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  • To connect your Mac to a TV with a cable, go to the Displays window. 
  • To connect your Mac to an Apple TV wirelessly, use the AirPlay Display drop-down.
  • If you have a smart TV, try using the brand’s screen mirroring app to connect your Mac.

These days, as more and more people are watching their movies and TV shows via a streaming service, the line between computer and television is growing ever more blurred. 

But even if you’re watching a show via Netflix, chances are your big flat screen TV is going to offer a better viewing experience than the computer you use to go online.

Connecting a Mac to a television allows you access to the world wide web on a much larger screen. Using a TV with a Mac can also give you a second monitor, making work or gaming more productive and enjoyable. And in many cases, you can even connect two external monitors or TVs at once.

Here’s how to connect your mac to any TV, using either a wired cable or wireless screen mirroring. 

How to connect a Mac to a TV with a cable

If you have an older Macbook with a Thunderbolt or HDMI output, you can hardwire your Mac to most recent TVs — just note you may need a cable that converts to HDMI if using the Thunderbolt port.

1. Connect the computer’s output to a video input on the TV. 

2. On your Mac, click the Apple logo in the top left corner, and then select System Preferences

3. Click Displays

The “System Preferences” window on Mac, with the “Displays” option highlighted.

Click “Displays.”

Stefan Ionescu



4. Click Display Settings in the bottom left corner.

5. On the next window, make sure Default for display is selected, as this will almost always be the best choice.

The “Displays” window on Mac, with the “Default for display” option highlighted.

Selecting “Default for display” will let your Mac automatically find and select the best settings for your monitor.

Stefan Ionescu



6. Most HDTVs can also play audio from a Mac via HDMI cable. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner, and then select System Preferences.

7. Click Sound

The “System Preferences” window on Mac, with the “Sound” option highlighted.

Click “Sound.”

Stefan Ionescu



8. Select the connected TV. 

The “Sound” window on Mac, with the speakers of a TV highlighted.

Click “Displays.”

Stefan Ionescu



How to wirelessly connect a Mac to a smart TV

If you’re trying to connect to a Smart TV that supports AirPlay, then the steps are simple.

1. On the Mac, click the Apple logo in the top left corner, and then System Preferences.

2. Click Displays

The “System Preferences” window on Mac, with the “Displays” option highlighted.

Click “Displays.”

Stefan Ionescu



3. Select your TV from the AirPlay Display drop-down menu.

Even if your TV doesn’t support AirPlay, you can still connect to it wirelessly using the Screen Mirroring feature.

1. Click Control Center – the icon with two vertically-stacked toggles – on the right side of the menu bar at the top.

2. Click Screen Mirroring.

3. In the pop-up, select the TV you want to connect to. Your Mac’s screen will be mirrored almost immediately.



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