How to AirPlay to Mac From iPhone

Whether it's music, video, or even a presentation, you can use AirPlay to instantly share anything that you can see on your iPhone or iPad to your Mac. AirPlay to Mac allows iOS users to utilize the high-fidelity sound systems on most modern Macs to rock the house or simply kick back and enjoy their favorite content on a larger Retina display.

Also read: AirDroid Cast Review: Screen Mirroring Made Easy

Device Requirements

To AirPlay content to your Mac from your iPhone or iPad, your devices must fulfill a few hardware and software requirements.

For the OS, you will need:

  • Mac running macOS Monterey or later
  • iPhone or iPad running iOS/iPadOS 14 or later

In terms of hardware, you 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 mobile 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 begin streaming content from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, you'll need to enable the AirPlay receiver feature in the System Preferences app and manage device permissions. AirPlay configuration is one of the many ways you can customize your Mac.

  1. Select the Apple icon from the Menu Bar on your Mac.
Mac Apple Icon
  1. Click on the item labeled "System Preferences."
Mac System Preferences
  1. In the System Preferences app, choose the icon labeled "Sharing."
Mac Sharing
  1. Check the box that reads "AirPlay Receiver" from the list on the left pane.
Mac Airplay Receiver
  1. Choose the relevant option under "Allow AirPlay for" to manage permissions.
Mac Allow Airplay For

AirPlay to Mac Permissions

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

  • Current User: only devices signed in with the same Apple ID as the Mac are allowed to stream.
  • Anyone on the same network: anyone on the same Wi-Fi network as the Mac is allowed to stream.
  • Everyone: anyone, even if they are connected to a different Wi-Fi network or signed in to a different Apple ID than the Mac, is allowed to stream.
  • Password Protected: anyone who enters a password that is set by the administrator is allowed to stream.

Also read: Streamlabs Desktop vs. OBS Studio vs. XSplit Broadcaster

How to Stream Audio From Your iPhone to Your Mac

Share your favorite tunes to your Mac in just a few taps. 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, we're using the built-in Music app.
Iphone Music App Select
  1. Tap the AirPlay icon at the bottom center of the display.
Airplay Icon Music
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations.
Iphone Playback Destination

Also read: How to Connect an External Monitor to Your Mac

How to Showcase 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 "Memories" feature on your iOS device to auto-generate a photo slideshow.

  1. Open the photo you'd like to share from your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the "Share" button located in the bottom-left corner of the Photos app.
Iphone Photo Share 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 have finished sharing your photo(s), select the AirPlay icon located in the upper-right corner of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the item labeled "Turn off AirPlay" to stop streaming.
Iphone Turn 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 improved 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, the Apple TV app, or any other supported video app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap anywhere on the screen to toggle playback controls.
Iphone Playback Control
  1. Tap the AirPlay icon highlighted below.
Iphone Airplay Icon 1
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations.
Iphone Airplay Macbook Pro 1

Also read: External Display Not Working? Try These 15 Fixes for macOS

How to Mirror Your iPhone Screen to Your Mac

From presentations to how-tos to video game sessions, share just about any content you'd like to your Mac's display with AirPlay mirroring.

  1. Swipe down with one finger from the upper-right corner of the display to toggle Control Center. On some devices, you may have to swipe up with one finger from the bottom of the display.
Iphone Right Corner Swipe
  1. Tap on the AirPlay mirroring icon as shown below.
Iphone Mirroring Icon
  1. Select your Mac from the list of playback destinations.
Iphone Screen Mirroring 2

Also read: How to Unlock iPhone and Mac with an Apple Watch

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Even if you have AirPlay to Mac permissions set to "Everyone," you will see a pop-up asking you to accept and authorize incoming AirPlay streaming requests. An additional layer of security also requires users to verify their iOS device by entering a code that appears on their Mac's display before they can use AirPlay.

If my iPhone or iPad does not meet the hardware requirements for AirPlay to Mac, is there a workaround?

According to Apple, older models of the iPhone and iPad may be able to share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models. Ensure that the “Allow AirPlay for” permissions are set to “Everyone” or “Anyone on the same network” in the Sharing preferences on your Mac.

How can I quickly exit an AirPlay session on my Mac?

To take back control of your Mac swiftly, you can end an AirPlay streaming or mirroring signal from any iOS device by pressing the Esc key on your Mac. Alternatively, you can jiggle the cursor a bit to reveal a "Cancel" button in the upper-left corner of your Mac’s screen.

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

Brahm Shank

Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts - including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.

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