AirPlay is a powerful tool within the Apple ecosystem; it allows Apple devices to interact better. You can mirror your Mac’s screen to any AirPlay-supported device, like Apple TV or smart TV in real-time, and thanks to macOS Monterey, you can now also stream content on Mac.
But are you facing difficulty in making the most of AirPlay on your Mac? Then you have dropped in at the right place. Here’s an exhaustive guide on how to turn on and use Airplay on a Mac.
- What is AirPlay?
- How to turn on AirPlay on your Mac
- How to use Airplay on Mac to mirror your screen
- How to AirPlay content to your Mac
- Airplay not showing up on Mac? Try these hacks
What is AirPlay?
AirPlay is Apple’s wireless streaming protocol that allows users to mirror screens, stream videos, photos, and music from an Apple device to another compatible device. For instance, from your iPhone to Apple TV.
AirPlay 2 – And if your TV or speaker supports AirPlay 2 (the latest iteration), you can also stream audio to multiple speakers placed in multiple rooms.
The macOS Monterey magic – Apple has further advanced AirPlay capability and sort of created a two-way street. Now, with macOS Monterey, you can stream content from Mac and on Mac.
That means you can use AirPlay to stream songs/videos from another Apple device on your Mac or even share the device’s screen on Mac.
Thanks to Airplay and Airplay 2, you can mirror your Mac’s screen or stream videos, photos, music, or other media content to any compatible TV or speaker. But before I share how, let’s see if your Mac and device support AirPlay or not.
AirPlay-compatible speakers and devices
- Macs – All Macs released in 2011; Macs running macOS Mojave and later or iTunes 12.8 and later support AirPlay 2.
- TVs – Apple TV (4K, HD and Gen. 2 and 3), plus some models form LG, Samsung, Sony. Check out the complete list here.
- Speakers – Apple HomePod, Sonos One (Gen 2), Bose Home Speaker 500, and more. If you need help finding the best AirPlay 2 Speakers, check out this listing.
- To find out whether your current device or one that you are planning to buy is AirPlay supported or not, look for either of these icons on the pack or online description.
- The AirPlay icon for mirroring screens or streaming videos is different from the AirPlay icon for music.
How to turn on AirPlay on your Mac
- Go to Apple Logo at the top left.
- Select System Preferences → Displays.
- In the Display tab, click the AirPlay drop-down menu and select an available display.
- If prompted, enter the passcode displayed on your TV to allow pairing.
- Optional: Check the box next to Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available from the Display tab to pop up the AirPlay icon anytime a compatible TV is nearby.
To control the mirroring options, like Mirror Built-In Display or Use As Separate Display, or to switch between different devices, click the AirPlay icon from the menu bar and select an option accordingly.
To Turn off Screen Mirroring, click the AirPlay icon again and select Turn Airplay off.
How to use Airplay on Mac to mirror your screen
- Open the video in a supported app, or play it in a browser on your Mac.
- Click the AirPlay icon.
- Select the device from the drop-down menu.
- If prompted, enter the code on your TV into the pop-up window.
To stop casting, click the AirPlay icon again → Turn off AirPlay.
To Stream music from Mac to other device
- Launch Apple Music or Podcasts or any AirPlay-enabled app.
- Select the song/playlist and click the AirPlay icon.
- Choose the device to AirPlay.
It will automatically start playing on that device.
When streaming music, you can AirPlay to multiple devices. From the drop-down menu, check or uncheck devices to play or stop AirPlay on a particular device. You can also adjust the volume for each device, move the slider accordingly.
How to AirPlay content to your Mac
The following macOS Monterey-supported computers and mobile devices will support AirPlay to Mac:
- MacBook Pro (2018 and later)
- MacBook Air (2018 and later)
- iMac (2019 and later)
- iMac Pro 92017)
- Mac Mini (2020 and later)
- Mac Pro (2019)
- iPhone 7 and later
- iPad Pro (2nd gen and later)
- iPad Air (3rd gen and later)
- iPad (6th and later)
- iPad mini (5th gen and later)
The latest AirPlay to Mac features can offer you three major perks for macOS Monterey users:
- AirPlay content to Mac – Stream videos, photos, music, and view or edit Keynote presentations from any other Apple device to your Mac. The great thing is that the devices need not share the same Apple ID.
- Mirror display – Extend or expand your iPhone/iPad’s screen on Mac and use it as a secondary display.
- Convert Mac into an AirPlay 2 speaker – Stream music, podcasts, audio novels, and more to your Mac and use it as a secondary speaker for multi-room audio.
- This feature works only with macOS Monterey or later.
- Older iPhone, iPad, and Mac models can also share content via AirPlay but at lower resolution.
For this, you’ll have to visit the Sharing preferences section and set the Allow AirPlay for setting to Everyone or Anyone on the same network.
Airplay not showing up on Mac? Try these hacks
First and foremost, ensure that your device is compatible with AirPlay. If that is sorted, here are some tricks that might troubleshoot the issue:
- Bring your Mac closer to the other device to ensure a stable connection can be established.
- Ensure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- If you are using HomePod or Apple TV, check for access restriction and remove the block if enabled.
- Shut down the Mac and the other device and then restart them.
- Ensure all devices sport the latest OS.
As a proud, overly indulgent member of the Apple ecosystem, I believe AirPlay is usually underestimated. It is often overlooked as a streaming feature. But all thanks to the latest macOS iteration, users might acknowledge the true power of AirPlay.
What are your thoughts about AirPlay? On a scale of 1-10, how much would you rate the feature?
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