How To Set Up Google Chromecast

Update June 27: A new update from Google has apparently led to select Chromecasts not working. Google is suggesting users reboot their devices, and notes that an upcoming fix will solve the problem if a reset doesn't work.        

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.

You can acquire the Google Home app either through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Most Android device should already come with it preinstalled.

If you’re using a Chromecast with a computer, you don’t need the Home app; just having Google Chrome installed is enough. Visit Google’s Chromecast website and follow the instructions.

MORE: Best Streaming Services

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.

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  • Siva_prasad
    My Google Chrome cast does not sync with Google Play music.. Please help
  • missypowers
    Well, this is annoying. I just wrote a long comment and when it went to make me sign in I lost it. You would think there would be a save mode when that happens. DOn't really feel like typing it all out again but Im frustrated as hell and I have yet to find a fix.
    June 27 2018
    We have 3 Chromecast devices in our house. All three show up in Google Home as active and ready to cast but the main room device does not show up in any of the regular streaming apps we use. We know it is not a phone issue because it happens on my husband's phone as well as mine. It also happens on my laptop running Chrome. We re-booted the device a few times. We switched devices from another room. We re-booted the router twice. Now, when we re-booted the router, the device on the problem area tv kept trying to connect to the wrong Wi-Fi network. I think it might be trying to connect to the network name we had before we got a new router several years ago. It's hard to remember those names but it seemed familiar. Meanwhile, the network on my phone switched from my FIOS network to the Chromecast network from the device in the bedroom which is the network that is working. I hesitate to say 'device' because we tried to different devices on the main network --the tv in our living room. We powered the tv off/on several times and my husband, a audio/video professional doesn't think the tv would be the issue anyway. The device on our main tv is plugged in via the USB. On our bedroom tv, it is connected via HDMI. I'm wondering if this is where the issue is. I meant to also say that the main Chromecast screen DOES show up on the tv with my preferred background settings. Again, it also shows up in the Google Home app. It just doesn't appear in Hulu, Netflix, Google Photos, or Youtube. I haven't tried any of my other Chromecast-compatible apps. I think all the other HDMI slots on the main tv are occupied so I can't test the HDMI theory just yet. I'll make some switches later and see if that works. I hope they fix this bug soon.
    *******************************************************
    ETA: My husband had this to say regarding it being a possible HDMI issue:
    "All the Chromecasts connect to the TVs via HDMI, but are powered by USB. The 2 on the Samsungs are powered (when the TV is on) by a USB connection in the TVs themselves. The Sony's Chromecast is powered by an external power strip, which is why that Chromecast can turn the TV on when you select it. The others wouldn't be able to do that."