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How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector: Step by Step

You can pretty much get anything done with an iPhone these days. iPhones are slowly but surely becoming all-in-one devices with fast functionality, stellar connectivity, and plenty of storage. But when it comes time to send stuff to a big screen, what can you do? If a presentation comes down the line, you don’t want everyone huddled around your small smartphone screen.

Connecting your iPhone to a projector is a simple process. There are two easy ways to accomplish this task. First, use a lighting adapter to connect a VGA, HDMI, or USB C cable. Some projectors may even offer a Wi-Fi-based direct connection though. In that case, utilize either AirPlay or another wireless streaming application (this will likely require a device that connects to the projector).

No matter what you need to get up on a big screen, Apple has your back. With these small screen-to-projector methods, you can easily leave your laptop at home for workdays. Additionally, this also means you can sync up your iPhone or smartphone to a projector for movie nights and all sorts of big-screen fun. To learn more about connecting your iPhone to a projector, read on!

Connecting an iPhone to a Projector Wirelessly

This is obviously the preferred choice for most people. You don’t want to have the burden of carrying around jumbles of loose cords. If you forget one, that means you are out of luck. It can look unprofessional in an office setting and can put a damper on a movie night real quick.

Having just your iPhone can make things more convenient. It can also mean never forgetting your equipment because lets be honest, how often do you leave home without your phone! Below you’ll find the most popular methods for connecting an iPhone to a projector wirelessly.


Of course, AirPlay is the easiest option to use. Connecting your iPhone via AirPlay is a native solution that is the best option for working day in and day out. It’s by and large the most dependable, and in certain situations, that is key. The only trick is finding an AirPlay-compatible projector.

While newer models might support this feature, not all do. Before you decide this is the option for you, explore what projectors you can find that feature AirPlay compatibility. The Kodak Luma 150 (on Amazon) is that kind of product. While it might be small, it packs a wallop when it comes to video quality and compatibility. AirPlay is one of the many featured streaming apps supported by the device.

Another great option is the Anker Capsule Projector (on Amazon). This 100 Lumen projector is just as home outside as it is in. Easily connect your iPhone through the AirPlay function to watch movies on demand without any stress.

One thing to consider when using AirPlay is that it only offers screen mirroring functionality. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, you will want to make sure you are ready to cast before you connect. If you happen to have embarrassing photos on your home screen, everyone will see them. Another factor to ponder is that you may still need an Apple TV to make things work.

AirPlay is more of a destination. By this, we mean the signal needs to be received by a compatible player. If you have a projector that does not support AirPlay, it will mean that wireless functionality depends on an Apple TV or other compatible player.

How to Connect via AirPlay

Let’s take a look at how to connect an iPhone to a projector via AirPlay:

  1. Check to see if you have AirPlay available on your projector.
  2. Next, make sure your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network as the compatible device you want to connect to.
  3. Open Control Center.
  4. Tap the Screen Mirroring icon.
  5. Find the name of your Apple TV or other compatible device and select it. 
  6. Move the Mirroring slider to green to enable screen sharing.
  7. Tap Done to begin the screen mirroring.

Other Ways to Connect Wirelessly

If AirPlay isn’t available, there are some other options you can explore. While they might not offer the same kind of reliability as the native Apple option, they can certainly get the job done. Since there are tons of multi-media streaming apps, connecting to them should be easy, right?

Well, it is if you happen to be using the AllPlay app. This amazing app bridges the gap between devices that are AirPlay compatible at those that aren’t. AllPlay is going to work fairly similarly to AirPlay. Just download the app and make sure you are connected to the same network. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the device you want to connect to on the app’s interface. AllPlay can use:

  • Chromecast
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Xbox gaming platform
  • Many others

For other reliable methods on how to connect any type of smartphone to a projector, know there are methods for other devices as well.

Connecting an iPhone to a Projector With a Dongle

If wireless isn’t your thing, never fret! Even though your iPhone lacks port options, Apple has you covered. There are some benefits to using a wired connection as well. For one, it’s certainly more stable. You won’t have to worry about poor Wi-Fi connections or lag time. Since it’s a direct connection to your phone, you don’t have to stress about these kinds of things. One major downside is that this option requires a few more pieces of hardware.

While not a huge negative, it can be troublesome to keep track of all those components. You will not only need your dongle to bridge the gap between phone and projector, but you also need the cord that will connect the two. If you are a person that happens to forget things at home, this can really be a deal-breaker.

Also, think about what kind of cable you will need. Not all projectors take an HDMI; they may still use the older VGA. You will also need to take into account cable length. How far do you need to be away from the screen? Remember, you will still need to control everything with your iPhone, so it will need to be handy.

There are other options out there, but most are not Apple certified. While some reviews say that there is no issue, buyers should be aware that they might not last. For this reason, you will want to find a longer cable like these:

For dongles, you really one have a handful of choices:

How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector via Wired Connection

There really shouldn’t be too much trouble getting these connections to work. Since they are all hard-wired, you should just need to patch everything together to see results. Much like the other options in this article, the method will share your screen. You will need to make sure only to display the things you want the audience to see. But to make sure you’ve got everything you need, let’s take a look at the step-by-step:

  1. Plugin your Lighting Adapter into the charing port of your iPhone.
  2. Connect the appropriate cable to the adapter.
  3. Connect the other end of the cable to your projector.
  4. You may need to switch the right input for your projector to see the screen.

Tips for Using Your iPhone with a Projector

Whether you opt for the wireless or wired options, there are some things to get the most out of your iPhone and projector, additionally, we have a whole other guide on connecting projectors. Let’s take a look at those now. Tips for using your iPhone with a projector:

  • Charge while presenting – The last thing you want to deal with is a dead phone when you are in the middle of a presentation. Keep things charged at all times to stop things from happening. Additionally, if using a dongle, use one that offers a lighting connection for charging.
  • Make sure you have audio under control — If you are presenting wirelessly, make sure audio is enabled. If you are using a wired connection, keep in mind only HDMI offers audio. If you are using a VGA adapter, you are out of luck.
  • Some apps won’t be compatible — Apple can only control so much. If you are using a third-party app, it could mean less than stellar support via AirPlay and even through a wired connection.
  • High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) — HDCP protects digital assets from being streamed or stolen. If you use a non-compliant connection, like a VGA connection, you can get an HDCP error message. If you do, it means you can’t stream that particular movie or show.
  • Lag time — If you are using your projector for gaming, you might want to use a wired connection. While AirPlay is great, it could mean you won’t be able to play lag-sensitive games.
  • Turn off sleep mode — If you are presenting a slideshow, make sure to turn off sleep mode on your iPhone. If you don’t, you could be seeing a black screen halfway through your talk.

Wrapping Up

Connecting your iPhone to a projector is fairly easy to do. You can either opt for a wireless connection or a wired one. If using wireless, you will most likely utilize AirPlay. Although, AllCast is a third-party app that can also function for screen mirroring.

If you want to use a more secure and reliable connection, getting an adapter is your best bet. There are adapters for both VGA and HDMI connections. Whatever you choose to do, presenting a slideshow or just watching a movie via your iPhone on a projector is easy to do and relatively painless to set up.