AirPlay to Mac from iPhone

Whether it’s music, video, or even a presentation, you can use AirPlay to instantly share everything you see on your iPhone or iPad to your Mac.

With AirPlay to Mac, iOS users can use the high-fidelity sound systems on most modern Macs to rock the house or just sit back and enjoy their favorite content on a larger Retina display.

Device Requirements

In order to play content via AirPlay on your Mac from your iPhone or iPad, your devices must meet a number of hardware and software requirements.

You need:

  • A Mac with macOS Monterey or later and
  • An iPhone or iPad device with iOS/iPadOS 14 or later

In terms of hardware, you’ll need one of these Mac devices:

  • MacBook Pro (2018 or later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  • iMac (2019 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac mini (2020 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • Mac studio (2022)

As for the iOS/iPadOS device, any of these options will work:

  • iPhone 7 or later
  • iPad Pro (2nd generation) or later
  • iPad (6th generation) or later
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) or later
  • iPad mini (5th generation) or later

How to Configure Your Mac to Allow AirPlay Streaming

Before you start streaming content from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, you need to enable the AirPlay receiver feature in the System Preferences and Manage Device Permissions app. AirPlay setup is one of the many ways you can customize your Mac.

  1. On your Mac, select the Apple icon in the menu bar.
Mac Apple Icon
  1. Click on the entry labeled “System Preferences.”
Mac System Preferences
  1. In the System Preferences app, choose the icon labeled “Sharing.”
Share Mac
  1. Check the box that says “AirPlay Receiver” in the list on the left side of the panel.
Mac Airplay Receiver
  1. Choose the relevant option under “Allow AirPlay for:” to manage permissions.
Allow Mac Airplay for

Understanding AirPlay to Mac Permissions

Control who can stream content to your Mac using AirPlay by configuring device requirements and setting credentials. To get started, read what each setting allows:

  • Current user: Only devices signed in with the same Apple ID as the Mac are allowed to stream.
  • Everyone on the same network: Anyone on the same Wi-Fi network as the Mac can stream.
  • Everybody: Anyone, even if they’re connected to a different Wi-Fi network or signed in to an Apple ID other than the Mac, can stream
  • Password protected: Anyone who enters a password set (optionally) by the administrator is allowed to stream.

Stream audio from your iPhone to your Mac

Share your favorite music with just a few taps on your Mac. This workflow is compatible with all audio streaming apps that support AirPlay, including the built-in Apple Music and Podcasts apps.

  1. Open an audio streaming app on your iPhone or iPad. In this example, let’s use the built-in Music app.
iPhone Music App Selection
  1. Tap the AirPlay icon in the bottom center of the screen.
Airplay icon Music
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations. You’ll see a check mark appear next to your Mac.
Iphone playback destination

How to show photos from your iPhone on your Mac

Looking for a larger canvas to display photos from your iPhone? With AirPlay to Mac, you can effortlessly share your photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad by streaming them to your Mac’s screen. You can even use the “Reminders” feature on your iOS device to automatically generate a photo slideshow.

  1. Open the photo you want to share from your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the “Share” button in the lower-left corner of the Photos app.
iPhone photo sharing button
  1. Select AirPlay from the list of Share Sheet options.
Iphone Share Airplay
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations.
Photos App Mac Select Airplay

A pulsing blue indicator will appear on your iPhone in the upper left corner, confirming that you have successfully enabled AirPlay.

Blue indicator Iphone
  1. When you’re done sharing your photo(s), select the AirPlay icon in the top right corner of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the item labeled “Turn off AirPlay” to stop streaming.
iPhone turns off Airplay

How to play videos from your iPhone on your Mac

Share content from AirPlay-supported apps like YouTube, Apple TV, and Netflix to your Mac for enhanced audio and a more immersive viewing experience. (If you have a non-Apple smartphone, follow our guide on streaming from Android to AirPlay.)

  1. Play the video you want to cast using the Photos app, Apple TV app, or any other supported video app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap anywhere on the screen to enable the playback controls.
Playback Control Iphone
  1. Tap the AirPlay icon highlighted below.
Iphone Airplay Icon 1
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations. You’ll see a check mark appear next to your Mac.
Iphone Airplay Macbook Pro 1

How to mirror your iPhone screen to your Mac

From presentations to how-tos to video game sessions, share virtually any content you want on your Mac’s screen with AirPlay mirroring.

  1. Swipe down with one finger from the top right corner of the screen to enable Control Center. On some devices, you may need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen with one finger.
Swipe right corner of iPhone
  1. Tap the AirPlay mirroring icon under network controls as shown below.
iPhone mirroring icon
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations. You’ll see a check mark appear next to your Mac.
iPhone screen mirroring 2

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have AirPlay to Mac permissions set to “Everyone”, can I receive unwarranted content on my Mac?

Even if you have AirPlay to Mac permissions set to “Everyone”, you’ll see a popup asking you to accept and authorize incoming AirPlay streaming requests. An added layer of security also requires users to authenticate their iOS device by entering a code that appears on their Mac’s screen before they can use AirPlay.

If my iPhone or iPad doesn’t meet the hardware requirements for AirPlay to Mac, is there a workaround?

According to Apple, older iPhone and iPad models may be able to share lower-resolution content with supported Mac models. To do this, make sure that the “Allow AirPlay for” permissions are set to “Everyone” or “Everyone on the same network” in the sharing preferences on your Mac.

How do I quickly close an AirPlay session on my Mac?

To quickly regain control of your Mac, you can end an AirPlay streaming or mirroring signal from any iOS device by pressing the esc key on your Mac. Alternatively, you can move the cursor slightly to reveal a “Cancel” button in the top left corner of your Mac’s screen.

Image Credit: Maxwell Nelson via Unsplash All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank.

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