Has AirPlay stopped working on your Apple devices? You aren’t alone.
There are many reasons AirPlay won’t stream audio or video content from your devices. Sometimes, it’s your network connection that has an issue, while other times it’s your Apple device that won’t properly send your content to your desired destination.
Regardless, you can fix most AirPlay issues using some easy and quick methods. This guide takes a look at some of the possible ways to fix AirPlay when it’s not working.
Check AirPlay Compatibility
AirPlay doesn’t work on all devices out there, and so the first thing you need to do is to check if your device supports this feature. Apple has published a list of devices that you can use AirPlay on, and those devices are as follows.
Devices You Can Stream Audio From Using AirPlay:
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 11.4 or later
- Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K running tvOS 11.4 or later
- HomePod running iOS 11.4 or later
- Mac with iTunes 12.8 or later OR macOS Catalina or later
- Windows PC with iTunes 12.8 or later
Devices You Can Stream Video From Using AirPlay:
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 12.3 or later
- Mac running macOS Mojave 10.14.5 or later
It goes without saying that the device you’re streaming content to should also be compatible with AirPlay. Many compatible devices have an AirPlay-enabled label so you know they work with this feature.
Reboot Your Router
One of the reasons AirPlay can’t stream your content is that there’s an issue with your router. It might be that your router is restricting the content due to a minor issue with the router firmware.
In most cases, you can fix this by simply rebooting your router. Turn your router off and then turn it back on, and this should fix some minor issues with your network.
Wake and Bring Your Devices Closer
In order to use AirPlay, all your devices must be turned on and be unlocked.
If you’re using AirPlay on your Apple TV, ensure it’s not in Sleep mode. Use the remote control to bring the TV out of Sleep mode.
Also, Apple recommends you bring your AirPlay-enabled devices as close to each other as possible. If your devices are far away, try and bring them closer to increase the strength of the connection.
Update Your Devices
Make sure all your devices that you want to use AirPlay with are running the latest software version available for them. This includes your Apple TV, iOS devices like iPhone and iPad, and even macOS.
If you aren’t sure, here we show how to check and update your Apple devices.
To update your iOS devices such as an iPhone or iPad:
- Launch the Settings app on your device.
- Tap General followed by Software Update.
- Let your device check for available updates.
- If an update is available, tap Download and Install to update your device. You’ll see Install Now if the update is already downloaded on your device.
To update an Apple TV 4K or HD:
- Head into Settings > System > Software Update on your TV, and select Update Software.
- Tap Download and Install, if an update is available.
To update macOS:
- Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner.
- Select About This Mac.
- Click the Software Update button.
Make Sure Both Devices Are on the Same Wi-Fi Network
To use AirPlay, both the receiving and the sender device should be on the same Wi-Fi network. This allows the feature to detect all AirPlay-enabled devices on the network.
To check what network you are using on an iOS device, head into Settings > Wi-Fi and you’ll see your current network name.
To check the current network on a Mac, click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar and it tells you the name of the network you’re using. We have a guide that shows you what to do if your Mac won’t connect to Wi-Fi if you have network issues on your Mac.
Apple TV users can check their current network in the Settings > Network menu. If you use an Ethernet connection with your TV, make sure your TV is connected to the same router as your Wi-Fi connection.
Enable Bluetooth on Your iOS Devices
Apple recommends that you enable Bluetooth to use AirPlay on your iOS-based devices. You can turn Bluetooth on using a couple of ways on your iPhone and iPad.
One way is to pull up from the bottom of your screen and tap the Bluetooth icon. This will turn Bluetooth on.
Another way is to open the Settings menu, tap Bluetooth, and turn the Bluetooth toggle to the ON position.
Tweak Your Mac Firewall
If it’s your Mac where AirPlay is not working, make sure your firewall is not restricting the connection. There might be a rule in your firewall blocking the AirPlay connection, which is causing you all the issues.
Luckily, you can see and modify all the macOS firewall options in a few clicks. Here’s how:
- Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner and select System Preferences.
- Select Security & Privacy on the following panel.
- Head to the Firewall tab.
- Click Firewall Options.
- Make sure the Block all incoming connections option is unticked.
- Tick Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections.
- Click OK to save your changes.
Enable the AirPlay Icon on Your Mac
Your Mac usually shows the AirPlay icon in the menu bar when it detects an AirPlay-enabled device on the network. If this isn’t happening with your Mac and you don’t see any icons, you might have disabled the icon in the settings.
To enable the icon, all you need to do is this:
- Click the Apple logo in the top-left and select System Preferences.
- Select Displays on the resulting screen.
- Tick the Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available.
- macOS will save your changes automatically.
Consider Other Options for Connecting Your Apple Devices
There are people who rely on AirPlay for their day to day tasks, and if you’re one of them, it’s really frustrating when the feature stops working for you. Try out the methods outlined above, and you should likely be able to fix your AirPlay problems.
AirPlay isn’t the only way to connect your iPhone or iPad to your smart TVs. There are other ways as well that let you bring your device’s content onto your TV, and you should consider exploring these ways if AirPlay keeps acting up.