AirPlay not working on Apple TV? Try these 8 fixes

With AirPlay enabled on your Apple TV, you can enjoy the convenience of streaming media files to your home entertainment system. Seamless screen mirroring from Apple devices onto your TV screen is another benefit of this technology. You can also stream content from your Apple TV to your Mac computer and other AirPlay-compatible devices.

AirPlay is certainly a useful function. However, there are cases where the technology goes wrong, especially on the Apple TV. Fortunately, AirPlay problems on Apple TV are easy to fix. This guide covers eight fixes you should try when AirPlay isn’t working on your Apple TV as expected.

Before proceeding, make sure that your Apple TV is powered on and not in sleep mode. The streaming device goes to sleep after a certain period of inactivity. AirPlay-compatible devices may not detect or connect to your Apple TV in sleep mode.

Press the power button on your Apple TV Remote to wake up the streaming device. Then follow the suggestions below if AirPlay remains hidden or doesn’t work when your Apple TV is awake.

1. Troubleshoot your Internet connection

Both devices must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network in order to AirPlay content from your Apple device to your Apple TV. Switch your iOS device or Mac to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV and try again. Or, go the opposite way — switch your Apple TV to the same network as your Apple device.

If the problem persists, disconnect both devices from the Wi-Fi network and wait a few seconds. Then reconnect the devices to the network and check if AirPlay is now working. Try a different Wi-Fi network, if possible.

Slow Wi-Fi connection speeds can cause screen mirroring to lag, freeze, or intermittently disconnect. Disconnect some devices from your home network to free up some bandwidth. Restarting or powering off your Wi-Fi router may also fix the problem. If not, update your router’s firmware and check for malware infection.

AirPlay uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals to discover and connect with other nearby devices. Having electronic devices and devices that block the signal between the source device and Apple TV can cause interference. Make sure that your Apple TV has a clear line of sight between the router and the source device. Do not place Apple TV behind the TV, on a projector, or in a cabinet.

2. Turn on AirPlay

If your Apple TV doesn’t show up when you tap the device’s AirPlay icon, then AirPlay may have been disabled on the streaming device.

Open the Settings app on your Apple TV, select AirPlay and HomeKit, and make sure AirPlay is Above.

If AirPlay is enabled, turn it off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on. That might fix your Apple TV’s AirPlay detection problem

3. Move your device closer

Apple TV uses Bluetooth to broadcast IP address and AirPlay availability to nearby devices before connecting via Wi-Fi. If your devices aren’t detecting your Apple TV via AirPlay, they’re probably too far apart.

Apple recommends placing your Apple TV and source device in the same room for quick AirPlay discovery and connection. The device should be no more than 25-30 feet away from your Apple TV. The closer the devices are to each other, the better the detection.

4. Unmute your device and apps

There may be cases where your Apple TV won’t play sound when streaming content from another device. If you’re having issues with playback volume, make sure your Apple TV and source device are not muted.

Press the button Volume up on your Apple TV Remote, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. If your Apple TV is connected to a Bluetooth speaker, unmute or increase the volume of the speaker.

Some Mac apps (e.g., Apple Music and Podcasts) have volume controls that are independent of system-level volume settings. If you are AirPlaying audio from these apps, make sure the playback volume is not at the lowest level.

5. Check AirPlay Permissions

Your device won’t connect to Apple TV if there’s a connection filter in your streaming device’s AirPlay settings. Go to the Apple TV’s AirPlay menu and make sure your device can use AirPlay.

  1. Go Setting > AirPlay and HomeKit and choose Allow access.
  1. For troubleshooting purposes, select Everybody. That allows any Apple device to stream content to your Apple TV via AirPlay.

Anyone on the same network make your Apple TV AirPlay accessible to any nearby devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Only people who share this homepage grant AirPlay access to people in the Home app. Choose Password required to secure your AirPlay connection to your Apple TV with a password.

6. Restart your device

Turn off and restart your Apple TV and the device you’re streaming content from — iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod touch.

  1. Go Setting > System > Restart to restart your Apple TV. Alternatively, unplug the Apple TV from the electrical outlet, wait a minute, and plug it back in.
  1. To turn off your iPhone or iPad, go to Setting > Shared > Turn off and drag the power off slider. Press and hold your device Edge (or Top) to turn it back on.
  1. Choose Apple logo on the menu bar and select Restart to restart your Mac.

7. Update your device

AirPlay may misbehave if the operating system on your device is outdated or has bugs. Update your Apple TV software and do the same for the source device.

Go Setting > System > Upgrade software > Software updates and choose Download and install to update your Apple TV.

The steps may vary depending on your Apple TV model, generation, or operating system. Refer to our guide on how to update Apple TV to the latest software version for model-specific instructions.

If the source device is an iPhone or iPad, go to Setting > Shared > Software updates and press Download and install.

Bugs in your Mac’s operating system can prevent an AirPlay connection between your Mac and Apple TV. Install any pending macOS updates on your Mac and retry AirPlaying content to your Apple TV.

Go System Preferences > Software updates and choose Update now or Upgrade now to install the latest version of macOS.

8. Modify your Mac’s firewall settings

Your Mac’s firewall may be blocking connections. In that case, the Apple TV will display a “Cannot stream to Mac” error when you submit an AirPlay request.

Likewise, your Mac won’t stream content to your Apple TV either. When you send content to your Apple TV, you’ll receive a notification that incoming connections have been blocked.

To fix this, turn off your Mac’s firewall or adjust the firewall configuration to allow incoming connections.

  1. Go System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall and choose lock icon in the lower left corner.
  1. Enter your Mac’s password or use Touch ID to unlock “Security & Privacy” options.
  1. Option Turn off the firewall. Skip this step and continue to step 4 if you want to enable the firewall without affecting incoming connections.
  1. Option Firewall Options.
  1. Unchecked Block all incoming connections and choose ALRIGHT.

Bye bye AirPlay problems

If AirPlay is still not working correctly, the suggestions in this AirPlay troubleshooting guide may fix the problem. If not, reset your Apple TV (Setting > System > Reset) or contact Apple Support.

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