How to connect a Mac to a TV

It’s simpler than you may assume to connect a Mac to a TV. With the best cables, an Apple TV, or a TV that works with AirPlay, you’ll be able to mirror your Mac to any tv display very quickly.

You can play films out of your Mac in your TV, stream packages from catch-up providers like BBC iPlayer and Apple’s new Apple TV + streaming service, and even present your gaming expertise on a bigger display. Many corporations now use massive televisions within the boardroom as an alternative of projectors, so that is additionally a useful tip for many who want to give shows.

Connecting an Apple Mac to a TV is simple, however, there are a few completely different methods to select from. These could be divided into 3 main methods:

  • Use an adapter and cable to connect the Mac to a TV.
  • Use an Apple TV to mirror the Mac display to a TV.
  • Use AirPlay 2 to connect to an AirPlay 2 appropriate TV (see this record of TVs that work with AirPlay)

In this function, we’ll have a look at these choices successively, from how to use the Apple TV to mirror your Mac’s display to a vary of adapters and cables that you would be able to use to connect your Mac to your TV. And with the files that some TV producers are saying that they’ll quickly be supporting AirPlay 2 on their new units, together with the Roku and Amazon Fire TV, will probably be even simpler to share your Mac (and iPhone and iPad) display to your TV!

If you are having bother taking part in a Mac’s audio on a TV, we’ll cowl that right here.

How to connect Mac with TV to Apple TV

You do not want to use a cable to connect a Mac to a TV – you’ll be able to connect an Apple TV to your TV and connect wirelessly.

The Apple TV connects to your tv through HDMI and makes use of AirPlay to connect to your Mac. You can stream content material out of your Apple laptop or desktop to the tv and use the Apple TV to stream different content material from the web.

Follow these steps to share your Mac or MacEbook display together with your Mac through Apple TV:

  1. Connect your Apple TV to an HDMI port on the again of your TV.
  2. Make positive your Apple TV and Mac are each on the identical Wi-Fi community – they have to each be related to a Wi-Fi community to set up the connection (which is irritating when there isn’t a Wi-Fi community!)
  3. Click the AirPlay icon in your menu on the high of your display (a rectangle with a triangle under it).
  4. Find your Apple TV within the part beneath AirPlay 2 – it might have been named after the room it is in, relying on how you set it up. Click right here.
  5. You will now see your display mirrored on the TV. You can change this if you happen to choose to use the TV as a second display, for instance. You may change the decision and different settings. To make modifications, open System Preferences.
  6. In System Preferences, click on Displays> Setup and switch off Mirror Displays. This will stop the 2 screens from being the identical (if you’d like them to be the identical, check the field subsequent to Mirror Displays).
  7. To make additional modifications simpler, you can even check the field subsequent to Show mirror choices within the menu bar if obtainable. You can then make these modifications by clicking the AirPlay icon within the menu.
  8. If you selected 2 separate shows, you need to prepare them in order that shifting your mouse between the 2 screens is much less irritating. Still within the Displays> Layout view, drag the second display beneath or subsequent to the first display in order that the location is smart to you.
  9. If what you see on the TV display shouldn’t be as clear as you prefer to, you’ll be able to additional modify the settings. So go to System Preferences and select Mirror Built in Retina Display to see if that helps or attempt Mirror which ought to provide the finest settings for the TV.
  10. You can now begin taking part in the content material in your Mac that you really want to seem on the TV.
  11. Once performed, simply click on on the AirPlay icon and select Turn AirPlay Off.

We clarify right here how to use the Apple TV. Read our evaluation to learn more about the Apple TV.

Connect Mac to a Smart TV without Apple TV

There is a approach to wirelessly connect your Mac to a Smart TV without utilizing an Apple TV.

A lot of TV producers have introduced that they are going to be promoting new sensible TVs that help AirPlay 2, and also will improve some present TVs to help the usual.

We have a separate article with the completely different TVs that help Apple’s AirPlay 2. It contains TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG and Vizio.

If you could have a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you can even use AirPlay 2 to stream content material out of your Mac to a TV display as quickly because the software program replace for these units turns into obtainable (anticipated this summer time).

If you could have an eligible TV or a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you’ll be able to view your Mac display in your TV by following these directions.

  1. Your TV or Roku / Amazon system and your Mac ought to in all probability be on the identical Wi-Fi community.
  2. Click the AirPlay icon in your menu on the high of your display (a rectangle with a triangle under it).
  3. Find your TV / Roku / Fire within the part beneath AirPlay 2 and click on on it.
  4. Once chosen, you need to see your Mac’s display on the TV.
  5. Follow the steps within the part above to change the show settings.

How to connect Mac to a TV without Apple TV

There is a third approach to connect your Mac to a TV that doesn’t require an Apple TV or an AirPlay 2-equipped TV or system. You should buy a cable that runs out of your Mac to the TV. You simply want to decide which port you could have in your Mac and which port you could have in your TV. We’ll undergo the completely different choices under.

Step 1: Find out what sort of connection your Mac has

Your Mac has 1 of many following connections that you would be able to use together with your TV:


If you could have HDMI in your Mac, that is a good possibility as it’s usually discovered on fashionable TVs and it transfers video and audio over 1 cable.

All you want is an HDMI cable and 1 of many following Macs with HDMI ports:

  • Mac mini (mid 2010) and newer (2018 mannequin gives HDMI 2)
  • MacEbook Pro with Retina show (mid 2012 to early 2015)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013)

If your Mac would not have an HDMI port (from the present line-up solely the Mac mini and the Mac Pro), you should buy an adapter. We will evaluation these choices under.


