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

Get your Chromecast back up and running in no time!
How To
September 27, 2021
Google Chromecast with Google TV on table straight down
David Imel / Android Authority

A Chromecasts is an excellent addition to any home entertainment system. These allow you to stream content from Netflix, Hulu, or even duplicate your smartphone browser… at least when everything is working correctly. When your Chromecast isn’t working, it can be a frustrating experience that quickly kills the party.

To help, we’ve put together a list of ways to fix your Chromecast when it stops working. Follow it, and you’ll be back to streaming in no time!

Editor’s note: All steps on this article were put together using a Pixel 4a running Android 11, an Asus ZenBook Pro Duo running Windows 10 Pro, 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, the first thing you should try is 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. This will solve the problem more often than not, but if your Chromecast still isn’t working, move on to the next step.

Read also: 16 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Home and Chromecast

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. The router might still be the issue if everything else seems to be operating correctly, though.

We won’t pretend to be technicians, but we’ve found that often a simple power cycle can work miracles. Simply unplug your router for a few minutes, then plug it back in. Once your router has booted, try your connection again.

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 be receiving 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.

More: What to do if your phone won’t connect to Wi-Fi

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!

How to cast to Chromecast without Wi-Fi:

  1. The owner needs to open the Google Home app.
  2. Select 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 the host can provide.

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 still isn’t working after a fresh reboot, move on to the next fix on the list.

Update your Chrome browser or device

If you usually cast from your computer, there may be a newer version of Chrome 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 More icon in the top right (three dots).
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Select About Google Chrome.
  5. Check for updates.
  6. Click Relaunch.

How to update your Android OS:

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.
  2. Select System.
  3. Tap on Advanced.
  4. Select System update.
  5. Hit Check for update.
  6. 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.

Read also: How to set up Chromecast for all platforms

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 single 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. Turn your Chromecast with Google TV on.
  2. Go into the Settings.
  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 begin 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.

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.

When you turn off your TV, it cuts power to the USB ports, causing it to reboot every time you turn off your TV. Even worse, cheaper TV sets may have poorly configured or unstable USB ports. Or maybe the TV just 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.