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You’ll Soon Be Able to ‘Cast’ Your Entire Chromebook Desktop Easier

chrome os cast settings

Google Cast is going native in Chrome OS

Google is making it easier to cast your Chromebook desktop to another screen. 

A ‘Cast Menu’ is currently being tested in the latest Chrome OS Canary channel release  and it makes mirroring your screen super simple — no need to hunt for hidden features in a Chrome extension or keep a browser window open.

Better yet, the  you’ll be able to cast your entire desktop (including sound) to a TV without having to fish around for an HDMI cable.

Native access to screen mirroring is something available on a range of Android devices. Now it’s coming to Chrome OS.

‘Cast Devices Available’

Reader Brandon Giesing spotted the Cast Menu feature on his Chromebook and (awesomely) shot us over a few screen grabs of it in action through our tip form.

It looks and functions as you’d expect. When your Chromebook (or other Chromebox, Chromecast, etc) is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as a Cast ready device the system settings area will show a ‘Cast devices available’ entry.

chrome os cast option

Wireless monitor fans will be pleased

Clicking on the discovery entry will page through to a list of available devices. Selecting one will cast your entire Chromebook desktop to it.

The Change Is About Discovery

The official Cast Beta extension for the Chrome web-browser already offers ‘experimental support’ for mirroring your desktop — the change here is in the way that feature is surfaced, i.e. in the Chrome OS settings area.

You no longer have to click a tiny arrow icon in a small extension pop-over to access it. When available, just head to the system tray, click and you’re done.

The default Chrome OS video player is already able to stream video content to a big screen while an (entirely optional) browser extension has long been able to shunt the contents of any browser tab to a nearby TV.

Hooking these features into the OS natively, in the sort of place you’d expect to see them, is clearly the right step.

The desktop cast feature could really prove useful if Google enables the second screen to work as an extension of the Chrome OS desktop and not merely a mirror of what’s on it.

Multi-monitor set-up without the wires — sounds great!

Look out for this feature in a future Chrome OS dev channel update, and let us know what you’d use it for in the comments. 

This article was updated on June 12.

Thanks to Brandon G.

  • rheerani

    You can currently use the extension to cast your whole screen already, it uses the screen sharing functionality of Hangouts to achieve it apparently as both use the same interface.

    For using this feature using the extension you need to click on the down arrow inside the extension and select the relevant option.

    • They know it. That’s the reason Joey said specifically “without needing an extension”. =)
      And talking about the Hangouts screen sharing you said, I think they both just use the same API.

      • rheerani

        I did read that, but still it wasn’t clear that it could be done from extension, hence my comment :)

        • I’ve updated this post since. Hopefully things are clearer.

          • rheerani

            Yes, thank you. It’s much more clearer now.

  • moe

    I think the setting/notifications menu on the bottom right is the ugliest thing about chrome os. I hate how it crams everything in there. A material design look would be nice, as for the chrome cast i think google had an extension that could do all of that. Whats new about this?

    • “You’ll soon be able to cast your Chromebook desktop to another screen natively without needing an extension.”

      “A new ‘Cast Menu’ is currently being tested in the Chrome OS Canary channel release. It allows for true out-of-the-box desktop mirroring — no need to install or click an add-on or keep a browser window open.”

      “The novelty here is less in what Cast functionality is being added but the way it’s being added: natively, without the need for an extension.”

      “Baking these features into the OS natively is clearly the right step.”

      You could just read the article.

      • moe

        lol thanks i just skimmed though it and it looks like an extension is required after all..

        • Aaah, so the other comments you read. u.u’

          • shonangreg

            Why RTFA when Victor will just answer a question for free ;-?

            BTW, when will this casting feature come to my stable channel Chromebook?

  • Working great! :)

    • jahid65

      Is it just mirroring the internal display or any option of extending the display? Do you see any lag in terms of writing in Google docs?

      • Atm it only mirrors the display. And it lags a lot. But my router is far from the Chromecast.

