Miracast is a wireless technology that your Windows 8.1 devices can use to project their screens to TVs, projectors, and streaming media players that support this technology. However, if your TV or monitor doesn't offer Miracast, you can purchase the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and use it to project wirelessly to any display with both an HDMI port and a powered USB port. Here's how to project from a Windows 8.1 computer or device with support for Miracast, to any display, using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter:
What You Need For This To Work?
Before you move forward with this tutorial, double check that you have the following items available:
- The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. If you need to learn more about this device and its capabilities, read our in-depth review: Reviewing The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
- A TV or monitor with both an HDMI port and a powered USB port. The TV/monitor should not be more than 7 meters or 23 feet away from your Windows 8.1 device.
- A Miracast enabled device with Windows 8.1 like the Surface Pro 3. Windows 8.1 must be up to date with the latest Windows Updates installed. If your computer came with Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, it should support Miracast. If you've upgraded an old PC to Windows 8.1, it may or may not support Miracast.
If you have everything on this list, then go ahead and follow these steps:
Step 1: Set Up The TV Or Monitor
First, you need a TV or a monitor with an HDMI port and a USB port. The USB port must receive power from the display or the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter won't work.
Plug in the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter into the HDMI and USB ports on the display where you want to project.
Use the remote or the configuration menus of the display and set its input to the HDMI port where you plugged in the adapter.
If everything worked well, you will see an image like the one below, saying: "MicrosoftDisplayAdapter_EF Ready to connect."
If you don't see this message on the screen, it means that the USB port doesn't give any power to the adapter. Your only solution is to plug the USB port of the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter into another device that gives it power. For example, if you have a tablet that you can use, plug it into its USB port and leave the HDMI end plugged into the display that you want to use. Or… you can always use a spare USB device charger.
Step 2: Install The Microsoft Wireless Adapter On Your Windows 8.1 Device
Now you should go to your Windows 8.1 device with Miracast support and install the Microsoft Wireless Adapter so that you can use it to project wirelessly.
The best way is to open PC Settings and go to PC and devices and then to Devices.
There, click or tap "Add a device".
Windows 8.1 detects the devices that are available for installation. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is listed as MicrosoftDisplayAdapter_EF. Click or tap on it to install it.
You are shown a message that says: "Connecting to MicrosoftDisplayAdapter_EF. Follow any instructions on your television".
We received no instructions on the television and all we had to do was wait. After a couple of seconds, Windows 8.1 was installing the adapter automatically, as shown below.
When the installation is done, the adapter is listed under Projectors in your list of devices from PC Settings.
Now you can use the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to project wirelessly.
Step 3: Project Wirelessly
In order to project the image from your screen remotely to the TV or monitor that you want to use, bring up the Charms. Then, click or tap Devices followed by Project.
Click or tap MicrosoftDisplayAdapter_EF to project to it.
The image on your screen is now cloned on the remote display. Whatever you do on your Windows 8.1 device is now shown on the display where you connected the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Also, the sound is wirelessly broadcast to the remote display.
To stop projecting, bring up the charms again and click or tap Devices, followed by Project. Then, click or tap Disconnect.
Alternatively you can use the Windows+P keyboard shortcut to bring up the Project screen.
As you can see, projecting wirelessly in Windows 8.1 using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is relatively easy. Once the initial setup is done, projecting is as easy as with a normal projector. If you have any questions about this procedure or the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, don't hesitate to share them using the comments form below.