Entertainment iPhone and iPad

How to Screen Mirror Your iPhone or iPad to a TV

Dan Helyer Updated 19-05-2020

Don’t get stuck watching videos or playing games on a small screen—use your iPhone or iPad on larger displays with screen mirroring methods instead. There are a few ways to watch iOS or iPadOS content on a TV, including AirPlay, Chromecast, and wired adapters.

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There’s also a difference between mirroring your iPhone screen and casting video to a TV, which lets you use other apps on your iPhone while watching a video on the TV. Here’s how everything works.

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1. Cast Video or Mirror Your Screen With AirPlay

Apple TV and Siri Remote

AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless streaming technology The Beginner's Guide to Apple AirPlay Mirroring on Mac and iOS Wondering how to use Apple's AirPlay mirroring, or need help connecting your Mac to an Apple TV? We'll teach you the basics of using AirPlay. Read More . It allows you to send an image, song, or video from your iPhone to an AirPlay receiver connected to your TV. The most popular AirPlay receiver is the Apple TV, despite its hefty starting price of $149.

The Apple TV connects to your TV via HDMI and functions as a set-top box with its own apps and App Store. It has other neat functions too, like displaying your recent iPhone photos and playing music from Apple Music. Check out our guide to setting up and using your Apple TV to learn more about it.

If you want to AirPlay video from your iPhone to a computer display instead, you can do so with an app called AirServer, which costs around $20. You can also buy audio equipment compatible with AirPlay for streaming music.

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How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen to Your TV With AirPlay

When you use screen mirroring, an image appears on your TV that exactly matches your iPhone or iPad screen. It even shows up in the same aspect ratio as your device (such as 4:3 for an iPad), which often means the image doesn’t fill the entire TV screen. Anything you do on your iPhone or iPad immediately mirrors to the TV screen.

To mirror your iPhone or iPad’s screen to an AirPlay receiver:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner to open Control Center. On an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open it instead.
  2. Tap the Screen Mirroring button and choose your AirPlay receiver. A blue bubble appears in the top-left corner to show that you’re mirroring your iPhone or iPad screen to the TV.
  3. To stop mirroring your screen, return to the Screen Mirroring option in Control Center and tap Stop Mirroring.

Screen Mirroring button from iPhone Control Center

How to Cast Video From Your iPhone to Your TV Using AirPlay

Unlike screen mirroring, casting a video to your TV fills the entire screen. This is the best way to watch movies or view photos, since they aren’t limited to the aspect ratio of your device. You can also use other apps on your iPhone while casting video to a TV, without them showing up on the big screen.

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To cast video from to your TV without screen mirroring:

  1. Load the content you want to send to the TV.
  2. Look for an AirPlay button in the app, which might be in the Share menu. If you can’t find it, open the Control Center and long-press on the Media Controls item in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap the AirPlay button and choose your AirPlay receiver. A blue bubble appears in the top-left corner to show that you’re casting a video to your TV.
  4. To stop casting video to your TV, tap the blue AirPlay bubble, then tap the AirPlay button and choose to play the video on your device instead of the TV.

AirPlay button from media controls in Control Center

Since AirPlay is wireless, you might find that radio interference, slow Wi-Fi networks, and older Bluetooth devices can impact performance. You’ll also notice a slight delay between your iPhone or iPad and what you see on the TV.

Unfortunately, this means AirPlay isn’t great for playing games. But it’s still a great choice for watching videos, listening to music, giving presentations, or sharing photos on the big screen.

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2. Mirror Your Screen With a Wired Adapter

Lightning HDMI Digital AV Adapter

To avoid delays between your iPhone or iPad and the TV screen, consider using a wired adapter. There are a few drawbacks to wired adapters, but the latest models are better than they once were.

Most problems stem from the fact that Apple didn’t design the Lightning port on the iPhone and iPad to output video signals. As a result, you need to buy a clunky adapter to go from your Lightning connecter to an HDMI, VGA, or other display port.

The first batch of Lightning-to-HDMI adapters topped out at a resolution of 900p. And while the latest Apple Lightning-to-HDMI adapters promise 1080p, the reviews still aren’t great. Users mention issues like frequent black screens and sudden hardware failures.

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You can also get Lightning-to-VGA adapters or USB-C-to-HDMI adapters, depending on your device and TV inputs.

For the $49+ price tag, these adapters don’t provide a good value and start to make the wireless convenience of an Apple TV look well worth an extra $100. What’s more, you can only use wired adapters to mirror your device screen.

To mirror your iPhone or iPad screen to a TV using an adapter:

  1. Connect your adapter to the Lightning or USB-C port on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Use an HDMI cable to connect your TV to the adapter.
  3. Switch to the correct input source on your TV to see the screen mirroring from your iPhone or iPad.

3. Cast Video to Your TV With Google Chromecast

Chromecast plugged into the back of a TV

You can use Google’s wireless “casting” technology to watch content wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad, though it works a little differently than AirPlay. Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV, and for $35 (or $69 for the 4K-compatible Chromecast Ultra) it is a much cheaper way to cast video from your iPhone or iPad to your TV.

