How To Connect Your Phone to Apple TV


Casting from your phone to your TV is a quick and easy way to share a video you’re watching or pictures from a trip with your friends and family. A great way to do this is to use the AirPlay app to connect your Apple devices so you can connect your phone with any Apple TVs in your home. 

To connect your phone with your Apple TV, you will need to use AirPlay which allows you to stream video from your phone to your TV and mirrors your phone screen to share pictures or other applications. Add your Apple TV as a device in AirPlay and easily cast between devices.

Keep reading to learn how to stream video and mirror your phone screen onto your Apple TV, how to connect your Apple TV to the same network as your phone, and how to troubleshoot some of the connection problems that might come up.  

How to Connect Your Apple TV to the Internet

Before you can connect your phone to your Apple TV, you will need to have both devices connecting to the same network. 

To connect your Apple TV to WiFi:

  1. Open your TV’s settings and select “Network.” 4th generation TVs will have “Network” as an option in the Settings menu, whereas for 2nd and 3rd generation TVs, you will need to select “General” on the Settings menu and then “Network.” 
  2. Select the “Configure Wireless” option.
  3. A list of available networks will appear. Select your network and enter the password. 

A confirmation message will appear when the connection is complete. If you are having difficulties connecting with WiFi, you may need to change the location of your TV so it is closer to your router or find a way to use a wired connection. 

How to Stream Video From Your Phone to Apple TV

Remember that some devices don’t support AirPlay or videos that won’t work using AirPlay. In these cases, you may be able to download the streaming app directly onto your Apple TV to watch the video.

To stream a video from your phone:

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  1. Connect your Apple TV and phone to the same network.
  2. Open the video or streaming app on your phone and select the video you want to share on your TV.
  3. Tap the AirPlay icon, which looks like a screen with an arrow pointing at it. In some apps, you may need to tap the “Share” options first to find the AirPlay button. 
  4. A list of available devices will appear. Select your Apple TV, and it should share the video to the device.

You may find that video will automatically stream to your Apple TV when you share between your phone and TV frequently, but you can stop this but tapping the AirPlay icon again to stop casting between devices. 

How to Mirror Your Phone to Your Apple TV

You can share other applications other than streaming videos. If you want to mirror your phone screen to share pictures or other apps, you can still use the AirPlay function. 

To mirror your phone screen:

  1. Connect your Apple TV and phone to the same network.
  2. Ensure that your Apple TV is on and open to the home screen.
  3. Open the “Control Center.” For iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper right of the screen. For iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. 
  4. Tap the “Mirroring” icon, which looks like two rectangles overlapping.
  5. A list of available devices will appear. Select your Apple TV. 
  6. You will get a prompt to enter a pin code. The pin code will appear on your Apple TV’s screen. Enter the pin, and you should see your phone screen mirrored on the TV.

To stop mirroring your phone screen, you will need to navigate to the Control Center again a tap the “Mirroring” icon where you can select “Stop Mirroring,” or you can press the “Menu” button on your Apple TV remote. 

Why Can’t Your Phone Connect to Apple TV?

If you are having difficulties connecting your phone to your Apple TV, then there are a few things you can try to fix it. 

  • Check that AirPlay is on for your Apple TV. 
  • Ensure that both devices are connecting to the same WiFi network.
  • Restart your Apple TV. Open Settings and select “General” then “Restart.”
  • Unplug your Apple TV for 30 seconds for a soft restart.
  • If you think it might be an issue with your network, restart your router either by unplugging it for a few minutes or using the restart button if it has one. 
  • Restart your phone. 

How to Turn AirPlay On for Your Apple TV

One of the main reasons you might have issues connecting your phone to your Apple TV is because you need to enable AirPlay on your TV. 

To turn on AirPlay:

  1. Open the Home Screen on your TV and select Settings.
  2. Select “AirPlay” to open the settings for this feature.
  3. You should see an option called “AirPlay” with either “On” or “Off” on the right side of it. Click on this option to set AirPlay to “On.”
  4. Press the “Menu” button on your remote until you navigate back to the Home Screen.

Toggling between “on” and “off” can sometimes be enough to reset AirPlay on your Apple TV and help fix the connection error with your phone. 

Is AirPlay an app?

There is an AirPlay app option to connect an Android phone to Apple devices, but there is a mixed opinion on how well it functions. Apple products work best with other Apple products, so if connecting an iPhone is an option, you will be better off using the AirPlay function that comes with the iOS system. 

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty easy to connect your phone to your Apple TV with the inclusion of AirPlay. Ensuring that both devices are connecting to the same wireless network and using the dropdown menu to select the AirPlay icon are the only steps you need to be able to share a video you’re streaming or pictures from your latest trip. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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