Top 7 AirPlay problems and fixes
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In this article, we'll look at the top 7 most common problems and fixes you can encounter when AirPlay is not working.
When I AirPlay (on iPhone) only the audio plays and the screen window, when holding phone verticall, is blacked out. When holding horizontally (full screen) my LG TV displays the default screen of giving me instructions on how to AirPlay. Since there isn’t a ESPN+ app on webOS this has been quite the inconvenience.
- We get the following error when trying to connect to an LG smart TV from iTunes for Windows:-'The AirPlay device cannot be selected for audio output. The AirPlay device is not compatible with the current AirPlay playback configuration.'
- Smart TV sets usually come with preloaded apps that can be used to stream content, play games and browse the internet, among other things. One of the most popular smart TV apps is ESPN+. However, if you buy an LG Smart TV set and bring it home, plug it in and search for the ESPN+ app, you won’t find anything.
AirPlay is designed to work between any iOS device and an Apple TV or any popular AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV. It also works, or should work, when sharing music with popular AirPlay 2–enabled smart speakers, so that you can play music on more than one device. AirPlay also lets you set up multiple screens, which can make for an epic gaming experience.
It can be frustrating when it doesn't work as it should. So here are some of the most common problems encountered and fixes we would recommend.
1. Wi-Fi connectivity
Firstly, you want to make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. AirPlay really won’t work if one is not connected, or they're both connected to different networks. Whether you want to share a TV show or movie from an iPhone or a Mac to an AirPlay-enabled TV or Apple TV, or another device, the two devices need to be connected to the same network.
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- Check which Wi-Fi network your Mac or iOS device is using.
- Check the same for the TV or other device.
- Make sure they're the same. If not, switch the macOS or iOS device to the same one as the TV.
If you are having Wi-Fi router or other connectivity issues, try switching your router on and back off. Or conduct further Wi-Fi troubleshooting until the problem is resolved and both are connected through Wi-Fi that is working.
2. AirPlay-enabled device not switched on
When you want to share content through AirPlay, the icon on your iOS or macOS device should show up in Sharing settings.
However, AirPlay won’t connect if the other device isn’t enabled and switched on. So check the TV or other device — the one you are going to share the content with — is switched on, awake, and connected to the right Wi-Fi network.
It is also worth making sure that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on both devices. On a macOS or iOS device, you can check both of these in Settings. On Mac’s, both also show up in the top toolbar, and can be easily enabled within Applications > System Preferences.
3. Outdated software
Out-of-date software can prevent AirPlay from working. To check you’ve got the latest software, check the following:
- iOS devices: Settings > General > Update Software.
- macOS device: Apple icon (top toolbar) > System Preferences > Update.
On every Apple device, they clearly show when new software is needed.
If this is the case, make sure to back everything up beforehand, and then download the latest version of the iOS or macOS before attempting to connect again using AirPlay.
4. Third-party apps
If you have third-party apps that are also used for streaming content, such as videos, movies, TV series and music, then these could be interfering with the smooth running of AirPlay. Some of the most problematic include Duet and AirParrot, although there are several others and they can prevent from AirPlay from working as it should.
To avoid this problem, it’s recommended that these third-party apps are switched off (whichever iOS or macOS device they're on), then restart the device before trying to use AirPlay again.
5. Firewall problems
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macOS and OS X devices — especially MacBooks — can accidentally prevent an AirPlay connection through a firewall. This means that your devices' own security is so sensitive that is temporarily preventing you from enjoying your favorite shows or movies on a larger screen. But don't worry, this problem can also be solved.
- Go to System Preferences >Security & Privacy.
- Find Firewall > Firewall Options.
- Uncheck the box that says: Block all incoming connections.
4. Check the box that says: Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections
Now you should be up-and-running without any firewall blocking the connection.
6: Wi-Fi networks not working properly
Another problem is that browser data, cache and cookies, or pre-set security preferences could be preventing this connection from working as it should.
On a macOS device, here is one way you can make your Mac 'forget' your Wi-Fi connections and start over:
The quickest way is to download the free version of Mac maintenance app, CleanMyMac.
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- Launch CleanMyMac and click on the Privacy tab.
- Click Scan
Now, the app will collect the unnecessary browser data and build the list of your old Wi-Fi networks.
3. Check the Wi-Fi networks icon and click Remove.
Now your Mac will forget the old settings so you can reconnect from scratch:
- Reconnect your macOS device to Wi-Fi.
- Access the content you want to share and share with another device using AirPlay.
CleanMyMac X could be helpful in fixing various Mac performance issues, such as AirPlay not working. Its latest version is notarized by Apple, so you are safe using it.
7. Restart your TV
And finally, if all of the above doesn't work, try restarting and resetting — if needed — your TV or Apple TV. Almost everything else can be solved on iOS and macOS devices; but if those solutions don't work, take a different approach.
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Another route you may try is deleting system junk with the mentioned app, CleanMyMac X. By system junk we mean old cache files, user logs, old iOS updates — everything that may interfere wit AirPlay. To delete system junk, grab a free edition of CleanMyMac X and click on the System Junk tab.
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One way or another, with these top tips and a little extra help if you need it, we are sure that your AirPlay will start working again. Stay tuned for more MacBook tips.