Entertainment Windows

How to Cast Local Media From Windows to Chromecast

Mihir Patkar 22-02-2018

Google Chromecast turns any TV into an internet-connected smart TV. And with it, the TV can also talk to your PC. Some simple apps can cast movies, music, and photos from your hard drive to the TV, bypassing the internet.


Note: The Chromecast requires an active internet connection to run. While these programs use your local Wi-Fi network, the Chromecast itself won’t work if you don’t have internet.

What You Will Need

how to cast windows to chromecast

How to Stream Movies From Windows to Chromecast

These are the best Windows video players for Chromecast:

  1. Airflow
  2. Soda Player
  3. Videostream for Chromecast

Several Windows programs claim to let you cast movies stored on your hard drive. Only these few do it well. And while you can stream videos from VLC to Chromecast How to Stream Videos From VLC to Chromecast You can now stream videos from VLC to your Chromecast. Something VLC users have been requesting for a long time. In this article we explain how to get it working... Read More , it’s not something I recommend yet.


how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Smoothest playback
  • Hardware-accelerated transcoding
  • Supports 4K video
  • Automatic subtitles from OpenSubtitles
  • 5.1 channel surround sound

The best Windows software to cast videos is, unfortunately, a paid program. But Airflow is worth every penny. What makes it superior to the free apps? Try the free trial and you’ll find out.

The performance is the main aspect, as Airflow supports hardware-accelerated transcoding. It also has 5.1 channel audio support for surround sound. Airflow includes intricate control over subtitles and remembers playlists and last positions too.

And it doesn’t hurt that Airflow is a gorgeous app. It’s the only one from the entire list that I would give the “it just works” tag too.

If you have a Chromecast Ultra for 4K videos Is the New Chromecast Ultra Really Worth Buying? The Chromecast Ultra is a brand new Chromecast offering support for 4K video and more besides. But is it worth buying? Find out everything you need to know about the Chromecast Ultra. Read More , you can see the performance difference on unsupported native Chromecast file formats like MKV. In fact, on Intel Skylake or later processors, Airflow has faster hardware transcoding.


The free trial is a good way to figure out if you want to pay for this. With it, you can watch up to 20 minutes of video at a time. Once you’ve realized this is the best, pay the $19 and use it.

Download: Airflow for Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit ($18.99)

Soda Player

how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Hardware-accelerated transcoding
  • Supports 4K video
  • Automatic subtitles from OpenSubtitles
  • 5.1 and 7.1 channel surround sound
  • No playlists
  • No thumbnails while scrubbing

If you don’t want to pay for a program, get Soda Player. For anyone who wants to quickly play any video on Chromecast, it works flawlessly. Open the file in Soda Player, click the Chromecast icon, and it starts.


Soda Player has several of the features I like about Airflow. This includes hardware-accelerated transcoding for any file format, automatic subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and so on.

But it lacks two major features:

Download: Soda Player (Free)

VideoStream for Chromecast

how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Free remote control app on Android and iOS
  • No playlists or “autoplay next video” in free version

VideoStream has been the longest-running app to successfully and easily cast videos. It’s still pretty good, and the only one with a free remote control for mobiles. The app can even sync with a folder of videos on your PC, controlling everything from the phone. That said, Google Assistant acts as a remote already for basic playback: play/pause, rewind, and fast forward.

VideoStream started off as a Chrome app, but Google is now killing those for Windows. So you’ll need to download the native program.

While it works as advertised, it’s good for a single video you want to watch. Many important features are in the paid version, including playlists, extra subtitle settings, night mode, and auto-playing the next video. VideoStream premium costs $1.49 a month, $14.99 a year, or $34.99 for a lifetime license.

Download: VideoStream (Free, Premium optional)
Download: VideoStream Remote Control for Android | iOS (Free)

Don’t Use VLC 3.0 Yet!

how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Best all-around media player for Windows
  • Only player to also support music casting
  • Jittery playback
  • Still has lots of bugs
  • Might lack video transcoding on-the-fly

It has been a long time coming, but the best video player on Windows finally has Chromecast support. It’s not perfect though. In fact, it’s far from it.

I actually couldn’t get VLC to play any video that isn’t in Chromecast’s native support. Remember, even if the file format is MP4 AVI, MKV, or MP4? Video Filetypes Explained and Compared Why do so many video formats exist? It's confusing! But don't worry, we are here to help. Here's everything you need to know about video formats, containers, and codecs. Read More , that doesn’t mean the video codec is supported. MKV videos had a similar problem.

Could it be a lack of transcoding support? And it’s not just me, PC World had the same issue.

As for the videos that did play, it was still an unpleasant experience. The playback was jittery often, and it lost audio sync on an AVI file with 5-channel audio.

