In this article, I am explaining what do to when AirPlay is not working properly and how to fix common AirPlay problems in macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.
AirPlay lets users wirelessly stream or mirror content (musics, videos, screens or photos) between AirPlay-enabled devices (iOS devices, Apple TV, etc.). It also allows you to stream music to any compatible speakers.
See also: Apple TV Remote Not Working?
Yesterday, I was trying to AirPlay a video (a Netflix movie) from my iPad device to our Apple TV. But it did not work. I kept seeing “Looking for Apple TV”. After completing a few basic troubleshooting techniques, I was able to fix the problem.
You may be also experiencing similar problems.
- You do not see AirPlay buttons/icons.
- You do not see your list of devices.
- You see video but you do not hear the audio or you hear the audio but you do not see the video.
- Your video quality is very low.
- You are unable to turn off mirroring.
- Your content is interrupted and you have significant lag.
- Performance problems with AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring.
AirPlay (formerly called AirTunes) is a wireless transmission technology. Apple developed this technology. An essential requirement is that sending (e.g., iOS devices running iOS 4.2 or later) and receiving (including AirPort Express) devices need to be compatible with AirPlay.
This problem is important. A lot of Apple users stream content from one Apple device to another. I often use AirPlay to watch Netflix, YouTube, etc.
See this article, if you are unable to watch YouTube on Apple TV.
Fix Your AirPlay and AirPlay Mirroring Problems
Try these troubleshooting steps in order. Please after each step, test if your problem is fixed:
iOS and Apple TV
- Make sure that your Apple TV is awake.
- Make sure that that iOS and iPadOS software is up to date. Here is how you can update:
- You can update your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone wirelessly by going to Settings > General > Software Update. If there is an update available, update your device by following the on-screen instructions.
- Update your Apple TV. Here is how you can update the tvOS software on your Apple TV:
- Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD: Go to Settings > System > Software Updates and select Update Software.
- Other Apple TV models: Go to Settings > General > Software Updates. If there is an update, follow the instructions to update your Apple TV.
- Note that you may want to turn on Automatic Updates so that your Apple TV updates are done automatically by going to Settings > System > Software Updates then enable Automatically Update.
- Restart your iPhone or iPad.
- iPad with Face ID and iPhone X, 11 or later: Press and hold the power (side or top) and volume up (or down) buttons together until you see the power off slider. Then drag the slider. Wait until your device turns off. Then press and hold the power button until you see the Apple logo.
- Other iPad and iPhone models: Press and hold the side or top button until the power off slider appears. Then drag the slider. Then press and hold the side or top button until the Apple logo appears.
- Restart your Apple TV. You can do so by disconnecting your Apple TV from the power source and wait 10 seconds and then reconnect.
- Restart your Router/modem. Also, you may want to update your router’s firmware (see your router’s manufacturer manual to do this). To restart, disconnect it from the power outlet and wait 10 seconds and then reconnect.
- Make sure that your Apple TV is connected to the Internet. See this article if Apple TV is not connecting to Wi-Fi.
- Make sure are your device and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. If not, connect to the same Wi-Fi network. Also, please note that AirPlay is completely dependent on Wi-Fi. Ensure that there are no Wi-Fi problems. See these articles to troubleshoot Wi-Fi problems:
- If you do not hear the audio, make sure that your TV, iPad or iPhone is not muted.
- Make sure that your iOS device is not set to Silent. Check the Ring/Silent switch which is located on the left side of your iOS device.
- On your iOS device, enable Airplane Mode and wait a few seconds, and then disable.
macOS and Apple TV
AirPlay lets you stream (or mirror) your videos from your Mac to your TV.
See also: You Mac is freezing?
- Make sure that your Apple TV is awake.
- If you are having with your Mac, then restart your Mac. You can restart your Mac by choosing Restart from the Apple menu.
- Install software updates for your Mac.
- macOS Mojave or later: Go to System Preferences and Software Update.
- Other macOS versions: Open the Mac App Store and click Updates.
- Make sure that your Mac supports AirPlay. To check this, Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays. Do you see the “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” option? If you do, then your Mac supports Airplay.
- Make sure that you have a solid Wi-Fi connection. See this article if you are having Wi-Fi issues on your Mac.
- On your Mac, turn off Wi-Fi and turn back on. You can do so by clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
- Make sure that your Mac is on the same network connection as your Apple TV. On our Apple TV, go to Settings > Network. On your Mac, go to click the Wi-Fi icon in your menu bar. Are they the same?
- Update your Apple TV ( Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software).
- Your Mac’s firewall settings may the problem. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall tab > now click the lock icon so that you can make changes, enter your password, > now click Firewall options and then uncheck “Block all incoming connections” and check “Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections”, then click OK:
- If you think video, screen quality is low, then you may want to adjust your display settings on your HDTV.
- Restart your Apple TV.
- Restart your Router. Simply disconnect from the power outlet, wait 10 seconds and reconnect.
- Update your router /modem. Check your router’s documentation.