How to Set Up Chromecast

chromecast with plug, adapter, and smartphone on the deskchromecast with plug, adapter, and smartphone on the desk

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Google’s Chromecast allows you to stream your favorite shows, movies, and songs from your mobile device to your TV. It’s also easy to set up! All you need is your new Chromecast, the accompanying cords that come in its box, and a smartphone to get started.

Below, we’ll cover all the steps required to get your Chromecast up and running so you can start streaming in no time.

Make Sure You Have Compatible Devices

While setting up Chromecast is easy, you will need to have the right devices—and appropriate updates for those devices—for it to work. The following is a breakdown of what you’ll need to get started:

Mobile Device

You will need a compatible Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device to set up Chromecast. If you own an Android smartphone or tablet, you will need to make sure it is updated to run Android 6.0 or later. If you own an iPhone or iPad, it needs to be running iOS 12.0 or later.

Note: You can no longer use a computer or laptop to set up Chromecast; a mobile device is required.

TV with HDMI Input

The Chromecast will only work with a TV or display that has an HDMI input. Most newer HD TV’s come with multiple HDMI ports by default. However, if your TV or display does not currently support HDMI, you may need to purchase an RCA to HDMI adapter.

While not a requirement, you can view 4K or ultra-high-definition content with Chromecast if your TV supports 4K viewing. However, your TV should have high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) 1.3 or higher to effectively work with Chromecast. Check your TV’s user manual to see if it has these features.

Router with Wi-Fi Connectivity

While you don’t need a specific router to set up Chromecast, you do need to ensure it offers secure Wi-Fi connectivity and can provide the following wireless standards:

  • 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) (5Ghz is recommended for setup)
  • WEP, WPA/WPA2 (WPA2-Enterprise is not supported)

Note: You will need your mobile device to be within 15-20 feet of your router to effectively complete the Chromecast’s setup.

If you don’t have a router that supports Wi-Fi or have an inadequate Wi-Fi connection, you can purchase an ethernet adapter for your Chromecast. Just attach the micro-USB end to the device, plug in the power supply at the other end into a socket, and run an ethernet cord between the port on the power supply and your router.

Check for the Correct Cords and Power Supply

Besides the Chromecast itself, the device should have come with a 1.75m power cable and 5V, 1A power supply to power it. The device should have an HDMI cord attached to connect the Chromecast to your TV.

The power cable and power supply are required for the Chromecast to operate properly; if you find that you are missing any of these components upon unboxing, contact Google Support.

Note: Do not try to replace the cord/adapter with cords/adapters that did not originally come with your device; Google suggests that by doing so, the Chromecast will not work as effectively.

Plug in the Chromecast

Now it’s time to set up your Chromecast! First, you’ll need to make sure that your TV is powered on. Then, plug in your device to the TV and a power source, using the cords provided:

  1. Use the HDMI cable attached to the Chromecast to connect the device to your TV.
  2. Plug the micro-USB cable into the other side of the Chromecast.
  3. Plug the power supply into an available outlet.

Once you have done this, your TV screen should change to display a welcome screen with a Chromecast “device number” at the bottom. If you do not see this automatically, try changing your TV’s input or source until you do see the screen.

Download the Google Home App

Next, you will need to download the Google Home app on your mobile device (if you don’t already have it) to set up your Chromecast and connect it to Wi-Fi. The Google Home app is available on both Google Play for Android devices and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.

To use the Google Home app, you will need to have an existing Google account. If you don’t already have one, follow these steps:

  1. In your browser, go to the Google account sign-in page.
  2. Click Create Account.
  3. Fill in the required fields and hit Next. (Note: You can create a new username/email address or use an existing email you already have.)
  4. Google will prompt you to enter your phone number for verification purposes. You can complete this step now or skip and verify later.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Finally, Google recommends that you add a recovery phone number and email in case someone hacks into your account and/or to avoid getting locked out.

If you’re new to the Google Home app, the app will provide a series of prompts to help you get started, including connecting your Google account and setting up your Home. From there, the app will begin looking for the nearest Google devices to add. (Make sure your Bluetooth is turned on for this step.)

Add Chromecast as a New Device on the App

If the Google Home app does not automatically detect the Chromecast, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the plus (+) sign at the top-left of the Google Home app’s main screen.
  2. Then, select Set Up Device, followed by New Device.

