How to Fix AirPlay That's Not Working or Missing an Icon

How to Troubleshoot an AirPlay Connection

AirPlay is one of the coolest features of the iPad, but it can be frustrating when things go wrong.

AirPlay is one of the iPad's coolest features, especially when you use AirPlay to connect your iPad to your TV via Apple TV.

Unfortunately, AirPlay is not perfect. The most common problem with AirPlay is for the icon to suddenly disappear or for no options for connecting to a device in the AirPlay menu on the control panel. These AirPlay troubleshooting steps should get you back up and running in no time.

How to Fix AirPlay That's Not Working or Missing an Icon

1) Use the Control Panel to engage AirPlay

Some apps like YouTube have an AirPlay button that appears when AirPlay is available.  This icon is usually a rectangle with an arrow or triangle pointing into it. If you don't see the AirPlay button in the app, try using the control panel. The control panel includes an AirPlay button that lets you pick between your devices and it is the quickest way to connect with AirPlay. You can open the control panel by sliding your finger up from the very bottom edge of the screen. Read more about the Control Panel.

2) Make sure your AirPlay device is powered on

It might sound simple, but it is amazingly easy to miss the simplest of things. So first things first, make sure that your AirPlay device is powered on.

3) Make sure both devices are connected to the same network

While some wireless connections use Bluetooth, AirPlay uses your local network to send music and video from your iPad to your AirPlay-compatible device.

So to use AirPlay, both devices must be connected to the same network. This is especially true if you have multiple Wi-Fi networks in your home.  For example, if you use a Wi-Fi bridge or extender to extend the Wi-Fi throughout your home, you AirPlay device may not be recognized if your iPad is connected to one network and the device is connected to the other.

4) For Apple TV, make sure AirPlay is turned on

Apple TV has a setting to turn AirPlay on and off. So before you can begin using a feature like AirPlay Display Mirroring, you will need to go into Apple TV's settings and turn AirPlay on.  

5) Reset the AirPlay device

If your devices are powered on and connected to the network, then something may have happened to disrupt the network connection. This can be solved by having the devices reconnect. The simplest way to do this is to power the device off for several seconds and then power it back on, which will force the device to connect to the network again.

6) Reboot the iPad

The network issue doesn't have to be with the AirPlay-compatible device. If resetting the device doesn't work, try rebooting your iPad. Rebooting these two devices will cure most AirPlay-related problems. More information on how to reboot the iPad

7) Reboot the Router

The last step for most people will be to reboot the router. This will cause all of your devices to lose their connection to the Internet, even those with a wired connection. This is why we do this last. Before rebooting the router, make sure everyone in the household knows they are about to lose connection to the web.

After being powered off and powered back on, most routers will take a few minutes to fully come back on and reestablish a connection with the Internet.

8) Update Your Router's Firmware

If you are still having problems and are comfortable enough with your router's settings, you might try updating the firmware if you are still experiencing problems. Problems that persist after rebooting the devices tend to either be firmware-related or a firewall blocking the ports used by AirPlay, which also can be corrected by updating the firmware.

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