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, Edge and even Firefox on your PC. This feature used to work on PCs but was removed a few years ago, leaving us happy casters at a loss. Luckily, with a few small tweaks, you can enable a special build of Chrome (or Edge) on your PC that will let you cast YouTube and other websites from your iOS or Android phone to your PC.
Setting Up Custom UserAgent String
First, you need to install the Chrome extension Custom UserAgent String to Chrome on your PC. 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 are 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 “Open Options Page.”
In the “Enter a desired URL” box, enter https://youtube.com/tv.
Then, in the big box next to that, enter:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Tizen 2.3) AppleWebKit/538.1 (KHTML, like Gecko)Version/2.3 TV Safari/538.1
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 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.
Connecting Your Phone and PC
On Chrome, go to youtube.com/tv, and you should see an invite to sign in using a web browser. You can ignore this, because the following step will sign you in anyway. Instead, click the Settings icon in the bottom left corner of the browser on the YouTube.com/TV page.
Next, choose “Link with TV Code.” Leave the page displaying the TV code open while you do the next step.
On the YouTube app on your phone, click your profile icon at the top right corner, then Settings -> Watch on TV -> Enter TV Code.
Enter the code displayed in the browser on your PC, then tap “Link.”
Now, when you tap the “Cast” icon at the top of your YouTube app on your phone, your PC should appear as a device you can stream to, though it’ll most likely be called something like “YouTube on TV.” Pick your device, and you’re away!
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. The tab needs to be active at the time. or you won’t get the option to cast to your PC.
If nothing is working for you, the problem may be that either your mobile device or PC don’t support casting or that you mistyped something in the string. We’ve seen a few comments to this article that the custom user agent string isn’t working, but we’ve freshly retried it and can confirm that it all still works for us!
Use Your Phone Companion on Windows instead
The Get Your Phone app helps pair your Windows PC and phone so that you can cast anything on your screen, including YouTube. Download and install the app on Windows from the Microsoft Store, then install the Your Phone Companion app from the Google Play Store. Once you’ve followed the prompts to set up both and connect to the same Wi-Fi network, you should be able to cast YouTube from your phone to your PC.
Will this work on browsers other than Chrome?
Yes, we can confirm that the extension works in just the same way on Microsoft Edge (you can use the exact same version from the Chrome store), and there’s a functioning Firefox version of Custom UserAgent String too.
YouTube redirecting to homepage
If you are getting redirected to the YouTube homepage when you try to go to youtube.com/tv, ensure the Custom UserAgent String you entered is correct. An extra space or line at the end can cause it to not work right. Also, ensure you don’t have any other custom user agents assigned to the YouTube TV URL. There should just be one entry in the UserAgent table under the URL “youtube.com/tv”.
Want to have more fun with videos and YouTube? Check out our guide on how to watch videos with online friends in real time. Alternatively, if you want to jot your thoughts down in video form, read our list of the best sites for keeping online video diaries.
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