How-To

AirPlay Not Working (You Should Try This Fix FIRST)

It’s frustrating when AirPlay isn’t working on your TV as it should. The good news is, the problem is almost always temporary, and it’s typically network or software-related.

I’ll walk you through several proven fixes that worked for me when I experienced AirPlay not working. You’ll be back to using AirPlay with your TV shortly…

AirPlay Not Working

If AirPlay is not working on your TV, do the following: restart your TV, ensure Apple device and TV are on the same WiFi network, enable AirPlay, disable Firewall, update TV OS, use TV remote instead of the app, reboot your router and finally, perform a factory reset.

These fixes work whether you have a VizioSamsung, LG, Roku, etc. It doesn’t matter.

But keep in mind that it’s also possible your TV and/or Apple device simply don’t support AirPlay. This is usually only a concern with older versions and models. But more on that in a bit.

First, let’s review each fix in detail.

Restart Your TV

I know it sounds obvious, but unplugging your TV is the quickest way to get AirPlay working again.

Unplug TV from wall

The key here is to actually wait a FULL 60 seconds. Have a little bit of patience and make sure it’s been at least a minute before plugging your TV back in.

While the TV is unplugged, find and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Make sure you are holding the power button on your TV, and not your remote!

This will help to drain any residual power left in the TV and allows the TV to soft reset itself. This is different than simply switching the remote on and off!

Once you plug the TV back in after the 60 seconds, power the TV back on and Apple AirPlay should be working again.

Most of the time, restarting your TV will fix any software bugs that could be preventing AirPlay from not working correctly. 

While you’re at it, I recommend restarting your Apple device too!

Make Sure Devices are on the Same Network

AirPlay only works when all the devices are connected to the same network.

Almost all routers now have what’s called “dual-band” radio signals. This gives you the ability to connect devices in your home to two different networks (either the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz network).

2.4Ghz vs 5.0Ghz wifi band

Having two separate networks allows for faster speeds and flexibility. The dual-bands avoid connection issues and interferences and provides more stability overall.

However, this can cause issues with AirPlay if your TV is connected to the 2.4 GHz network and your Apple device is connected to the 5.0 GHz network (for example).

It only takes a few seconds, so just check and confirm that your TV and your Apple device are on the exact same WiFi network!

To check your TV WiFi Network simply click on MENU on your remote and then scroll down to NETWORK.

Double-Check that AirPlay is Enabled

In some cases, AirPlay on your TV may be disabled!

You’ll have to check your TVs settings to see if this is the case. Every TV is different so might need to poke around a bit.

For Vizio TVs you simply click the HOME (SmartCast) button on your remote and then on the menu at the top scroll over to “EXTRAS”.

Click OK on your remote. Scroll down to Apple AirPlay. Finally, make sure AirPlay is ON!

enable airplay on vizio tv

If you recently reset your TV to default settings it might have disabled AirPlay.

NOTE: if you don’t see the Apple and AirPlay option, you will likely need to do a software update on your TV…  

Turn off Computer’s Firewall

The firewall of any operating system can cause connectivity problems with other devices.

In the case of Airplay, firewall protection of your MacBook (iOS) might be preventing your hosting device from connecting with your TV. 

In such a scenario, you must adjust firewall settings to allow incoming connection requests from your TV. You can either turn off the firewall entirely, or disable incoming connection blocking. 

To do so, go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy and click on Firewall.

You’ll find the option to turn off the firewall or find and uncheck the other option, which reads as Block All Incoming Connections.  

disable firewall on mac
Block All Incoming Connections

Hopefully disabling the Firewall helped, but if not there are several additional fixes worth trying.

Update TV OS

Your TV can run into a lot of issues if the software isn’t up to date. To correct this problem, simply check for any new OS updates in the settings menu.

In most cases, as long as your smart TV is connected to the internet, it should check for and install new software updates automatically.

But occasionally this process gets interrupted and your TV gets stuck running outdated software.

You’ll want to ensure you update your TV often to keep up with the newest software. Doing so ensures that the Apple AirPlay remains compatible with your TV.

It also can’t hurt to check for an update on your Apple device. 

Don’t Use Your Phone as the Remote

Most smart TVs will allow you to control them via an app on your phone.

Some people have noticed that AirPlay refuses to work if you’re controlling the TV with the app.

The solution is to stop using the app as a remote, and instead, use the remote that came with your TV to change the settings.

Better yet, close the app on your phone before trying to connect to AirPlay again. 

Reboot Your Router

The problem could also be with your router.

I suggest quickly rebooting your router, it often fixes network issues, and it can improve your overall connection too. 

Just unplug your router from the power outlet, wait for about 60 seconds, or so and then reconnect it. Every device on your network will automatically reconnect and hopefully AirPlay will work.

You could also consider upgrading your router if it’s more than 5 years old.

While you’re at it, consider resetting your Apple device’s network connection as well. You can easily find the option ‘Reset Network Setting’s in your phone’s connectivity settings. 

For iPhones, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

Factory reset TV

As a last resort, you should try factory resetting your TV. With the TV powered on go ahead and find the factory reset option in the TV menu.

Every TV has a different process you need to follow in order to perform a factory reset.

I recommend you just Google your TV manufacturer, followed by “factory reset”. So for example, “Samsung TV factory reset“.

