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AirPlay not working on Mac - find the reason and the solution

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JustStream 4.5 Rank based on 23+ users, Reviews(5)
Today’s world is all about being connected and this is especially true for linking Mac to TV. Watching a movie, enjoying videos, playing a game, or delivering a presentation: they all look a million times better on a bigger screen. With Mac, most people tend to use AirPlay to stream content to their TV set. Sometimes, however, you may find AirPlay not working properly. Fortunately, there are ways to go around that and still stream your favorite content, by using JustStream for example. Or AirPlay may be experiencing a minor glitch that you can locate and fix yourself. Whatever the case, take a look at our article below for AirPlay alternatives, troubleshooting, and more.

JustStream - use third-party apps to mirror Mac to TV wirelessly

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JustStream
Requirements: OS X 10.12+. 38.5MB free space. Version 2.1(390). (5 May, 2021). 4.5 Reviews(5)
Category: MultimediaApplication

JustStream is a convenient tool, which allows you to connect your Mac to a range of compatible AirPlay or Chromecast devices. This third-party app supports AirPlay, AirPlay 2 and DLNA protocols. Without the need for complex configuration, file conversion, additional cables or other hardware for that matter, you can enjoy video, audio, images, and software on a larger screen.

How to mirror Mac to TV

JustStream offers both mirroring and streaming capabilities to fulfill all your home office or entertainment needs. It works with a variety of smart TV’s from brands like Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Roku, etc.


Using JustStream to mirror your Macbook, you can:

  1. Choose between 1080p or 720p video quality depending on the screen.
  2. Capture cursor movements and mouse clicks.
  3. Scale your content dimensions to fit the screen.

Pros

  • Streams to AirPlay, Chromecast, or DLNA-compatible devices.
  • Supports external or embedded subtitles.
  • You can create playlists with videos unsupported by receiver formats.
  • Optional mirroring with sound available.
  • Mirrors your screen resolution without adapting to the target display.

Cons

  • High CPU is needed to run video formats unsupported by receiving devices.
  • Free streaming or mirroring is limited to 20 minutes.

How to connect MacBook to Apple TV

Below you can find the official Apple guidelines on how to mirror or stream content from Mac to your television:
1
Make sure you connect your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-compatible Smart TV to the same wireless network.
2
On your Macbook, open the app or site that you wish to stream from.
3
Click the TV and arrow icon in the video playback controls.
4
Choose your preferred target device.
5
To stop streaming, click on that same icon and choose "Turn Off AirPlay".

AirPlay is a handy feature, but if you have difficulties with it or find limitations that fail to meet your needs, JustStream is the place to go. Test the app for 20 minutes of uninterrupted streaming to discover its full array of functionalities.

How to enable AirPlay on Mac for Apple TV or Smart TV

Most Macbooks come with AirPlay already installed. This makes it easily accessible, no hardware or software required, and a common streaming/mirroring option for Mac users. Connect your machine to your AirPlay 2-enabled TV and stream with just a tap. You can view photos, videos, movies, presentations, and more.

Please note, however, that compatibility is still important here. In order to successfully use AirPlay, you need to ensure that all your devices support it.

Take a look at the list below to check if your devices (both your Apple TV and your Mac) are AirPlay-compatible:

  • Apple TV 2 (2010)
  • Apple TV 4K (2017)
  • Apple TV 3 (2012)
  • Apple TV 4 (2015)

And:

  • iMac (2011 onward)
  • iMac Pro (2017 onward)
  • Mac mini (2011 onward)
  • MacBook (2015 onward)
  • MacBook Air (2011 onward)
  • MacBook Pro (2011 onward)
  • Mac Pro (2013 onward)

If you don’t have an Apple TV, you can use a Smart TV with integrated AirPlay. A number of manufacturers now offer AirPlay 2-enabled smart TV’s in their product range. The top brands include LG, Roku, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio.

How can I fix AirPlay problems?

If you’re having trouble with AirPlay, e.g. AirPlay not connecting to Apple TV or AirPlay on Mac not working altogether, use the advice below to identify and fix the problem.

Follow these steps to troubleshoot and resolve issues involving AirPlay not working on Mac or other Apple devices:

  • Ensure your Apple device and AirPlay device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Make sure your Apple TV or AirPlay device is switched on and awake.
  • Turn off and on Bluetooth on your iOS device. Do this from the Control Center or go to Settings > General > Bluetooth. To reach the Control center on your iPhone or iPad, swipe down from the top-right corner of your screen. On Mac, click on the Control Center icon in the menu bar.
  • Turn off and on Wi-Fi on your iOS device. Do this from the Control Center or go to Settings > General > Wi-Fi.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi router’s firmware is up to date.
  • Update your Apple TV to the latest software from Settings > General > Update Software.
  • Update your iOS device to the latest software by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Reboot your Wi-Fi router.
  • Restart your AirPlay device or Apple TV. This may mean disconnecting them from their power supply.
  • Restart your iOS device. To do so, press and hold the Side button with either one of the Volume buttons, then swipe the Slide to power off button.
  • Make sure there is only one device trying to stream at a time.
  • A third-party app may be interfering with AirPlay. Apps with similar functions as AirPlay, such as Duet and AirParrot, may be the ones to blame. Uninstall applications that share your screen or media files to other devices.
  • Turn off restrictions from Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.

How can I fix AirPlay on my Mac?

For some Mac users, it may be necessary to perform these additional steps as well:

1. Make sure your Firewall isn’t blocking AirPlay:

  • Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall.
  • Click on the padlock symbol and enter your administrator password to make changes.
  • Open Firewall Options and make sure the Block all incoming connections setting is not activated.
  • Tick the box for Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections.

2. Turn off your Mac by holding the power button.

3. When you turn it back on, immediately hold the following keys to reset your NVRAM and PRAM:

  • option+command+P+R

Continue to hold these keys for 20 seconds or until you hear a startup chime.

Doing this will reset temporary settings such as your startup disk, speaker volume, and display resolution.

FAQ

You don’t need to be connected to a wireless network or pair via Bluetooth. If you’re wondering how to enable AirPlay on Mac without WiFi, you can use Apple’s peer-to-peer AirPlay. Just make sure all involved devices have their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned ON. So go to Control Center and turn these ON on both your iOS device and Apple TV.
If you’re trying to stream to your Apple TV, but the AirPlay icon is missing on Mac, your Apple TV may actually be sleeping. Press any button on the remote to wake it up and again check your Mac’s screen for the AirPlay icon. Another culprit may be your Mac's firewall. It might be set to block all incoming connections. Click on the Apple icon > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall to untick this setting.
Review our article for various troubleshooting tips and tricks. Or, you can just download JustStream and use its universal streaming and mirroring capabilities.
JustStream
Requirements: OS X 10.12+ , 38.5MB size
Version 2.1(390) (5 May, 2021) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication