How to Mirror an iPhone or iPad to Your TV
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Don’t get stuck watching video or playing games on a small screen—you can use your iPhone or iPad with larger displays. There are a few ways to watch iOS content on a TV, projector, or any HDMI-compliant display.

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There’s also a difference between mirroring and simply outputting video. You can use your iPhone or iPad to watch videos or listen to audio, while browsing social media or the web at the same time! Here’s how it works.

1. Send Video or Mirror Your Screen With AirPlay

Apple TV and remote on table

AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless display technology The Beginner's Guide to Apple AirPlay Mirroring on Mac and iOS 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 , and it allows you to wirelessly send an image to an AirPlay receiver. In order to use AirPlay, you’ll need a compatible receiver. The most common for video is the Apple TV (from $149).

The Apple TV connects to your display via HDMI, functions as a set-top box, and has its own apps and App Store. It has other neat functions too, like displaying your recent iPhone photos and playing music from iTunes or Apple Music. Check our our guide to setting up and using your Apple TV to get started.

If you want to output to a Mac or Windows PC instead, you can do so with an app called AirServer ($20). You can also buy audio equipment compatible with AirPlay for streaming music.

Mirroring vs. Outputting

Keep in mind: You can mirror your display, which maintains your device’s screen aspect ratio (e.g. 4:3 for an iPad). Or you can output the current video or other media which only sends music, videos, and some games to the TV. In most cases, you’ll want to do the latter.

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

  1. Access Control Center on your device (see note below).
  2. Tap the Screen Mirroring button.
  3. Choose your AirPlay receiver when it appears.

AirPlay Screen Mirroring

To output the current video without mirroring the entire screen:

  1. Access Control Center on your device (see note below).
  2. Long-press or 3D Touch the media controls.
  3. Tap the AirPlay button (a triangle with a few circles) on the right-hand side.
  4. Choose your AirPlay receiver when it appears.

AirPlay External Display

Not sure how to access Control Center?

  • With an iPhone X or later, you’ll need to swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen.
  • On an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • iPad users should double-tap the Home button to bring up the App Switcher.

Since AirPlay is a wireless connection, you’ll find that interference, slow Wi-Fi, older Bluetooth devices, and similar can negatively impact performance. When playing a game, you’ll likely notice a delay between input and what you see on the screen.

But for watching videos, listening to music, giving presentations, sharing a photo slideshow with family members, or even displaying a website so others can see the screen, AirPlay is a great choice.

2. Use a Wired Adapter

apple-lightning-hdmi

There are a few drawbacks to using a wired adapter, but the current model is better than it once was. The problem stems from the fact that the Lightning port on the iPhone and iPad is not built to output video signal. Whatever Apple’s reasoning (probably to allow for smaller devices), the functionality was moved to an adapter.

The first batch of Lightning-to-HDMI adapters had problems; they topped out at a resolution of 900p. Though the current models promise 1080p, reviews aren’t great. They mention issues like frequent black screens and sudden hardware failure. For the $49 price tag and hassle involved, an Apple TV doesn’t seem like such a bad investment comparatively.

To mirror your iPhone screen using a Lightning to HDMI adapter:

  1. Connect your adapter to the lightning port of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Connect your display or projector via HDMI cable.
  3. Switch to the correct source on your display to see your device mirrored.

You can also get Lightning to VGA adapters, which seem to have many of the same issues and don’t support HDCP.

3. Use Google Chromecast

You can use Google’s wireless “casting” technology to watch content wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad, though it works a little differently. Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV, and for $35 (or $69 for the 4K-compatible Chromecast Ultra) it allows you to stream content from your mobile device to your TV.

It’s not possible to mirror your whole screen using Chromecast, as Apple limits the technology to its first-party products. However, many iOS apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify include support for Chromecast. Check out Wikipedia’s list of supported Chromecast apps for more.

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

For more on the Chromecast, check out our comparion of the Chromecast and Apple TV Apple TV vs. Chromecast: Which Streaming Solution Is Right For You? Apple TV vs. Chromecast: Which Streaming Solution Is Right For You? You know you want either an Apple TV or a Chromecast. The problem is, you're not sure which… Read More , or how to set up the Chromecast Ultra.

What Do You Use to Mirror Your iPhone or iPad?

AirPlay is the best way to mirror or send media to a remote display or audio device, but it’s also the most expensive. Wired solutions are inelegant and problematic given the way the Lightning standard was designed, which is why Apple pushes wireless streaming.

If you already have a Chromecast, or feel that you can live without true mirroring and make do with the app-by-app compatibility, this is a good option. For AirPlay connectivity at Chromecast prices, check AirPlay receivers that are cheaper than the Apple TV 4 AirPlay Receivers That Are Cheaper Than Apple TV 4 AirPlay Receivers That Are Cheaper Than Apple TV The Apple TV is a great device for audio and video casting, but it's expensive. Here are four other awesome AirPlay receivers that are much cheaper. Read More . And we’ve shown how to use screen sharing on your Mac How to Use Screen Sharing on a Mac How to Use Screen Sharing on a Mac Curious about screen sharing on your Mac? We show you how to control remote other Mac computers, get help from friends, and more. Read More , if you need that too.

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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. 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) ?

  4. 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.

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

    How about an article on mirroring for us Android users?

  6. 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.

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

    I use an AppleTv since I have a CastTV.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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 ??

  13. 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 .

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

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

  19. 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