Where to Get AirPlay for Windows

AirPlay for Windows
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AirPlay, which is Apple's technology for wireless media streaming, lets your computer or iOS device send music, photos, podcasts, and videos to devices throughout your house or office. For instance, if you want to stream music from an iPhone to a Wi-Fi speaker, you use AirPlay. Same for mirroring your Mac's screen on an HDTV.

Apple restricts some of its best features to its own products (there's no FaceTime on Windows, for instance), which may leave PC owners wondering: can you use AirPlay on Windows?

Here's the good news: Yes, you can use AirPlay on Windows. Just make sure you have at least two AirPlay-compatible devices (one needs to be the computer or iOS device) on the same Wi-Fi network and you're good to go. 

To use some advanced Airplay features, you'll need to get extra software. Read on to learn more.

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AirPlay Streaming From iTunes? Yes.

There are two different elements to AirPlay: streaming and mirroring. Streaming is the basic AirPlay functionality of sending music from your computer or iPhone to a Wi-Fi-connected speaker. Mirroring uses AirPlay to display what you're seeing on your device's screen on another device.

Basic Airplay audio streaming comes built into the Windows version of iTunes. Just install iTunes on your PC, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and you're ready to stream music to compatible audio devices.

Learn how to use AirPlay to stream music

Streaming Any Media Over AirPlay? Yes, With Extra Software.

One of the features of AirPlay that Apple limits to Macs is the ability to stream content besides music to an AirPlay device. Using it, you can stream media from virtually any program—even ones that don't support AirPlay—because AirPlay is embedded in the operating system.

For example, if you're running the desktop version of Spotify, which doesn't support AirPlay, you can use AirPlay built into the macOS to send music to your wireless speakers.

This won't work for PC users because AirPlay on Windows only exists as part of iTunes, not as part of the operating system. Unless you download extra software, that is. There are a pair of third-party programs that can help:

AirPlay Mirroring? Yes, With Extra Software.

One of the coolest features of AirPlay is available only to Apple TV owners: mirroring. AirPlay Mirroring lets you show whatever is on your Mac or iOS device's screen on your HDTV using the Apple TV. This is another OS-level feature that's not available as part of Windows, but you can get it with these programs:

  • AirParrot—A $12.99 download that enables mirroring to Apple TV (and Chromecast). It also allows you to mirror one program to the Apple TV while showing something else on your PC, which is not possible on Macs. Download AirParrot
  • AirServer—A powerful tool designed for educators (but applicable to many uses) that allows a PC to receive video over AirPlay. It includes a free trial and costs anywhere from US$7.99 to $19.99, depending on your license type. Download AirServer
  • X-Mirage—This $16 program supports AirPlay Mirroring to any Mac or PC, and adds the ability to record what's on your screen and audio. It also lets you mirror more than one device at a time onto the same screen. It doesn't seem compatible with the Apple TV, though. Download X-Mirage   

AirPlay Receiver? Yes, With Extra Software.

Another Mac-only feature of AirPlay is the ability for computers to receive AirPlay streams, not just send them. Some Macs running recent versions of Mac OS X can function like speakers or an Apple TV. Just send audio or video from an iPhone or iPad to that Mac and it can play the content.

Again, that's possible because AirPlay is built into the macOS. There are a few third-party programs that give your Windows PC this feature: