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How to Fix Apple AirPlay with MacOS, iOS, and Apple TV

This article explains how to fix AirPlay issues. If AirPlay is not working, following these steps should fix your problems.

Why is My Apple AirPlay Not Working?

AirPlay is a service on Apple operating systems that allows people to share content, including video, music, photos, or views of computer screens, between computers, phones, tablets, and TVs. It will also let anybody play audio files to speakers with AirPlay.

AirPlay is not always an easy feature to use. Devices may not connect properly, only part of the information may appear, and it might not turn off correctly. These are incredibly frustrating, but rest assured that they are common. Most AirPlay problems can be fixed by going through a few simple steps.

These easily fixable problems include:

  • AirPlay’s icons not appearing on a screen
  • Devices being absent from AirPlay’s device list
  • Missing audio or video output
  • Extremely low-quality video or audio output
  • The inability to turn off a device’s mirroring

Compatibility with AirPlay

Apple’s AirPlay program allows audiovisual data to be transmitted and displayed in real time. The first thing to check is to see if your devices are all compatible with AirPlay.

All iOS devices need to be running iOS 4.2 or later and have AirPlay installed. AirPlay can be downloaded from the Apple Store.

All third-party devices, which are not made by Apple, need to be AirPlay compatible. There should be a note on the box if a device is compatible with AirPlay. If the box has been thrown away, search the internet with the make and model of your third-party device and “Airplay compatibility”

If all of your devices are compatible, you should look at the Fix List for the devices you are trying to fix. After trying a step, check to see if that fixed the problem.

Fixing AirPlay Issues with Connecting iOS Device and Apple TV

  1. Confirm that the Apple TV is turned on and its cables are connected
  2. Confirm that your Apple TV is connected to the internet
  3. Update iOS. Go to the Settings app, click on General, and click on Software Update. The device will check for updates. Update and restart your device if one is available. If not, that is fine. Go to the next step.
  4. Update Apple TV. Go to the Settings icon, select it, and then choose System, Software Updates, Update Software. The TV will look for updates and give you instructions to update the TV. Restart the TV. If you have your Apple TV set to update automatically, you can skip this step.
  5. Restart the iOS device if you did not do this in step 3
  6. Restart the Apple TV if you did not do this in step 4
  7. Update and reboot the router. Every router is different, so check the instructions for the router you have.
  8. Update and reboot the modem. As every modem is different, please check the instruction manual for the one you have.
  9. Make sure all of the devices you wish to use are connected to the same wireless network. If they are not, make sure the networks match. Regular and 5G networks with the same name may count as two separate networks.
  10. Confirm that the television is not muted. If it is, disable the mute setting using a compatible television remote.
  11. See if the iOS device is muted. If it is, turn the volume on. If that does not work, turn the volume up, as the volume may be on but be very quiet.
  12. Enable airplane mode on the iOS device for fifteen seconds, then disable airplane mode.

Fixing AirPlay Issues with Connecting Macintosh Computers and Apple TVs

  1. Confirm that the Apple TV is powered on and all its cables are connected properly.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. Confirm that the Macintosh computer supports AirPlay. Go to the Apple menu, then choose System Preferences, then click Displays. “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” should appear as a selectable option. If this option is absent, the Macintosh does not support the AirPlay program. See if you can update the operating system.
  4. Confirm that the Apple TV and the computer are on the same Wi-Fi network. If they are not on the same network, make them join the same network.
  5. Update the Apple TV software. Go to the Settings icon, select it, and then choose System, then Software Updates, and choose Update Software. The TV will look for updates and give you instructions to update the TV.
  6. Check your Mac’s firewall settings. In the Firewall tab of “System Preferences”, you can see your computer’s firewall setup. The option “Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections” should be selected. If it is not selected, click on the “lock” icon in the top left corner and enter the administrator password to make this selection. If you do not know the administrator password, you will need to ask someone who does.
  7. Adjust the TV’s video and audio settings to increase the quality of the picture.
  8. Restart the Apple TV.
  9. Restart the router.
  10. Update the router. Every router is different, so check the instruction manual to see how to update the router.
  11. Check the computer for software updates. If they are available, install them and reboot the computer.
  12. Disconnect from the Wi-Fi (AirPort) for fifteen seconds, then reconnect.

What to do if AirPlay Problems Still Are Not Solved

If the AirPlay software is not operating as it should be, then you can contact Apple support over the phone or online. One of their technical support employees can walk you through additional methods for fixing the problem.

AirPlay’s programming makes it extremely sensitive to changes in the Wi-Fi network. Checking your Wi-Fi settings or switching to a more consistent Wi-Fi network can help. As a last resort, the TV can be plugged into the device. This is not a wireless option, but it does eliminate the problems with AirPlay’s Wi-Fi reading.