What is Chromecast guest mode? When will you need it?
By default, the only way to use Chromecast is by joining your device to the same network as Chromecast.
This is part of the security consideration: you don’t want your neighbor to mess up your TV screen.
Sometimes, you have some guests in house and they want to share something interesting from their devices through Chromecast. In this case, you have to connect their devices to your network to use the Chromecast.
If you have some sensitive files in your home network, you probably are reluctant to have them connected to your network. You may trust your friends; but you cannot trust their devices which may have nasty malware.
Chromecast guest mode comes to solve your dilemma. Thanks to the recent update in Chromecast.
You can turn on guest mode on your Chromecast device so that your guests can use some (not all, see limitations below) features of Chromecast without connecting to your home network.
How does Chromecast guest mode work?
Once Chromecast guest mode is enabled in the Chromecast device, Chromecast will emit a special WiFi beacon.
The compatible apps (Google cast ready apps) in the guest device can detect the presence of the special WiFi beacon and shows the Cast icon in the app. Then the guest can tap the cast icon to pair with the Chromecast.
Of course, even in guest mode, Chromecast still need verify that the user are legitimate. The verification will be done in one of the two ways:
- if the device is close enough to Chromecast and there are no walls between Chromecast and the device, Chromebase can “whisper” the PIN to the guest device, which will then connect to it. Chromecast actually uses inaudible (for most human ears) ultrasonic audio tones to pair with the device. The guest does not need do anything. This method only works when the device is very close to the Chromecast.
- if the guest device cannot hear the PIN, the guest can manually type the PIN that is shown in the TV screen.
So, there is no security concern on enabling and using Chromecast guest mode. It is not necessary to turn it off unless you know you don’t need it for a prolonged period.
How to enable Chromecast guest mode (and disable it)?
By default, Chromecast guest mode is turned off in all Chromecast devices.
You can enable Chromecast guest mode from any Android devices that are connected to the same network as the Chromecast device.
Step 1: Start Chromecast app in your Android device.
Please try to update your Chromecast app if you haven’t updated the app for long time.
Step 2: Tap Devices in the app as shown below.
Step 3: Select and tap the Chromecast name
Step 4: Tap Guest mode in Chromecast Settings page as shown below.
Step 5: In Guest mode page, drag the switch from left to right as shown below.
This will turn on Guest mode for this Chromecast. The color of the switch should also change from white to dark blue.
Step 6: Chromecast guest mode enabled.
As shown below, once Chromecast guest is enabled, a 4-digit PIN will be generated and displayed. This PIN will also be shown on the TV screen immediately.
In this page, you can drag the switch from right to left to disable Chromecast guest mode.
Your guest now can cast to your Chromecast without connecting to your home network.
How to cast in Chromecast guest mode?
To use Chromecast in guest mode, please follow these steps.
Step 1: Move guest device close to Chromecast.
Step 2: In the guest device, launch a Google cast ready app. For example, YouTube.
If the device is in WiFi range of Chromecast, you should see the cast icon (as shown below) after opening the YouTube app. If you cannot see this icon, close the app, move a bit closer to Chormecast and then try again.
Step 3: Tap the cast icon as shown below.
Step 4: Tap Nearby device as shown below.
Step 5: Stream to Chromecast.
Normally, if the guest device is close to Chromecast, pairing will be done automatically.
If not, you will be prompted with the option to type the PIN or listen for PIN as shown below.
Once the guest device is connected to the Chromecast, a notification will be displayed on the screen with the Chromecast name.
You can cast to Chromecast in guest mode now. You have similar control to stop casting in the notification area.
What are the limitations of Chromecast guest mode?
Chromecast guest mode has following limitations:
- Android only. Guest mode works with Android devices with Jelly Bean 4.3 or later versions.
- No local contents from guest devices. You cannot use Chromecast guest mode to stream local content from a guest device. Google Cast Ready applications that send local media from your phone or tablet to the Chromecast do not work with guest mode.
- No Android screen mirroring even guest device runs KitKat 4.4.2 or later versions.
- Guest mode settings are persistent unless you manually change it or reset the device. If you want to change the PIN, you can turn it off and turn it on again.
Do you have any questions on setting and using Chromecast guest mode?
Please leave your questions, comments, and feedback in the comment box below, if you have any questions or get any problems on Chromecast guest mode.
We will try to help you.
For more Chromecast tutorial, you may check our Chromecast how-to guide page.