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How to Watch YouTube TV on a MacBook

It is not easy to watch YouTube TV on a MacBook, but there are options.

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The YouTube TV app is not available to download on a MacBook. In addition, there is currently no support for the Safari web browser. While choices are limited for anyone looking to watch YouTube TV on a MacBook, there are options including using a different browser or AirPlay.

YouTube TV is one of the more popular live TV streaming services in the U.S. With the number of subscribers constantly on the rise, there are going to be times when subscribers want to stream on devices other than their smart TV or living room streaming player. Generally speaking, YouTube TV comes with fairly wide device support, although that’s not the same as supporting all platforms and devices.

When it comes to Apple’s ecosystem, YouTube TV is available on both iPhone and iPad. Therefore, anyone can access the service on an iOS mobile device, even when away from home. When at home, YouTube TV also caters to Apple ecosystem users through Apple TV. In spite of being widely available on many Apple devices, YouTube TV currently does not support streaming through a MacBook app or the Safari browser.

Read more: YouTube TV Supported Devices

YouTube TV on a MacBook using a browser

With no app available to download from the Mac App Store, most MacBook users might expect to be able to head over to tv.youtube.com through the Safari browser and start streaming. However, Safari is not yet a supported browser. While it remains unclear whether the service will ever gain Safari browser support, the YouTube TV help section does state that “we’re working to bring YouTube TV to more browsers in the future.”

YouTube TV mobile, tablet, laptop
YouTube TV browser support is limited

Due to this, MacBook users will need to consider an alternate way to stream YouTube TV on a MacBook. One of the easiest solutions is to simply use a different browser. As to be expected with a Google-owned service, YouTube TV works with Google’s Chrome browser. To download Chrome on a MacBook, open Safari, navigate to the Chrome download website, install the Mac version and follow the on-screen instructions.

How to download Chrome on MacBook:

  1. Open Safari
  2. Visit google.com/chrome
  3. Click on the ‘Download Chrome for Mac’ button
  4. Open the Downloads folder
  5. Open the ‘googlechrome.dmg’ file
  6. Select Chrome from the list
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions
  8. Drag Chrome icon to the Applications folder
  9. Open Finder
  10. Click the ‘Eject’ button besides Google Chrome
  11. Open the Applications folder
  12. Open Chrome

For those less keen on using Chrome, another browser option is Mozilla’s Firefox. Currently Chrome and Firefox are the only browsers officially listed as supported.

YouTube TV on a MacBook using AirPlay

Another option for MacBook owners is to use AirPlay. As most Apple customers will likely already know, AirPlay allows streaming of content from one Apple device to another. With a little help from a third-party app, this includes the option to mirror an iPhone to a MacBook.

iPhone MacBook AirPlay
AirPlay can be used to stream between Apple devices

As a YouTube TV app is available to download on iPhone (or iPad) from the App Store, iOS users can download the app on their mobile device and use a macOS application like Reflector to mirror their screen to the MacBook. While not an ideal solution, it is an option available for those that do not want to go the alternate browser route.

Services like Reflector turn a MacBook into an AirPlay receiver. When using Reflector, the iPhone’s screen can be mirrored to a MacBook in the same way an iPhone would mirror the display to any other AirPlay-enabled device.

How to mirror iPhone to a MacBook:

  1. On the iPhone, swipe down to open the Control Center (older models may require a swipe up)
  2. Tap on AirPlay or Screen Mirroring
  3. Select the MacBook
  4. Enable Mirroring

Another mirroring option is to simply connect the iPhone to a MacBook using a cable and then use the iPhone as a source for QuickTime on the Mac computer. This is probably the least convenient way as it requires an iPhone to remain tethered to the MacBook, but it is an option when needed.

Watching YouTube TV On MacBook summary

YouTube TV is not available on MacBook through either a dedicated macOS app or through the Safari browser. However, MacBook users can access YouTube TV by either using the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers.

Alternatively, MacBook owners can try installing the iOS app on an iPhone or iPad and mirroring the screen to a MacBook. This can be done through one of two ways. The first is by physically connecting the iOS device and MacBook with a cable and utilizing QuickPlay. The other option is using an app like Reflector to turn the MacBook into an AirPlay receiver and wirelessly streaming YouTube TV to the MacBook.

Read more: YouTube TV: How Many Devices Can Stream at the Same Time

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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