How to Use AirPlay with a Mac
AirPlay allows two Apple devices to share the same display, and it can be used for a number of things. For example, if you download a movie on your Mac, but you want to watch it on your Apple TV, AirPlay will sync these two devices. Similarly, if you want to play a video on your Mac, but you only have it on your iPhone, you can use AirPlay and watch it on a bigger screen.
In this article, we’ll explain how to use AirPlay with a Mac, whether you want to use your Mac as the sender or receiver. We’ll also cover why AirPlay might not be working on your Mac, and tell you how you can fix those issues.
How to Use AirPlay with a Mac
With AirPlay, you can share music, videos, and photos from one Apple device to another. It was designed to let you watch different types of content on the biggest screen in your house. The best way to use AirPlay is with an Apple TV that is connected to your television.
Another way to use AirPlay is with AirPlay-enabled speakers, letting you play your favorite music out loud on compatible speakers. You can also use AirPlay with wireless headphones. What’s more, AirPlay can be a great business tool, as you can use it to share presentations, spreadsheets, or websites with your colleagues. This can be achieved with the Screen Mirroring feature.
To use AirPlay, you need two devices – the sender and the receiver. You won’t even need any wires or adapters. You can use Airplay to share content from any computer with iTunes, which of course, includes MacBooks, as well as iOS devices running on iOS 4.2 or greater. Since the whole point of AirPlay is to watch or view content on a bigger screen, AirPlay is typically used with Apple TVs. However, it can also be paired with several other compatible devices, like smart TVs that support AirPlay.
Before getting started, make sure your Mac and the receiver device are connected to the same network. In this guide, we’ll explain how to use AirPlay with a Mac and an Apple TV. The first thing you need to do is enable AirPlay on your Apple TV. This is how it’s done:
- Turn on your Apple TV.
- Go to the Settings folder on the right side of your Apple TV.
- Select “AirPlay” from the list of options.
- Enable AirPlay on your Apple TV.
Now that AirPlay is enabled on your Apple TV, the next step is to do the same on your Mac. Follow the steps below to find out how it’s done:
- Launch “System Preferences” on the bottom menu of your Mac.
- Proceed to “Display” settings.
- Next to “Add Display,” choose the receiver device. In this case, it will be your Apple TV.
- Check the “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” box.
- Go to the Control Center on the menu bar on your Mac.
- Click on the “Screen Mirroring” option on the pop-up menu.
- Select which device you want to use AirPlay for.
Your Mac’s display will be immediately connected to your Apple TV. You can choose between a mirror built-in retina display and a separate display. In other words, you can decide whether the desktop will match the size of your Apple TV or your Mac.
You can even use Airplay to extend your screen to another Mac, which is a brand-new feature. However, this only applies to 2018 MacBooks and later. Not to mention that only those with two MacBooks can use this feature.
How to Send AirPlay from iPhone to Mac
If you want to use your Mac as the receiver device, you can share your iPhone’s display. This is a great solution if you want to watch the videos on your iPhone on a bigger screen. Keep in mind that your iPhone and your Mac need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, and it needs to be the same network.
Using AirPlay on your iPhone is even easier than on your Mac, and it requires fewer steps as well. The exact steps may vary, depending on the type of media you want to play. This is what you need to do:
- Play something on your iPhone. For example, play a song on Apple Music.
- Tap on the “AirPlay” icon on the bottom of the screen.
- Choose your MacBook on the pop-up menu.
It’s that simple. You can even open a photo from your Gallery and AirPlay it to your Mac. This is how it’s done:
- Open your Gallery and find the photo you want to AirPlay.
- Tap on the “Share” icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
- Go down to “AirPlay.”
- Select your MacBook on the pop-up menu.
You won’t even need to confirm anything on the receiver device. The media will automatically appear on the bigger screen. If you want to pause, fast-forward, or rewind a song or a video, you can use the controls on your iPhone.
The AirPlay icon can be found in various apps, you just have to look for it. For example, if you use Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, or any other music streaming app, you’ll see the AirPlay icon every time you listen to a song. When it comes to photos and videos you downloaded to your Gallery, the AirPlay icon will appear when you tap on the “Share” option.
Why can’t I play AirPlay on my Mac?
There could be a couple of reasons why you can’t use AirPlay on your Mac. For AirPlay to work, both the sender and receiver device must be connected to the same Wi-Fi, which is particularly important for dual-band routers. So, make sure both of these devices are connected to the internet before you pair them up.
If you still don’t see the AirPlay feature on your Mac, make sure the two devices are placed close to each other. A bad connection can result in the audio not coming through or not being able to share the content at all. Check if AirPlay is enabled on both the sender and receiver before trying to pair them up.
It goes without saying that you need to have iTunes installed on your Mac. If you don’t have the newest version of iTunes, this might be the reason why you can’t use AirPlay on your Mac. Don’t forget that you need to be signed in to the same iTunes account on both these devices.
Lastly, your Mac needs to be updated to the latest version, which is currently macOS 12.0 Monterey, for AirPlay to work.
Can I play AirPlay from my Mac if I don’t have Apple TV?
You don’t essentially need to have Apple TV to use AirPlay with your Mac and your smart TV. However, your smart TV has to meet certain requirements for AirPlay to work. Most importantly, your smart TV has to be compatible with AirPlay.
As mentioned before, you can use AirPlay with speakers and wireless headphones that are AirPlay-enabled.
Share Your Content with AirPlay
AirPlay is a useful sharing tool that allows you to watch videos on a bigger screen and play music on speakers without having to connect these devices with a cable. One of the best ways to use AirPlay is with your Mac and your Apple TV, but you can also use this media-sharing feature with other AirPlay-compatible devices.
Have you ever used AirPlay with your Mac before? Which device did you pair your Mac up with? Let us know in the comment section below.