How to Mirror Your iPad’s Display to Your TV Using Apple TV

iPad AirPlay mirroring

One of the coolest features of the Apple TV is the ability to “mirror” the display from your iPad or iPhone onto your TV screen.  This enables you to watch almost anything that you can watch on your iPad/iPhone on your TV.

Why is this useful?  Well, the Apple TV doesn’t have as many “apps” as Roku has.  However, iOS devices DO have tons of apps.  You can use the CBS.com iPad app to watch shows on your iPad, then use your Apple TV to “project” a show to your TV screen.  This gives your Apple TV access to a whole new world of viewing options.

So, how can you watch your iPad’s display on your TV?  As you might have guessed, you’ll need an Apple TV.  If you don’t know what that is, you can read my detailed review here.

Apple TV

If you have an Apple TV and iPad/iPhone, getting the AirPlay “mirroring”, as Apple calls it, to work is not hard (Apple has made it much more user-friendly in the latest iOS releases).  Here’s how to do it:

First, turn on your TV, your Apple TV, and your iPad/iPhone. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPad/iPhone screen to reveal the Control Center at the bottom:

iPad Control Center

Tap the AirPlay button. If you don’t see it, check the troubleshooting section at the end of this article.  If it worked, you should see the popup below:

Apple AirPlay

Currently, iPad is selected.  Select your Apple TV device instead.  Wait a couple of seconds, and voila! Your iPad’s screen should appear on your TV!!  You can even rotate your iPad and see it in landscape mode on your TV!

If you don’t see it, try power cycling your Apple TV.  If still nothing, check the troubleshooting guide at the end of this article.

Note that you will probably have to adjust the zoom setting of your TV if you want it to fill the whole screen.  This sacrifices some resolution, but it’s not that bad at all on most sites I checked (much better than old SD-quality TV still).  On my Sony remote control, this button is labeled “WIDE”.  Here is the end result:

small_IMG_4322

Troubleshooting

If the Airplay icon is not showing up on your iPad, check the following things:

  • Make sure you have an iPad 2 or later, iPhone 4S or later, or an iPad Mini.
  • Make sure that your Apple TV is 2nd or later.
  • Make sure that both your Apple TV and iPad can access the Internet and that they are on the same Wi-Fi network (the Wi-Fi network name should be the same).
  • Make sure Airplay is turned “on” on your Apple TV.  Go to Settings -> Airplay.
  • Try rebooting your wireless router, iPad/iPhone, and Apple TV.
  • Wait a few minutes with your iPad and Apple TV on.  I’ve seen cases where it takes a while before the Airplay icon shows up.
  • If all of these fail, try Googling “Airplay router settings” for your router. Some routers need special settings for Airplay to work.  Here is one example:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3846783?start=0&tstart=0

How is this working for you? Please leave a comment below with your experiences. – Brian

  • Donald Kairott

    Hi Brian,
    When I began using my Apple TV, I could mirror everything that was on my iPad including all websites, pictures from other websites, etc. Everything I saw on my IPad I could see on my TV via Apple t V. In the past few days, some content will not mirror. I am wondering if it is because I have downloaded the latest operating system (I forget the OS number) for my IPad. I have friends who have been experiencing problems on their IPad with the new OS and have taken the IPad to Genius who can’t explain why there are glitches. Do you think the problems with the new OS and Apple TV could be related? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Hi Donald,

      Thanks for bringing this up. Unfortunately, I loaned out my Apple TV right now, so I can’t test this, but I will when I get it back.. Let me know if you’ve discovered anything in the meantime.

      Thanks,
      Brian

    • Hi Donald,

      I got my Apple TV back. If you let me know what websites you are having trouble mirroring, I can try them as well.

      My iPad has iOS8, but my iPhone has iOS7, so I can try both.

      Thanks,
      Brian
      disableMycable.com

    • Heather

      Here’s an example. I can not mirror ProjectFreeTv or CouchTuner. It says, “Wrong IP!” I can watch the videos on my iPhone (5c, updated), but the minute I try to AirPlay, it stops working and that pops up.

      • Hi Heather,

        Hmmm.. I don’t have a definite solution for that other than just making sure your iPhone and Apple TV are on the same WiFi network. Let use know if you solve it.

        Thanks,
        Brian

  • Jane

    Oh thank you SO much for this info! Very helpful to a techno-challenged person like myself. :-)

    • Hi Jane,

      Thank you for your kind comments! Hope you got it working.

      Thanks,
      Brian