From there, the app will provide a series of prompts for you to get Chromecast set up:

  1. In the first screen, you will need to “Choose a home,” or the address where your Chromecast is located. Then, tap Next.
  2. The app will begin to search for your device. If it does not automatically detect it, it may ask what type of device you’re setting up. Select Chromecast/Google TV and make sure your device is plugged in correctly.
  3. Once the app locates your Chromecast, it will ask you to confirm that it has the right device. Select the device on your phone with the same code as what is displayed on your TV.
  4. Next, a four-digit security code will appear within the app and your TV. Confirm if they are the same code.
  5. After setting up the device, the next screen should prompt you to set up your Wi-Fi connection with Chromecast. Select your Wi-Fi network from the list provided within the app, and log in with your Wi-Fi password. (Note: Make sure your phone is on the same network you want your Chromecast to be on.)
  6. You’re all done! You should now see a background image appear on your TV, the time, and your Chromecast’s name.

Troubleshooting Chromecast Setup

If your Chromecast does not successfully set up after following the above steps, try these troubleshooting tips:

Reboot Your Chromecast

You can reboot your device through the Google Home app or with the device itself.

To reboot Chromecast through the app:

  1. Open the Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Select your Chromecast.
  3. In the top-right corner, select Settings (gear icon), then More Settings.
  4. Tap Reboot.

To reboot with the device:

  1. Unplug the power cable from the Chromecast.
  2. Leave the device unplugged for at least one minute, then plug it back in.

Note: Make sure you unplug the power cable from the device, not the HDMI plug from the TV; doing so will not result in a reset.

Reset Your Wi-Fi

If you’ve reset your device and still have issues setting it up, the issue could lie with its Wi-Fi connection.

To reset your Wi-Fi on your Chromecast, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Select your Chromecast.
  3. Tap Settings (gear icon).
  4. Select Wi-Fi > Forget This Network. This step will completely remove your current Wi-Fi connection from Chromecast.

Then, you’ll need to re-add the Wi-Fi network. To do that, you’ll need to follow the steps to add a new Chromecast device and reconfigure the Wi-Fi settings.

Reset Your Router

If you reset your Chromecast’s Wi-Fi and it’s still not connecting, try resetting your home’s router/modem:

  1. Unplug the router/modem and wait for at least 60 seconds before plugging it back in.
  2. Wait for two minutes as the router restarts.

Factory Reset Your Chromecast

This requires restoring your Chromecast to its default factory settings, so only try this step if the previous tips don’t work.

There are two ways you can factory reset your device: through the Google Home app and through the Chromecast device itself.

To factory reset your Chromecast (any generation or Chromecast Ultra) from the app:

  1. Open your Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Select your Chromecast and go to Settings (gear icon).
  3. Within this menu, tap More (the three vertical dots on the top-right) and select Factory Reset.
  4. Confirm the reset by selecting Factory Reset once again.

To factory reset your Chromecast through the device (2nd and 3rd generation):

  1. While the Chromecast is plugged into the TV, press and hold down the button on the device’s side.
  2. The LED on the Chromecast will blink orange. Continue to hold down the button until the LED light turns white, then release. The Chromecast will then restart.

Note: If you own the 1st generation Chromecast and want to perform a factory reset through the device, hold down the button on its side for 25 seconds or until the LED light starts flashing red. When the LED starts blinking white and the TV goes blank, let go of the button. The device will then restart. 

Contact Google Support

If all else fails, we recommend that you contact Google Support. There may be an issue with your device that requires repairs or necessitates a full replacement.

Luckily for users, Google offers a one-year warranty for all new Chromecast devices and a 90-day warranty for refurbished Chromecasts, so you can have your device replaced as long as you contact Google within a year of purchasing it.

In Summary

Google makes it easy for users to set up a new Chromecast; just plug it into the TV and a socket, download the Google Home app, and follow the prompts to add a new device. If you run into any issues, try one of the troubleshooting steps covered above to get you back on track.

Once your Chromecast is ready to go, you can use it to stream and cast various content from your mobile device; just look for the “cast” icon in the top right-hand corner within any compatible music or video streaming apps.

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