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How To Set Up And Optimize Chromecast For Mac

9 min read

What is Google Chromecast

Google’s product Chromecast is a small device that plugs into your TV and allows you to stream content onto it from streaming apps like Netflix or Hulu, as well as some content from your phone, as well as from Chrome browser on your laptop or computer.

Why you might need to use Chromecast

Chromecast is a great device that can help you get your favorite TV shows and movies streamed on your TV. What’s more, you can control it with your voice through Google Assistant — in addition to remote control through your phone or with a remote that comes with the Chromecast with Google TV variation.

Speaking of Chromecast with Google TV advantages, this edition of the Chromecast comes with Google TV user interface that allows you to integrate media content from various apps, have a single watch list, and teach the Google algorithm to give you quality recommendations by liking titles.

With Chromecast, you can also cast content from your phone and from Chrome browser to your TV.

Set up Chromecast on Mac

To begin, plug in your Chromecast first. Start by plugging in the power cable, then plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port, and then plug the Chromecast’s power adapter into the wall or other suitable power source.

Proceed to download Google Home app on your mobile device from the App Store or Google Play. Sign up to the app with your Google account and follow the instructions in the app. Make sure you are in the same room as your Chromecast because your phone will require connecting to your Chromecast as part of the setup process.

How to use Chromecast on Mac

Once you are done with the initial Chromecast setup, you can use it on your Mac. Here’s how to do it.

Using Chromecast on Mac effectively

To use Сhromecast from your Mac, you need to get Chrome browser — if you don’t already have it installed on your device, that is. If you don’t have it on your Mac, just download this Google-made browser from its official website google.com/chrome.

Next, open your Chrome browser on the page you want to cast and click the three dots icon at the right end of your Chrome address bar. Find “Cast…” menu option and click. Select the device you want to cast to.

You can also pin the cast button to your Chrome bar for convenience. When you click on “Cast…”, the chromecast icon will appear at the end of your address bar. Two-finger click on it and choose “Always show icon” in the drop down menu. Now, any time you want to chromecast, you can click the icon and choose your Chromecast device to begin.

Alternatively, you can just mirror anything you play on your Mac to your Chromecast with a universal solution like JustStream. The app is a handy tool to handle streaming your video content to Smart TV, Chromecast, Apple TV, and numerous other DLNA devices.

JustStream supports multiple file formats, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility. And just in case, it also allows you to simply mirror your Mac’s screen to a TV just to be sure you can get your content cast in virtually any situation. What’s more, JustStream is easy to set up, pretty much all you need is a WiFi connection. And don’t worry about video quality — the app supports both HD and 4K video.

JustStream manage streaming

Optimizing Chromecast playback on Mac

Chromecast is a convenient solution for enjoying content on the big screen, but it’s only fun when it works seamlessly.

Some of the most popular hiccups with Chromecast playback on Mac include:

  1. Not enough RAM or processing power on your Mac.
  2. Slow or unstable internet connection.
  3. Hardware limitations.

One way to free up some resources on your Mac is using a cleaner app.

CleanMyMac X is an app that finds junk on your Mac, helps spot unnecessary apps and files, and even malware. If your laptop has been working slowly or has tons of files stashed away, you might want to do a quick scan with CleanMyMac X to help it run better.optimize mac cleanmymac x

WiFi Explorer is another handy helper to fix your Chromecast issues. The app is a one-stop shop for monitoring and troubleshooting any WiFi problems. It provides in-depth insights into the way your connection is faring and can help iron out any kinks.

wifi explorer analyze mac

Just a glance at the real-time scan of networks in the area should quickly and easily reveal if something like signal strength or overcrowded WiFi channels might be to blame for the issues. If that’s the case, you may want to try a wired connection or moving your router from its current location.

Chromecast streaming services

As cable is slowly becoming a thing of the past, streaming subscription services like Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, HBO Max, and many more local and global solutions.

You can chromecast your content from a Chrome browser by just clicking the Сhromecast icon or you can look for the icon when your video is playing in your respective streaming service apps and websites (e.g. YouTube or Netflix).

Use Chromecast for streaming your local video and audio files

If you have a vast library of video or audio content on your devices, you can actually stream them to a TV with the help of your Chromecast.

To cast playback of a file to your Chromecast from your Mac, just drag and drop your file to your Chrome browser to start playback, and then use Chromecast extension to cast it. 

