How to Extend your Desktop with Chromecast

How to Turn Off Chromecast

NOTE: This article was originally published with just Windows information. The information on how to extend your desktop on a Mac was added on August 3, 2016.

Google Chromecast mirrors your display from an Android device, an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, or Chromebook. “Mirroring” means having another device show your screen exactly as you see it on your computer or mobile device. However, you can also extend your desktop surface, not just mirror it. This can be more useful in a lot of situations–you’re opening up a whole new screen to use as a second desktop. (It’s like being able get a second desk when your first desk is too covered in papers to work on.) However, using Chromecast to extend your desktop or laptop screen requires some minor effort on your part. This article will cover the process for both Windows computers and Macs.

Here are the steps needed to extend your display from a Windows 8 or Windows 10 desktop:

Extend Your Desktop from Windows with Chromecast

This walkthrough includes screenshots from Windows 10. However, this method of extending your display works with Windows 8 as well; you can follow the same steps for that Windows version.

  1. From the Start menu, select “Settings.” (An alternate route is to right-click on “Display Settings” on your desktop as a shortcut to get into System > Display.)  Windows 10 settings
  2. In Settings, go to “System (Display, notifications, apps, power).”  Windows 10 System
  3. Once in Display, click on “Detect.” Here, we are going to trick Windows into thinking there’s a secondary display already attached, even though it isn’t. It says “Display not detected,” but shows a blue screen—click on it.Detect display
  4. Go down to “Multiple displays” and click the drop-down box. Then, select “Try to connect anyway on VGA.”  Connect to VGA
  5. Select display 2. In the drop-down box, select “Extend these displays.” Click the “Apply” button. A message will pop up and say, “Keep these display settings?” Click the “Keep changes” button.

Extend these Displays

Keep these display settings

Now you are ready to use the secondary display to extend your desktop surface with your Google Chrome browser and Chromecast.

  1. Open Google Chrome on your desktop.
  2. Before you can connect to your Chromecast with Click the Chromecast icon in the upper-right of your Chrome browser, you first need to click the small arrow on the Chromecast icon area. From there, scroll down to “Cast screen/window (experimental).” Then, select it.Click Google cast arrow
  3. As the “Cast screen/window”, choose display number 2, the one we just fooled Windows into thinking we have. Now you should be able to see your Windows desktop on both your computer and your TV screen.

You now have an extended desktop surface. This allows you to move extra open windows, open programs, and applications between your desktop and TV screen.

Extend Your Desktop on a Mac

Now we’ll take a look at how to extend your Mac’s desktop screen through your Google Chromecast device.

Google Chrome Browser

In order to cast to your Google Chromecast from your Mac, you’ll need to download and install the most current version of Google’s Chrome browser. Chromecast support now comes built into the Chrome browser. (In the past, you would have needed to download and install a separate extension to use Chromecast.)                                          Get Chrome Browser

Once your Google Chrome browser is downloaded and installed, or open on your Mac, you’ll want to make sure you have the most current version.

To do this, click on Chrome in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Then, select “About Chrome.” At the time of this writing, our version of the Chrome browser is 52. As long as your Chrome browser is up to date, when you select “About Chrome,” it will notify you that you are using the most current version of Chrome available. Otherwise, click on the button to get updates when given the option.                                                                                                            About Chrome Browser

When your Google Chrome browser is up-to-date and ready to go, do the following:

  1. Click on the Google Chromecast icon in the upper right of your Chrome browser.   Chromecast icon
  2. Once the “Cast to” box opens, select the drop-down arrow. You’ll be presented with two choices: “Cast tab” or “Cast desktop.”  Chromecast cast to
  3. Choose “Cast desktop.” You’ll be returned to the main Chromecast selection box. Chromecast Desktop Mac
  4. Next, select your Chromecast device. Ours keeps telling us it’s “Unable to mirror system audio” at this time.  Chromecast no audio
  5. Another box pops up on the screen, asking, “Do you want Chrome Media Router to share your screen?” Click on the “Yes” button. Chromecast media
  6. Your Mac desktop should now be extended to where your Chromecast device is plugged in.  Mac Desktop extended CC

Keep in mind that the sound will still only be audible on your Mac, not on your extended display and sound set-up. We also noticed a slight lag in playback on our extended display, which is a large-screen TV.

Display extension will come in handy when you are working on something from your laptop or desktop and want to watch, look at, or work on something else on a bigger display like your television. Whatever your needs are for extending your desktop screen—work or pleasure—this is an excellent way to use the Chromecast to your advantage when you need a bigger desktop.

