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Backdrop for Chromecast

VMake your TV a reflection of you and your interests! Backdrop allows you to personalize what’s displayed on your Chromecast home screen even when not casting. All images and content will be specifically curated for the home.

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

Please note:
  • Backdrop allows Chromecast to access photos, personalized Backdrop content, and preferences associated with your Google account.
  • You can only access and manage Backdrop preferences from the Google Home app on an Android or iOS device
  • All Backdrop preferences associated with your Chromecast device will be removed when you perform a Factory Data Reset (FDR) on the associated Chromecast.

Step 1.  Sign in to your Google account

  1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. In the top left corner of the home screen, tap Menu More menu icon.
  3. Tap the triangle to the right of your name and email address.
  4. Tap Add account > Google. 
  5. Type your full email address.
  6. Make your TV a reflection of you and your interests! Backdrop allows you to personalize what’s displayed on your Chromecast home screen even when not casting. All images and content will be specifically curated for the home.

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

    Please note:
    • Backdrop allows Chromecast to access photos, personalized Backdrop content, and preferences associated with your Google account.
    • You can only access and manage Backdrop preferences from the Google Home app on an Android or iOS device
    • All Backdrop preferences associated with your Chromecast device will be removed when you perform a Factory Data Reset (FDR) on the associated Chromecast.

    Step 1.  Sign in to your Google account

    1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    2. In the top left corner of the home screen, tap Menu More menu icon.
    3. Tap the triangle to the right of your name and email address.
    4. Tap Add account > Google. 
    5. Type your full email address.
    6. Type your password and tap the right arrow to sign in.
    7. If you use 2-step verification, you’ll go through a special sign-in process at this point.

    Step 2. Set up Backdrop

    1. Make sure you mobile phone or tablet are connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast device. 
    2. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    3. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
    4. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
    5. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
    6. Tap Backdrop Settings.
    7. Tap Yes, I'm in to agree with Backdrop Terms and Conditions.

    Step 3. Set Backdrop preferences

    Choose which of your favorite photos, news, weather, and more are displayed on your Chromecast home screen by managing your Backdrop preferences.

    Now you can easily apply distinct Backdrop preferences to each of your Chromecast devices which will allow you to truly customize your viewing experience. For example, you can choose to only cast photos from the Chromecast device in your bedroom and cast news from the Chromecast device in your living room. Here's how:

    Please note: You will need to complete the above steps for each of your Chromecast devices.
    Choose your content categories

    Backdrop lets you choose content from a variety of sources listed below:

    Google Photos

    From your selected Google+ albums

    1. Tap Google Photos.
      • On iOS, to start choosing which photo albums to add, turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on . All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
      • On Android, to start choosing which photo albums to add, locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right . All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.

    Facebook albums

    1. Tap Facebook
    2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
    3. Tap Connect to add your Facebook albums to your TV.
    4. Sign into your Facebook account. 
    5. Tap OK to allow Chromecast to access your Facebook public profile and photos. Tap Edit the info you provide to choose what is shared.
    6. To start choosing which photo albums to add to Backdrop,
      1. On iOS, tap Your Facebook. Turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
      2. On Android, tap Your Facebook. Locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save. 
    7. Tap the back arrow to return to the Settings screen.
    8. To remove your Facebook account from Backdrop, tap Remove your Facebook. Tap Remove to confirm the removal of your Facebook account. Note: This will remove your Facebook account from all Chromecasts you’re connected to.

    Flickr albums

    1. Tap Flickr.
    2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
    3. Tap Connect to add your Flickr albums to your TV.
    4. Sign into your Yahoo account.
    5. Tap OK, I’ll Authorize It to allow Chromecast to access your Flickr account. Tap Edit the info you provide to choose what is shared.
    6. To start choosing which photo albums to add to Backdrop,
      1. On Android, tap Your Flickr. Locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content.  This will auto save.
      2. On iOS, tap Your Flickr. Turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
    7. Tap the back arrow to return to the Settings screen.
    8. To remove your Flickr account from Backdrop, tap Remove your Flickr. Tap Remove to confirm the removal of your Flickr account. Note: This will remove your Flickr account from all Chromecasts you’re connected to.

    Play Newsstand

    Displays headlines from world, politics, business, technology, and more.

    1. Tap Play Newsstand.
    2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
    3. Slide the slider to the right in the Your News section.
    4. Go to Play Newsstand to customize your content. This content will then display on Backdrop.

    Art

    From museums, galleries, and locations around the world

    1. Tap Art
    2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
      1. Google Open Gallery subcategory includes art from museums, archives and institutions
      2. Google Cultural Institute subcategory includes exhibitions and diverse collections
      3. Street Art subcategory includes urban art and murals from around the world

    Featured photos

    Beautiful public photos from around the web.

    1. Tap Featured photos.
    2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
      1. G+ featured photos curated from G+
      2. 500px featured photos curated from 500px
      3. Getty featured photos curated from Getty
      4. U.S Federal Lands featured photos from US National Parks

    Earth and space

    Imagery from land, sky, and beyond

    1. Tap Earth and space.
    2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
      1. Google Earth - Visual explorations from around the Earth
      2. NASA Image of the Day - Latest images and news from NASA

    Custom speed

    For all content except Weather, you're able to adjust the speed at which your content displays by following these steps:

    1. Tap Custom speed.
    2. In the top right corner, move the scroll bar to the right to turn ON .
    3. Tap Slow, Normal (default), or Fast.

