Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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How to stream PC games and movies to your Xbox One or Series X / S console with a free app

If you own a Windows 10 or 11 PC and an Xbox One or Series X / S 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 to your Windows PC screen. Conversely, it’s possible to stream what’s on your PC to the TV that you’re using with your Xbox — you can even control it from the console, and setting it 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 PC and Xbox One or Series X / S are on the same Wi-Fi network.

How to stream your PC to your Xbox One or Series X / S

Any Windows 10 or 11 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.

  • Navigate on the console to the Microsoft Store (or simply click this link) and download the Wireless Display app to your Xbox.
  • 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).
The Wireless Display app’s landing screen, running and ready to connect on an Xbox console.
  • Head over to your PC. Once you’re ready to stream some content, press the keyboard combo Windows + K. Alternatively, you can click Connect to a wireless display in the Display menu of the System settings. Either way, the next screen will show your console’s name.
Be sure to select this button allowing inputs if you want to play streamed PC games from your Xbox with a controller.
  • From here, you can choose to extend what’s on your PC monitor, duplicate it, or set the display on the Xbox as your second screen. For our purposes, we set it as a duplicate so that the Xbox display mirrored our PC monitor.
This small taskbar gives you easy access to streaming modes and disconnecting.
  • Once you’re connected, you’ll see a small, movable taskbar 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 icon) between gaming, working, or movie modes. During testing, it was tough to discern the difference in visual quality between the three. We found the gaming setting is best if you’re solely playing PC games, as it has the least noticeable latency while using a controller.
The option to stream the audio to your Xbox is in the playback device list, when you click the volume icon in the system tray.

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’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, we were able to stream anything we 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, we suggest downloading those apps from the Microsoft Store on Xbox instead.

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