A factory reset will essentially restore your TV to the settings it had on the day you purchased the television.

Factory reset TV without remote

If for whatever reason you do not have access to your TV’s remote, you can likely still factory reset your TV.

To do this locate the buttons on your TV. Depending on the model you have these may be on the right hand side, left hand side, or very bottom of the device.

Again, you’ll want to Google your TV manufacturer, followed by “factory reset without remote” to find the exact buttons you need to press and in what order.

This will turn off the TV, reboot it and factory reset it. The reboot and reset process can take about a minute or so.

At this point you should have fully resolved your AirPlay issues.

Your TV is Not Compatible with AirPlay

If your TV is a few years old, it simply might not have support for AirPlay, even with the latest OS updates.

NOTE: You may need to update your TV’s software first! Also make sure your Apple Device IOS version is at least 12.4. 

I would simply look up your TV’s model number on Apple’s website to see if your TV is compatible with Airplay.

The following TVs are AirPlay enabled:

  • AOC Roku TV
  • ATVIO Roku TV
  • Element Roku TV (Series 400, Series 450)
  • Hisense Roku TV (R6, R7 & R8 Series)
  • Hitachi Roku TV
  • InFocus Roku TV
  • JVC Roku TV (Select, Premier and Elite Series)
  • LG OLED (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • LG SuperUHD SK 9, 8 series (2018)
  • LG UHD UK 62 series or above, UK 7 series (2018)
  • LG NanoCell NANO 9, 8 series (2020)
  • LG UHD UN 8 series (2020)
  • LG UHD UN 71 series or above (2020)
  • LG NanoCell SM 9, 8 series (2019)
  • LG UHD UM 7, 6 series (2019)
  • Magnavox Roku TV (55MV379R/F7, 65MV379F/F7)
  • onn. Roku TV (10012588, 100024699, 100012584, 100005396, 100005397, 100012587, 100012585, 100012586)
  • Philco Roku TV
  • Philips Roku TV (4000 Series)
  • RCA Roku TV (RTRQ6522-US, RTRU5027-US, RTRU5527-W, RTRU6527-US, RTRQ5522-US, RTRU4927-US)
  • Roku® Express (2017, 2019)
  • Roku® Express+ (2017, 2019)
  • Roku® Premiere
  • Roku® Premiere+
  • Roku® Streambar™
  • Roku® Streambar Pro™
  • Roku® Streaming Stick™
  • Roku® Streaming Stick®+
  • Roku® Streaming Stick®+ Headphone Edition
  • Roku® Ultra (2019, 2020)
  • Roku® Ultra LT
  • Roku® 3 (2013)
  • Samsung FHD/HD 4, 5 Series (2018)
  • Samsung QLED 4K Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9 Series (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Samsung QLED 8K Q9 Series (2019, 2020)
  • Samsung The Frame Series (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Samsung Serif Series (2019, 2020)
  • Samsung UHD 6, 7, 8 Series (2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Sanyo Roku TV (FW50R79FC, FW55R70F, FW55R79FC, FW65R70F, FW65R79FC)
  • Sharp Roku TV (2T-C45CF2UR, 4T-C60CL2UR)
  • Sony A8H Series (2020)
  • Sony A9F Series (2018)
  • Sony A9G Series (2019)
  • Sony A9S Series (2020)
  • Sony X85G Series (2019 55”, 65”, 75”, and 85” models)
  • Sony X80H Series (2020)
  • Sony X85H Series (2020)
  • Sony X95G Series (2019)
  • Sony X90H Series (2020)
  • Sony X95H Series (2020)
  • Sony X80J Series (2021)
  • Sony X85J Series (2021)
  • Sony X90J Series (2021)
  • Sony X91J Series (2021)
  • Sony X95J Series (2021)
  • Sony Z9F Series (2018)
  • Sony Z9G Series (2019)
  • Sony Z8H Series (2020)
  • Sony Z9J Series (2021)
  • TCL Roku TV (4-Series, 5-Series, 6-Series & 8-Series)
  • VIZIO OLED (2020)
  • VIZIO P-Series Quantum X (2019, 2020)
  • VIZIO P-Series Quantum (2018, 2019, 2020
  • VIZIO P-Series (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • VIZIO M-Series Quantum (2019, 2020)
  • VIZIO M-Series (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • VIZIO E-Series (2016, 2017, and 2018 UHD models)
  • VIZIO V-Series (2019, 2020)
  • VIZIO D-Series (2018, 2019)
  • Westinghouse Roku TV (UX Series, UT Series)

Conclusion

It’s frustrating when AirPlay is not working on your TV, but you can often get it working again by trying the following fixes: 

  • Restart your TV (unplug from power for 60 seconds)
  • Make sure your TV and Apple device are on the same WiFi network
  • Double-check if AirPlay is enabled on your TV
  • Disable computer’s firewall
  • Update TV OS
  • Don’t use an app on your phone, use the physical remote instead
  • Reboot your router
  • Factory reset your TV
  • Lookup your TV model to see if it’s compatible with AirPlay

The easiest way to get AirPlay working on your TV is to restart it by unplugging it from the power. 

If you still don’t see the AirPlay option after all of these troubleshooting steps, chances are your TV is simply not compatible with AirPlay.