For years, Mac users have had to use third-party apps like AirServer to use their PC as an AirPlay receiver. With the arrival of macOS Monterey in 2021, you can now AirPlay directly on your Mac, just as you do with an Apple TV.
AirPlay to Mac “just works”
AirPlay to Mac requires macOS Monterey or higher and a compatible Mac model. You can upgrade your Mac’s operating system for free via the Mac App Store, but the feature will only work if you have one of the following Apple computers:
- 2018 MacBook Air or later
- 2018 MacBook Pro or later
- 2019 iMac or later
- 2020 Mac mini or later
- 2019 Mac Pro or later
- 2017 iMac Pro or later
You can tell which Mac you have by clicking on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen and selecting “About This Mac” from the menu that appears.
If your Mac is compatible and you’ve already updated to the latest version of macOS, you can select your Mac as the AirPlay destination from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
You can do this either from the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen (or swiping up on older devices with a Home button) and tapping Screen Mirroring to mirror the screen.
You can also long press on the Now Playing box.
Then tap the AirPlay icon to display a list of devices.
Select your Mac from the list to AirPlay. This should work immediately provided you are using the same Apple ID on both devices.
You don’t need to be on the same network, and you can use your Mac as an AirPlay display and AirPlay speaker. Go back to the same menu you used to enable the feature and choose “Stop Screen Mirroring” or go back to “iPhone” (or whatever device you’re using) to stop using AirPlay.
Related: How to use Control Center on your iPhone or iPad
Disable or customize AirPlay on Mac
While AirPlay works automatically with your own devices, you can customize it to allow anyone on the same network or anyone within range to use it. This may be useful in a shared environment like the office, but you may not want to leave it on all the time.
Head to System Preferences > Sharing and click on “AirPlay Receiver” in the menu that appears on the left.
You can now choose who can use your Mac as the AirPlay destination, enable it and then set a password if you want. If you don’t set a password, you will still see a prompt like this when someone wants to connect to your Mac.
To disable the feature completely, uncheck “AirPlay Receiver” under Share.
You can stream from macOS to other devices too
In addition to using your Mac as an incoming AirPlay receiver, you can also AirPlay from your Mac to other devices including Apple TV, HomePod smart speakers, and many third-party devices that now support the wireless protocol.
In newer versions of macOS, you’ll find this under the Control Center, while older versions use a dedicated AirPlay button instead.