How to stream from your iPhone to your TV using AirPlay

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Nowadays, as almost everyone owns a smartphone, people are constantly creating and sharing media of various kinds, from show work to dance videos to share among friends and videos for kids to share with grandparents. Connecting your devices at home and streaming videos or watching your photos on TV is just another part of that.

Apple’s AirPlay allows iPhone users to mirror their screens to the TV, so they can play videos and music or see photos. We’ll focus specifically on how to broadcast on TV and the different ways to do it.

If you want to AirPlay on your TV, make sure your iPhone and your TV, Roku, or Apple TV 4K are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. If you have a Roku that you use to connect, make sure it has the latest updates by going to Settings>System>System Update>Check Now.

How to stream from your iPhone to your TV

We’ll cover two easy ways to stream from your iPhone to your TV: You can choose to use screen mirroring or stream specific media like photos and videos without mirroring your screen.

I will choose an AirPlay video on my TV. So I just went to my photos and tapped a video to run this example.

Once you’ve chosen a video or photo, hit the Share button at the bottom left of the screen.

Share button

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Scroll down after your sharing options until you find AirPlay, then tap that.

Choose AirPlay

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Available devices on your network will appear, giving you the option to choose a TV or streaming device to play your chosen media.

Choose a TV

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

The selected media will be played on your selected TV. You can skip ahead, zoom in or out, or play live photos, all from your iPhone.

Media is played on TV only

The media will only play on the TV, and your iPhone screen will not be mirrored.

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

How to Use Screen Mirroring on iPhone

Aside from using AirPlay, the other option to stream media from your iPhone to your TV is to use screen mirroring. The biggest difference between the two is that screen mirroring will display the iPhone screen on the TV, so you can watch more than just a video or photo, for example. So you can read a website or a message on the TV.

Swipe down on the iPhone screen to get to the Control Center and tap on Screen Mirroring, it’s the button with two screens overlapping.

This will show the available devices both nearby and on your network that you can share your screen with.

Go to Screen Mirroring

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

Tap on the TV where you want your iPhone screen to be mirrored. In this case, I chose my LG TV. Your phone screen should now be visible on the TV, and you can use your phone to find the media you want to view.

Select TV

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If you play your videos, you’ll notice that only the video and audio play on the TV, allowing you to use your phone as a remote control to control what you’re watching.

Screen mirror from iPhone to TV

With Screen Mirroring, you can share everything on your iPhone screen to your TV.

Photo: Maria Diaz/ZDNet

This is how you can AirPlay to a TV from your iPhone. Screen mirroring allows you to take advantage of displaying whatever is on your iPhone most likely on a larger screen to share with others in the room, all enabled from the Control Center, where you can pause, play, rewind or fast forward.


What is the difference between AirPlay and Screen Mirroring?

Screen mirroring will display everything on your iPhone screen on your TV, so everything you do on your phone will be visible on the big screen. When you use AirPlay, you stream media from your phone to the TV without sharing your screen on the TV. Just as we listen to music on our phones through a Bluetooth speaker, AirPlay simply connects to your Smart TV to display the media you want to view.

How can I stop mirroring my screen?

If you’ve finished mirroring your screen and want to stop, go to File Control Center again by swiping down the top right corner, then selecting screen mirroring repeatedly. On the next screen, tap Stop reflecting.

Why can’t I stream to a Roku TV or stick?

Now, if you have a Roku and can’t find it in the list of available devices on AirPlay, you can go to Settings> Apple AirPlay and HomeKit And make sure AirPlay is toggled on. You can also specify your preferences for accessing AirPlay on this page.

Can I AirPlay With Fire TV Stick?

a Fire TV Stick Not compatible and will require a third party app, such as AirScreen or Apowermirror.

Not all TVs are compatible with AirPlay 2, so if you’re in the market to buy a TV and screen that mirrors your iPhone, you might want to check the specs when choosing a TV to make sure it works with Apple AirPlay. If your TV is not compatible but you have a file year or Apple TV 4KYou can still use AirPlay to mirror your iPhone screen.

Why won’t my iPhone connect to the TV?

If you get a message that says “Unable to connect to ‘device x'”, it’s possible that your phone isn’t connected to the same network as the device you want to AirPlay to. Check that your iPhone’s wifi is turned on and connected to the same network as your device.

If the problem persists, restart the phone and TV and try again. Restarting the router may also help solve this problem.

Can I use AirPlay without an Apple TV or Apple TV + subscription?

The truth is, you don’t need an Apple TV or subscription to use AirPlay. All you need is to connect your iPhone and TV to the same network, then follow the above instructions. AirPlay is simply a feature for Apple devices.