There are 3 generations of Thunderbolt port. The first 2 seem like this:

The following Macs have Thunderbolt 2 ports:

  • MacEbook Air – Thunderbolt 2
  • Mac mini – Thunderbolt 2
  • Mac Pro – Thunderbolt 2

If your Mac has a Thunderbolt 2 port, you’ll be able to use a Thunderbolt or Mini DisplayPort adapter as a result of the port is identical form.

As of 2016, Apple is introducing Thunderbolt 3 ports. The Thunderbolt 3 port (under) is comparable to USB Type-C, so you’ll be able to use an adapter that works with each requirements.

The following Macs have Thunderbolt 3.

  • iMac – since June 2017
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac nini – since October 2018
  • MacEbook Pro – since October 2016
  • MacEbook Air – since October 2018


The 12-inch MacEbook doesn’t supply Thunderbolt 3, nevertheless it does USB-C. For that motive, you can even use the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter right here.

  • 12in MacEbook – since 2015

Mini DisplayPort

If your Mac is older than those talked about above, likelihood is it has a DisplayPort connection. This could be a bit complicated as a result of Thunderbolt 2 appears to be like the identical because the DisplayPort port. But you will want a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter to connect it to the TV as a Thunderbolt connector is not going to work.

As lengthy as your Mac isn’t any older than 2010, try to be ready to get audio and video by way of Mini Display Port. Some older Macs can solely ship video by way of Mini Display Port, so when you’ve got a Mac older than 2009, you’ll possible find that you’re not getting audio by way of the TV audio system. Learn how to get the sound from the TV audio system under.

Micro-DVI port

Again, this can possible solely present up on many older Macs, like the unique MacEbook Air. It is smaller than the Mini Display Port. Apple now not sells these adapters, however, chances are you’ll find 1 on Amazon or eBay.

Step 2: Find out what sort of connection your TV has

You want to know the video enter port of your TV. If it is a fashionable TV, it in all probability has an HDMI port – this kind of port transfers audio and video out of your Mac to your TV. If your TV has an HDMI port, it is going to seem like this:

If your TV is older, you could have a DVI port. DVI connections don’t switch audio, so that you want a separate resolution for that. They look 1 thing like this:

If your TV is de facto an previous TV, chances are you’ll want a composite adapter. We assume you are unlikely to need to connect your Mac to such a show, particularly since it is simple to decide up low-cost TVs with HDMI ports.

Step 3: Buy an adapter to connect your TV and Mac

Now that you realize what ports your Mac and TV have, you want to purchase an adapter to connect them. We evaluation every sort of adapter under.

If you could have an HDMI-ready TV and Mac, you solely want an HDMI cable. You can get a 3 meter HDMI cable from Amazon Basics here for £ 6.49. (You can get cheaper, shorter cables, however, you need to go away the Mac subsequent to the TV).

The different choices are USB-C to HDMI or Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (since this works with the Thunderbolt port). We will contemplate these choices under.

USB-C to HDMI adapter

If your Mac has USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 (which works with USB-C adapters), many adapters can be found to connect it to your HDMI-equipped TV.

Apple makes a USB-C digital AV multiport adapter, £ 75 / $ 69 which permits you to connect your Mac to an HDMI TV or display.

If you need to obtain the identical outcomes, however, don’t desire to spend that a lot, Choetech has 1 adapter for £ 16.99, it may be discovered at Amazon US for $ 22.89. The adapter can mirror your Mac at 4K at 60 Hz.

Once you could have the adapter, all you could have to do is connect the adapter to your Mac through the USB-C connector after which use an HDMI cable from the adapter to your tv. You have to buy an HDMI cable, however, if you happen to’re like us, you in all probability have an HDMI cable someplace.

Note that every adapter will slowly drain your MacEbook’s battery, so make sure that to go away the adapter unplugged when not in use.

Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter

If you could have the older Mac, in different phrases, 1 that does not have Thunderbolt 2, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or HDMI, you will want to buy a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.

Apple would not make a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, regardless of making a number of different cables (resembling Lightning to Digital AV and Mini DisplayPort to VGA). However, there are alternatives from different producers.

1 possibility is the Belkin 4K Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, £ 25.23. With this cable you’ll be able to connect your Mac to an HDTV. However, needless to say audio help is just obtainable on MacEbook computers launched after mid-2010. Older MacEbook computers require a separate 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable for audio.

You may acquire this Proxima Direct Mini Displayport to HDMI adapter (£ 4.95). Keep in thoughts that you just additionally want an HDMI cable. If you do not have 1, you’ll be able to decide up the official Apple HDMI to HDMI cable (£ 19), or a a non-Apple brand for slightly cheaper at £ 6.49.

All you want to do is plug the MiniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter into the Thunderbolt connector in your Mac, plug the HDMI cable into the adapter and eventually the HDMI cable into the tv.

Step 4: Organize your audio settings

If you could have an HD TV and your Mac has HDMI or a Thunderbolt port, try to be ready to ship the audio to your TV through cable out of your computer.

If your Mac solely has a Mini DisplayPort (no Thunderbolt) or an older port, it will not be ready to ship audio to your TV, so you’ll in all probability want to use an AUX cable to connect the Mac and laptop as well as to the opposite adapter.

To check in case your Mac can ship audio without a separate cable, click on the Apple brand on the high left, select About This Mac> Overview> System Report> Audio (built-in). If you see HDMI output or HDMI / DisplayPort output within the record, your Mac can ship audio by way of DisplayPort.

Follow these steps to make sure that your TV performs the audio despatched out of your Mac:

  1. Go to System Preferences> Sound> Outpu.
  2. Choose the TV or different audio system.