How to Mirror from Mac to Apple TV

This minHour teaches you how to view your Mac's screen on your Apple TV by using AirPlay. AirPlay requires a Mac built in 2011 or later, running on Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) or later, with a second generation Apple TV or higher connected to a TV set. If your Mac can't connect to your Apple TV via AirPlay, you'll need to use an HDMI cable to connect instead.

Using Apple AirPlay

Turn on your Apple TV.

If this is your first time using Apple TV, you may have to set up and configure the Apple TV before proceeding.

Make sure that your Mac and Apple TV are on the same Internet connection.

You may need to change your Mac’s connection to match that of your Apple TV. To check your current connection:

  • Mac – Click the “Wi-Fi” icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, then look at the name of the network that has a checkmark next to it.
  • Apple TV – Open Settings

    select Network, and review the name of the network to the right of the “CONNECTION” heading.

Open your Mac’s Apple menu

Click the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the screen. A drop-down menu will appear.

Click System Preferences….

It’s in the drop-down menu. Doing so opens the System Preferences window.

Click Displays.

This monitor-shaped icon is on the left side of the System Preferences window.

Click the Display tab.

It’s at the top of the window.

Click the “AirPlay Display” drop-down box.

You’ll find this option near the bottom of the window. Doing so prompts a drop-down menu.

Click Apple TV.

It’s in the drop-down menu. Doing this will prompt your Mac to begin attempting to mirror its display to your Apple TV.

Wait for your Mac’s screen to appear on your Apple TV.

Once you see your Mac’s screen appear on the Apple TV, you have successfully mirrored your display.

  • You can check the “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” box near the bottom of the window to place a mirroring icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Clicking this rectangular icon will prompt a drop-down menu with connection options.
  • If you want to play a video using your Apple TV’s speakers, you may need to adjust your Mac’s sound preferences.

Enabling TV Sound

Click the “Back” button.

It’s the button in the top-left corner of the Display window. Doing so returns you to the main System Preferences window.

  • If you exited the System Preferences window, you’ll instead open the Apple menu and click System Preferences… before proceeding.

Click Sound.

This speaker-shaped icon is in the System Preferences window.

Click the Output tab.

It’s at the top of the window.

Click Apple TV.

You should see this option below the “Select a device for sound output” heading near the top of the window.

  • If you do not see Apple TV here (or you can’t click it), restart both your Apple TV and your Mac, then repeat the above steps.

Test your TV’s speakers.

Play a song or a video on your Mac to see if sound comes from your Apple TV’s speakers; if so, your Apple TV’s sound is set up.

  • If you still only hear sound coming from your Mac, you may need to restart both your Mac and your Apple TV before trying again.


  • AirPlay works on Macs built in 2011 or later.
  • If you don’t see the AirPlay icon on your Mac, make sure both your Mac and your Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • If the playback performance is poor, try to connect Apple TV to your router with a wired Ethernet connection. You will need an Ethernet to USB-C (Thunderbolt) port adapter if your Mac was built in 2017 or later.


  • AirPlay mirroring will not work on the first-generation Apple TV, nor will it work on a Mac built before 2011. It also requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) on your Mac.
  • Mirroring can lag if you have lots of videos playing. Try closing some windows to reduce the load on your Apple TV.

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