No Wi-Fi? No problem! Using Apple TV to Mirror Your Device Without WiFI

There is one significant change with Apple’s new operating system (iOS8) that will impact our classrooms in a very positive way. With the new operating system you are now able to communicate between your mobile device and an Apple TV without Wi-Fi using AirPlay. This means for those of you who are having trouble getting Wi-Fi in your gym/teaching space, you won’t need it anymore. The following steps will help you get started using your Apple TV without Wi-Fi.

Here is what you need
1) An iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Make sure you have updated your operating system to iOS8
2) A 3rd generation Apple TV Rev A. You can determine if you have the correct Apple TV by looking at the back. Close to the serial number you will see an EMC number. If this number says 2633 then your Apple TV will mirror your mobile devices without Wi-Fi.
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Once you have established that you have what you need, follow these steps to set up AirPlay without Wi-Fi
1) Plug in your Apple TV to a projector or TV with HDMI capabilities.
2) Update your mobile device to iOS8 and also update your Apple TV software to the most recent version.
3) Reboot both your mobile device and your Apple TV.
4) If you have established a Wi-Fi network on your mobile device go to your settings and forget the Wi-Fi network.

5) Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both your mobile device and your Apple TV.

6) Go to the Control Center Menu to access AirPlay by swiping up on the bottom of your device.

7) Push the AirPlay button. AppleTV should show up. If it does not, restart your mobile device and Apple TV and try again.

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8) Turn “Mirror” on.

 

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You are now ready to mirror your mobile device without Wi-Fi! Let me know if you have  any questions.

Update: 11/11/14

Recently I have been able to run a WiFi network on my mobile device while having the Apple TV not on a Wifi network. I think this may be do to new operating system updates. The devices are connected via AirPlay but because I can run Wifi on my mobile device I have been able to access the internet from my mobile device. At this point I have not been able to access YouTube videos but this might be related to a district network issue. My district does not allow Apple TV on the network but I can now access the internet on my Apple TV through my mobile device. This is a great solution if you are in a district where Apple TV’s are not allowed on the network.
Update: 2/22/15
When writing this blog I had the intention of simply helping educators and fellow physical education teachers be able to use an Apple TV within there classroom without WiFI. I had no idea this blog would generate so much traffic. It’s important to note that video streaming does not work without WiFi. You can browse the internet and stream music using your iPhone/iPad while the Apple TV is just on bluetooth but no video at this point. I hope that this helps clarify.

75 Comments on “No Wi-Fi? No problem! Using Apple TV to Mirror Your Device Without WiFI

    • I’m glad it was helpful. That’s a good question. I haven’t tried anything like that yet. I believe that Airplay would still function without your 3G or 4G network which would allow you to mirror.

      • Now how do i order online and tell the difference as these numbers to look for are not given! When i asked b and h photo they said u need wifi to mirror i said no u need bluetooth and gen 3 rev a or newer. From what ive seen target,walmart, best buy ect… all sell 2012 model not 2013 as gen 3. I dont have wifi up north i already own a 2012 gen 3 i dont need another i want a rev a!!!

      • So I don’t need “WI-FI” and “Internet” to stream movies on my TV from my iPhone? Thanks.

    • Only if you are streaming and that is your only source of internet

  1. Thanks Colin,
    I’m really pushing to get Apple TV w/ permanently installed projector in gym. This inspires me to keep at it!

    • It’s so worth it Lynn! Keep pushing for it. A mounted projector and Apple TV has made the biggest difference in my teaching environment. Apple TV did not work well on our district network but now I no longer have to worry about it with iOS8.

  2. Does this airplay on 3g/4g use you tethering/hotspot allowance on phone contract?

    • Redjumpa,
      I have yet to have an issue with what you are describing. I do not believe that AirPlay uses any hotspot allowance on a phone contract. It communicates through bluetooth as opposed to your network. I hope this helps!
      -Collin

      • That can’t be correct. Not if the phone is successfully mirroring the image on the phone but not playing video. Bluetooth just doesn’t have the bandwidth to transmit images like this so quickly. Right now i am using it at the house with my router disabled, so it must be transferring the data directly to the apple tv from my phone via wifi.

  3. I have rebooted several times; however, every time I turn on AirPlay it doesn’t give me the Apple TV option nor the mirroring option. Any ideas? I have the 6plus and the correct model of Apple TV.

    • Hi Joe,
      did you forget the wifi network on your device but make sure it was still enabled? Are your operating systems on your device and ATV up to date? If so give your device and ATV a longer time to pair? Some time it can take a few minutes.