  • CORRECTION!!! Aparently it DOES require the extension installed…

  • demetry14

    Correction… You sould have been casting your desktop flawlessly for about a year now, due to Google Cast Beta. I have been for that long and at 1080p with minor know-how.

  • Stephen Gale

    So, what type of Cast Device are they supporting? I would imagine Chromecast and Nexus Player, but what about televisions that support casting without an Attached Device? I can cast to it from my Galaxy S5 (but both devices are made by Samsung). I won’t get my hopes up, but it sure would be nice.

    • It only casts to devices that support Google Cast. This mean Chromecasts, Android TVs set-top boxes and TVs with Android TV built-in.

  • Mi Pen

    Well I got a chromecast dongle so this sounds cool. Should work great on my 37 inch 1080p HDTV .

  • disqus_QQmo5i3vVTT

    I am waiting for a chromebit…

    • liamdools

      Oh yeah, forgot that was a thing.

  • Gerard van Reekum

    Connect your Android phone to your Chromebook through the Chrome Remote Desktop app and cast the screen of your phone to the Chromecast on your TV… **wipes hands under opposite armpits**

    • anees

      Ermm… You can just directly cast your phone to chromecast using the chromecast app…

      • Gerard van Reekum

        That was my point, annees. Did you get that this is about casting your Chromebook to the TV?

        • anees

          Yes I know that this is about casting from chromebook to chromecast. But you’re saying: Phone – > chromebook -> chromecast. When you can just directly cast your phone straight to the chromecast using the chromecast app on the phone.

          • Gerard van Reekum

            Okay, here’s the detailed setup:
            1) connect your Android phone to the Chromecast and cast the screen (it will also cast the audio)
            2) Show and Control your Chromebook by using the “Share this computer for other users to see and control” option of Chrome Remote Desktop from a Windows machine (this is necessary, as you won’t have access to this option from the Chrome Remote Desktop Android app, so therefore the next step:)
            3) As you now have the Chromebook displayed and controllable on the desktop of your Windows machine, you can use the Chrome Remote Dekstop Android app on your phone to ‘take over’ the desktop of your windows machine.
            As your phone is casting to the Chromecast, your TV will now display the Chromebook (routed Chromebook=>Windows desktop=>Android phone=>Chromecast=>TV screen).
            I hope this clarifies what I posted earlier.

  • Testing on my C720 that gained infamy for being the first Chromebook outside of the Googleplex to get the Canary treatment. Tends to lag considerably and drop out frequently, but that’s more a problem with how far away my bedroom is from the router than it is with the feature itself…

  • ElectricPrism

    Google’s new Remote Desktop is a disaster, worst trash ever. Will they fix it? I can only hope so.

  • Paulo

    Any way to cast from your Android phone to a chrome os device like a chromebox. I’m currently looking to replace my media center options (xbox360’s and mediacenter extenders) with chromeboxes or soon chromebits and like the convenience of casting to a chromecast but feel chromecasts are to limited for my liking. Plex casts beautifully to a chromecast and works very well on a chromebox with a blue tooth peripheral but it would be great if one could conveniently cast to any chrome os device with an android phone. Any suggestions?

    • I have a suggestion: buy an Android TV instead. The Nvidia Shield TV or the Razer one.

    • rheerani

      You can install Plex app from Webstore and then use your Android app to cast to the chromebox as Plex supports casting to different devices on the same wifi.

      Though it may need the user to be the same, but I am not sure about that.

    • Luke Gleadall

      hey, try all cast on your phone and all cast reciver from chrome store. i might need a bit of playing with.

  • atc-tech

    The real question is, can I cast Amazon prime Streaming video this way without the lag and terribleness that I get casting it now?

    • Luke Gleadall

      you can drop lag most of the time if you swith amazon video settings from silverlight to flash

      • atc-tech

        Yeah… Nope. My always gets so bad within 2 minutes it drops and semi-crashes my chromecast.

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    I would really like to see the ability to cast local video files on Chrome OS.

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