Chromecast Setup Guide for 2021: 4 Easy Steps

So you’ve got your new Chromecast and are raring to go. This guide will take you through the Chromecast setup process so you can start streaming your favorite content as soon as possible.

Kit Copson
By Kit Copson (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-10-24T20:53:41+00:00

With any new device, the thought of getting set up can be a touch intimidating — we get it. With Google Chromecast, however, you’ve got nothing to worry about. The Chromecast setup process has been streamlined to make it as simple and hassle-free as possible.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chromecast’s setup is designed to be quick and easy, no matter which device you’re using. Setup can be done in less than 10 minutes if you make sure you have everything you need in advance. 
  • The Google Home app guides you through the entire setup process, so you don’t need to worry about going wrong. 
  • Chromecast third-generation has a “guest” mode that allows others to use it without connecting to WiFi. Chromecast with Google TV does not have “guest” mode. 

You already know what a Chromecast is and you’ve taken the step to buy a Chromecast. So, read on to find out exactly how to set up your Chromecast in less than 10 minutes, plus some troubleshooting tips.

  • When you are going through the setup process on your phone or TV, you will be asked to connect to a WiFi network. Simply enter your password when prompted and continue following the instructions. Family and friends can use “guest” mode on the third-generation Chromecast without entering a WiFi password.

  • You could be experiencing issues for a number of reasons. Check for loose connections, close the Google Home app, switch off your TV, take a deep breath and fire everything up again. If it’s something more serious, you may have to reach out to Google support via their “troubleshoot an issue” page.

Chromecast Setup: What You’ll Need

Let’s kick off with the very basics and talk about everything you’ll need to set up your Chromecast (3rd generation or Chromecast with Google TV). 

  • A Chromecast device (Chromecast 3rd generation or Chromecast with Google TV)
  • A smartphone or tablet that supports 5 GHz (Android)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4/5 GHz network for Chromecast 3rd generation (iPhone/iPad)
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 5 GHz network for Chromecast Ultra (iPhone/iPad) 
  • Google Home App (latest version)
  • A Google account
  • A TV with an HDMI port
  • A 4K-capable TV if you’re using Chromecast Ultra or Chromecast with Google TV
  • A secure WiFi network
  • Location services and Bluetooth enabled 
  • Recommended: WiFi password (to save you from fumbling around later if it’s in an awkward spot on your router) 

If you’re using a Chromecast with Google TV, you can use the voice remote to complete setup, but the Google Support Center still recommends using a mobile device with the Google Home app. It also mentions that you can use an Ethernet adapter, but today we’re going to focus on setting up with WiFi. For Chromecast with Google TV, your device must also support 5 GHz networks.

Step by Step: How to Set up Your Chromecast Device

Let’s begin with how to set up a classic Chromecast (third generation) and practice casting for the first time. 

  1. Plug Your Chromecast Into Your TV’s HDMI Port

    Connect the Chromecast to the USB cable provided. Plug the USB cable into the USB port on the adapter, then plug the adapter into a power outlet. Connect the Chromecast to an HDMI port on the TV. Finally, switch on your TV.

    chromecast usb hdmi
  2. Download the Google Home App

    Make sure you’re tuned in to the correct HDMI setting on the TV (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc.). The Chromecast welcome screen will prompt you to download Google Home from the app store (iOS) or Google Play Store (Android).

    google home app
  3. Follow the Instructions in Google Home

    The Google Home app should automatically guide you through the entire setup. If you have any problems, simply click the “+” symbol in the top, left-hand corner of the app and select “set up device.” 

    set up a device
  4. Practice Casting

    At the end of setup, the Google Home app will give you the option to practice casting from your device. Pick any clip to experience Chromecast in all its glory for the first time!

    learn to cast

How to Set Up Chromecast With Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV’s setup process is quite similar to the above procedure but with a few extra steps and prompts, including: 

  1. Pair Your Remote

    The remote usually pairs automatically, but if it doesn’t, you’ll be prompted on your TV screen to hold down the “back” and “home” buttons to do so.

    chromecast google tv remote
  2. Configure Your Remote to Control Your TV

    Again, the remote sometimes configures automatically, but if not, you’ll be offered the option to “set up remote” near the end of the process. You can choose to come back to that later, though.

    control tv

Another small difference is that you will be asked to allow camera access to scan a QR code on your TV. Alternatively, you can enter the code on the screen into the app on your phone, just like with the third-generation Chromecast. You’ll also be able to choose the apps you want to install. 

How to Connect Chromecast to WiFi

One of the first steps as you’re being guided through the Google Chromecast setup procedure is to enter your WiFi password. 

Make sure WiFi is turned on in your phone settings. Select your WiFi network from the list when Google Home prompts you, and be sure that you’re on the same network your phone is connected to. Enter your WiFi password.

choose wifi

Chromecast: Connect to Smartphone

Once you’re set up, your Chromecast will be connected to your smartphone. However, “guest” mode is available on Chromecast third-generation so your friends and family can use it. You don’t need to share your WiFi password with anyone to do this. Unfortunately, Chromecast with Google TV doesn’t support “guest” mode.

Chromecast Setup: PC & Mac

Chromecast does not support laptop setup, but you can cast on Windows, Mac and Chrome OS. To do this, you need to make sure you have the Google Chrome browser downloaded. The Google Support Center shares detailed steps for casting different kinds of content from your laptop to your TV. 

Chromecast Setup Issues

The Google Chromecast setup process is designed to make your life as easy as possible, but there can be issues from time to time nonetheless.

Here are a few of the most common setup issues: 

  • Chromecast unable to connect to WiFi network
  • Can’t see Chromecast device in the Google Home app
  • Can’t cast from PC/laptop 
  • Apps not casting to TV 
  • Google Home app won’t download
  • Chromecast can’t connect with Ethernet
  • TV screen not showing welcome page
  • Chromecast with Google TV remote not working

Sometimes, there is an easy fix. It could be as simple as updating the Google Home app, checking your WiFi network or ensuring the Chromecast is properly connected. If you’re still not having any luck, you can try the “troubleshoot an issue” page in the Google Support Center, contact them or reach out to the help community on the same page.

Final Thoughts: Set Up Google Chromecast

The Google Chromecast setup process is very straightforward and something anyone can do, no matter which Chromecast device you’ve chosen. The instructions in the Google Home app are really easy to follow, and as long as you’ve got an internet connection, a TV with an HDMI port and a smartphone/tablet at the ready, everything should go swimmingly.

We hope this guide will help you to feel a little more confident about setting up your Chromecast. Now that you’re all set up, you can learn how to use Chromecast.

How did your Chromecast setup experience go? How does it compare to the setup of other streaming devices like Roku or Firestick? Feel free to share your experience in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading!