

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Then, you can navigate your Windows or MacOS display settings to choose whether to extend or mirror your display.

Google Chrome showing cast to TV option in Settings menu


Option 3: Use website, browser or app casting features

If you don’t want to mirror or extend your screen but, for example, just cast a specific video onto one of your smart TV’s streaming apps, then different websites, apps, and browsers will have different ways of letting you do so.

Most of the more popular streaming services should give you a way to cast videos on their platforms from another device to your smart TV.

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Why you should use a Chromecast for all your streaming and casting

You can turn any TV into a smart TV with Google’s own dongle. It’s inexpensive, has a full UI, and lets you stream, cast, and more.

For example, if you want to cast a YouTube video from your laptop to your TV, you can pair your TV and hit the cast icon on the bottom-right of the video.

If you don’t own a smart TV, you can still cast from laptop to TV by using a HDMI dongle such as a Google Chromecast.

Or, for example, to cast everything inside your Google Chrome browser, you can click the three dots on the top right, then go to Save and share-> Cast… and select your TV.


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