Ambient Mode for Chromecast

When your Chromecast is not being used, it can quietly keep you entertained. You can choose from your favorite albums in Google Photos, enjoy the art gallery, or select from a variety of content from Facebook or Flickr to show while your device is idle.

You must be signed in to your Google account in order to set up and configure Ambient Mode.

Please note:
  • 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.

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. For instructions on getting started with a Google Photos account, click here.

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

Adding or removing albums

You can add or remove albums from the Home app by opening up your device and then selecting Google Photos.

  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 the UK, 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, press the “Select Family & Friends” tile in the album picker. Then select the faces of the people whose pictures you want and press Turn on and confirm the album creation. You will then see a “Family & Friends” album 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 auto-select what it thinks are your best recent photos and show them on your display. 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 4 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 display.

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 aren’t showing and you expect them to, turn off curation for those albums by changing the “Personal photo curation” setting to “Live albums only."
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?