Update 1: there are several other methods of streaming local media to Chromecast. The desktop sharing method illustrated below is mainly for turning your TV into your second screen of your PC. It is not good for video streaming (at least, for video streaming, there are some other better methods). You may check this guide: Comparison of 5 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast.
Almost every Chromecast owner knows you can cast any Chrome browser tab to your TV through Chromecast. What you need is just the Google Cast extension.
You can even stream local video, music or photos to the TV as I showed you in this guide: How to stream local video to Chromecast?
But you may not know you can share the whole desktop to Chromecast, and watch it on the TV. Even better, the audio output can also be transferred to TV!
When will you need desktop sharing to Chromecast?
Sharing your desktop with Chromecast is not only for fun. It solves a lot of practical issues.
Scenario 1: Media format is not supported by Chrome browser
If the local video format is not supported by Chrome browser, the guide of streaming local video to Chromecast is not valid, because Chrome will just try to save the video instead of playing it.
Now, you can play it with your media player on the PC. The desktop screen will be mirrored to the TV and therefore you can enjoy it on the TV.
Scenario 2: Demonstration or presentation
Doing demos for a group of people may use a projector in the office. But if you do it at home, the TV screen is probably an ideal solution. You can easily share the whole desktop screen to Chromecast, and all people just watch the TV screen instead of poking heads around the monitor.
Warning! Sharing desktop to Chromecast is still in beta (and experimental)
Although we did not encounter any issues in sharing desktop screens with Chromecast, Google still marks this feature as experimental at the time of writing this guide.
Update: casting a Chrome tab, or a local media file, or the whole desktop through Chrome browser on a PC/Mac is the official features now.
How to setup desktop screen sharing to Chromecast?
The setup of desktop screen sharing is very simple and straightforward. You do not need any additional software or hardware.
In the Chrome browser, click the Google Cast button, you will see the available Chromecast and Google Home devices in your network as shown below.
You can click the arrow icon in the right. The options will be shown as:
- Cast the current tab. This is the default. The Chromecast tab will be cast to Chromecast.
- Cast entire screen (experimental). This will share the desktop screen, not just a Chromecast tab, to Chromecast.
- Audio mode. This will only send audio output to Chromecast. The screen or Chrome tab will not be shared.
You can click “Cast entire screen (experimental)” to start the desktop screen sharing.
Of course, before sharing the desktop screen with the Chromecast device, there is a warning message letting you know that Google cast wants to share the screen and audio output (with Chromecast). You must click “Yes” to approve the screen sharing.
Once the desktop screen is shared to Chromecast, Google cast will indicate the screen is being captured and played on the Chromecast device.
At the same time, a notification of “Google cast is sharing your screen” will be shown on your desktop.
Now, the desktop screen and audio is shared with Chromecast. You should be able to enjoy the video or music on your TV.
To stop desktop screen sharing with Chromecast, you can simply click “Stop sharing” in the notification or click “Stop casting” in Google cast extension window.
Do you have any problems or questions on sharing the desktop screen with Chromecast?
Please let us know in the comment box below.
If this method of sharing desktop screen through Chromecast is not ideal for you, you may try other methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast:
- Stream local media files (videos, music, and photos) to Chromecast through a tab of Chrome browser.
- Use Chrome browser extension (Videostream) to stream local media files (video ans music) to Chromecast.
- Use Plex media server (and a free web app) to stream all media files (video, music and photos) to Chromecast.
You may also check this guide to find out methods of streaming local media files to Chromecast: Comparison of 5 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast.
For more Chromecast tutorials, you may check our Chromecast how-to guide page.