Casting YouTube videos or music from your iOS or Android phone should be seamless. If a TV, gaming console, Roku stick or other media streaming device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone, then you should get a little “Cast” icon on your phone’s YouTube app to stream straight to devices.
Theoretically, you should also be able to cast YouTube from your phone to Google Chrome on your PC. This feature used to work on PCs but was removed a couple years ago, leaving us happy casters at a loss. Luckily, with a few small tweaks, you can enable a special build of Chrome on your PC that will let you cast YouTube and other websites from your iOS or Android phone to your PC.
First, on Chrome on your PC you need to install the Chrome extension Custom UserAgent String. This will let you effectively change your PC’s Chrome version into one designed for smart TVs, streaming sticks, gaming consoles or other devices. You can set this to only apply for specific websites, so we’ll be applying it to the YouTube site designed for cast requests.
Once installed, the extension should appear in your Chrome extensions bar as a blue globe-like icon. If not, click the Chrome menu icon -> More tools -> Extensions. Find the UserAgent extension here and click it so it’s on/blue.
Next, click the UserAgent extension icon, then Options. Ignore the drop-down menus. In the “Enter a desired URL” box, enter: https://youtube.com/tv.
Then, in the big box next to that, enter:
This pair of boxes will effectively make sure that whenever you go to youtube.com/tv, your Chrome will automatically behave as if you were using the Samsung TV app and become available for casting.
After you’ve filled both boxes, click the “+” icon to the right of them to confirm the custom useragent string.
Note: we found that the URL you enter into the “desired URL” box doesn’t always make the jump to the new “URL” box when you add it. If “youtube.com/tv” doesn’t appear in the URL box when you create it, just enter it into the URL box manually.
On Chrome, go to youtube.com/tv, and you should get an invite to sign in using a web browser. Click this, then follow the instructions. On your phone, go to youtube.com/activate and enter the code.
You’ll get a message saying “YouTube wants to access your account.” Click the Allow button, and like magic you should get signed into the TV version of YouTube at youtube.com/tv on your PC.
The Cast icon should appear on YouTube on your phone, and you can now cast from your phone to your PC just as you would to a TV.
In the unlikely case that your phone doesn’t link to youtube.com/tv on your PC, on the YouTube app on your phone, go to “Settings -> Watch on TV -> Enter TV Code, then enter the long code that appears there.
Note that you need to have youtube.com/tv open in a browser tab to cast to it. It won’t just automatically open the website if it’s closed.
Want to have more fun with videos and YouTube? Check out our guide on how to watch videos with online friends in real-time. Or if you want to jot your thoughts down in video form, then read our list of the best sites for keeping online video diaries.