  4. After a long time of down loading to the Apple TV and beeing able to mirror to the tv the phone will not play utube viedos to the tv it kicks it off every time and looks for wifi. I had help with Apple last night any thoughts. Must use phone to tv it is the the only Internet source. And no wifi. Phone does not have hotspot.

    • Keith I am in the same situation. I can connect to AirPlay and can search on the Internet but Netflixs and YouTube won’t play. I have no other internet source and my phone is not a hot spot.

      Anyone have any suggestions? I have restarted both my phone and Apple TV.

      Thanks!

      • Keith and Missy,
        In order to stream video both devices will need to be on wifi. You could try to access youtube through the browser on the phone and not the app. That may work.

  5. Just found your discussion! I have an ipad 4. Have tried off and on all semester in my elem. music classroom to mirror the ipad on the computer and thus on the SmartBoard, No luck so far. I don’t have an Apple TV yet, but thinking about getting it. Using AirPlay and the Apple TV, will I be able to use music ed apps on the ipad? Wifi just doesn’t seem to work in my room on anything besides the laptop I use for the SmartBoard.

    • Hi Cendy, an new apple TV should be a good option for you. The music apps will work as long as they do not require use of the internet. Follow all the steps in the blog and it should work for you. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Thanks so much! I originally bought the Ipad to use in the classroom, and it has been frustrating (to say the least) not being able to use it!

  6. I have been trying get the Apple TV and Ipad 4 working together. So far no luck. You mention making sure Bluetooth is on both the apple tv and ipad. The apple TV in the bluetooth setting keeps saying “searching…” and doesn’t do anything. The ipad doesn’t show the Apple tv in the bluetooth setting. What am I doing wrong? This is my first time trying to connect 2 apple products, so… I don’t know if I’m missing something super easy or what!?!

    • Hi Cindy,
      1)How long have you had the Apple TV? Is it brand new? If it is and cannot find Bluetooth then it might be defective. 2)Have you updated your Apple TV? Let’s start with these questions and move from there.

      • It is brand new. I double checked the model no. It is A1469, and is the 3rd generation Rev. A. It said that it did the software update successfully.

      • Restart both devices and try again. Make sure WiFi is on for both devices but do not choose a network. If that doesnt work I think you need to return your Apple TV because the Bluetooth does not work correctly.

  7. I am so glad I found your advice here. After seeing it i went out And bought an Apple TV. As of right now it is now working but I see you say to update the Apple tv software so I will take it he to update get it back to class and let you know. Thanks so much!

  8. Just a follow up question. I am trying to use a iPad Air and a Apple TV I want to watch a movie on a hd TV Using AirPlay mirroring at a cabin that I have where no internet is available what so ever And it keeps telling me there is an error code 3 or something like that. I was told I could do this with no problems. Any suggestions?

  9. This doesn’t work. I went to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, had them follow your directions, and it didn’t work, and they told me they didn’t expect it to work. Maybe you’re on a wifi network and you just don’t even know it.

  10. Incidentally, the guys at the Apple Store said that if this WERE possible, it would be a HUGE deal, and they would certainly have been informed of it by Apple.

    • Jason,
      That’s really interesting. My experience discussing this with employees of Apple is that they didn’t know either. I’m not quite sure why this is not common knowledge.

  11. Well, I’ve just returned home and tried it for myself. I caught your comment about leaving wifi on, even though it is not connected to a network (critical!) and… It sorta half worked. It does mirror, but only photos, not video. I assume this is because Bluetooth can’t transmit the necessary volume of data. Have you been able to get this to work with video?

    • Jason, I have not had luck streaming video. However, I have found that now if I leave the Wi-Fi network on my phone or other mobile device on and just run Bluetooth on my AppleTV I am able to run applications that require you to be on the Internet. I am also able to stream from music services. It works great for what I need is a teacher.

      • I would encourage you to update your post with a statement of the known limitations, since I imagine many visitors are not fellow teachers subscribed to your blog, are landing here using a search similar to “Apple TV no wifi,” and that most of those people are interested in streaming video. It is useful for some, I’m sure, but personally a warning would have saved me about half a day’s headache.

      • Please delete this entire posting as it has caused me and probably many others to go on a wild goose chase and the ability you describe here DOES NOT WORK. This thread is FALSE INFORMATION

    • It will play video for me without using home internet with wifi, but only videos that i have locally stored on my device. Nothing from you tube, netflix, or hbo now will play. Almost seems like some underhanded agreement with the wireless networks is at play here.

