How to mirror content to your Mac using AirPlay

You can mirror the contents of your iDevice to a nearby Mac. This is how it is.

Apple’s latest Macs come with tools and accessories that help users maximize their productivity. This does not mean the hard environment that connects these computers with other Apple devices for customers. A notable example of this seamless connection is AirPlay support, which enables users to easily view large screens.

What is AirPlay?

AirPlay is Apple’s way of streaming media. Think Google Chromecast, but built into Apple devices, third-party speakers, and Smart TVs. By default, iPhone, iPad, and iPod users can cast content to an Apple TV — or any other AirPlay-enabled device.

As long as all the devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the feature should work as expected. Users can share what they are doing on their iDevices or cast a video they are watching on the big screen. They can also AirPlay their audio-only stream, making it even more useful for home parties.

AirPlay on Mac

Pre-macOS Monterey, via a third-party AirPlay Mac server

For a very long time, there have been third-party software that can turn a Mac into an AirPlay server. However, most – if not all – are paid apps, making them a hindrance or deal breaker for many users. In addition, they require a single download installation, and the steps are not as straightforward as the average user might expect. This does not mean that they sometimes break or fall behind.

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The bottom line is that it’s uncomfortable for most people, even if it’s the right way to go. So if you have an old Mac that doesn’t support macOS Monterey or a later version of the OS, and you need to turn your device into an AirPlay server, you can settle for this. Just type “turn your Mac into an AirPlay server” in your favorite search engine. You will find many different programs for this purpose.

On macOS Monterey and later

What I and many others have been waiting for a while has been released in macOS Monterey: AirPlay server support. If you are already using this OS or a newer one, such as macOS Sonoma, follow these steps to use it:

  1. Make sure the iDevice and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Make sure both devices are signed in to the same Apple ID. Alternatively, go to System Settings > General > AirDrop & Handoff and select Anyone on the Same Network or Anyone on your Mac.
  3. Open Control Center on your iDevice.
  4. Click on Screen Mirroring. Your Mac should appear as a device to send to.
  5. Click on the name of your Mac and the screen of your iDevice will start to display there. If it’s part of a window or video playback, the iDevice’s screen will take over your Mac. If it’s an audio-only stream, your Mac turns into a wireless speaker for your iDevice, without taking up your screen.
  6. When done, go back to Screen Mirroring in Control Center and click Stop Mirroring. Alternatively, you can click the (x) button in the upper left corner of your Mac. 3 Pictures list of devices available for screen mirroring between iOS control, including Mac and Apple TV Disable the mirror view button in the iOS control center Close it
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So if you want to turn your Mac into a wireless speaker or screen for your iDevice, you’re just a few clicks away. Watch from your favorite TV show, listen to classic music, or watch Apple Fitness+ videos on the big screen. This saves regular Mac users the need to set up an AirPlay-connected TV for their viewing needs.

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