Need help? Contact the Chromecast Support Team for assistance.

Ambient Mode for Chromecast

When your Chromecast is not being used, it can quietly keep you entertained with Ambient Mode. You must be signed in to your Google account in order to set up and configure Ambient Mode.


  • Ambient Mode allows Chromecast to access photos, personalized content, and preferences associated with your Google account.
  • You can only access and manage Ambient Mode preferences from the Google Home app. 
  • All Ambient Mode preferences associated with your Chromecast device will be removed when you perform a factory reset on the associated Chromecast.
  • The maximum resolution of Ambient Mode on Chromecast Ultra devices is 1080p.

Ambient Mode settings

To adjust your Ambient Mode settings, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap your Chromecast device
  3. At the top right corner, tap Settings .
  4. Scroll down then tap Ambient Mode.

Google Photos

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

Note: You can explore the Google Photos Help Center for further help with Google Photos.

Add or remove albums

You can add or remove albums from the Home app.

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

From this section you can do the following:

Create a Family & Friends album

Note: This feature is not available in Europe, Illinois, or Texas.

If you have face groups enabled and the Google Photos app installed on your phone, you will have an option to create an automatically updating album that contains what Google Photos thinks are the best pictures of the people that you most care about. To do so, tap the Select Family & Friends tile in the album picker. Then select the faces of the people whose pictures you want and tap Turn on and confirm the album creation. A “Family & Friends” album will appear in the album picker, with photos already selected for you. This album will automatically update with new pictures 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 high quality recent photos in your collection.

Select Favorites

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

Select an existing private or shared album

Your private and shared albums are also available to select. 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 the steps below.

  1. Open the Google Home app Google Home app.
  2. Tap your Chromecast and then  Settings  and then Photo Frame.
  3. Tap Google Photos, then scroll to "Personal photo data."
  4. Set "Personal photo data" to Hide
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