iPad and iOS 5 Tips: How To Turn on AirPlay Mirroring on the iPad 2

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AirPlay Mirroring is one of the coolest new features in iOS 5 for the iPad 2. It allows you to stream everything that happens on your iPad 2 wirelessly to an HDTV via Apple TV (2nd gen only).

When it’s turned on everything you do on the iPad, regardless of what app you’re in or what you’re doing, is mirrored to the TV screen – hence the name. It can be used to take your iPad gaming to a whole new level (check out Real Racing 2 HD to see a game that fully exploits this), to show a slideshow of favorite photos, to be able to walk around a room while running a presentation from the iPad 2, or for any number of similar purposes.

Here’s what you need to do to turn on AirPlay Mirroring on your iPad 2:

— Have iOS 5 installed on your iPad 2

— Make sure your Apple TV software is up-to-date. You can check for updates on the Apple TV by going to Settings > General > Update Software.

— Have your TV turned with Apple TV active and showing.

— Double-tap the home button on the iPad to bring up the Multitasking Bar.

— Swipe to move to the left of the Multitasking Bar, so you can see the set of controls just to the left of the volume adjustment slider.

— The button just to the right of the Fast Forward button – the one that has a rectangle with a solid, upward-facing arrow in it – is the AirPlay button. Tap to switch from iPad to Apple TV.

— Once you do that you’ll see the Mirroring section appear just below the entry for Apple TV. Just tap to turn that On, and the iPad 2 will immediately begin mirroring to your TV screen.


— To turn AirPlay Mirroring off, just double-tap the home button again, tap the AirPlay button, and toggle Mirroring to off.

That’s it – this feature is easy to use and tremendously impressive.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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20 thoughts on “iPad and iOS 5 Tips: How To Turn on AirPlay Mirroring on the iPad 2”

  1. Except it doesn’t work. I just got both only to find out AppleTV out of the box is incompatible (I actually went out and got one after reading this) apparently, the update that allows this bricked thousands of Apple TVs and Apple pulled it indefinitely.

    No AirPlay for 4s either, guess I’m returning the Apple TV as Apple has yet to acknoledge the problem.


  2. Well, you guy’s should exercise some patience. I have had the old and the current ATVs, the current version updates fine without any ‘bricking’, in fact you can ‘unbrick’ any iOS device with a little patience, after all it’s just a computer. AirPlay is awesome. ;)

  3. It is awesome…when it’s working. Mine was working fine and now it isn’t. I was visiting my daughter and anxious to show them the mirroring. But it isn’t working, the audio comes through but the video doesn’t. AirPlay works but not mirroring.

  4. Yes. It works really well. You need to upgrade your AppleTV to the latest firmware and ensure both devices are on the same wireless network. You need to configure your AppleTV and turn on AirPlay option.

  5. Mirroring works great. One app that doesn’t work is HBO Go. When mirroring is turned on while running the app a message appears on the TV that says HBO Go does not currently support HDMI video output from this device. HBO needs to get their act together!

  6. I bought an app of radio programs. After about 3 min the screen on my iPad 2 goes black and I renter the app and it starts up from where it left off.
    Any suggestions

  7. When I turn on mirroring on iPad it turns it self off or it would load on the tv then not work any suggestions

  8. I have exactly the same problem as Oisin. The Mirror button switches off after I press ON and reverts to OFF. Apple TV is on and works fine. Please help!

    1. If you have not already done so, some basic things to check:

      — Is the iPad running latest version of iOS?

      — Does your Apple TV need an update?

      — Any general wireless network issues? Do other devices have any problems, or are there any other WiFi issues with the iPad and Apple TV?

  9. The AirPlay icon is not showing up at all on my iPad. Just bought apple tv and was anxious to use the mirroring. Also I downloaded the remote app and it isn’t working either. Any suggestions???

  10. I have a iPad 2 on 5.0.1 mirroring anything I can think of with my apple tv 3rd gen. No issues. Will have to Check out real racing.

  11. Same problems… The ipad2 is up to date as is the atv3 that I just purchased… No AirPlay icon showing up after double tap or swiping. I’ve tried restarting both tv and pad, resigning to iTunes on the pad… Nothing…. Very frustrated… I’d love to have this mirroring work…. Help please.:)

  12. New apple tv today. Connected to Airmac ok and mirroring on ipad2 worked once but after closing down cant get it going again despite doing all the obvious etc etc

  13. Awesome post. It took me a long time to find it, and no one else offered this same solution. Very simple but effective. Thank you!

  14. I have an iPad 2 and would like to connect with our new Samsung TV. I have an Apple digital A/V adaptor hooked to my TV and it won’t work. Can you help me ?

  15. My airplay icon only shows up at random and not when I want it, is there any way to install it permanently?

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