How to fix AirPlay not working between iPhone, iPad, and Mac

One of the best new features of macOS Monterey is AirPlay to Mac. It lets you AirPlay directly from your iPhone, iPad, or other Mac to a Mac running macOS Monterey. Usually, the entire process is easy and happens without hiccups. But if you cannot AirPlay to Mac, your Mac doesn’t show up as an AirPlay target, or if video, photos, audio, or screen do not project from iPhone to the Mac, here are the solutions to fix that.

Fix AirPlay not working on iPhone, iPad and Mac

1. Check device compatibility for AirPlay

Source device:

Apple says AirPlay to Mac works best with iPhone 7 and above running iOS 14 or later. In my testing, I could AirPlay from iPhone 6S+ as well. But depending on the iOS version, the experience may vary.

Destination Mac:

If you have a Mac from 2018 or later running macOS Monterey, you should be able to AirPlay to it from iPhone, iPad, or even an older Mac.

You can see a detailed list of compatible iPhone, iPad, and Mac here.

Note: The visual quality will be poor when you try to AirPlay from an old Mac or some other old device to a Mac on macOS Monterey.

2. Make sure AirPlay to Mac is enabled

Out of the box, this feature is enabled on macOS Monterey. But since you are not able to AirPlay from iPhone to Mac, make sure things are in order.

1) Click the Apple menu  and go to System Preferences.

2) Click Sharing.

3) Make sure AirPlay Receiver is ticked.

AirPlay Receiver enabled on Mac running macOS Monterey

3. Set the correct AirPlay visibility on Mac

In AirPlay Receiver settings (System Preferences > Sharing), make sure you have enabled the correct option. This will ensure your Mac is visible and available as an AirPlay destination on other iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Here are three AirPlay visibility settings you can choose from:

1. Current user: Choose this if you only want to AirPlay from your Apple devices. Your Apple devices mean those devices with the same Apple ID as your Mac on Monterey. See, if needed: How to find and know your Apple ID on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

2. Anyone on the same network: If you also wish to allow your family members or office colleagues to AirPlay from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to yours, choose this. It lets every nearby person on the same Wi-Fi network see your Mac as an available AirPlay target.

3. Everyone: Choose this if you want anyone nearby to see your Mac as an AirPlay target device.

For most people, the first two options do the job. But depending on your situation, choose the right one. Rest assured, when someone tries to AirPlay to your Mac, you have the final say. You can click Accept or Decline.

4. Turn off AirPlay password

Is “Require password” checked under AirPlay Receiver preferences? If yes, uncheck it and see if it fixes your issue or not.

5. Make sure you allow the AirPlay request

When you try to AirPlay to Mac, you may see a popup in the top-right corner. This stays only for a few seconds. So, make sure you click Accept soon. If it disappears, send a new AirPlay request to Mac from iPhone, iPad, or other Mac.

Accept incoming AirPlay request on Mac

6. Ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled

For a smooth AirPlay to Mac experience, make sure the Mac (target) and the iPhone (source) are on the same Wi-Fi (or as per the settings you choose above).

If you’re AirPlaying from your iPhone or iPad, just keeping Wi-Fi enabled should do the job. It isn’t compulsory to stay connected to the same network. But to AirPlay from your one Mac to another Mac, make sure they are on the same network.

If your friend is trying to AirPlay to your Mac, ask them to be on the same Wi-Fi as the Mac. Or, select Everyone in AirPlay receiver settings. (explained above)

7. Keep both AirPlay source and target devices nearby

For AirPlay to work, the devices must be near. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be a few inches apart. But as a general rule, try to keep the iPhone and the Mac in the same room or something similar.

8. Keep the Mac awake

You may not see your Mac as an AirPlay display or speaker if its screen is off, the computer is locked by a passcode, or the MacBook’s lid is closed. So, for AirPlay to work, make sure you’re on Mac’s desktop.

9. Restart your devices and the Wi-Fi router

While writing the original AirPlay to Mac tutorial, I spent several hours trying all combinations. At least two or three times, I encountered AirPlay not working or stopping working between my iPhone and Mac.

Thankfully, just restarting the iPhone fixed the AirPlay failure, and one time I had to restart both the Mac and the iPhone. Make sure you do the same to solve AirPlay issues.

If the problem continues, restart your home’s Wi-Fi router as well.

10. Add AirPlay icon to Mac’s menu bar

When AirPlay options are available, you should see its icon in Mac’s menu bar by default.

But in case you’re trying to AirPlay from one Mac running an old version of macOS to another running macOS Monterey, and you don’t see the icon, you can enable it manually.

Once you show the AirPlay icon on the menu bar of the source Mac, you get easy controls to stop AirPlay, mirror its screen, use the other Mac as a second display, etc.

On macOS Catalina and earlier, go to System Preferences > Displays. From here, check the box for “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available.”

Show mirroring button in Mac menu bar

On macOS Big Sur and later, go to System Preferences > Dock & Menu Bar > Screen Mirroring > make sure Show in Menu Bar is checked, and from the dropdown menu, choose always. You may turn it off later, if desired).

Screen Mirroring System Preferences Mac

11. Choose the correct Mac

If you own more than one Mac, make sure you choose the correct one. Usually, if your Mac’s name is something simple like YourName or MacBook or Unknown, you may be tapping the incorrect name.

So, give a unique name to your Mac, and then make sure to select it when trying to AirPlay from iPhone or iPad.

12. Update your Mac and iPhone

In case you aren’t on the latest versions of iOS 14, iOS 15, or macOS Monterey, consider updating. Doing this will ensure all potential bugs are fixed, and you have a superior experience with your Apple devices.

  • To update your iPhone to iPad, open Settings app > General > Software Update.
  • To update your Mac, click the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update.

13. Turn off Firewall

Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall.

If it’s enabled, ensure Block incoming connections isn’t checked. Next, make sure Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections is enabled. You can also turn off the Firewall completely.

Once that’s done, AirPlay should work fine. If not, restart your Mac and try to AirPlay again.

Firewall Settings on Mac

What to do if you don’t hear audio during AirPlay or music/video stops?

Do you notice the audio or video stops after you get AirPlay to work between your iPhone and Mac? To fix this, make sure you don’t exit the app on your iPhone or iPad from where you are playing the media. For example, do not quit the YouTube app.

Similarly, while AirPlaying images and videos from the iOS Photos app, you can navigate inside the Photos app. But if you swipe up or press the Home button to go out of the Photos app, AirPlay will stop.

Secondly, make sure the audio level on both devices (iPhone and the Mac) are turned up. Finally, look at the left edge of your iPhone and ensure it isn’t set to silent mode. If it is, the ring switch will be pushed down, exposing an orange line. Push it back up.

iPhone Ringer and Silent Switch

AirPlay to Mac problems fixed

After following one or a few of the solutions above, you should have no trouble trying to AirPlay to your Mac running macOS Monterey and later. In case the problem persists, you can try resetting network settings on your iPhone or iPad.

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