Chromecast is a cheap and convenient device for streaming music and video files through mobile and web applications. Currently, there are three generations of Chromecast, but since it’s still a new device, there are minor issues that users may experience.
Before you decide that this little dongle is not for you, make sure that you have checked all the possible causes of your problem. Most of the time, users are experiencing the continuous flashing of the device’s red light. This should signal that there is a problem with either the Chromecast or the connection.
What Does the Flashing Red Light Mean?
Each generation of Chromecast has different signals for different types of problems. The first generation of Chromecast has white and red signals, while the second and third have white and orange lights. If your Chromecast is flashing red, that means that you have a first-generation Chromecast.
There are four possible scenarios:
- If Chromecast is flashing red and you can see that it’s updating in the background, then everything is fine. You shouldn’t unplug the device or try to use it until everything is finished.
- If it’s flashing red and your screen seems fine, the problem may have occurred while installing an update.
- If it’s flashing red and the screen is black, it means that there is an error. You may have to reset the device.
- If there is a solid red light (not blinking), there also may be an error on your device despite the screen working normally. You may have to restart the device.
The appearance of the flashing red light in any form on your Chromecast is never a good thing. In most cases, however, you can manually fix the issue.
How to Make It Stop?
You can try different methods to make the flashing stop. Sometimes a simple reboot may be enough. Other times you may have to perform a full factory reset.
Here is how to try and make it stop.
Sometimes the problem may be the High-Bandwidth Digital Connection Protocol (HDCP), which exists to prevent playing audio and/or video on unauthorized devices. This protocol can sometimes interfere with the Chromecast.
Here’s what you can do to check if this is the case:
- Try to plug the Chromecast into a different device. Not all devices have HDCP, so you can check first-hand if this is causing the error.
- Try to plug in your Chromecast to another HDMI port.
- You can also use an HDMI extender to bypass this problem.
There are opinions on the internet that switching to a higher quality USB cable can fix the problem with the USB port.
Rebooting the Device
There are two ways to restart your device. You can either perform a normal reboot or do a factory reset. If you opt for a factory reset, keep in mind that it will remove all your settings, preferences, and other saved data.
A normal reboot will restart the device and pick up where it left off.
To reboot the device:
- Turn off your TV and unplug it from the power source.
- Unplug the Chromecast from the HDMI port and from the wall outlet.
- Turn on the TV again.
- Reconnect the Chromecast to the power source but not to the TV.
- Wait half a minute.
- Plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port.
- Change your TV to HDMI input (the same port as Chromecast).
If you encountered the flashing red light for the first time and this solves the problem permanently, that’s great. If the red light reappears, you may have to do a factory restart.
Factory reset returns the Chromecast back to its primary preferences.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Google Home app.
- Choose the device you want to reboot in the menu and tap it.
- On the top-right, press the ‘Settings’ icon.
- Then tap ‘More’ (three vertical dots).
- Press ‘Reboot’.
Each Chromecast device has a built-in button to reset it manually. While it is plugged into your TV, you should press the button and hold it for around 30 seconds. The white light should start blinking and the TV screen should become black. This means that the reset has started.
If You are Using Chromecast on PC
If you have a first-generation Chromecast installed on your PC, you can perform a factory reset from the Chromecast web app.
- Open the Chromecast WebApp.
- When the window opens, click on ‘Settings’.
- Click on the ‘Factory Reset’ button near the bottom of the window.
- The warning will pop up. If you want to proceed, just hit ‘Reset’.
What to Do If Nothing Solves Your Problem
If everything is good now and you have managed to resolve the problem, enjoy your streaming!
But if the flashing red light persists after you’ve tried all the methods described in this article, you should contact the Google support team. Explain the details of your problem and ask them for assistance.