Streaming TV shows and music from your smartphone or tablet is great — and what the Chromecast was designed for — but you can also use Chromecast to stream stuff from your PC or laptop.
A few things make Chromecast superior to other streaming methods. One is that you don’t need to buy any special HDMI conversion cables. Another thing that makes Chromecast great is that you can take it with you wherever you go. And finally, Chromecast allows you to set guest mode features, which is great for presentations and the like.
Since its unveiling, Chromecast has grown in popularity and compatibility. In this article, we’ll discuss how to cast content from your PC or laptop to your Chromecast device.
Set up your Chromecast and PC
To start, we’ll cover some basic tasks you need to do for this to work, and no, it doesn’t require specialized equipment. Just a web browser, extension and decent wifi connection.
Browsers and extensions for using your PC with a Chromecast
First, it might be easier to do this from Google Chrome, as the Chromecast is a Google device, but you can extension for Mozilla Firefox or another browser to get this done.
If you’re using Chrome, just tap the menu icon in the top right corner (these will be three vertical dots or an arrow icon, depending on whether the browser has been updated), then right-click Form.
Now you will see the cast button permanently in the top right corner of Chrome.
Once you have your cast icon ready to go, it’s time to check your internet connection. To pair your PC or laptop with your Chromecast device, they must be on the same Wi-Fi network. While this may seem simple enough, keep in mind that many routers offer multiple bands, so make sure both devices are connected to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band.
Open the Google Home app from your smartphone or tablet. Tap on Settings and then tap WiFi network. Now you can connect it to the internet band you want to use.
Note: You may need to forget the existing network to connect to the new one.
Now you need to connect your PC or laptop to the same network. Just click on the network icon in the lower right corner of your screen and a list of available networks will appear. Click on the one you used in the Google Home app and enter the necessary security information.
Doing these tasks before trying to connect can help you avoid both frustration and connection errors.
Using Chromecast on your PC or laptop
For services like Netflix and Spotify, the process is the same as on your phone or tablet: just click the Form icon we discussed above.
Even if there is no Cast compatibility in the video player, you can still use your Chromecast to stream content, and there are several ways to do this.
The easiest way is to stream a tab from the Chrome internet browser. The tab can contain video, audio, or images. You could even use it to mirror a presentation in an emergency. Everything on the internet, in other words.
Here’s how to do it:
- Launch your Chrome browser and install the Google Cast extension of the Chrome web store.
- Click on the Google Cast icon to the right of the address bar and select your Chromecast from the list. The tab should now appear on the TV.
- You can cast from another tab at any time by clicking the Form extension and select Cast this taband finish by selecting Stop casting.
- It’s even possible to stream a video file stored on your PC or laptop by simply dragging the file to a Chrome tab and clicking the full-screen button on the video player to fill your TV’s screen.
Once you complete these steps, the mirroring will begin. This means there is nothing left to do; your content should appear automatically.
What to do if your computer does not connect?
If your Chromecast isn’t showing up on your computer, your internet connection on either device is probably the culprit.
Just use the Google Home app and your computer’s network icon to make sure both are connected to the exact same Wi-Fi connection. This usually fixes issues of the device not showing up to a pairing failure error.
But if not, you will need to reset your router. Depending on the manufacturer of your router, there may be a small reset button with holes. If so, use a thin object such as an earring to press and hold the button for 10 seconds. Let the router reset and reconnect.
Your problems with Chromecast can also be attributed to your power connection. In general, this is easy to spot because your Chromecast would not turn on without power. But if your PC or laptop can’t find your device, check the wired connections and make sure your Chromecast is turned on.
Chromecasts and PCs
If you have WiFi and a relatively modern computer, you can connect to your Chromecast from your PC without any problems. With a few taps and clicks, you can quickly connect and stream between your PC or laptop and Chromecast device.
Have you encountered any problems setting up your PC and Chromecast? Share your thoughts and experiences about using Chromecasts below.