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

Get your Chromecast back up and running in no time!

Published onApril 9, 2024

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 compiled 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 assembled using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 14, a custom PC running Windows 11, a Chromecast Ultra, and a Chromecast with Google TV. We also used an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.3.1 to ensure the steps are the same as in Android. We will add iOS-specific instructions when they differ.

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, and then plugging it back in. Give it a few minutes to start up, then try casting to your Chromecast again.

You can also reboot the device using software. The steps are different for Chromecast and Chromecast with Google TV devices. Let’s go over both options.

How to restart a Chromecast:

  1. Launch the Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Go into Devices.
  3. Press and hold onto your Chromecast.
  4. Tap on the Settings icon (looks like a gear).
  5. Tap on the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.
  6. Hit Reboot.
  7. Confirm by tapping on OK.

How to restart a Chromecast with Google TV:

  1. Using your Chromecast remote, highlight and select the Settings gear icon.
  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 about a minute, 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. More modern ones even allow you to restart the router from an official app.

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 only works 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.

This is especially a thing to keep in mind now that Google has removed Guest Mode from Chromecast devices. Guest Mode allowed you to stream to Chromecast devices without being connected to the same Wi-Fi network, as long as you were close to it.

Chromecast users can use the Google Home app to check which network they are connected to. Chromecast with Google TV users can check in the settings, using the remote.

How to check which Wi-Fi network my Chromecast is connected to:

  1. Launch the Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Go into Devices.
  3. Tap and hold onto your Chromecast.
  4. Hit the Settings button (looks like a gear).
  5. Select Device information.
  6. Your network will show up under Wi-Fi.

How to check which Wi-Fi network my Chromecast with Google TV is connected to:

  1. Using your remote, highlight and select the Settings gear icon.
  2. You will see your network name under Network & Internet.

If your Chromecast isn’t connected to your preferred network, all you need to do is connect it. In the case of the Chromecast with Google TV, get to the same Network & Internet section and then select the network you want to connect to.

If you have a regular Chromecast, like the Chromecast Ultra. You will have to factory reset it, and then set it up again. Chromecasts will have a reset button. Locate it, then press and hold it until the light turns solid white. Enter the new Wi-Fi network in the initial setup.

Reboot your computer or smartphone

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 side and volume up buttons.
  2. Hit Restart.

Restart an iOS phone:

  1. Press and hold the side and either the volume up or volume down 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 side button until the device 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 Software updates.
  4. Hit System update.
  5. Tap on Check for update.
  6. Follow instructions.

How to update your iPhone:

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go into General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. The system will check for updates. If one is available, hit Download and Install.

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 the app you wish to update.

How to update iPhone apps:

  1. Launch the Apple App Store.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, in the top-right corner.
  3. Scroll down to the Upcoming Automatic Updates section.
  4. Hit Update all.
  5. Alternatively, you can pick the app you want to update and hit the Update button next to the app you want to update.

Update the Chromecast!

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, highlight and select the Settings gear icon.
  2. Move to System.
  3. Select About.
  4. Go into System update and check for updates.
  5. The system will check for available updates. Follow instructions, if there are any available.

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. The LED light will start flashing orange for a while. When the LED light starts flashing white, you can let go. Once finished, you can start the setup process again.

Chromecast users can factory reset the device from the Google Home app. We can also show you how to do it from the Chromecast with Google TV menu.

How to factory reset a Chromecast:

  1. Launch the Google Home app on your mobile device.
  2. Go into Devices.
  3. Tap and hold onto your Chromecast.
  4. Select the Settings icon (looks like a gear).
  5. Tap on the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
  6. Select Factory reset.
  7. Confirm by tapping on Factory reset again.

How to factory reset Chromecast with Google TV:

  1. Using your Chromecast remote, highlight and select the Settings gear icon.
  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 included wall charger, try an old phone charger or buy a third-party charger.

The most common Chromecast issues and fixes to look out for

We know this general guide can be a bit overwhelming. Here’s a section that can target specific issues you may be having with your Chromecast, and the solutions most likely to work for these specific problems.

  • Could not communicate with your Chromecast: The most common issue when you can’t communicate with your Chromecast is that it may be connected to a different Wi-Fi network. Since Chromecast no longer supports Guest Mode, your device and Chromecast must be in the same network. The best solutions are to change the Wi-Fi connection or perform a factory data reset on the Chromecast.
  • Can’t setup Chromecast: Running into issues when setting up a Chromecast is rare, but it can happen. When this happens, it usually means the device is having a hard time communicating with the device. On your device, make sure both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on. If you’re using the Google Home app, make sure you update it to its latest version. Also, make sure you’re trying to use the same Wi-Fi network on your Chromecast and device.
  • Max unexpected error trying to cast the content: Max is an excellent source of movies and shows, but apparently, streaming errors can be quite common. This could be due to various reasons, but the most successful fixes include restarting the Chromecast and device, disconnecting and reconnecting to your Chromecast, updating the Max app, signing out and into your account, trying another device, and checking your internet connection.
  • Chromecast startup issues: Is your Chromecast having a hard time turning on? This may be because it isn’t getting enough energy from the power source. Try not to use computer or TV USB ports. Instead, connect it to a wall outlet. If the issue persists, the problem is most likely some kind of software bug. Perform a factory data reset, which will most likely iron out any issues.

Are you looking for a Chromecast alternative? Roku is a major competitor. You may also want to look into Amazon Fire TV devices.

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