Casting YouTube videos or music from your iOS or Android phone should be seamless. If a TV, gaming console, Roku stick or other media streaming device is on the same Wi-Fi network as your phone, then you should get a little “Cast” icon on your phone’s YouTube app to stream straight to devices.
Theoretically, you should also be able to cast YouTube from your phone to Google Chrome on your PC. This feature used to work on PCs but was removed a couple years ago, leaving us happy casters at a loss. Luckily, with a few small tweaks, you can enable a special build of Chrome on your PC that will let you cast YouTube and other websites from your iOS or Android phone to your PC.
Setting Up Custom UserAgent String
First, you need to install the Chrome extension Custom UserAgent String to Chrome on your PC. This will let you effectively change your PC’s Chrome version into one designed for smart TVs, streaming sticks, gaming consoles or other devices. You can set this to only apply for specific websites, so we are applying it to the YouTube site designed for cast requests.
Once installed, the extension should appear in your Chrome extensions bar as a blue globe-like icon. If not, click the Chrome menu icon -> More tools -> Extensions. Find the UserAgent extension here and click it so it’s on/blue.
Next, click the UserAgent extension icon, then “Open Options Page.”
In the “Enter a desired URL” box, enter https://youtube.com/tv.
Then, in the big box next to that, enter:
This pair of boxes will effectively make sure that whenever you go to youtube.com/tv, your Chrome will automatically behave as if you were using the Samsung TV app and become available for casting.
After you’ve filled both boxes, click the “+” icon to the right to confirm the custom useragent string.
Note: we found that the URL you enter into the “desired URL” box doesn’t always make the jump to the new “URL” box when you add it. If “youtube.com/tv” doesn’t appear in the URL box when you create it, just enter it into the URL box manually.
Connecting Your Phone and PC
On Chrome, go to youtube.com/tv, and you should get an invite to sign in using a web browser. If you’re not already signed in or don’t see a prompt, click “Sign in.”
Click “Sign In” on the next screen, and you’ll see the code to enter on your phone.
On your phone, go to youtube.com/activate and enter the code.
You’ll get a message saying “YouTube wants to access your account.” Click the Allow button, and like magic you should get signed into the TV version of YouTube at youtube.com/tv on your PC. You’ll also get a Success message after you’re done.
The Cast icon should appear on YouTube on your phone. It will look like the below image:
If you don’t see the icon, tap the video, and it should appear at the top of the video. You can now cast from your phone to your PC just as you would to a TV.
If you’re like me and your phone doesn’t link to youtube.com/tv on your PC, click the Settings icon in the browser on the YouTube.com/TV page. Choose “Link with TV Code.”
On the YouTube app on your phone, go to “Settings -> Watch on TV -> Enter TV Code.”
Enter the code you received above.
Note that you need to have youtube.com/tv open in a browser tab to cast to it. It won’t just automatically open the website if it’s closed. The tab needs to be active at the time. or you won’t get the option to cast to your PC.
If nothing is working for you, the problem may be that either your mobile device or PC don’t support casting. Just like you need a third-party device to cast to a regular TV, you need software on your PC that supports casting. You may want to check out the DLNA apps for Android.
The Get Your Phone app helps pair your Windows PC and phone so that you can cast anything on your screen, including YouTube. Download and install the app on Windows from the Microsoft Store, then install the Your Phone Companion app from the Google Play Store. Once you’ve followed the prompts to set up both and connect to the same Wi-Fi network, you should be able to cast YouTube from your phone to your PC.
For iOS users, the easiest method is using LonelyScreen. However, this is only available as a free trial and costs $14.95/year.
If you are getting redirected to the YouTube homepage when you try to go to youtube.com/tv, ensure the Custom UserAgent String you entered is correct. An extra space or line at the end can cause it to not work right. Also, ensure you don’t have any other custom user agents assigned to the YouTube TV URL.