Using your TV as a second monitor isn’t an original idea, but it’s definitely a great one!
You don’t want to clutter your living room by connecting your computer to your TV with an HDMI cable, but is there another way to display your laptop’s browser on your TV?
Could you use your Chromecast as a second monitor?
Chromecasts allow you to display your laptop’s screen on your TV, though they don’t function as a second monitor in the sense that you will not be able to drag your mouse and windows from your laptop screen to your TV.
Instead, your browser or desktop will be mirrored onto your TV. This is particularly useful for presentations or if you want to display an app or website for all to see.
It is not a great option if you need more desktop space when working.
Now that you know that your Chromecast can only duplicate your device’s screen instead of extending it, let’s explore how to use your Chromecast as a second monitor.
There are two main ways you can use your Chromecast as a second monitor: casting a tab in Chrome and casting your device’s screen.
Let’s learn how to do both!
- Casting A Chrome Tab to Chromecast
- Casting the Screen to Chromecast
Casting A Chrome Tab to Chromecast
The first way to use your Chromecast as a second monitor is to cast a Chrome tab from your computer onto your TV.
This process can only be done with Google Chrome, so if you haven’t already, please install this browser onto your computer before following the steps below.
Step 1: Connect Both Devices to the Same Network
Since Chromecast works with the internet, make sure that your Chromecast and computer are connected to the same network. You can find your Chromecast’s network settings in the Google Home app (which is available on the Google Play Store and the App Store).
Step 2: Open Google Chrome
Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer and go to the tab you want to cast to your TV. You will be casting this specific tab and will not be able to cast another tab without repeating this entire process.
Don’t worry. You can still go to different websites within the tab once it’s mirrored on your TV.
You can also open other tabs within your browser, though they will not be cast to your Chromecast.
Step 3: Open the Kebab Menu
In the top far-right corner of Google Chrome, you will see a kebab menu, marked by three vertical dots (፧).
Click on it to reveal your browser options.
Step 4: Select Cast
Click the Cast option from the drop-list in the kebab menu.
Step 5: Click on Your Chromecast’s Name
Once you’ve pressed Cast, your Google Chrome browser will begin to search for available devices to connect to.
Once it’s found your Chromecast, click on its name to pair them.
If your Google Chrome browser can’t find your Chromecast device, double-check that they’re both connected to the same network and that the Chromecast is turned on and properly connected to your TV.
Step 6: Cast Your Google Chrome Tab
Once your Google Chrome browser has found your Chromecast, click on the Source button. From here, select Cast tab.
Step 7: Check that Everything is Working Correctly
When your tab has been successfully cast to your Chromecast, there should be a blue screen icon next to it. You should also be able to see your tab on your TV or monitor.
Casting the Screen to Chromecast
If you’d like to mirror something other than a tab onto your Chromecast (e.g. PowerPoint presentation, Word doc., etc) or have the flexibility to change Chrome tabs, you can cast your device’s entire screen.
Remember, this will not extend your computer’s monitor. Instead, it will duplicate it, so you will be able to see your entire desktop on your TV.
Step 1: Connect the Devices to the Same Network
Check that your laptop and Chromecast are connected to the same network.
Although it is possible to connect your Chromecast to a mobile hotspot, we recommend connecting both devices to Wi-Fi for this process to ensure they have a steady internet connection.
Step 2: Launch Google Chrome
You will need to have the Google Chrome browser installed on your computer for this process as it will allow your Chromecast to discover and pair to your computer.
Open your Google Chrome browser before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3: Open the Kebab Menu
Open your Chrome browser’s kebab menu, which looks like three vertical dots (፧) and is found in the top right corner of your screen.
Step 4: Click on Cast
In the drop-down menu, click on the Cast option. This will allow you to cast your screen.
Step 5: Select Your Chromecast’s Name
Once you’ve selected Cast, your browser will automatically start searching for available devices to pair to. This could take a few seconds, so be patient.
Once you see a list of available devices, select your Chromecast’s name.
Step 6: Cast Your Computer’s Screen
Once your Chrome browser has successfully discovered and paired to your Chromecast, you can cast your computer’s screen.
Click on the Source button, followed by Cast screen.
Step 7: Select the Screen You Want to Cast
If you have a dual or tri-monitor setup, you will have to option to select which screen you want to cast to your Chromecast. You can not cast more than one screen at a time.
Select the screen you want to cast to your Chromecast, then click Share.
You can also check or un-check Share system audio, which will allow your Chromecast to play your computer’s audio, depending on your preferences.
Step 8: Ensure Everything is Working Correctly
You should now be able to see your computer’s screen on your TV or monitor.
If you checked Share system audio, you should also be able to hear your computer’s audio through your TV’s speakers/sound system
Additionally, you should see a blue casting icon in the far-right corner of your browser coupled with a yellow border around your desktop screen.
If you need some extra guidance, watch the video below demonstrating how to cast your computer screen to a Chromecast following the steps above.
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.