How to Set Up and Use Google Chromecast in 4 Easy Steps

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Have you ever wanted to look at something from your smart phone, tablet, or computer on your big TV screen? With the many cool apps and features offered for mobile devices, sometimes the only downside is that we’re left wishing the screen was larger. This could allow you to share things from your small device with your family and friends, so you don’t have to all crowd around a small screen to see photos, videos, games, or whatever else you like to do on your device.

Luckily, Google manufactures devices to help with this issue. Along with their line of smart home and entertainment devices like Google Home, comes Google Chromecast. If you’re looking to connect your mobile device or computer to your TV screen, Chromecast can help you do it. And if you’re looking to learn how to set up and use a Chromecast device, we can help you out! Here’s what we’ll be covering with you in this tutorial:

Let’s begin by going over all of the basic information you may want to know about Chromecast. We’ll cover what exactly Chromecast is, how the devices work, and how much they usually cost.

 

What is Google Chromecast? How does it work? How much does it cost?

Chromecast is a device made by Google that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV, allowing you to connect your smart phone or computer to your TV and watch shows and movies from your favorite services like Netflix and Hulu. You can also use it to show a page in the Chrome browser on your TV screen.

Various Google Chromecast devices

There are a few different Chromecast devices to choose from, including Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and Chromecast Ultra. You can buy these devices from stores like BestBuy or Amazon, or directly from the Google Store.

 

Chromecast devices and what/who they are good for:

DeviceCostFeaturesRecommended forPhoto
Chromecast$35Stream shows and movies from iOS, Android, PC or Mac through HDMI port in TVEnjoying movies/shows on TVChromecast Original
Chromecast
Audio
$35Stream music, audiobooks, podcasts, and more from your mobile device or computer over Wi-FiMusic loversChromecast Audio
Chromecast
Ultra
$70Same as Chromecast + smoother streaming and 4K HD video qualityGetting the best-quality videoChromecast Ultra

Using a Chromecast device, you can screen mirror your device’s screen on your TV screen. You can wirelessly pair Chromecast with your laptop, iPhone or iPad, or Android smart phone or tablet. This way, you’ll be able to view pictures, videos, movies, shows, music, games, and more on your TV screen.

Want to get your new Chromecast device set up in your home? We’ll tell you all about the Google Chromecast setup process and show you how to connect to Chromecast next.

 

How to set up Google Chromecast

1. Plug your Chromecast device into your TV’s HDMI port, then plug it into a source of power.

Once you take your Chromecast device out of the box, you should see one cord that has an HDMI adapter on the end of it, and one cord that plugs into a power outlet. Plug the HDMI adapter into the HDMI port on your TV. This can usually be found either on the side or at the back of your television. Then, plug the power cord into an open power outlet. Make sure you have your TV’s input/source set to the HDMI setting as well.

Hand plugging Chromecast device into an HDMI port

2. Install the Google Home app on your mobile device, or the extension for your computer.

On your mobile device, open up the app store and download the free Google Home app to your device. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Download Google Home: iOS | Android

Google Home Chromecast app

If you’re trying to connect your computer to Chromecast, open the Chrome web browser, then go to Chromecast.com/setup to pair the device with your computer.

Google Chromecast app on computer

3. Connect Chromecast to the same Wi-Fi network as your mobile device or computer.

When you open the Google Home app or are on the Chromecast setup page on your computer, your Chromecast device should automatically be detected, and instructions to pair it with your mobile device or computer will come up on your screen. These instructions vary slightly based on the device you’re pairing with.

Part of these instructions will involve connecting your Chromecast device to a Wi-Fi network. Make sure that you select the same Wi-Fi network as your mobile device or computer is already connected to. Chromecast needs to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order for you to be able to cast content to your TV screen.

Chromecast set up screen

4. Enjoy casting to your TV screen.

Once you have completed the process of setting up your Chromecast device with your TV and casting device of choice, you should be able to see the content from your device on your TV screen.

Chromecast is ready to cast

Now that you’re done setting up Chromecast, you’re ready to start using it. Keep on reading to learn how to use Chromecast for entertainment and more.

 

How to use Google Chromecast

1. Check out Chromecast-enabled apps and download them to your device.

To make it super easy for you to know which apps are compatible with Chromecast and can be broadcasted from your mobile device to your TV screen, check out this list from Google outlining the apps that are compatible with Chromecast devices. The list includes favorites like Netflix and Spotify.

Chromecast-enabled apps

2. Visit Chromecast-optimized websites.

If you’re visiting a website on your Chrome browser, you can cast a tab from your browser to make it appear on your TV screen. However, to get a better-quality picture that’s optimized for Chromecast, you might want to stick to using Chromecast-enabled sites. Along with the better-quality casting, there are also other benefits like using less battery power, and being able to play independently, meaning you can close your computer and keep casting, unlike just casting a tab where you need to keep your computer open and running. Read more about this on Google’s support page here.

Casting optimized sites

3. Tap the Cast button to view the app or website on your TV screen through the Chromecast receiver.

If you’re using an app that’s optimized for use with Chromecast, you should see the Cast icon appear somewhere on your screen. Tap Cast to view the app on your TV.

Cast button in Chromecast app

If you’re not sure whether the app you’re using is compatible with Chromecast, check your screen for the Chromecast icon (pictured below). If you see this icon anywhere on your screen, you can easily broadcast the app to your TV through your Chromecast receiver.

Cast icon

4. Enjoy shows, movies, videos, pictures, games, music, and more on your television screen.

Once you’ve paired your device with Chromecast and have successfully begun broadcasting content on to your TV screen, all that’s left to do is enjoy your broadcasted content and share it with your family and friends. No more crowding around a small screen!

 

That’s all it takes to set up and use your Chromecast device. If you have any issues, you can head over to the Chromecast Help Center for assistance and helpful tips. If you’re interested in learning about some cool websites and apps you might want to stream through your Chromecast receiver, check out our TV and Movies category.

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