AirPlay lets you stream audio and video over a local network connection between an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to an Apple TV, HomePod, and lots of third-party devices with built-in AirPlay or AirPlay 2 support. When you first connect to an AirPlay destination, you may be prompted to enter a security code.
This security code is not designed to protect you from hacking attempts. Rather, it serves as a buffer in situations where multiple users with their own devices are in close proximity (like in a dorm or apartment building) and could see and inadvertently select your AirPlay destination. (Someone might also try to play a prank by accessing your device and sending unwanted content to it.)
You can see that it’s not an anti-hacking method because when you select an AirPlay device that has passcode protection, the display for that device will show the code. You can then enter it at the prompt on whatever Apple equipment you’re using.
After entering the security code for the first time on a device, you shouldn’t be asked for it again unless the code changes.
Every streaming box, app, or smart TV that supports AirPlay has a different interface to set and change the code.
Here’s how to make the change on an Apple TV:
Go to Settings > AirPlay and HomeKit.
Choose Allow Access.
From the Allow Access options, select Require Password, whether it’s set to Off or On.
If the password is set you can change it; otherwise enter a new one. It’s best to pick a short one that’s all numbers for ease of entry.
You can also find instructions on some popular devices made by other companies using these links:
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader William.
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