What to do if AirPlay does not work

AirPlay is one of the best features of iPad, especially when you use AirPlay to connect your iPad to your TV through Apple TV. Apps like Real Racing 3 even use a dual screen feature, which allows the app to display one thing on the TV and another on the iPad screen.

Unfortunately, AirPlay isn’t perfect. And because AirPlay seems to work like magic, it can be difficult to troubleshoot. But AirPlay really works on relatively simple principles and we’ll use them to solve problems with AirPlay connecting properly.

Make sure your Apple TV or gaming device is turned on

It may sound simple, but it’s incredibly easy to miss the simplest things. So first things first, make sure your AirPlay device is turned on.

Restart the AirPlay device

If the device was on, go ahead and turn it off. For Apple TV, this means unplugging it from the wall outlet or unplugging the cable from the back of Apple TV because it doesn’t have an on/off switch. Leave it unplugged for a couple of seconds and then plug it back in. After the Apple TV restarts, you’ll need to wait until it’s connected to the network to try AirPlay.

Check that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network

AirPlay works by connecting over Wi-Fi, so both devices must be on the same network for it to work. You can check which network you’re connected to on your iPad by opening the Settings app. You’ll see the name of your Wi-Fi network next to the Wi-Fi option in the menu on the left. If the reading is “off”, you will need to turn on Wi-Fi and connect to the same network as the AirPlay device.

You can check your Apple TV’s Wi-Fi network by going into settings and choosing “Network” for Apple TV 4th generation or “General” then “Network” for older versions of Apple TV.

Make sure AirPlay is turned on

While you’re in the Apple TV settings, verify that AirPlay is actually turned on. Choose the “AirPlay” option in the settings to verify that the function is ready to work.

Restart iPad

If you’re still having trouble finding your Apple TV or AirPlay device in the iPad control panel, it’s time to restart your iPad. To do this, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the iPad asks you to slide the power button to turn off the device. After sliding the button and turning off the iPad, wait until the screen is completely dark and then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again to turn it on.

Reboot the router

In most cases, rebooting the devices and verifying that they are connecting to the same network will resolve the issue. But on rare occasions, the router itself becomes the problem. If you’ve tried everything and are still having problems, restart your router. Most routers have an on/off switch on the back, but if you can’t find one, you can reset the router by unplugging it from the outlet, waiting a few seconds, and then plugging it back in.

It will take several minutes for the router to boot up and reconnect to the Internet. You’ll usually know it’s connected because the lights will start flashing. Many routers also have a network light that shows you when you’re connected.

It’s always a good idea to warn everyone in the household that the router is rebooting and save any work on computers that may need an Internet connection.

Update the firmware of your router

If you’re still having issues and you’re comfortable enough with your router’s settings, you can try updating the firmware if you’re still having issues. Issues that persist after rebooting devices tend to be related to the firmware or a firewall blocking the ports used by AirPlay, which can also be fixed by updating the firmware.