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How to use your Chromecast remote

Using your Chromecast remote is easy once you know the right steps. Read on for more information.

Malin Curry
Hand outstretched and pointing remote

Every day, billions of people take to the web to "google" something, thus solidifying Google's status in the tech world. Yes, most people know about Google and the portfolio of other applications the company has developed over the years. But you might not know much about Google's streaming device, the Chromecast.

A device that helped the tech giant enter the brave world of streaming back in 2013. The Chromecast is considered to be a part of the big three (Amazon, Roku, and Chromecast) when it comes to streaming devices. But it is often overlooked or overshadowed by the prominence of the other two devices.

So now, we're doing our part to change that. The Chromecast can be an attractive device for those looking to mirror content from their smartphone or other devices. And there's a lot to know about the device itself, but fret not, we've got you covered. Let's start by talking about Chromecast's remote and the different functionalities that come with it.

Related: Chromecast Review 2021: Is It Worth It?

Chromecast devices compared

Streaming device Starting priceComes with a remote?Streaming quality
Chromecast 3rd Generation $30NoHD
Chromecast Ultra $100No4K
Chromecast with Google TV $50YesHD

As you can see, the only Chromecast device that currently comes with a remote is the Chromecast with Google TV. At $50, this device is the second most affordable option on the list and the best option for users who want a streaming device with a remote control. Just keep in mind that all Chromecast devices can be controlled from a connected mobile device.

Using the Chromecast remote

The Chromecast with Google TV is the only Chromecast device that comes with a remote. You should know that most Chromecast models come with a simple user interface that's intuitive and easy to use. And if you do have a Chromecast model that doesn't come with a remote, you can use your phone or other mobile devices to navigate the device.

Also, just because you have a Chromecast remote doesn't mean you have to use it. And some TV remotes can be used in place of your Chromecast remote if needed. However, if you are hoping to use your Chromecast with Google TV remote to navigate Google's favorite streaming device, the process for doing so is made simple with the remotes streamer branded buttons, a directional pad, and voice command option.

Related: Chromecast with Google TV Review 2021: Is It Worth It?

Everything you need to know about Chromecast remote

Chromecast functionality

The Chromecast remote has a directional pad that you can use to click around different titles and start and stop programs. Just remember that in order to use the Chromecast, you'll need to have a compatible mobile device to stream your content from. 

Because the process for streaming content on Chromecast is highly dependent on how you set up your mobile device, you might not even use your remote that much. However, you should know that if you do have a remote you can set it up to be compatible with your TV. This means you'll be able to control your TV's volume and power your device on and off whenever you want. 

Remote Size

The Chromecast remote is small. So if you're accident-prone, a quick slip between the couch cushions could spell the end for your device. Fortunately, if you lose the remote, you've still got options.

Before Chromecast devices came with remotes, users relied on their phones and other mobile devices to maneuver around the device's interface. You'll need a smart device to watch things on Chromecast anyway, so your phone should (technically speaking) serve as your "second" remote. 

Voice Command

Similar to Roku and the Amazon Firestick, Chromecast's remote comes with a voice command button. You can activate this button and say things like "Hey Google, go back five seconds," or "Hey Google, take me to Netflix," and the Chromecast will oblige. 

If you have other Google products in your house, you can also use the voice command feature to control those products as well. You can download the Google Home app and organize your Google devices in the app. Once you've done so, you can use your Chromecast remote's voice command to control devices in your home as well.

Branded Buttons

Current models of the Chromecast remote come with two branded streamer buttons. One will take you to YouTube, while the other will launch Netflix if pressed. In the streaming community, the idea of branded streamer buttons has become a hot button issue of late, especially in the case of the Roku.

However, Chromecast hasn't faced the same controversy when it comes to buttons, as you can choose to remap the streaming service buttons on the remote to other streamers. Doing so will require you to use an app in Google's Play store called Button Mapper, but it can be done.

Our final take

Google's Chromecast remote is easy to use and simple to set up. It may be small compared to the size of remotes from other device brands like Roku and Amazon, but it gets the job done all the same. Plus, if you have other Google devices in your home, you can use your Chromecast remote to communicate with almost everything, making it a perfect option for Google users everywhere.