Google Chromecast can be set up by going to the setup page on a supported device. But in technical terms, what is actually happening on your device that configures the Chromecast dongle? For instance, if I have a WPA secured wireless AP, how does the dongle "listen" for configuration information?

afaik the only automatic way of doing this is Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). However, that wouldn't require an additional device. So it seems like Google is doing something else.

4 Answers 4


Chromecast acts as an access point when first turned on.

For the initial setup, you install an app on your Android, Windows or mac device, that will find it and connect to the chromecast's AP directly. Then the chromecast scans for nearby access points, allowing you to pick one and enter in its password.

Once this is done, it will connect to that access point instead of acting as its own access point.

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    Great. But, however, this leaves me with the question: "How do I connect it to a new network, or change the password if my AP password changes?". Does chromecast have a "reset" mode to get it back to acting as an AP directly itself once again? Aug 1, 2013 at 20:13
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    I think it will go back to that mode if unable to connect to the existing wifi.
    – zimmer62
    Aug 7, 2013 at 14:52
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    Google should have informed the user that the setup device (phone, tablet, PC, etc) has to connect to the ChromecastXXX AP first and do the initial setup first before it moves to the other Wifi networks. Man, if they mention that it acts like an AP initially, it would have saved a lot of time. To me, it is outright stupid on their part. I have a WRT54G and the hardware+firmware are supported according to Google but I couldn't figure how the Chromecast access my AP/router without knowing my WPA password. Thanks for the headup.
    – user277739
    Nov 28, 2013 at 16:07
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    To change the wi-fi network that the Chromecast is connected to, you need to perform FDR (Factory Data Reset) on the Chromecast and run setup again. See support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3210071?hl=en.
    – jarmod
    Dec 31, 2013 at 2:59
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    So, does it mean I can't setup a chromecast device using the desktop which doesn't have wifi adapter? Also is it expected a network disruption in the device which is setting up the chromecast? because it would be disconnecting from the existing access point and connecting to chromecast's ap? Nov 16, 2014 at 15:11

Heres how it works:

  1. Chromecast fires up, puts out a Wi-Fi signal
  2. You connect to this unsecured open Wi-Fi with a smartphone or tablet. You cannot do this with a wired desktop PC.
  3. You tell Chromecast the logon credentials of your home broadband Wi-Fi.
  4. You and chromecast log of and log back onto the Home Wi-Fi.
  5. You go onto the desktop, add the Chromecast extension to Chrome.
  6. Tell Chrome wich casting device to use.

Anything you now play in—for example—YouTube will now stream to the TV.

Repeat tomorrow, because it seems to forget everything when not used for a while.


You can do this from the chromecast app on an android phone (download from the play store). I haven't figured out any way from PC except factory reset (painful - don't do it).


IF you are using Dual bank router like Linksys E3000 make sure your router is configured to listen on both 20Mhz or 40Mhz . On your Linksys router configuration page click on the wireless tab -> basic configuration -> select manual. Then on the channel with select Auto(20Mhz or 40Mhz)

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