How to connect Android phone to projector via USB? It’s simple. Most Android smartphones have a USB-C cable that directly links to a USB-A port. The problem here is that some projectors only use that as a charging port instead of a video connection port like HDMI.
A typical Android smartphone only has a Universal Serial Bus Type-C (USB-C) port for charging. Older models have Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) ports as well that have compatible cables with HDMI ports. In order to connect your Android to a projector, you need a way to turn your USB to HDMI.
How to Connect an Android Phone to a Projector via USB
You kind of can connect your Android phone to a projector by USB alone but only for certain projectors. Other projectors only use the USB to power converters or media players without a plug.
For the most part, in order to connect your Android phone to a projector via USB, you need a USB-C to HDMI adapter. They’re a dime a dozen on Amazon or even eBay. All Android devices come with a USB-C or micro-USB option.
When you have the right cable adapter, you should be able to link your Android phone to a projector with an HDMI port. The adapter can either double as a USB-C and HDMI cable or it links a USB-C cable to an HDMI cable to allow a daisy-chained video connection.
You can also go for the Mobile HD Link, which also connects through HDMI ports.
Read more: How to connect Android Phone to Projector
USB-C to HDMI Adapter
Samsung phones mostly use USB-C to charge themselves up. If your device has a USB-C port, you can use a USB-C to HDMI cable to connect the device to the projector. Some projectors allow you to play video through a USB-C to USB-A connection.
Check your projector if it accepts a USB-C connection that goes to their USB-A port as a video connection instead of offering the smartphone a new charging port.
USB-C to HDMI Adapter vs. USB-C to USB-A Connection
You won’t have to do anything except connect your Android phone to the projector’s HDMI port by using a USB-C to HDMI cable. Make sure that the projector has selected the right HDMI input to run your video or mirror your phone.
Users beware that many USB-C to HDMI connections lack power. If you use other wired methods such as MHL, you can power up your device through the connection.
MHL (Mobile HD Link)
Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) works with specially designed HDMI cables to allow Android smartphone connections with a projector. Unlike USB-C cables that require an adapter or a compatible USB-accepting projector, MHL cables utilize micro-USB.
This enables you to connect your phone to the projector for video and audio transfers while powering or charging it up at the same time. You can also readily avail of MHL-type cables off of Amazon quite easily
What’s the Catch with MHL?
Many projectors support the HDMI standard. However, here’s the catch—you need an HDMI port with an MHL label on your projector or else MHL won’t work. If there isn’t one you can’t power the device. What’s more, MHL should be supported by your Android phone.
In order to connect to MHL, just make sure everything is compatible and do the connection with the right MHL cable. As usual, make sure the input is switched to the right MHL-compatible HDMI port on your projector.
How to Connect an Android Phone to a Projector Wirelessly
To connect an Android phone to a projector wirelessly, you can use Wi-Fi Direct. It allows you to stream or mirror you screen from your smartphone to your projector using your home Wi-Fi.
You can also use the Chromecast or Smart View options instead depending on the type of phone you have.
Accessing your Wi-Fi Direct might vary from one Android device version to another. Just check your manual or the Internet with your specific model of Android smartphone on hand for more info.
- To start, swipe down your Android display and access the notification shade. From there, select the gear icon and go to the “Settings” menu. You may also access this menu using the apps drawer instead.
- Tap “Connections” if you’re on a Samsung Device. If you’re using other Android devices, you might instead need to tap “Network & Internet” instead.
- Afterwards, select “Connections”, select “Wi-Fi” to bring up the Wi-Fi menu, and then tap the “Wi-Fi” option on that menu. Also make sure the setting is turned on in the Wi-Fi menu as well. Now you can select the “Wi-Fi Direct” option.
- Other Android devise might need you to select “Wi-Fi Preferences” or “Advanced” in the mnu first before accessing “Wi-Fi Direct”. Regardless, once that option is selected your device should scan for available Wi-FI Direct devices.
- Once the projector is located, tap the options in order to connect to it. Follow the subsequent instructions on how to connect correctly soon after.
It’s easy to connect to your projector using Chromecast. First, you need to make sure the Chromecast app is installed on your Android phone. Afterwards, plug the Chromecast device into the HDMI port of your projector.
The Google Home App or Chromecast App on your Android should then help you make the connection right away. Open the app, tap “Accounts”, then tap “Mirror Device” to start duplicating your Android phone screen on your projector.
Smart View on Samsung Smartphone
If you have a Samsung Android OS smartphone, you can instead use Smart View to establish a wireless connection with your phone and your projector. Just swipe down your Samsung phone notifications shade first then tap the “Smart View” option.
It should be located on your Quick Actions list. After selecting that feature, your device should automatically scan for nearby Miracast or Chromecast devices without you having to use the Google Home app.
Locate the projector then tap on it to establish a connection. From there, your Samsung phone should easily start streaming video and audio feeds unto it for YouTube and Netflix.
Expectations and Realities
Just because you were able to establish an HDMI, Chromecast, Wi-Fi, or USB-C adapter video connection from Android device to projector, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re home-free. It doesn’t mean you can freely project Netflix unto your projector via Android.
There are copyright blocks, region blocks, and content projection hurdles you must overcome (on a case-by-case basis) in order to stream copyrighted content from your smartphone to your projector. That said, YouTube and Twitch streaming as well as downloaded videos are fair game on the big screen.
- Ben Stockton, “How to Connect Your Android Device to a Projector“, HowtoGeek.com, October 17, 2019