Each app handles Chromecast integration a bit differently, so there’s no single way to stream video or other media from an iOS or iPadOS app. Just look for the Cast button in the app you’re currently using, then select your Chromecast from the list of options.

Chromecast button from Netflix app

Chromecast is compatible with the most popular video and music apps, like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify. There’s even a list of supported Chromecast apps on Wikipedia.

If you need more help, check out our beginner’s guide to Google Chromecast How to Use Chromecast: A Guide for Beginners If you're new to the world of Chromecast, we're here to help by explaining how to use Chromecast on a range of devices. Read More .

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen With Google Chromecast

Apple doesn’t make it easy to mirror your iPhone or iPad screen to the TV using Chromecast, but it is possible. To do so, you need a computer on the same Wi-Fi network that’s running the Google Chrome browser. You also need an app that lets you cast video to your computer, like ApowerMirror or AirServer.

APowerMirror is free, but includes a watermark. AirServer costs around $20.

Download: Google Chrome for macOS | Windows (Free)
Download: ApowerMirror for macOS | Windows (Free)
Download: AirServer for macOS | Windows ($19.99, free trial available)

ApowerMirror showing iPhone and Android device streamed to TV

To mirror your iPhone screen using Chromecast:

  1. Install and set up APowerMirror or AirServer on your computer.
  2. Open Control Center on your iPhone or iPad and select Screen Mirroring, then choose your computer from the list of devices. This should open a window on your computer that mirrors your device screen.
  3. On your computer, open Google Chrome and click the three-dot menu. Select Cast, then choose your TV as the destination with your Desktop as the source.
  4. Return to the APowerMirror or AirServer screen-mirroring window on your computer to cast it to your TV.

Find the Best Way to Mirror Your iPhone Screen

AirPlay is the best way to screen-mirror or cast video from your iPhone or iPad to your TV, but it’s also the most expensive. Wired solutions are inelegant and problematic—given the way the Lightning standard was designed—and still comparatively costly.

Google Chromecast offers the cheapest way to cast video to your TV, but it’s difficult to mirror your iPhone or iPad screen, especially if you don’t have a computer to use. Fortunately, you can use AirPlay connectivity at Chromecast prices with these AirPlay alternatives to an Apple TV The Best AirPlay Receivers Cheaper Than Apple TV The Apple TV is great but it's expensive. Here are several other awesome AirPlay receivers that are much cheaper. Read More .

Explore more about: Apple Airplay, Apple TV, Chromecast, HDMI, Mirroring, Television.

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  1. Brenda Mccauley
    September 16, 2019 at 2:58 am

    I don’t want to mirror

  2. Mary
    June 19, 2019 at 12:50 am

    Hi, this is one good article. I never knew these. I am currently using ApowerMirror. You can also review it, it is a great alternative

  3. John
    June 18, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Can you also review ApowerMirror? I want to see how it works

  4. Ger Ros
    January 4, 2019 at 12:34 am

    You may wish to check out Screen Mirroring from iPhone XS Max. Something wrong with the ability to get your Camera App (after starting a Screen Mirror to Wifi) showing Landscape format on to a TV. It shows up in Portrait mode,, so even if you rotate your camera to Landscape in your hand, it still shows up as Portrait,, and shows a rotated shot within Portrait. I think the new format screens with all the X model phones, have this inability to project to Landscape in the Camera App.
    Please note, however, that Contacts, email, messages will show up on your mirrored screen as Horizontal ie Landscape. Sure wish they could do the same for the Camera App.. Just thought I would enlighten those who may be wishing to broadcast Landscape through the Camera app.

  5. Bob
    February 25, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I recommend MiraScreen. Cheap and simple to install, supports both AirPlay and Android screen mirroring + DLNA enabled. You really don't need more than that.

  6. Karry
    February 22, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Not all Samsung probes have this feature i have a
    Samsung j700 it doesn't work for me does anyone
    Has a solution? As far as apple 6s is concerned it's
    Dope with the Apple TV. Screen mirroring and displaying media files are two different things!!

  7. Matthew
    January 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Is it possible to use AirPlay via an Apple TV but WITHOUT a wireless router in the house ? i.e. just standalone devices ? Just that I want to be able to play movies from my iPhone to the TV at a hotel I am travelling to. In this instance, is it better to use a wired adapter (therefore no wireless router required) ?

  8. ansh316
    December 9, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Can i mirror my iPad Air 2 Screen to Samsung Smart TV with Chrome cast?I am able to cast Youtube and Netflix Videos but not my entire iPad. I am able to cast with my Nexus phone, but it keeps my phone occupied :(

    • Rob
      April 2, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      No! And it makes me angry. Mirroring is the only way I can watch Amazon prime videos with Chromecast and you can't mirror on an iPad. Amazon is also snarky because you can't Chromecast the prime video player app. (Will be quitting that service when it is set to expire). Amazon wants you to buy their fire technology. I bought Chromecast for Netflix and I shouldn't have to buy different hardware for prime. Amazon misled me when I subscribed to prime, but it is my fault for not testing extensively during the trial period. NEVER believe what a app provider tells you until you test it yourself.