  12. It’s working great except I have no sound… Is that a common thing?

  13. Thanks for this article. It’s working fine here in the uk without a wifi connection, though I read somewhere that you do need your mobile data and Bluetooth still switched on, which I do on 3 and 4g. There have been a few teething problems with it but I have had powerpoints (using slideshark) with embedded vids with sound running no problem. It can occasionally drop unexpectedly but I think that’s to do with my display power saving setting on the iPad. As always the old off and on again advice usually does the trick.

  14. Trying to watch wrestle mania on my tv through my phone. Can I use Apple tv to do so even though I don’t have access to wifi and my only Internet is the one on my phone?

    • Hey Carlos, I wanted to let you know that this is a teacher blog and not tech-support. However, to answer your question unfortunately you will be most likely be unable to stream the video you desire.

      • Say so initially save people time and a headache. Are you intentionally misleading folks???

  15. Is there anyway to secure the Apple TV from unauthorized people from projecting their iPad onto the Apple TV and hijacking my presentations. I’m using Apple TV in lecture hall and thought by having it on a private network and password this would prevent others from getting access to the Apple TV.
    Any suggestions on how to secure it now?

  16. I tried to do this at home. I have an iPad2 and the right Appletv, I have tried with networks forgotten on both devices and also turned on on the iPad. They both just say searching. I have related both and they are both updated. Does Bluetooth work in the country?

  17. Can you stream videos/movies via your mobile hotspot/tethering so using your phones data/wifi not home broadband.

    And if you can does it use double data?

  18. I’ve got videos streaming using my phone data connection I have no wifi in the house. I am using the playbox HD app and the process you describe

  19. Does this require a certain version of apply TV. I can’t get the AirPlay on appletv to show up

  20. with the latest apple tv, can these be used without wifi. Example- in a classroom where the network becomes an issue?

  21. This DOES work, but will not allow video like stated. Even when watching the video in safari. The confusing part was the wifi and Bluetooth. Turn on the Bluetooth on Apple device and wifi, BUT forget network if still on a network. Now for the Apple TV turn Bluetooth on. Mine kept searching but I just ignored it. Now go to the wifi and it asked you to choose a network. Leave the Apple TV at thw screen asking you to choose a network and hit the air play button. It should come up with the Apple TV and then switch to mirror mode. It only allows you to scroll the web but only plays videos from your camera NOT YouTube or safari. I will be returning Apple TV and just getting the adapter to Hdmi cord. All I wanted to do was to be able to watch Netflix on my tv or other videos without wifi. Thanks and hopes this helps

    • When I meant got to the air play I meant on your apple device (for me iPhone 6 plus) and turn on mirror mode. Sorry for confusion

  22. Thanks for all of your tips, I bought the apple TV for my dad, who doesn’t have wifi or internet in the house but does own a iphone 6 with unlimited data. Video streaming does work without wifi, as long as you can use the hotspot on your iphone. I tried it at home by turning off my internet and using only my iphone and putting the bluetooth and wifi setting on (both are essential) and making sure I connected the hotspot wifi to the apple tv. I was able to watch netflix and HBO, this is some really awesome stuff!

    • That’s not the discussion, mirroring is not capable without an internet connection to apple tv. just as you had to use your hotspot to connect your apple tv.

    • Corina, using your iphone as a hotspot means you need to consider teethering limits imposed by your cell provider. Unlimited data plan does not equal unlimited tethering/hotspot. After you reach your monthly allowance your connection will drop (or depending on your carrier) you may incur additional charges.

  23. This discussion is very misleading… you do not lead a wifi connection but you still required a device ( iPhone, router ) to relay between the apple tv and your macbook iMac. you can’t possible make your mac / iPad /iphone to ink up the apple tv directly. i hope you guys out there make your fact right before you published an article. don’t waste out time reading it.

    • In facto it is true, I do that all the time, I hook up the ATV to a projector and airplay from my mac, no wires, no hub, no network* ( I think they create an adhoc network to communicate) Furthermore I can have my Mac connected to a network and stream to ATV which is not.

    • That’s incorrect. your phone can in fact mirror with your apple tv without a router. I am doing it right now with my router disabled.

  24. I get the no wifi needed, that’s great BUT will I need to use the iphone’s hotspot?

  25. I have a question here, can I display any videos or shows such as Hulu and Netflix from my iPhone to my TV using Apple TV without using any WiFi network?

    • So far i have not been able to do it. I can play videos that are locally stored on my phone, but nothing from the internet as of yet.