Posted by Heather on August 3, 2016

20 thoughts on “How to Extend your Desktop with Chromecast”

Jason says:
I was looking for a solution to extend my Windows 10 desktop and cast the second screen to my Chromecast connected to my TV. I was able to do so after playing with it for a while. If you press Windows+P, you can choose to extend your desktop. Then a second monitor will display under Display settings. When you use Chromecast and cast your desktop it will ask you which screen to cast ,screen 1 or 2. If you choose screen 2, your normal desktop is display on your computer and what ever you put on the extended screen will show on your TV.
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Heather says:
Hello All,
It seems that some updates to Windows 10 have made this walkthrough non-applicable to it. To get a second desktop on your television or where ever you’ve got the Chroemcast hooked up, you’ll need to press the Windows + Ctrl + D. Then; you can switch between your Windows 10 Pc and secondary screen with the task view icon in the taskbar. Hope this helps!
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HM says:
but when I do that, the the screens also switch on chromecast itself. is there a way to have a static screen?
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Erwin Bruin says:
exactly the same problem as HM over here
Xavier says:
Hi Heather, thanks for the article. I also found the same problem as Alan and Nate. You say that in the display section of Settings, after clicking on “Detect” I would get a message that says “Display not detected.” Instead, I get a message under the box where the blue screen is that says “Didn’t find another display.” When I click on the blue screen nothing happens: I can’t see “Multiple displays” with the drop-down box anywhere. I’m on a dedicated windows only pc running windows 10. Any ideas?

Thanks!

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Carlson says:
This doesn’t extend the desktop on the mac. It only mirrors it.
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BUBU says:
I have an other issue. on windows 10, You have to cast your desktop and then you just have to create an other desktop (windows + ctrl + D)
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Heather says:
BUBU,
Thank you. Your solution proves to work!
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Heather says:
Hi Alan,

Thank you for your kind words. I don’t think Chromecast can do beyond two displays at a time. However, if you wanted to use your HDTV as the Secondary display, yes you could do that.

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Alan says:
Hi Heather. I read your article on How To Extend Your Desktop with Chromecast. It was awesome. I have a question. I’m using my laptop and have it extended to a second monitor. I would like to know if in addition to that, I can use Chromecast to extend it to an HDTV. I would then have three devices, the laptop, the monitor and the TV. Thanks.
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Chris G says:
Just voicing my interest in an updated version of this post in line with Miguel E.

Thanks!

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Heather says:
Hi Miguel,

I’m working on an updated version of this article.

Thanks!

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jerryboomerwang says:
I’m also very interested in this. Please keep us posted! Thanks for working on this. 🙂
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Miguel E. says:
Any update on this article….I have looked high and low and it seems that Windows 10 removed both ways to force windows in thinking there is a second screen.
– 1) Settings>Display.>Detect(etc)..
– 2)) Control Panel > Display > Adjust Screen Resolution

Windows removed “Adjust screen resolution” and replaced it with Change Display Settings

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tom burns says:
i have chromecast on my phone and on a tablet . im trying to figure out how to download it to my pc. when i go to Google….it wont load. ive hit the tab on Google Chrome, “cast” all it does is show or mirror that screen. please help if you can
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Rainscreen says:
Regarding the Mac version. Your title says “Extending” the monitor. However the instructions are for “mirroring” the monitor.
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klavergne says:
I agree. I was only able to “mirror” my screen on a Mac. I need to be able to “extend” my screen.
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Heather says:
James,
The only solution we’ve seen to create a second monitor instead of mirroring the Mac desktop with the newer versions of Chrome haven’t been found yet. A suggestion that could work for you might be the Airparrot 2 app. You’ll get a free trial period and if you’re happy with it, it can be purchased for $12.99 once the trial period expires.
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Heather says:
Omar,
We’ve not yet found a solution for the second monitor running on Windows. They have updated Chrome and have changed the Chromecasting function somewhat. We will update you when we have more new information.
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James Slupsky says:
I’ve tried the instructions for the Mac, and it works as stated; however, how do I get a second monitor to cast? I am trying to run a presentation, where the presenter sees something different on their mac screen than what is cast. This used to work in beta mode (I could select which desktop to cast), but I don’t see to have that option with the recent updates.
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Heather says:
Thanks for commenting, Nate. The only time we’ve experienced what you’re describing was when we tried to use Parallels on a Mac. Are you on a dedicated Windows only computer?
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Omar Mancinas says:
I don´t get a “phantom” second monitor neither. I’m using Windows 10 x64.
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Heather says:
Thanks for asking Gene. We will do some testing and get back to you.
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Nate says:
When I click on “detect display” i do not get a second “phantom” option, only a notice that none was detected,
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gene says:
I have a surface pro 4 with two monitors attached. Is it possible to only share one of them or a specific program like it was before the update? Now when i share my desktop it puts all three screens up on the tv and you cant read any of them because they are so small. Sure liked the way it used to work.
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Zayta Thundercloud says:
Is this possible to do on a mac? I am currently unable to do it.
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Will says:
We have added the information on how to extend your MacOS desktop to the post above.
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b1243628 says:
The steps is to mirror the Desktop, its not for extending desktop on MacOS..!!!!

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