How to use a Chromecast without Wi-Fi

How to use Chromecast without wifi: A Google Chromecast device hanging from a USB port on a TV

Google Chromecast is an incredibly convenient tool for both the living room and the board room, and although setup typically requires access to a Wi-Fi network, it is possible to operate a Chromecast without Wi-Fi.

The Chromecast is a small, relatively inexpensive device that is designed to plug straight into a display's HDMI port and effectively turn that display into a Smart TV. Any other device capable of casting content, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, is able to connect to the Chromecast and stream content to the display. A Chromecast can be used as a temporary solution when travelling, or even a permanent fixture in a house or meeting room.


A wireless router on a table

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 What is mesh Wi-Fi and how does it work?

Chromecast's are especially useful in meeting rooms that don't have their own dedicated video conferencing equipment. This could be a more affordable option for smaller businesses in today's world of hybrid meetings.

Typically, a Chromecast will be setup to connect to a Wi-Fi network, but what if you are unable to connect to a network? Fortunately, there is a work-around.

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi: Guest Mode

In order to connect a Chromecast without using a Wi-Fi network, you need to ensure that the device is able to support this. 

Your Chromecast will need to be running the latest software and most up-to-date firmware to ensure as many devices as possible are able to connect to it. In our first solution, we'll be using the 'Guest mode' function, which is not available on older versions of Chromecast firmware.

How to activate Guest Mode

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  1. Open the settings menu on your Android phone
  2. Navigate to the 'Google' section
  3. Select 'Devices and sharing' from the list
  4. Select 'Cast options' from the subsequent list
  5. Tap the switch for 'Guest mode' into the 'on' position

This activates a Wi-Fi beacon contained within the Chromecast, discoverable by apps which are compatible with Chromecast streaming. Once the device running the app has connected to the Chromecast, the user will be presented with the option ‘Cast to Chromecast’, exactly the same as when casting across a network.

This automatic pairing is made possible through the emission of a short audio signal, inaudible to humans, which contains a four-digit code that is picked up by nearby devices. However, this can prove an unreliable method of connecting, and if it does not work then guests can still manually connect by typing in the code displayed on the TV or monitor to which they are attempting to cast.

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi: The Google Home app

If using Guest Mode is not working, you can attempt to stream the display feed of an Android device directly to the Chromecast using the Google Home app. To do this:

  1. Open the Google Home app on your Android device.
  2. Touch and hold on the icon of the desired Chromecast.
  3. Tap 'Cast', then 'Cast screen'.

Screen mirroring works differently from wireless display (which has been part of Android since Jelly Bean 4.2), as the resultant output is less laggy and choppy than wireless display. Screen mirroring with Chromecast requires Android 8.0 or later, but as this is beyond the oldest supported build of Android, it's likely that Android users will be using a compatible version anyway.

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi: Ethernet cable and adaptor

Our third solution to using a Chromecast without Wi-Fi is to use an Ethernet cable.

However, this will only work if you have access to an Ethernet adapter that supports both power delivery and network connectivity. This wired connection will create a fast and reliable link for the Chromecast device. You will need to follow these steps:

  1. Connect the USB end of the Ethernet adaptor to your Chromecast.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable to the port of the adaptor, and run it to your router or another type of access point.
  3. Ensure the adaptor is plugged into an electrical socket.

Once all this is done, the Chromecast device will automatically be set up to use an Ethernet connection instead of a Wi-Fi network.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.