How To Set Up Google Chromecast

Google recently took the wraps off of a new, 2-inch long stick called Chromecast. This $35 dongle that attaches to your TV, and lets you stream and control video from YouTube and Netflix using your phone, tablet or laptop.  This little device connects to your home network via WiFi. Then, using your phone (Android or iOS), you can select a YouTube or Netflix video, and stream it to your TV by pressing the “Cast” button.

If you're one of the lucky few to have ordered a Chromecast before they sold out, then you should be receiving yours any day now. But, in an effort to make the Chromecast as simple as possible, Google offers shockingly little documentation on how to set it up. How little? This is the setup manual:

So, to make things a little easier, here's an illustrated guide to setting up your Google Chomecast. 

Plug the Chromecast into your TV

1. Plug the male HDMI connector on the Chromecast into an HDMI port on your TV. If the fit is too tight, use the included HDMI extension cable. 

2. Next, attach the included USB cable to the microUSB port in the Chromecast, and connect the other end of the USB cable to the power adapter, and plug it into an outlet. We were also able to use the USB port in our Samsung Series 8000 HDTV to power the Chromecast device. If your TV has a USB port, we suggest giving it a try, as it eliminates a little clutter.

MORE: Google Chromecast Reviewed

3. Switch the input on your TV to the correct HDMI port. You'll know that the Chromecast is powered on and working if you see the screen above on your TV.

Download and install the Chromecast Utility

1.Connect your notebook to a Wi-Fi network.

2. Install Google's Chrome browser on your Mac or PC; Chromecast won't work with other browsers.

3. Download the Chromecast utility at setup (on a Mac, it's a 3.5MB file), and install it on your computer.

Run the Chromecast Utility


1. Launch the Chromecast utility, and it will immediately start searching for the Chromecast device. Once it finds the Chromecast, it will display the device's name both on your TV and your PC. Click Continue in the installer. 

Once it connects, a code will appear both on your TV and PC.

2. Press the button that says "That's my Code” if the codes match.  During this time, you'll lose your notebook's Internet connection, as the utility is connecting to the Chromecast via Wi-Fi, and configuring the device's Wi-Fi to connect directly to your wireless network.

3. Choose Your Wireless Network. The Chromecast is designed to pull videos directly from the Internet through your wireless network, so it needs to connect to your Wi-Fi. Using the Chromecast utility, select the Wi-Fi network you want the Chomecast to use, and enter the password, if you have one. Here, you can also change the name of the Chromecast device.

Once the Chromecast is connected, the image below will appear on your TV screen. Note that the background changes from time to time; it's a nice little touch that keeps the interface, as minimalist as it is, from becoming too stale.

Your notebook's screen will say "Ready to Cast," and the Chromecast utility will open the Chrome browser to a video showing how to use Chromecast. 

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  • rlegro
    Nope, not that simple, at least for some of us. Chromecast does not play well with some routers and the extent of this problem appears a mystery. Google does have a page showing specific router models with known problems but my late-model, popular Netgear router is not there and Chromecast refuses to do business with it. The router and Chromecast see each other and even talk, but that's it -- I never get to the "Ready to Cast" screen.

    Meanwhile, when Chromecast during installation sets up a temporary hotspot for itself, it trashes my default network connection, requiring me to do a Windows repair diagnostic or reboot each time.

    Google's FAQs and troubleshooting are unhelpful, with half a dozen or more fairly technical "fixes" to my router configuration, which anyone who hasn't done a manual router config would likely not understand. I do understand the advice, but suggested configuration still leaves the device. Maybe I should replace my expensive, high-end router with another model that MIGHT work so I can plug in a 35-dollar gizmo. Don't think so!

    Moreover, it becomes clear as I work the problem that Chromecast will not tolerate a moderately secure router. VPN? Nope. Proxy DNS? Probably not. Firmware firewall via NAT? Not a good thing, Chromecast says. And yet other roadblocks. But I realize that even I got this thing working, I'd be surrendering the level of security I wish to maintain. Must I compromise my secure network for this little device? Not unless I'm crazy. Hey, Roku and Apple TV and other solutions don't make you do that, but of course Google is big time into the information-collection business. Thus this gizmo, for me, remains a brick. It was also a Christmas gift that I've already spent too many hours trying to make work.

    Nice idea, badly executed. Which, when you think of it, is more and more the Google style. But it might work for you without compromising your own needs, so if you'd like to buy a nearly brand new one complete in the box, let me know and I'll offer you a nice deal.
  • Lisa Martin
    This article was very helpful in my decision making; to buy or not to buy. I definitely will be making this purchase! Thank you!
  • jimmc10374
    I just bought the chrome cast an it does nt do wat its suossed too yes it works with utube ,hulo,pandora ok yes but doesnt project my pictures in my galery it does my videos plus it dont project wats on my phone like wats on my screen or cnt browse wit aaaaaaah y cnt i get it to
  • jbernier52
    I can't seem to connect to my wireless...when the chromecast app asks me to setup to my router (which is password protected) it sees it as an unlocked network and doesn't allow me to input my password. As a result I'm unable to connect. What could be causing the app to not recognize that my wireless has a password. I am currently connected to the router with every other wireless device that I own. Thanks!