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Chromecast not working? Here's how to fix it!

Get your Chromecast back up and running in no time!
April 17, 2023
Chromecast with Google TV HD 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

A Chromecast is an excellent addition to any home entertainment system. These allow you to stream content from Netflix, Hulu, or even mirror your smartphone display when everything is working correctly. When your Chromecast isn’t working, it can be a frustrating experience that quickly kills the party. We’ve put together a list of ways to fix your Chromecast when it stops working. Follow it, and you’ll be back streaming in no time!

Editor’s note: All steps in this article were put together using a Google Pixel 7 Pro running Android 13, a custom PC running Windows 11, a Chromecast Ultra, and a Chromecast with Google TV. Keep in mind steps may differ for you, depending on the device and software you’re running. 

Restart your Chromecast device

When your Chromecast isn’t working, you should first try rebooting the device. The easiest way to do this is the tried and true method of unplugging it, waiting for a minute or so, then plugging it back in. Give it a few minutes to start up, then try casting to your Chromecast again.

If you’re not a fan of unplugging devices and still have access to the settings, you can also reboot using software.

How to restart a Chromecast:

  1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone. Make sure you’re using the same Google account and Wi-Fi network.
  2. Find your Chromecast. Tap and hold on to its tile.
  3. Tap on the Gear icon.
  4. Select the three-dot menu button.
  5. Hit Reboot.
  6. Confirm by hitting OK.

How to restart a Chromecast with Google TV:

  1. Using your Chromecast remote, go to your Profile icon and select Settings.
  2. Go into System.
  3. Pick Restart.
  4. Confirm by selecting Restart.

Check your internet connection

Ethernet vs Wi Fi stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Your internet connection might be the issue. Check other devices and see if they’re connected to the internet. However, the router might still be the issue if everything else seems to be operating correctly.

We won’t pretend to be technicians, but we’ve found that often a simple power cycle can work miracles. Unplug your router for a few minutes, then plug it back in. Once your router has booted, try your connection again. Many routers also come with a reset button, which you can also use if you have one.

Another potential cause of poor connectivity is the location of the Chromecast behind your television. The device is nicely hidden away, so it might not receive enough Wi-Fi juice to stream your favorite shows. You can use the included HDMI extender to have the Chromecast stick out more. Or you can try moving the Chromecast closer to your router. If you have a Chromecast Ultra, you have the extra option of connecting an ethernet cable to the power brick.

Connect the Chromecast and other devices to the same network

This is a widespread issue! Sometimes we forget that our phones aren’t connected to the same network as the Chromecast. Cast works best when all devices are on the same network. Try to join the same Wi-Fi network as the Chromecast and see if that fixes the problem.

Keep in mind Guest Mode allows you to use a Chromecast without being connected to the same network. This feature needs to be enabled first, though. You might want to try it too! Just keep in mind Guest Mode isn’t available on Chromecast with Google TV devices.

How to cast to Chromecast without Wi-Fi:

  1. The owner needs to open the Google Home app. Launch it.
  2. Tap on the Chromecast device.
  3. Tap on the Gear icon.
  4. Select Recognition & sharing.
  5. Pick Guest Mode.
  6. Toggle Guest Mode on.
  7. People disconnected from your Wi-Fi can now go into a supported app and tap the Cast button.
  8. Select Nearby device and follow instructions.
  9. The Chromecast will ask for a PIN, which will show up on the TV screen.

Reboot your computer or smartphone

Restarting an Android device

Like always, many problems are solved with a quick reboot. Restart the phone, tablet, or computer you’re trying to cast from. If your Chromecast isn’t working after a fresh reboot, move on to the next fix on the list. You can also stop casting on your Chromecast, then try to cast again after a minute or two.

How to restart an Android phone:

  1. Simultaneously press the Power and Volume Up buttons.
  2. Hit Restart.

Restart an iOS phone:

  1. Press and hold the Power and Volume Up buttons until the power screen appears.
  2. Slide the power slider that reads slide to power off.
  3. When the device is off, press and hold the Power button until the devices turns on.

How to restart a Windows computer:

  1. Left-click on the Windows button.
  2. Pick the Power button.
  3. Select Restart.

Update your Chrome browser or device

If you usually cast from your computer, a newer version of Chrome may be available. The same applies to your device’s app, or the device’s software. This may cause your Chromecast to stop working or prevent the cast button from appearing. Make sure everything is up to date!

How to update Google Chrome for PC:

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Click the three-dot menu button in the top right.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Select About Chrome.
  5. Chrome will check for updates and install them, if there are any.
  6. Click Relaunch.

Update your Android OS:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select System update.
  4. Hit Check for update.
  5. Follow instructions.

How to update Android apps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on your Profile icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Manage apps & device.
  4. Tap on Updates available.
  5. Hit Update all.
  6. Alternatively, you can pick the app you want to update and hit the Update button next to it.

Update the Chromecast!

Google Chromecast with Google TV remote in hand
David Imel / Android Authority

Chromecasts are usually updated automatically, but this is not the case for every Chromecast. The Chromecast with Google TV can be updated manually. Go ahead and update it to the latest software and try to cast to it.

How to update your Chromecast with Google TV:

  1. Using your Chromecast remote, go to your Profile icon and select Settings.
  2. Move to System.
  3. Select About.
  4. Go into System update and check for updates.

Perform a factory data reset on your Chromecast

If all else fails and your Chromecast still isn’t working, it’s time to perform a factory data reset. The good news is you won’t lose any data, but you will have to set up your Chromecast again from scratch.

Without unplugging your Chromecast, hold down the button on the back of the device for at least 25 seconds. Your TV screen will eventually go blank, and the reset process will begin. Once finished, you can start the setup process again. If possible, it’s best to use a different phone than you used the first time. This will rule out any device-related issues.

Additionally, you can factory reset your Chromecast using the Google Home app. Here’s the process, but remember this method doesn’t work for Chromecast with Google TV devices. We’ll also show you how to factory reset a Chromecast with Google TV.

How to perform a factory reset on a Chromecast:

    1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone. Make sure you’re using the same Google account and Wi-Fi network.
    2. Find your Chromecast device and select it.
    3. Tap on the Gear icon.
    4. Hit the three-dot menu button.
    5. Select Factory reset.
  1. Confirm by hitting Factory reset.

How to factory reset Chromecast with Google TV:

  1. Using your Chromecast remote, go to your Profile icon and select Settings.
  2. Go into System.
  3. Select About.
  4. Pick Factory reset.
  5. Confirm by hitting Factory reset again.
  6. Select Erase everything.

Give Chromecast more power

Google Chromecast with Google TV power cables
David Imel / Android Authority

If your Chromecast is turning off suddenly, blacking out periodically, or restarting frequently, the problem is probably related to its power supply.

Chromecasts are powered by the USB cable in the box, and many television sets have USB ports conveniently located next to the HDMI ports. It might seem like a cable-saving measure to plug the USB cable into your TV, but this can cause power issues.

Turning off your TV cuts power to the USB ports, causing it to reboot every time you turn off the TV. Even worse, cheaper TV sets may have poorly configured or unstable USB ports. Or maybe the TV doesn’t provide enough power from its USB ports.

Unplugging your Chromecast USB cable from your TV and plugging it into the wall charger supplied should remedy this issue. If you no longer have the wall charger, try an old phone charger or buy a third-party charger.

Are you looking for more ways to enjoy your Chromecast? We have a list of the best apps and services available for Google’s smart TV platform.