Skip to Content

How To Connect An iPhone To A Projector: 4 Methods Explained!

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.

There are two easy ways to connect an iPhone to a projector. 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. In that case, use either AirPlay or Screen Mirroring to get your content on 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 iOS device 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

Using wireless connections is the preferred and easiest way for most people. It’s even easier than mirroring an iPhone to a Firestick, or connecting an iPhone to an A/V receiver! 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 let’s 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.

Using AirPlay To Connect To A Projector

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 are the best projectors you can find that feature AirPlay compatibility. One of the top recommended projectors for iPhone, the Kodak Luma 150 (on Amazon) is that kind of product. While it might be small, it perfectly packs a wallop regarding video quality and compatibility.

Another excellent 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.

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 an Apple TV or other compatible player is necessary for wireless functionality.

How to Connect via AirPlay (Step-By-Step)

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.

Troubleshooting: iPhone Won’t Connect to the Projector?

In case you’re experiencing some issues with connecting your iPhone to mirror onto the projector, below is a list of some common troubleshooting steps you can take to fix the issue:

  1. Check Compatibility: Ensure your projector supports the appropriate connectivity options for your iPhone.
  2. Wi-Fi Connection: Ensure that both your iPhone and the projector are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Check for any Wi-Fi connection issues on your iPhone.
  3. AirPlay Settings: Open the Control Center on your iPhone by swiping down (or up, depending on your iPhone model). Tap on the Screen Mirroring icon and select the projector from the list. Ensure that AirPlay is enabled on the projector if required.
  4. Restart Devices: Power off both your iPhone and the projector, wait a few seconds, and then power them back on. Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve connectivity issues.

Other Ways to Connect Wirelessly

If AirPlay isn’t available, you can explore some other options. While they might not offer the same 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 app acts as a bridge between AirPlay-compatible and non-compatible devices. Simply download the app, connect to the same network, and select the desired device on the app’s interface for seamless connectivity. AllPlay operates similarly to AirPlay.

  • 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 you prefer a wired connection, don’t worry! Despite limited port options on your iPhone, Apple provides solutions. Wired connections offer stability without concerns about Wi-Fi issues or lag. However, keep in mind that this option requires additional hardware.

While not a significant drawback, managing multiple components can be inconvenient. You’ll require a dongle to connect your phone to the projector and the accompanying cord. For those prone to forgetting items, this might be a deal-breaker.

Also, think about what kind of cable you’ll 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? Don’t forget, 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 have a handful of choices:

How to Connect an iPhone to a Projector via Wired Connection

Setting up these hard-wired connections shouldn’t be too challenging. Simply patch everything together, and, like other methods in this article, it will share your iPhone screen. Ensure you display only what you want the audience to see. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you have everything you need.

  1. Plug your Lighting Adapter into the charging 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. In fact, we have a whole other guide on connecting soundbars to projectors. Let’s take a look at those now. Tips for using your iPhone with a projector:

  • Charge while presenting – Avoid the hassle of a dead phone during a presentation by keeping it charged at all times. If using a dongle, opt for one with a lightning connection for charging convenience.
  • 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. (Speaking of, we do have an article on how to get Netflix on a projector)
  • 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, in most cases 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. On the other hand, you want to be sure you don’t leave your projector on for too long.

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 both VGA and HDMI adapters. 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 setup.