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Chromecast “cast to a nearby device” popup affecting a lot of users

Multiple Android owners are still waiting on a fix for a mysterious Chromecast popup that's even affecting people that don't own a Chromecast.
By
February 16, 2017

Ghostly Chromecast popups in the night have been plaguing Android users for years. But this particular brand of unexplained mystery seems to have been accelerating of late, with multiple reports of a Chromecast “cast to a nearby device” popup cropping up on the Chromecast help forum.

Victims are all reporting the same thing: a random popup to “cast to a nearby device” – even when no Chromecast is nearby. The issue seems to follow no particular rhyme or reason, with owners of various makes of smartphone affected across multiple Android and Google Play Services versions. Sometimes the volume buttons triggers the popup and enabling airplane mode seems to temporarily stop it, but no one has a permanent fix.

On one of the Chromecast support threads, a Googler from the Chromecast team commented on January 30 to say “the team is aware of this matter and actively investigating the issue. I’ll be sure to keep you posted with the latest updates as they become available.”

A week later, another Chromecast team member chimed in to say “we have pinpointed the issue and are working with our partners to bring you a fix as quickly as possible”. But that was over a week ago. Since that “hold tight” message, no further clues as to when to expect a fix have been forthcoming. Naturally, some folks are livid.

I’ve read some comments elsewhere that tweaks to apps affected by the bug have solved it. Some claim it’s a Google support library issue or that Bluetooth is ultimately to blame (because the problem stops when turning on airplane mode).

Google Play Services v10.0.84 crops up repeatedly in the complaints, as do Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. But the popup doesn’t seem to be linked to any particular app, Play Services version, Android version, make of phone, carrier or even ownership of a Chromecast, affecting those connected to a data connection or Wi-Fi equally.

Turning off notifications for the Chromecast app (if you even have one), enabling airplane mode, disabling Bluetooth, rebooting your phone, uninstalling updates and plugging in headphones have all been mentioned as temporary solutions. But that’s all they are: temporary.

It’s pretty clear that this is a Google problem, as no one else has such unfettered ability to mess with Android phones across the spectrum. However, until Google takes the problem seriously, Band-Aid fixes are the only way to deal with this irritating bug. If you’re suffering from this problem, be sure to add your voice to the many others on the Google Chromecast help forum.

We’ve reached out for clarification on what exactly is going on and when folks can expect a fix to be rolled out. We’ll update this article with any response.

Are you seeing this popup? Found any permanent solution? Hit the comments and let us know.