Many smart devices, such as the Apple TV hub, allow you to have all your favorite streaming services in one spot. However, if you’re left in a situation where you have no access to Wi-Fi, it can be a bit frustrating. Trust me, I have been there and spent hours trying to figure out other alternatives to use a streaming device without having it connected to Wi-Fi, and I’ve found several solutions.

You can use Apple TV without having Wi-Fi by using the Airplay option on your iPhone, which mirrors your phone screen to the TV via Bluetooth. However, for Androids, you’ll have to download an app that will allow you to mirror your phone to Apple TV via Bluetooth.

Using Apple TV without Wi-Fi isn’t something that you should rely on. Although there is a way to connect your device to your Apple TV without Wi-Fi, there are many limitations to streaming using Airplay. Luckily, there is a solution that will solve all your problems, and it doesn’t require an Apple TV at all.

Connecting to Apple TV via Airplay

Although it’s not ideal, there are times when you might not have a Wi-Fi connection available. Fortunately, if you own an Apple smartphone, you can still connect to Apple TV by following these steps:

  1. Check and make sure that AirPlay is on in the Apple TV settings. Make sure the access for AirPlay says, “Everyone.”
  2. Next, open the control center on your iPhone, usually done by swiping up and selecting “Screen Mirroring.” You should then see the name of your Apple TV.
  3. Once selected, your Apple TV should mirror exactly what’s on your phone to the TV.

Alternative Connections for Apple TV

When it comes to watching videos, this is where you’ll hit limitations on what you can do through Airplay. Many platforms, including YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, will not allow you to mirror your phone to the Apple TV properly unless you have Wi-Fi.

Typically, when attempting to do this, you’ll either get an error informing you that it is not supported, or the screen will just load for hours without playing anything. This can be a bit frustrating, right?

Unfortunately, there is only a workaround for YouTube. If you open a browser and go to YouTube.com and switch from mobile mode to desktop mode, it will allow you to mirror your phone screen to your Apple TV without issues. However, the TV view will not be that great and will display the video from a mobile point of view.

There is an alternative connection method, however, that doesn’t require you to connect to your Apple TV: Use a lightning to HDMI adapter. This adapter has an outlet for an HDMI cord that plugs directly into your TV and has a lightning cable that plugs into your iPhone. No Apple TV is required here. No limitations with streaming from Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is probably your best option when it comes to trying to stream to your TV with no Wi-Fi available without any issues.

Connecting an Android Device to Apple TV without Wi-Fi

As mentioned before, most Android devices can not connect to an Apple TV unless you download a casting app so you can cast your screen to the Apple TV. Finding the right app, however, can seem a bit overwhelming. There are many apps out there that you can download, and they all have different features.  

There is an alternative, however, to downloading an app. This can be accomplished by using a USB-C to HDMI adapter or a Micro-USB to HDMI adapter. These adapters work the same as the adapter for the iPhone but support Androids instead.

The type of adapter will depend on the model and year your Android phone was manufactured. Typically, for Androids manufactured before 2018, you’ll need a Micro-USB to HDMI adapter. Otherwise, a USB-C to HDMI adapter should work just fine.

Connecting a Laptop to Apple TV without Wi-Fi

Unfortunately, the only laptop that would support AirPlaying to an Apple TV would be a mac. To connect:

  1. Make sure that your Bluetooth is turned on for both the Apple TV and your mac. Check that AirPlay is turned on, and the access is set to “Everyone.”
  2. Then, select the AirPlay icon from your mac’s top status bar and choose your Apple TV.

The alternative for macs would be like the alternatives for iPhones. You will just need to purchase a USB-C to HDMI adapter and connect the device to the TV directly. No Apple TV is required with this option, and it will be a lot easier to set up.

Conclusion

Yes, Apple TV is entirely operable without Wi-Fi via AirPlay. It may not be recommended since you don’t really get the best quality, but it’s possible. It may be a better option to just hook your phone, tablet, or computer straight up to the TV through the adapters mentioned above.

New to Apple TV? Check out our complete guide to the smart home device!