If the file format and codecs are the right ones, then you can still use VLC. First, start your video in the program. Then click Menu > Playback > Renderer and choose your Chromecast device.

Hopefully, VLC fixes all these issues soon. But for now, forget about it.

Download: VLC (Free)

How to Stream Music From Windows to Chromecast

While a Chromecast is best for videos, you can also cast music or podcasts to it. And then there’s the Chromecast audio for speakers How to Set Up and Use Your Google Chromecast Audio If you just got a Chromecast Audio, this is everything you need to know to get it up and running. Read More as well. No matter which device you use, these are the programs you should use.

VLC 3.0

how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Supports all audio file formats, including FLAC
  • Audio normalization
  • Limited features as a music player

It might be riddled with problems for video, but VLC 3.0 works perfectly as an audio player for Chromecast. You’ll want to download and set up the media library plugin.

The program is decent enough to make playlists as well. That’s about all you will get to do with VLC. And if you have the ID3 tags for it, you get the album art bopping around on the TV too.

Apart from that, VLC has a few hidden tricks 7 Top Secret Features of the Free VLC Media Player VLC should be your media player of choice. The cross-platform tool has a bag full of secret features you can use right now. Read More up its sleeve, including scrobbling tracks to Last.FM. You’ll probably want to normalize the audio as well. You’ve experienced the discomfort of changing a channel to come to one that’s blaring away; why do that with changing music tracks?

Download: VLC (Free)

Chromecast Audio Stream

how to cast windows to chromecast

VLC isn’t a great music player, even though it gets the job done. If you want to use one of the best music players for Windows The 5 Best Free Music Players for Windows Downloading music still has its benefits. For one, you can play music even when you don't have internet access. But which music player should you use? Find the best free music players here. Read More , get Chromecast Audio Stream. It sends the audio from your PC to the Chromecast. It’s like using Bluetooth speakers, but over Wi-Fi instead.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download Chromecast Audio Stream.
  2. Extract the ZIP file into a folder.
  3. Double-click the audio-cast.exe file to run it.
  4. You will now see the Chromecast Audio Stream icon in the system tray.
  5. Click the icon in the system tray, and choose the Chromecast.
  6. Now, any audio from your PC will be played through your TV’s speakers.

Warning: It duplicates the audio, playing it on both the computer and the Chromecast. In fact, the Chromecast has a tiny lag. For best results, I recommend muting the computer.

How to Stream Photos From Windows to Chromecast

Currently, no native program lets you show off photos from your hard drive on the TV with Chromecast. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t.

Chromecast downscales high-resolution images to 1280×720 pixels, so it’s not the best medium for a slideshow. But if you still want to do it, there’s one app.

PictaCast [No Longer Available]

how to cast windows to chromecast

  • Automatic slideshow
  • Background music with MP3 files from your hard drive
  • Control via mobile phone with Google Home app

Right now, PictaCast is the only software to create a slideshow to cast photos. It’s a Chrome app, so it might be removed sometime soon. Keep an eye out on the official website above.

For now, here’s how to make it work:

  1. Download the Chrome app.
  2. Click Add Folder and navigate to your album of photos.
  3. (Optional) Click Add Music and choose MP3 files from your hard drive.
  4. Go to Chrome’s Menu > Cast and choose the right Chromecast.

Among the many options, you can choose fit-to-screen or full-screen mode, automated photo collages, shuffle, speed of slideshow, and rotate images.

The free version of PictaCast restricts users to 30 minutes of usage per day. You’ll need to pay $3 for PictaCast Premium for unlimited usage.

Download: Pictacast (Free for 30 min/day, Premium)

Best All-In-One App: Plex

  • Supports all video formats
  • Supports all audio formats
  • Free remote control apps for smartphones
  • Rich media library

If you want an all-in-one media player instead of different programs for video, audio, and image files, then there’s one obvious option: Plex.

Download: Plex Media Server (Free)

The installation takes some time, but it’s worth it. Just follow our guide to set up a Plex media server Your Guide To Plex - The Awesome Media Center If you have a lot of locally-saved movies and TV shows, you need to install Plex. And this is the only guide to getting started with Plex you'll ever need to read. Read More . Then tap that Chromecast icon whenever you want to stream anything.

For another option, we’ve also shown how to stream Kodi on your Chromecast How to Stream Kodi on a Chromecast There are few different ways to stream Kodi on a Chromecast. In this article, we detail three of the best methods. Read More .

Related topics: Chromecast, Media Streaming, Plex, Streaming Music, VLC Media Player.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. andrew
    May 9, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Soda Player is a data mining scam. Do not use it!

  2. Gobllyn
    March 20, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Nice One, all the commands work flawlessly on my Win10! No more 100%HDD

    Thanks Dude