The Chromecast's design has changed over the years, but the basic setup instructions are the same. Here’s how to set it up and turn any TV with an HDMI port into a smart TV.
The basic requirements for Chromecast are a TV with an HDMI port and either a USB port or the ability to plug in a USB cable to a mains adaptor somewhere near the TV.
It connects over Wi-Fi, and you'll also need some sort of device to use as a remote control - you can use an Android or iOS phone or tablet. If you want your Chromecast to connect to your router's 5GHz network (as opposed to the usual 2.4GHz) your phone or tablet will need to also work on 5GHz Wi-Fi.
You can read our Chromecast Ultra review
How to set up Chromecast
Step 1. Plug in your Chromecast to a free HDMI input on your TV. You might need to use the short HDMI extension cable depending on the location of your TV’s HDMI ports.
Make a note of which HDMI port the Chromecast is connected to - they are usually numbered. Now plug in the supplied micro-USB cable to the Chromecast. Attach this to the supplied USB power adaptor and plug that into a nearby mains socket. Google doesn't recommend using a USB port on your TV to power the device.
Step 2. Turn on your TV. If it doesn’t detect the Chromecast and switch to the appropriate input, use the TV’s remote control to select the HDMI input you noted down in step 1. You should see a setup screen.
Step 3. Now install the Google Home app or visit chromecast.com/setup in a web browser on the device you will use to control Chromecast. Accept the Terms of Service, and ensure your device is connected to the Wi-Fi network you wish to use for Chromecast if you have more than one.
Step 4. From the home screen of the app, tap Add+ > Set up device + > Set up new devices. You may then have to confirm which Google account you want to use with your Chromecast. You may also see requests to enable permissions for location access. Allow this for the Chromecast to work properly.
Step 5. The app will then search for nearby devices. Tap Next. A code should pop up on your phone and match that shown on the TV screen. If you see one tap Yes to continue.
Step 6. You can now change the Chromecast's name to something more memorable if you wish, or simply click Continue.
Step 7. Choose your Wi-Fi network and click Continue. Your Chromecast will connect to the internet and, if necessary, download and install any updates. Follow the prompts to sign into your Google account and complete the setup process.
Step 8. Now you're ready to start streaming (or casting, as Google calls it). Many apps now support casting, and to begin streaming you simply tap the Cast icon on their interface and select your Chromecast. You can also mirror the screen of your Android phone or tablet by opening the Google Home app and choosing Cast screen/audio from the menu on the left, then choosing your Chromecast.
Step 9. You will also find apps for Chromecast in Google Play when you search for Chromecast. For example, you might want to install a game that you play on the TV but control on your phone.