Ambient Mode for Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

When your Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra isn't being used, it can quietly keep you entertained with a screensaver called Ambient Mode. You must be signed into your Google Account to set up and configure Ambient Mode.


  • Ambient Mode allows Chromecast to access the local time and weather associated with your device's location, as well as photos and personalized content associated with your Google Account.
  • All Ambient Mode preferences associated with your Chromecast device will be removed when you perform a factory reset on the device.
  • The maximum resolution of Ambient Mode on Chromecast Ultra devices is 1080p.
  • You can only access and manage Ambient Mode preferences on Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra from the Google Home app Google Home app.
  • If you have Chromecast with Google TV, you can change Ambient Mode settings on your TV screen.

Ambient Mode settings

To adjust your Ambient Mode settings:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. At the top right corner, tap Settings .
  4. Scroll down tap Ambient Mode.

Google Photos

With Google Photos, you can enjoy the photos that mean the most to you on your TV with Chromecast. To enjoy your personal photos, you need a Google Photos account. Learn how to get started with a Google Photos account.

Note: For more help, explore the Google Photos Help Center.

Add or remove albums

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. At the top right corner, tap Settings .
  4. Scroll down, then tap Ambient Mode Google Photos.

Note: Ambient Mode doesn't display archived photos, even if they're in a selected album.

Create a Family & Friends album

Note: This feature isn't available in Europe, Illinois, or Texas.

If you have face groups enabled and the Google Photos app installed on your phone, you can create an automatically updating album that contains what Google Photos thinks are the best photos of the people you most care about.

  • From the album picker, tap Select Family & Friends.
  • Select the faces of the people whose photos you want.
  • To confirm album creation, tap Turn on.

A "Family & Friends" album will appear in the album picker, with photos already selected for you. This album will automatically update with new photos of the people you selected whenever they get added to your Google Photos collection.

Select Recent Highlights

Google Photos can automatically select what it thinks are your best recent photos and show them on your Chromecast. To enable this, select the "Recent highlights" album. This option will only show if you have recent, high-quality photos in your collection.

Select Favorites

If you've marked at least 4 photos in your collection as Favorites, this option will also appear in the album selection screen. If you select it, all the photos you've marked as Favorites will show on your Chromecast.

Select an existing private or shared album

You can also select private and shared albums. Shared albums are only shown if they have a name.

Photo curation

Google Photos automatically attempts to select what it thinks are the best photos from your Live Albums and Recent Highlights. From your existing private and shared albums, Google Photos attempts to remove objectively bad photos (blurry, poor exposure, low resolution, near duplicates) but will not otherwise curate the contents of your albums. You can completely turn off curation for private and shared albums by changing the "Personal photo curation" setting to "Live albums only." No curation at all is done on your Favorites.

Note: If photos in your private and shared albums don't appear and you expect them to, turn off curation for those albums by changing the "Personal photo curation" setting to "Live albums only."

Hide personal photo data

By default, your photos will display information like album name, photo date, photo location, and more. If you don't want your devices to display this information, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap and hold your device's tile.
  3. At the top right, tap Settings and then Photo Frame.
  4. Tap Google Photos, then scroll to "Personal photo data."
  5. Set "Personal photo data" to Hide.

Other features

Art gallery and Experimental
When you select Art gallery, you can display photos in Ambient Mode from sources around the internet, such as Google Earth. You can also select Experimental to try out more image sources and features.
Select an option under "Weather" to display or hide weather information in Ambient Mode. You can choose to display the Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F) temperature scale, display both scales, or hide the temperature. Weather information is based on the home address you set in the Google Home app. If you don't have an address set, the weather is based on your IP address, and could vary across different devices in your home.
Select an option to display or hide the time of day in Ambient Mode.

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