Smart TVs were not as ubiquitous a few years ago as they are today. During the early 2010s, a regular TV that couldn’t connect to the internet was the norm, at least in developing countries.
When Google launched Chromecast in 2013, the dynamics of the TV landscape changed dramatically. Suddenly, people could watch online content on their non-smart TV after inserting a petite device into the TV.
Although the Chromecast didn’t pioneer sticking a dongle into a TV, it certainly popularized the concept. Since its debut, Google Chromecast has become more popular, with some modern smart TVs having integrated Chromecast technology.
But, Chromecast has its shortcomings. Most notably, it has no physical power on/off button/switch, leaving first-time Chromecast users quite puzzled.
Most assume that turning off the TV stops the Chromecast from streaming. But does it? If it stays on, how do you turn off the device? And is it okay to continuously leave the device on?
Read on for the answers to these questions and more.
Will My Chromecast Stop Streaming When My TV is Turned Off?
No, your Chromecast will not stop streaming when your TV is turned off.
If “stop streaming” means “turning the device off,” your Chromecast will not stop streaming when your TV is turned off. But that also depends on what the dongle’s power source is.
If your Chromecast draws power from a TV USB port, it will likely stay on after the TV is turned off since TV ports tend to deliver power even after being shut down.
The plugged-in Chromecast will appear active on the network, and everybody on the network can see the device. But you cannot cast to the device.
If the TV’s USB port stays powered even after you switch off the set and you don’t want the Chromecast to be active, unplug the device. If it’s hooked to the wall, take it off its power brick.
Will My Chromecast Turn Off by Itself When Inactive?
No, your Chromecast will not turn off by itself when inactive. However, an extended period of non-usage will slip the device into standby mode.
When on standby, the device remains active. It performs essential tasks (such as software updates) in the background to always be play-ready.
If the TV is on with the Chromecast plugged in, you’ll notice the wallpaper on the Chromecast home page changing every few seconds. That indicates the streaming dongle is not turned off.
Not to mention, Chromecast uses data to refresh the wallpaper and weather data.
If you are on a limited internet plan or are using phone data as a mobile hotspot, continuous, albeit minimal, data usage could eat up considerable bandwidth. If it does and bothers you, turn off the Chromecast properly—more on that later.
Chromecasts are Meant to Stay Powered On
Turning off the Chromecast after every streaming session is not in the device’s best interest. In other words, it must stay powered on and connected to the internet to carry out specific important tasks in its dormant state.
If it cannot download updates and do other tasks in the background, it shall do them when you turn on the TV, using up streaming time and causing agony, perhaps.
Therefore, keep your Chromecast plugged into its power source (preferably the TV’s USB port) and connected even when you’re not actively using the device.
How to Turn Off a Chromecast Properly?
To turn off a Chromecast the proper way, you must first stop the casting.
Here are the steps to do that:
Step 1: Tap on your Chromecast option on your Google Home app.
Step 2: On the next page, tap “Stop Casting” to stop the stream.
Step 3: Unplug it from the TV’s USB port or wall adapter to disconnect the device’s power source.
Do not unplug the power source before stopping the casting. Although doing so is unlikely to wreck the device, it’s not advisable.
Use a Smart Plug
If you don’t fancy physically unplugging the device, use a “smart plug” instead of a regular wall adapter—for instance, the Kasa Smart Plug HS103P2 .
Smart plugs turn off power to a Chromecast or any electronic device through remote in-app instructions or voice commands. You may also set a timer or schedule a shutdown time for the Chromecast using the intelligent accessory.
You must connect the smart plug to the internet to use the device.
Watch this video to learn more about setting up and using a smart plug and its various features:
Disabling Casting Notifications
To disable notifications that may pop on your phone after having stopped the cast, head to “Settings” on your phone.
Scroll and tap on “Google”. Then tap on “Devices & sharing”, and “Cast options”.
Toggle off the “Media controls for Cast devices” option to prevent notification bar pop-ups when streaming something to a device through casting. The steps or menu item names may vary based on the Android device and its OS version.
The Google Home app also offers a “notifications disabling” feature that helps prevent others from controlling your Chromecast. Here are the steps to do that:
Step 1: Open the Google Home application on your phone.
Step 2: Tap your Chromecast device to access its control screen.
Step 3: Tap the gear symbol on the screen’s top right corner to open your Chromecast’s settings.
Step 4: Scroll down the page and toggle off the “Let others control your cast media” option.
The Google Home app usually has all options to manage a Chromecast.
If you’re unfamiliar with a particular streaming application’s interface and are unsure how to stop casting from within the specific app, do it in the Home app instead.
To reiterate, Chromecasts do not stop streaming after you turn off the TV. The streaming dongle will stay on if hooked to a USB port that trickles power.
As alluded to above, it’s not advisable to completely switch off a Chromecast since it must carry out specific tasks that keep the device’s software up-to-date and ready for immediate use.
If you’re worried about energy consumption, the device consumes very little power, increasing your utility bill by a few dollars, at most.
Also, your Chromecast uses around 15 to 20 GB of monthly data when idle. You may reduce that by adjusting the wallpaper source and its change frequency in the Google Home app.
Look to keep the Chromecast running as much as possible. When you need to properly turn it off, refer to the instructions above.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.