How to stream PC games and movies to your Xbox One with a free app

If you own a Windows 10 PC and an Xbox One gaming console, you might not be aware that those devices have some interesting cross functionality. Using Microsoft’s Wireless Display app, you can easily output the games from your Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC screen. Conversely, it’s possible to stream what’s on your PC to the TV that you’re using with your Xbox One — you can even control it from the Xbox One console. Getting it set up is surprisingly simple.

One note, though: This is a wireless-only feature. Because the app uses Miracast to stream the content from your PC, you’ll need to make sure that both the Windows 10 PC and Xbox One are on the same Wi-Fi network.

How to stream your PC to your Xbox One

Any Windows 10 PC that can connect to Wi-Fi will support casting to a wireless display, but you’ll need to download a free app for the Xbox One.

  • Navigate on the console to the Microsoft Store (or simply click this link) and download the Wireless Display app.
  • Once the app is installed on the console, open it up. It will display a message saying that your console is now ready to be connected to your PC. The app also mentions a very helpful hint to keep in mind: the controller can switch between gamepad and keyboard / mouse control modes by pressing the menu and view buttons (the two buttons beneath the backlit Xbox logo on the controller).
  • Head over to your PC. Once you’re ready to stream some content, press the keyboard combo Windows + P. Alternatively, you can click the bottom right corner to open the Action Center, then click on Quick Actions. Either way, the next screen will show your console’s name.

  • From here, you can choose to extend what’s on your PC monitor, duplicate it, or set the display on the Xbox One as your second screen. For my purposes, I set it as a duplicate so that my Xbox One display mirrored my PC monitor.

  • Once you’re connected, you’ll see a small, movable task bar located at the top of your PC monitor and your wirelessly connected TV. This lets you adjust the quality setting (accessible by clicking the gear) between gaming, working, or movie modes. During testing, it was tough to discern the difference in visual quality between the three. I found the gaming setting is best if you’re solely playing PC games, as it has the least noticeable latency while using a controller.

One tip: if you’ve got better-sounding audio connected to your TV, you can switch the audio to output there instead of your PC.

  • Tap the speaker icon on the Windows task bar.
  • Select “Digital Output [your Xbox One’s name here]”

Finally, Microsoft claims that you cannot use the Wireless Display app to display what it deems to be “protected content.” So, any encrypted video content from apps like Netflix or Hulu won’t work. However, I was able to stream anything I wanted through the Google Chrome browser. If you’re running into trouble trying to get your movie or TV shows from Netflix or Hulu to appear, I’d suggest downloading those apps for Xbox One instead.

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