The Google Chromecast is one of the cheapest streaming devices available, and arguably, one of the best. Before you start binge-watching everything the Internet has to offer, though, you’ll need to get the device up and running. The Chromecast setup process is generally simple and intuitive, but if you find yourself stuck on any of the steps, our guide can clarify what to do next.
1. Hook up the Chromecast to your TV.
This part of the process is pretty foolproof. Plug the Chromecast into your TV’s HDMI port and the USB wire into a compatible port or power outlet. Just keep in mind that if you’re using a 4K-compatible Chromecast Ultra, you’ll need to connect the adapter to an outlet; a USB port doesn’t supply enough power to sustain it.
2. Download the Google Home app.
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This would also be a good time to turn on your TV and select the right input, although technically, you can go through most of the setup process without it.
3. Select Devices in Google Home.
It’s in the upper right corner. Note that you may get a prompt on the bottom of your screen to set up a new device; this will work, too.
4. Select Set Up.
The Google Home app will now set up the Chromecast. You don’t have to do anything except tap Continue when prompted.
5. Check the code against your TV.
You should see a code both on your app and your TV screen. Provided they match, select Yes.
6. Choose a name.
You can also adjust privacy and Guest options on this screen.
7. Connect the Chromecast to the Internet.
You can choose a network (or use Ethernet on an Ultra) and either get the password from your mobile device, or input it manually. Keep in mind that you will need to use the Chromecast and your apps on the same network.
8. Sign into your Google Account (optional)
While you don’t have to sign in, you’ll have access to all of your content on YouTube and whatever movies, TV and music you purchase through Google if you do.
9. Take the tutorial (optional)
If you’ve never used a Chromecast before, it couldn’t hurt to let Google Home demonstrate how Casting works. Select Learn How to Cast, and follow the instructions. Alternatively, Tom’s Guide also has a story on how to do this.
(Long story short: Find a compatible app, press the Cast button. That’s really all you have to do.)
You can also see how the Chromecast stacks up against budget devices, and how the Chromecast Ultra fares against premium devices.