How to set up a new Google Chromecast device and begin streaming content to your TV

  • To set up a new Google Chromecast, you’ll need a compatible TV and a smartphone with the Google Home app installed.
  • Once the Chromecast device is plugged into your TV’s HDMI port, you can use the Google Home app to activate it and connect it to the internet.
  • The Google Home app is intuitive, and will guide you through the setup process step-by-step.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories .

In a world where cable is falling to the wayside and streaming services are expanding, many people need a bridge between their non-smart TVs and the content they want to stream.

Chromecast, like other streaming devices such as the Fire Stick, plugs directly into your TV, effectively turning it into a smart TV.

Once you plug Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port, that HDMI channel becomes a hub where you can cast anything from your phone or computer to your TV — Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, even picture slideshows — if you see the little cast icon in the corner when you watch on your device, you can cast it to your Chromecast.

How to set up a Chromecast device

Setting up a Chromecast is relatively simple, whether you have an Android or an iPhone — all you really need to do is follow the steps on the app — but to get to those steps, you have to do a few things first.

1. Plug your Chromecast device into one of the HDMI ports on your TV and tune to that HDMI input channel.

2. Download the Google Home app and open it on your phone.

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Download the Google Home app. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

3. Make sure your phone is connected to your Wi-Fi network — this should be the same network as the one you’re going to connect the Chromecast to.

4. Open the Chromecast app. The steps to set up should automatically appear, in which case all you need to do to complete setup is follow the prompts on your screen. If the prompts don’t automatically appear, proceed to step 5.

5. Tap the plus “+” icon in the top left corner of the screen to bring up the “Add and manage” menu.

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Tap the plus ‘+’ icon. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

6. At the top of the menu, under “Add to home,” tap “Set up device.”

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Tap ‘Set up device.’ Melanie Weir/Business Insider

7. Tap “Set up new devices” to bring up the prompts to finish setting up your Chromecast.

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Tap ‘Set up new devices.’ Melanie Weir/Business Insider

8. First, a code will appear on your TV — confirm that it’s the same one displayed on your phone, then continue.

9. Select your region — e.g. “United States” or “Canada.”

10. Assign a name to your Chromecast — make sure it’s something you can easily distinguish from other devices you may have on the Google Home app.

11. Next, choose which room your Chromecast is in on the app. This, too, is important if you have multiple devices on your Google Home app, especially multiple Chromecast devices. You can also choose a custom room name, if you prefer.

12. Choose whether or not to send crash reports to Google when something goes wrong with your device — these reports help Google learn and improve their devices.

13. Choose whether to enable Guest Mode, which allows guests to control the Chromecast if they have a special code, which you can get under the device’s settings on the Home app, or on the TV screen. When you’re finished, tap “Continue.”

14. Enter the credentials for the Wi-Fi network you want to connect your Chromecast to.

Optional: Link your Google account to your Chromecast. This isn’t necessary, but doing so allows you to access extra features, like displaying your own photos as the screensaver image.

How to cast to your Chromecast via a mobile device

1. On your mobile device, open and play the piece of media you’d like to cast.

2. In the top left corner of the screen, tap the cast icon — it looks like a television with a Wi-Fi symbol in the corner.

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Open what you want to watch on your phone and tap the cast icon. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

3. To begin casting, select the name of your Chromecast device from the menu of available devices.

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Choose the name of your device from the list, sit back, and watch. Melanie Weir/Business Insider

How to cast to your Chromecast via a computer

1. On your computer, go to your Google Chrome web browser.

2. Open and play the piece of media you’d like to cast.

3. Click the three vertical dots icon in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser.

4. Click “Cast…”

5. In the dropdown menu, select your Chromecast device and the entire browser tab should now cast to your TV.

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