How to Use Chromecast in 2021 [Laptop, iPhone & TV]

How to Use Chromecast in 2021 [Laptop, iPhone & TV]

If you’ve read our Chromecast guide, you’re already clued in to what this streaming device is. Using a Google Chromecast device opens up a whole new world of options for streaming content on your TV. If you’re now the proud owner of a Chromecast and have already set it up, you may be wondering what’s next. Let’s explore how to use Chromecast to stream videos and cast content. 

Key Takeaways:

  • You can use Chromecast with your iOS or Android device or mirror your laptop or desktop screen in the Google Chrome browser. 
  • It’s possible to let guests use your third-generation Chromecast without connecting to your WiFi network by using “guest mode.” 
  • Chromecast is very easy to use and anyone can get up and running in a few simple steps after setup. If your Chromecast won’t cast, make sure everything is properly connected behind your TV screen and to the power supply and try again. 

Chromecast devices are very easy to get the hang of, and you have a few different options for streaming depending on which device you’re using. You can stream content either on your TV using an iOS or Android phone, or mirror your laptop screen on Windows or Mac. Let’s begin with how to cast to Chromecast on your mobile device. 

  • You can use Chromecast with your Android or iOS device by opening a Chromecast-enabled app and tapping the “cast” button. You then select your device and the content should appear on the screen shortly. Likewise, you can control the device in the Google Home app.

  • Plug your Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port, tune in to the correct HDMI setting, then stream from the app you want. Popular Chromecast-enabled apps include streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

How to Use Chromecast on Your Mobile Device With the Google Home App

If you’re using the latest version — Chromecast with Google TV — you can use the remote control to search for content directly in the user interface. The third-generation or “classic” Chromecast works by casting from Chromecast-enabled apps, like Netflix or YouTube, on your iPhone or Android. We’ll be using a third-generation Chromecast device for this tutorial. 

Please ensure that you have already completed the setup in the Google Home app before you try to use your Chromecast device. Check that you are connected to the same WiFi network you used in the Chromecast setup. You can use our guide on how to setup Chromecast if you’re unfamiliar with the process. 

Chromecast-enabled apps can be downloaded from the Apple app store or the Google Play store on Android. 

  1. Connect the Chromecast to Your TV’s HDMI Port

    Connect the Chromecast to the USB cable and plug the adapter into a power outlet. Plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port. Then, turn on the TV and make sure you’re tuned in to the correct HDMI setting.

    chromecast usb hdmi
  2. Open a Chromecast-Enabled App

    Open the app you want to stream content from, like YouTube, on your phone or tablet to start casting. Open your YouTube video in the app and tap the “cast” button.

    cast button youtube
  3. Select Your Chromecast-Enabled Device

    Find your Chromecast-enabled device in the list and tap to connect. You may need to wait a few seconds while it connects. You should then see the content appear on your TV screen. 

    select device
  4. Optional: Open the Google Home App

    This step and the next one are optional. If you want to control your TV using your Android’s or iPhone’s screen, open the Google Home app and tap your device. It looks like a small TV screen in the app.

    choose device google home
  5. Optional: Control Your TV in the Google Home App

    Use the control panel in the Google Home app to control volume, play and pause content and stop casting from your device’s screen.

    chromecast google app controls

If you experience any issues, check that everything is connected as it should be or reach out to the Chromecast help page on Google Support. 

How to Use Your Chromecast Device With a Laptop or Desktop

You can also use Chromecast with your PC or laptop. The Chromecast desktop setup allows you to cast content from your laptop or desktop screen to your TV. To do this, you will need to make sure that you have the Google Chrome browser installed. Make sure your Chromecast device is connected to the TV and WiFi network before starting. 

  1. Open the Google Chrome Browser

    Go to the three dots on the top right-hand corner. Then, click on “cast” in the menu.

    cast chrome browser
  2. Choose Your Device

    Tap on your Chromecast in the list. Your Google Chrome browser tab will then be mirrored to your TV screen.

    chromecast cast tab

Using Chromecast Without a WiFi Network

You can allow guests to use your Chromecast device without giving them access to your WiFi password by enabling “guest mode.” In order to do this, the guest must either enable their mobile data or connect to another WiFi network, and their Bluetooth must also be active. 

The following instructions can also be used to connect to a second device. To enable guest mode, the host needs to do the following (while connected to WiFi).

  1. Open the Google Home App

    Tap your device, then go to the settings icon in the top right-hand corner.

    google home app settings
  2. Go to “Recognition and Sharing”

    Tap on “recognition and sharing” in the list.

    recognition and sharing
  3. Enable “Guest Mode”

    Tap on “guest mode.” You will also be able to see your four-digit PIN at this stage. You can give this PIN to your guests, so they can connect to the Chromecast device later. Check that guest mode is enabled. If it isn’t, slide to switch it on until the toggle turns blue.

    guest mode on

If the guest is using an Android device, they must enable guest mode from their “settings” menu. Just open “settings” and type “cast options” into the search bar. When you have the “cast options” menu open, tap on “guest mode” to enable it. 

From there, the process for casting is the same as before. The only difference is that you’ll have to enter the host’s four-digit PIN to connect to the Chromecast device. 

The Google Support Center notes that guests may cast using Android 5.0 or higher or iOS 11.0 or higher. It also mentions that some iOS apps may not be supported. Chromecast with Google TV does not have guest mode. 

Using Chromecast With an Ethernet Connection

Another option for using Chromecast is with an Ethernet connection. For this, you will also need a Chromecast Ethernet power adapter and an Ethernet cable. This allows you to use your wired internet connection instead of WiFi. 

Final Thoughts: How to Cast to Chromecast

Chromecasts are great devices for giving you that “home cinema” vibe. Learning to use any new device can be intimidating, but Chromecast is very straightforward — a few taps and you’ll be streaming on your TV in no time. If you have any issues, you can always reach out for support on the Chromecast troubleshooting page. 

We hope this guide has been useful in helping you use Chromecast for the first time. How was your experience learning to use Chromecast? Feel free to share in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading.

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