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How To Enable Native Cast Support in Google Chrome

chromecast right click menu

Google is about to make it even easier to cast a tab from Chrome to a TV.

Native, add-on free Chromecast support is being trialled in the latest beta builds of the web browser.

Right-Click > Cast Menu

Right-Click > Cast Menu

The feature means you will be finally be able to mirror tabs, cast content or stream selected media straight to the nearest big screen TV — but without needing to install the official Chromecast extension first.

Enable Extension-Free Casting in Chrome

At present you need to download and install the official Google Cast extension for Chrome to cast tab contents from the web to your TV.

As of the latest release of Google Chrome Beta for Windows, Mac & Linux (as well as Chrome OS) this is no longer necessary.

You need only right-click an empty area on the page you want to cast and select the “Cast…” option from the context menu, or you can click the button added to the Chrome Toolbar.

As this nifty native feature is currently in testing it is not enabled by default. To try extension-free casting in Google Chrome for yourself you need to a) use a beta, dev or canary build of the browser¹ and b) manually enable the experimental “Media Router” flag from the Chrome Flags page.

a chrome flag

Enable this flag

The latter of these is easy enough:

  1. Paste the following address into the URL/address bar and hit return/enter:
    chrome://flags/#media-router
  2. Select ‘Enabled’ in the drop-down menu
  3. Relaunch the browser when prompted

The Google Cast extension (assuming you have it installed) will be disabled and the new media router version will add a ‘Cast’ icon to the Chrome toolbar.

Use this button, or the new “Cast…” menu item listed in the right-click context menu, to beam browser contents to a Cast-equipped device.

This Feature Is Sure to Land in Stable Soon

Although native chained to the beta (and dev +canary) channel for now, the feature is highly likely to land in the stable build just as soon as it’s undergone enough testing and tweaking.

With Google Cast adoption spreading readily,  you’ll be able to fling content to Chromecast, Chromecast Audio,  Android TV and new Cast Ready speakers from some of the world’s biggest audio brands.

¹The flag is also present in the stable channel.
  • Rickey Shortt

    Actually, this flag is available in stable too. I have it enabled on both my Asus Chromebox and Acer C720 Chromebook – which are both on stable.

  • Bryan Rumsey

    Just like Rickey Shortt, I enabled the flag on my Asus C300 Chromebook, though I am on beta channel. It works great and has a beautiful material design to it. So much better than the Cast Extension.

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  • Stagamancer

    Enabling Media router did some weird things to my extension icons. For one, it put a whole bunch of the buttons that I had hidden back in my menubar. Second, it moved certain extension buttons (like Flashcontrol and Bookmark Manager) from the omnibox to the extensions section. Not a huge deal, obviously, but a little annoying.

  • Suzanne Round

    I disabled Media Router and it has taken me back to the old way of casting. I now am able to access my Chromecast options for updates, etc.

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