Additionally, you can cast your files from your mobile device with Google Home that’s connected to your Chromecast. All you have to do is find the Chromecast icon in the app you are using for playback and tap on it. You can also try clicking the icon for more devices, if the Chromecast icon is not there.

Note that your device needs to be on the same WiFi network as your Chromecast.

How to chromecast your Mac’s desktop or any Google Chrome tab

You can chromecast any Chrome tab to your Chromecast by simply clicking the Chromecast icon at the end of your address bar (if you’ve pinned it as we explained above; alternatively, just click the three dots next to your address bar and select “Cast…”), selecting the TV you want to cast to, and then selecting a source — any tab in your Chrome browser that you want to cast.

In order to cast your whole Mac’s screen though, you’ll need to use an app like JustStream, which allows mirroring your screen to your TV via Chromecast.

Solving Chromecast audio issues on Mac

You can have the crispest video quality in the world but, if the audio isn’t up to scratch, you won’t get the immersive experience that you’re looking for. Unless you have a soundbar, most flat screen TVs put out quiet and tinny audio. In some cases, you may be better off using headphones or even your Mac’s built-in speakers.

Unfortunately, by default, the sound put out by Macs can also be a bit lacking due to volume limitations or incorrect equalizer setup. Luckily, there’s an app out there called Boom 3D that allows you to unlock the true potential of your Mac’s audio output.

In addition to enabling virtual 3D surround sound on built-in speakers or headphones, which is a pretty cool piece of patent-pending tech in and of itself, it comes with a palette of equalizer presets (that can be manually tweaked) for different genres.

boom 3d mac equalizer sound

You can also boost the volume capability of your Mac way beyond the system default and, if you’re worried about accidentally blaring Spotify in the middle of a meeting, set custom volume adjustments for individual apps. 

Volume discrepancy between different hardware providers is pretty common, as anyone who has almost deafened themselves when switching inputs on their TV will be able to attest to, and it’s great to know you’ll no longer need to turn the volume on your TV set way up or down when you’re casting from your Mac.

Summing up 

Streaming devices like Apple TV and Google Chromecast on Mac have enabled an entire generation to move away from cable TV in favor of individual streaming apps that they can pick and choose from. And because there’s no need to download an additional Chromecast app for Mac or anything like that, the process of getting started is usually very straightforward.

As innovative and modern as that idea is, the whole thing can be derailed by audio or video problems. These, however, can be easily resolved with a couple of additional apps.

Fortunately, JustStream, CleanMyMac X, Boom 3D, ClearVPN, and WiFi Explorer mentioned above are available for a free trial on Setapp, a platform of more than 200 Mac and iOS apps designed to optimize every aspect of your digital life. So what are you watching tonight?

FAQ about Chromecast For Mac

How to chromecast Spotify from Mac?

Chromecasting from Spotify’s desktop app is now as easy as using Spotify Connect. Click the “Devices available” in Spotify, select Google Cast, and start chromecasting your music from Mac. Here, you’ll really benefit from the Boom 3D app, which will help you elevate the sound. 

How to chromecast VLC from Mac?

One of the most popular media players, VLC enables you to chromecast content from Mac, too:

  1. In the VLC menu, choose Playback 
  2. Choose Renderer from the drop-down menu
  3. In another drop-down, choose your Chromecast device
  4. Click Scan if you don’t see your device 
  5. Start streaming your VLC content. 

How to get a MAC address from Сhromecast?

You can locate your MAC address both at the stage of Chromecast setup and after that. If you want to save the address during the setup, click the three-dot option (“More”) on the “Connect to Wi-Fi” screen. Then, choose “Show MAC address.” 

If you’ve set up your Chromecast a while ago, you can get the address in the Google Home app: choose your Chromecast device > Settings > Device information. You’ll find your MAC address under “Technical information.”

How to chromecast a Mac using a VPN?

Many streaming services have different libraries based on location. If you want to unlock another country’s Netflix or Hulu library, you can use a VPN tool such as ClearVPN

Note that Chromecast has to be set up to work with a VPN. If you have a VPN that is compatible with your router, you can simply follow your router instructions to enable VPN. And if your VPN doesn’t work with the router, you’ll have to install Chromecast with VPN on a virtual router. 

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