  26. Pingback: How To Connect Apple Tv To Computer Without Wifi | historydeal

  27. Hi. My wife is a teacher and her new classroom has a TV with HDMI ports. We have an Apple TV that’s about 3 years old. Can the older model Apple TV mirror her iPad Air without wifi? If not, could we put a wifi router in the room to communicate with the Apple TV, even if it doesn’t have internet access?

  28. What if the EMC number isn’t 2366? Does that mean that I can’t AirPlay without Wifi?

  29. I’d like to use this mirroring however in the instructions it specifically says to forget any wireless network you are on. Does this mean I won’t be able to use my AirPrint enabled printer, which has its own network?

  30. YES AND NO — Mirroring yes, streaming no, AppleTV transfers control for most apps like YouTube back to the AppleTV because it assumes it has a path to the internet and assumes that’s what most people prefer (by design and with no fallback support). Solution: your phone can be a hotspot to solve this but cannot ALSO be a client on the same subnet as your AppleTV to push content (via mirror or apps, or airplay etc), this is a typical architecture limitation for those thinking they are being blocked in some manner. Also, the data consumed via the hotspot by the AppleTV device (when streaming) would fall under a tethering data plan as carriers see that as a separate device, unless you can mask that (more than native VPN support). This could clearly work if Apple wanted, mirroring works fine and the auto peer-to-peer networking connects well enough, the iPhone can clearly connect and show content without the home internet in *limited* cases. Apple did not design this device for the wire cutters (like me). Under ordinary usage, your phone just becomes a fancy controller and not the source of the content, and perhaps in some cases it can show content directly via mirroring . I’m using the latest Apple TV A1469 with v7.2.1 build 8011, connecting with to with iOS 10, just thought to see if anything changed in the last three years. nope.

    Author, the title should really be changed from “no problem!” to “…well, sorta” or better “not really” — ahh i see the “Update: 2/22/15” –welp, this is why video does not work, and perhaps will help clarify comments in this forum that are claiming “it works just make sure you have…. ”

    Sure I can connect my phone + appletv via auto-peer-to-peer setup “without internet”, but there problems everywhere after that. It really doesn’t work they way people would like, e.g. streaming anything you can see on your phone via AppleTv hdmi output to a device WITHOUT a separate network connection from the AppleTV. A single counter-example of peer-to-peer mirroring showing content doesn’t cut it. Most people have the home internet, so few people have complained about the Apple tag line, “with AirPlay Mirroring you can send everything on your iPhones display to an AppleTv” is pretty much false. It’s actually not “everything” in the sense of any content. I gave up long ago and just use the lighting HDMI adapter (no fuss there). Also, Raspberry Pi Arduino devices have come out with video Airplay support, and might be work checking out. (I’m starting to revive this and take a look at Arduino solutions). I guess the most frustrating thing is that the technology clearly supports the ability, and the marketing makes it seems like it does, and sure works in SOME cases but is not implemented for an actual use-case without the additional home internet angle. It’s really meant for your friends to come over control your AppleTV without needing to also authenticate on your home network.

  31. Pingback: Internet Down? No Problem! One quick fix using Keynote's microphone that improved student discourse. | The iLearn Initiative

  32. So I have just bought the Apple TV and the Best Buy person said I would not need wifi if I was to only screen share that has not been the case so far I have had bought so many other devices that it’s hard to count I just need to connect my iPhone 6 s to my LG smart tv ?

    • Hi Nathan, I went through the same Apple TV route as many people in this forum. It did not work the way I wanted it to, as related in detail by Joetabla above. Then I bought the Apple Lightning Digital A/V adapter (MD826ZM/A) to connect my iPhone 6 directly to the HDMI input on my TV and now I can play a Netflix movie on my phone and have it show on the big TV. The TV really and truly mirrors whatever is on my phone.

  33. QUESTION… IN KINDA ON THE DUMB END WHEN IT COMES TO TECHNOLOGY…. IF I BUY THE GEN 4 APPLE TV… CAN I WATCH THE MOVIES THAT I WATCH ON MY PHONE ON THE TV. I DO NOT HAVE INTERNET SERVICE AT HOME AND USE THE 4G SERVICE ON MY PHONE TO WATCH THE MOVIES… THANKS

    • Yes you can because it communicates via bluetooth to the apple tv and you can still stream it on the TV using the mirror after you swipe up on your screen

  34. My ECM number is 2907 on my gen 3 Apple TV, will this solution still work. My iPad still doesn’t see the app tv.

  35. This does not work, the Bluetooth is only for keyboard etc and your iPad iPhone will not recognise the Bluetooth nor will your Apple TV. I think maybe this worked on an old version but iOS updates have disabled the feature

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