AirPlay allows two Apple devices to share the same screen, and it can be used for a number of things. For example, if you download a movie on your Mac, but want to watch it on your Apple TV, AirPlay will sync those two devices. Likewise, if you want to play a video on your Mac, but only have it on your iPhone, you can use AirPlay and watch it on a bigger screen.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to use AirPlay with a Mac, whether you want to use your Mac as the sender or the receiver. We’ll also explain why AirPlay might not work on your Mac and tell you how to fix these 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 home. The best way to use AirPlay is with an Apple TV connected to your TV.
Another way to use AirPlay is through AirPlay-enabled speakers, which lets you listen to your favorite music out loud on compatible speakers. You can also use AirPlay with wireless headphones. Additionally, 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 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 iOS 4.2 or higher. Since the purpose of AirPlay is to watch or display content on a larger screen, AirPlay is usually used with Apple TVs. However, it can also be paired with several other compatible devices, such as smart TVs that support AirPlay.
Before you begin, make sure your Mac and the receiving device are connected to the same network. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to use AirPlay with a Mac and Apple TV. The first thing you need to do is enable AirPlay on your Apple TV. Here’s how it’s done:
- Turn on your Apple TV.
- Navigate 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 on how to do this:
- Launch “System Preferences” from the bottom menu of your Mac.
- Switch to “Display” settings.
- Next to “Add a screen”, choose the receiving device. In this case, it will be your Apple TV.
- Check the “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” box.
- Go to Control Center in your Mac’s menu bar.
- Click on the “Screen Mirroring” option from the pop-up menu.
- Select the device for which you want to use AirPlay.
Your Mac display will immediately connect to your Apple TV. You can choose between an integrated mirror retina screen and a separate screen. 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 and later MacBooks. Not to mention, 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 a receiving device, you can share your iPhone display. It’s a great solution if you want to watch your iPhone videos on a bigger screen. Remember that your iPhone and Mac must be connected to a Wi-Fi network and it must be the same network.
Using AirPlay on your iPhone is even easier than on your Mac and also requires fewer steps. The exact steps may vary depending on the type of media you want to play. Here’s what you need to do:
- Play something on your iPhone. For example, listen to a song on Apple Music.
- Tap the “AirPlay” icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose your MacBook from the pop-up menu.
It’s so simple. You can even open a photo from your Gallery and AirPlay it on your Mac. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open your gallery and find the photo you want to AirPlay.
- Tap the “Share” icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
- Scroll down to “AirPlay”.
- Select your MacBook from the pop-up menu.
You won’t even need to confirm anything on the receiving device. The media will automatically appear on the big screen. If you want to pause, fast forward, or rewind a song or video, you can use the controls on your iPhone.
The AirPlay icon can be found in various apps, you just need to search for it. For example, if you’re using Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, or any other music streaming app, you’ll see the AirPlay icon every time you play a song. As for the photos and videos you have uploaded 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 can be several reasons why you can’t use AirPlay on your Mac. For AirPlay to work, the transmitter and receiver must be connected to the same Wi-Fi, which is especially important for dual-band routers. So make sure both of these devices are connected to the internet before pairing them.
If you still don’t see the AirPlay feature on your Mac, make sure both devices are placed near each other. A poor connection may prevent audio from passing through or may not be able to share content at all. Check if AirPlay is enabled on both sender and receiver before trying to pair them.
It goes without saying that you must have iTunes installed on your Mac. If you don’t have the latest version of iTunes, that might be the reason why you can’t use AirPlay on your Mac. Remember that you must be signed into the same iTunes account on both devices.
Finally, your Mac must 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 necessarily need Apple TV to use AirPlay with your Mac and smart TV. However, your smart TV must meet certain requirements for AirPlay to work. More importantly, your smart TV must be compatible with AirPlay.
As mentioned earlier, you can use AirPlay with AirPlay-enabled wireless speakers and headphones.
Share your content with AirPlay
AirPlay is a useful sharing tool that lets you watch videos on a bigger screen and listen to music on speakers without having to connect those devices with a cable. One of the best ways to use AirPlay is with your Mac and Apple TV, but you can also use this media sharing feature with other AirPlay-enabled devices.
Have you used AirPlay with your Mac before? What device did you pair your Mac with? Let us know in the comment section below.