How to mirror or extend your Mac display to Apple TV

You can do a lot of great things with your Apple TV, from watching shows to playing games to listening to music. And if you own a Mac, you can work or play on the big screen by mirroring or extending your display to your TV.

You might want to see the work you’re doing on your Mac on a larger screen. Or, you may want to use a second display for easier multitasking. This tutorial shows you how to mirror or extend your Mac display to Apple TV.

Mirroring my Mac's screen to Apple TV
Mirroring my MacBook’s screen to Apple TV

Before your begin

  • Make sure your Mac and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. You can check this on Apple TV by going to its Settings > General > About > Wi-Fi Network Name.
  • You can mirror your Mac’s display to Apple TV or use Apple TV as a separate display. We have explained both methods below.

Mirror your Mac display to Apple TV

Say you’re working on a Keynote presentation for work or viewing photos from your last vacation. Put those types of things on your Apple TV screen for a nice, big view. Here are three ways to do that.

Method 1: From the Control Center

  1. Click the Control Center icon and choose Screen Mirroring.
  2. Select your Apple TV under the Mirror or extend to heading.
Mirror Mac display to Apple TV from macOS Control Center

Soon, you’ll see your Mac’s screen on your Apple TV.

Method 2: From Mac’s display settings

  1. Open System Settings and click Displays.
  2. Click the plus button and select your Apple TV.
Mirror Mac's screen to Apple TV from System Settings

Method 3: From your menu bar

1) Show the screen mirroring option in the top menu bar:

  • On newer macOS versions: Go to System Settings > Control Center and set Screen Mirroring to Always Show in Menu Bar.
  • On old macOS versions: Go to System Preferences > Displays and check the box for Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available.
Always Show Screen Mirroring in Menu Bar on Mac

2) Click the screen mirroring icon in the menu bar and select your Apple TV under Mirror or extend to.

Screen Mirroring to Apple TV from Mac menu bar

Optimize your screens

  1. Open Mac’s System Settings > Displays.
  2. Select your Apple TV thumbnail from the top.
  3. Click Optimize for and choose either your Mac or the Apple TV and see which one suits your needs.
Optimize screen for Mac or Apple TV in Displays settings

Use your Apple TV as a secondary display

If what you really need is a second display, then you can use your Apple TV just like another monitor. This lets you drag applications onto your TV and use both your Mac and TV display at the same time.

Follow the same steps above to connect and AirPlay to your Apple TV. Then, click the screen mirroring icon or the AirPlay button in your menu bar and select Use As Separate Display from the drop-down menu.

Use Apple TV as separate display for Mac

Now you can drag or open applications with the display on your Apple TV.

Stop using your Apple TV as Mac’s screen

You can do it from your TV or Mac.

From your Apple TV

Just press the back button on your TV Siri Remote, and it will exit screen mirroring.

From your Mac

When you finish either mirroring or extending your Mac display to your Apple TV, click the Screen Mirroring icon and click the blue Apple TV name to deselect it.

Disconnect Mac and Apple TV from menu bar

On older versions of macOS, click the AirPlay button from your menu bar and pick Turn AirPlay Off.

Apple TV Turn AirPlay Off

You can also go to System Settings > Displays > select Apple TV thumbnail and hit Disconnect.

Disconnect Mac and Apple TV from System Settings

Mirroring or extending your Mac display to your Apple TV is so easy to do, and it’s worth it if you want to use a larger or additional display.

Are you going to use these handy features to see your Mac on the big screen? Let us know!

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