How to use screen mirroring on Roku | Tom's Guide
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How to use screen mirroring on Roku | Tom’s Guide

Our guide on how to use screen mirroring on roku highlights a valuable (but slightly hidden) feature. But before you get started, it’s worth first considering when you should use screen mirroring and when you shouldn’t.

For those who have never tried it before, Screen Mirroring on Roku allows you to stream whatever is on your Android device or Windows PC to your TV, using your Roku device as the receiver.

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Most Roku devices have screen mirroring capabilities, and the procedure is the same whether you’re using a budget Roku Express or a Roku Ultra Premium.

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for those who want technical information about screen mirroring on roku, the protocol that enables this feature is called miracast, and almost all modern windows pc and android devices have access to it. (Apple devices do not, although they have a similar screen mirroring option called airplay).

screen mirroring is generally not the best way to consume media on a roku, as its built-in apps are much more intuitive. Even if you have your own content, you can simply use a media server like Plex, or Roku’s own built-in media player. but screen mirroring can be useful if you need to display something that doesn’t fit well in a media application or if you don’t have an internet connection.

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One last thing to note is that screen mirroring is a dodgy proposition at best, so don’t be discouraged if the process doesn’t work as well as you think it should. and although roku devices are very reliable, sometimes you may find that your roku is not working and you need a solution.

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Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure your roku device is working and fully up to date. you do not need to be connected to the internet, although doing so would not hurt. You should also make sure your android device or windows pc is fully up to date. an internet connection is not required, although you can also connect, if you have the ability to do so.

1. access the configuration menu

In case you haven’t played in the roku settings menu before, doing so isn’t difficult. just scroll down the home screen menu until you see the settings option.

2. select system option

the system submenu is where you can play around with any roku settings that aren’t tied to specific functionality (audio or video quality, payment options, etc.). it’s worth seeing what options are available to you, if you’ve never been here before.

3. go to screen mirroring section

This step is pretty self-explanatory, though if you haven’t done a system update in a while, that option is just one step below screen mirroring.

4. set your screen mirroring preferences

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roku gives you three options for screen mirroring, all of which are self explanatory. “prompt” means that the roku will notify you every time a device tries to use the roku as a screen mirroring receiver. this is a solid option as it allows you to mirror your screen but also prevents unauthorized access.

“Always allow” might be good if you live alone (and away from the neighbors), and “never allow” might be good if you know for a fact that you’ll never want to use screen mirroring. otherwise it would go with “prompt”.

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5. connect your device

Unfortunately, this is the only step I can’t give specific instructions for. Every smartphone and computer works slightly differently when it comes to screen mirroring. I can tell that generally android devices have a “cast” option somewhere in the display menu, while windows pc have a “connect to a wireless display” option in the display settings. if you do a google search for “screen mirroring [your device name]” you should find the resources you need. In any case, turn on screen mirroring on your device and then watch what happens on TV.

6. accept screen mirroring request (if necessary)

If you set your screen mirroring preferences to “always allow”, you can skip this step. otherwise, you will need to accept your device’s pairing request. the options here are simple: “always allow”, “allow”, “block” and “always block”.

7. use your device normally

once your roku accepts the screen mirroring request, you’re ready to go. you can use your tablet, smartphone or computer as normal, with every action you take mirrored on your TV screen. you may find this useful or totally unnecessary, depending on your media habits, but it’s nice to have the option.

Just keep in mind that your source device may not have the same resolution as your TV, which could lead to some weirdness in the picture. newer mobile devices will give you the option to change the resolution automatically; otherwise, you can often change resolutions manually on your device or on your TV. this is another situation where options can vary considerably depending on your device, so google is your friend if you run into trouble.

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