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How to watch Google Drive movies on your Chromecast
Google’s Chromecast or Android TVs with Chromecast built-in provide a great way to conveniently watch movies from various devices on your big screen TV. However, storing video files on multiple devices is a pain, so using Google Drive as an online personal movie library is a great workaround. However, Google Drive doesn’t natively support casting directly from the app, so you’ll need another way to cast the file. Here are a few step-by-step methods to try so you can watch Google Drive movies on your Chromecast.
To watch Google Drive movies on your Chromecast, you will need to open the video using Google Photos. Open the Google Drive app, select the video you want to play, tap on the three-dot menu button, and select Open with. Select Photos. When the video plays, tap the Chromecast icon and choose your Chromecast device.
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Editor’s note: We used a Google Pixel 7 running Android 13 and an HONOR MagicBook 14 running Windows 11 to formulate these steps. Some menus and steps may differ depending on your hardware and software.
Cast using Google Photos
If you’re using Google Drive, there’s a good chance you’re using Google Photos too. Fortunately, Photos supports casting for pictures and video, making it a decent workaround for casting your Google Drive movies.
There are two ways to watch your Drive files using Google Photos. Let’s show you both.
How to open a Google Drive video with Google Photos:
- Launch the Google Drive app on your mobile device.
- Open the video you want to play.
- Tap on the three-dot menu icon.
- Select Open with.
- If asked, select Photos.
- Once in Photos, tap on the Chromecast icon.
- Select your Chromecast device, and it will stream a few seconds later.
Alternatively, you can upload your Google Drive movies and pictures directly to Google Photos. They’ll appear in your Photos app alongside your other images for easy casting.
As of July 10, 2019, there is no longer be a way to sync between the two apps automatically, so you will need to upload files manually.
How to upload Google Drive videos to Google Photos:
- Using a browser, go to photos.google.com.
- Sign in, if asked.
- Tap on the Upload icon in the top-right corner.
- Under Upload From, select Google Drive.
- Find and select the video (or videos) you want to upload to Photos.
- When done selecting, tap on Upload.
- When the video is uploaded, it will process for a bit. Play it using the app when you can.
- Tap on the Chromecast icon in the top-right corner.
- Select your Chromecast device.
- It should be playing within a few seconds!
You can mirror your screen to Chromecast
Whether you’re using an Android device or a computer, you can easily mirror your screen to Chromecast. Once you set this up, the Chromecast will display anything your device’s screen displays, including Google Drive.
There are some downsides to this. Your phone screen needs to stay on, which may be distracting and kill its battery sooner. Additionally, iOS has no native support for this.
How to mirror Android devices to Chromecast:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go into Connected devices.
- Tap on Connection preferences.
- Select Cast.
- Tap on your Chromecast device.
- Hit Start now.
- Android will mirror the screen to Chromecast. You can now navigate to Google Drive and play your videos.
- To stop the mirroring, go through the same steps and select Disconnect.
How to mirror from Chrome for PC to Chromecast:
- You will need to be running the Chrome browser on your PC to do this. Download it here, if you don’t have it.
- Using Chrome, go to drive.google.com. Sign in, if you haven’t.
- Find the video you want to play and open it.
- Now, click on the three-dot menu button.
- Select Cast.
- Click on your Chromecast device.
- Enjoy your video from Google Drive!
- If you want to stop mirroring your screen, follow the same steps, but select Stop towards the end.
Casting Google Drive movies with a dedicated app
The above method is acceptable for watching the occasional video but not suitable if you have an extensive library of Google Drive movies to watch on your big-screen TV. Instead, a dedicated casting app is the better option, and there are quite a few that support casting from Google Drive and other sources.
A few popular choices include AllCast, LocalCast for Chromecast, and BubbleUPnP. These apps are ad-supported, with many offering Pro features if you want to disable ads and get the best quality video. While the user interfaces and features vary from app to app, the general idea is the same. I’ll be using BubbleUPnP as an example of how to watch your Google Drive movies on Chromecast.
How to use BubbleUPnP to cast from Google Drive to Chromecast:
- Download, install, and launch BubbleUPnP.
- Tap on the More tab.
- Select Google Drive.
- Pick your account and select OK.
- Give the app permission to access your account.
- Now, all your Google Drive files will be listed. Find the video you want to play and open it.
- Tap on the Chromecast icon.
- Select your Chromecast device.
- Your video should play.
Keep in mind that to get the whole experience, you will need to upgrade to the app’s Pro version. BubbleUPnP is priced at $4.99. This will remove ads and let you stream videos and movies with no time limit. This is essential if you’re planning to watch a movie.
You won’t see a noticeable lag when casting movies from your phone to Chromecast. There might be an initial stutter, particularly with the audio, but everything works as expected after a few seconds. There was no lag when using any method to cast Google Drive movies to Chromecast.
No. The size of the video file doesn’t make a difference as to whether you can cast it from Google Drive or not. It all depends on how much storage space you have available on Drive, though. You will also need the Pro version of most third-party apps like BubbleUPnP to get unlimited casting.