  9. bromberg
    December 5, 2016 at 5:22 am

    How about an article on mirroring for us Android users?

  10. Bryan Wolfe
    November 30, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Awesome ideas! Of course, with some much available to stream now, you don't have to use these much anymore.

  11. APC Houston
    November 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I use an AppleTv since I have a CastTV.

  12. Michael simon
    July 31, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I have a Sony Bravia smart TV. I can tap into my computer wirelessly to display my pictures and videos. Question: can I mirror the screen on my iPhone 6 to the Sony TV wirelessly without purchasing additional equipment or apps?

  13. Lina
    May 27, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Or you can try MCplayer by Arkuda. It allows you to stream video from ipad/iphone to any other device wirelessly. It uses the UPnP/DLNA technology.

  14. Bettie Kinkeade
    May 1, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    I have a Visio Smart TV and I would like to mirror my face time on it from my iPad or iPhone is this possible

  15. Carrie
    April 30, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    every day I HATE my iphone more. Cant wait to get rid of it and get something that actually isn't about Apple's stock holders making money and more about the end user, ME the consumer. I have been using the adapter for over a year, had to replace it 3 times as they are CONSTANTLY going bad and refusing to work. Finally decided to get a new TV with mirroring and what a shock, this piece of crap call iphone doesn't do wireless screen mirroring unless I waste MORE money on another piece of crap apple product. I went from android to apple and was super excited, i love my ipad, but the phone is little better than a paperweight as far as I am concerned.

    • Anonymous
      June 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Totally agree... I can't wait to get another Android phone. The iPhone is s*** compared to it's main rival

      • Isaiah
        May 31, 2016 at 11:57 pm

        Get a iPhone 6s it will solve that problem.

        • Venisha
          November 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

          I have an iPhone 6s. How do I mirror from my iPhone to my television? Please assist...

    • Roger
      April 13, 2016 at 2:58 am

      Nobody cares what you post online.

  16. robert clive reynolds
    March 20, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    I have just purchased a omnicast HDMI streeming dongle, all apears to work well except i cant get mirroring from my iphone 4 onto my TV i have gone through all the setting information without any trouble until i try to switch on mirroring from my phone to the TV when i get to the part in setting to turn on mirroring there is no on switch available only a cancel bar, has any one else experienced this problem if so is there a way round it so as i can mirror all my apps from my iphone onto my TV ??

  17. John Alvarez
    March 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Ok so I'm trying to view videos in a vehicle using the ipad, but also viewing on the ipad as well . How can I do this, I've tried sports but cannot find a reliable link, they send me to some coupon page .

  18. Dave
    January 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    i had the HDMI connector to my iphone 4s and it worked great...on ios 7....once i updated to ios 8, it no longer recognized it...another reason to hate 8. been trying to find a way to downgrade but apple did something to no longer support any later generations.

  19. Rosel
    September 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    This is the adapter that you need for the new idevices like iphone 5, ipad mini and etc.

    Lightning Digital Av Adapter - http://amzn.to/18f7LbE
    HDMI cable : http://amzn.to/Xku7C1

    This is the adapter needed for old idevices :

    a 30 pin digital av adapter - http://amzn.to/Xethqq

  20. Alex
    July 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I think Airplay is the best method to connect your iDevice to a TV. Compared to the Lightning adapter the Apple TV delivers more value for money. A nice infographic in this tutorial brings it to the point: iPhone to TV: Airplay vs. HDMI

    • Simon S
      July 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      AirPlay is great, but for me the biggest factor is actually the TV and furniture.

      In my dorm, I use a lightning adapter (you can pick one up really cheap on eBay if you don't mind that it wasn't made by Apple) for quick plug and play.

      At home, plugging in cables in the cramped space behind the TV is an acrobatic feat that's worthy of legend. And even if you manage that (or leave the cable lying around), there's no good place to put down your device. Hence, an Apple TV is the tool of choice.

  21. Idiocracy
    April 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    "All generation iOS devices support Video Out..."

    The iPod Touch supports video out only on 4th generation and beyond. I still have a 3rd gen and remain in the dark ages with neither video out nor a camera.

  22. macwitty
    April 29, 2013 at 11:34 am

    I use AirServer (from MacHeist bundle) an it works very well.

  23. shafk
    April 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Nice Article ... I know it's a little out of the scope - But how can the same be achieved on android devices?

    • Simon Slangen
      April 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

      I'm not sure about Android. Try asking on MakeUseOf Answers. I hope you find what you're looking for!

    • Anonymous
      October 4, 2013 at 3:04 am

      Use chromecast . It will mirror chrome browser though not the entire device

    • tony
      March 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Much easier! With a galaxy, there is screen mirroring, where you can wirelessly mirror what's on your phone screen onto your smart tv. All you do is open screen mirroring and it will automatically search for compatible devices like wifi, once you find the device you want to use, say your smart tv, computer, tablet, etc. Connect to to it and you're all set.

    • Rufat
      March 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

      Android has built in screen mirroring option.

    • Anonymous
      May 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      Miracast or hdmi