    Weather

    At your Chromecast's location. You choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Source: Google

    1. Tap Weather.
    2. Slide the slider to the right  to turn on weather.
    3. To choose Fahrenheit or Celsius, slide the slider next to your choice to the right to turn on.  Source: Google
    Backdrop history
    With Backdrop history, you'll never let a moment pass you by. To see the most recent content displayed on your Chromecast home screen,
    1. From your Android or iOS device, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    2. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    3. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
    4. Scroll to find the device card for the Chromecast showing your images.
    5. In the middle right of the device card, tap the clock icon .
    6. Use the arrows to scroll through your 5 most recent pieces of content.
    Remove Backdrop preferences
    To remove your Google account from a device, choose the device you want to disassociate.
    1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
    3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
    4. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
    5. Tap Backdrop Settings > Remove your Backdrop preferences > Remove to confirm. Note: This action can’t be undone.
    Manage your Backdrop devices
    It's easy to manage which of your Chromecast devices are configured for Backdrop. To disconnect a device,

    From your Android, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.

    1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
    3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
    4. Scroll to the bottom of the home screen and tap LINKED Backdrop DEVICES.
    5. You'll see a list of devices that have been configured with Backdrop.
    6. To disassociate your Backdrop preferences with a device, tap the device name.
    7. When you see the confirmation message, tap REMOVE to remove the device.

    From your iOS, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.

    1. Tap the navigation drawer More menu icon. You can find this in the search bar.
    2. Tap Settings > Chromecasts with my Backdrop.
    3. To disassociate your Backdrop preferences with a device, tap the device name.
    4. When you see the confirmation message, tap REMOVE to remove the device.

      Step 4. See what's on your Backdrop 

    Here's how to see the most recent content you've selected to display.

    From the Google Home app
    1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
    2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
    3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
    4. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
    5. Scroll to find the device card for the Chromecast displaying the content you're interested in.
    6. In the lower right corner of the device card, tap the clock icon .
    7. Use the arrows to scroll through your 5 most recent pieces of content.
    8. Tap Done to leave Backdrop history. 
    From the Google app
    1. You must also have the Google Home app installed on your mobile device to perform the following action with the Google app.
    2. If you haven’t already, download and install the Google app on your Android or iOS device from the Play Store or Apple App Store.

    For Android:

    1. Say "Ok, Google. What's on my Chromecast?"

    For iOS:

    1. Open the Google app Google app.
    2. Tap the microphone in the Search Bar at the top.
    3. Say “What’s on my Chromecast?” 

     

     

    Please note: Backdrop can't be turned off. If you disable all customized Backdrop preferences, images from "Featured Photos" will still appear on your TV display when the Chromecast is idle.

     

  7. Type your password and tap the right arrow to sign in.
  8. If you use 2-step verification, you’ll go through a special sign-in process at this point.

Step 2. Set up Backdrop

  1. Make sure you mobile phone or tablet are connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Chromecast device. 
  2. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  3. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
  4. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
  5. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
  6. Tap Backdrop Settings.
  7. Tap Yes, I'm in to agree with Backdrop Terms and Conditions.

Step 3. Set Backdrop preferences

Choose which of your favorite photos, news, weather, and more are displayed on your Chromecast home screen by managing your Backdrop preferences.

Now you can easily apply distinct Backdrop preferences to each of your Chromecast devices which will allow you to truly customize your viewing experience. For example, you can choose to only cast photos from the Chromecast device in your bedroom and cast news from the Chromecast device in your living room. Here's how:

Please note: You will need to complete the above steps for each of your Chromecast devices.
Choose your content categories

Backdrop lets you choose content from a variety of sources listed below:

Google Photos

From your selected Google+ albums

  1. Tap Google Photos.
    • On iOS, to start choosing which photo albums to add, turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on . All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
    • On Android, to start choosing which photo albums to add, locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right . All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.

Facebook albums

  1. Tap Facebook
  2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
  3. Tap Connect to add your Facebook albums to your TV.
  4. Sign into your Facebook account. 
  5. Tap OK to allow Chromecast to access your Facebook public profile and photos. Tap Edit the info you provide to choose what is shared.
  6. To start choosing which photo albums to add to Backdrop,
    1. On iOS, tap Your Facebook. Turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
    2. On Android, tap Your Facebook. Locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save. 
  7. Tap the back arrow to return to the Settings screen.
  8. To remove your Facebook account from Backdrop, tap Remove your Facebook. Tap Remove to confirm the removal of your Facebook account. Note: This will remove your Facebook account from all Chromecasts you’re connected to.

Flickr albums

  1. Tap Flickr.
  2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
  3. Tap Connect to add your Flickr albums to your TV.
  4. Sign into your Yahoo account.
  5. Tap OK, I’ll Authorize It to allow Chromecast to access your Flickr account. Tap Edit the info you provide to choose what is shared.
  6. To start choosing which photo albums to add to Backdrop,
    1. On Android, tap Your Flickr. Locate the slider in the section header. Turn the slider to the right. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content.  This will auto save.
    2. On iOS, tap Your Flickr. Turn the slider next to “Selected albums” to on. All of your albums will then light up. Tap the box next to each album to allow casting of that album’s content. This will auto save.
  7. Tap the back arrow to return to the Settings screen.
  8. To remove your Flickr account from Backdrop, tap Remove your Flickr. Tap Remove to confirm the removal of your Flickr account. Note: This will remove your Flickr account from all Chromecasts you’re connected to.

Play Newsstand

Displays headlines from world, politics, business, technology, and more.

  1. Tap Play Newsstand.
  2. Slide the slider at the top of the screen to the right .
  3. To customize your content, slide the sliders to the right in the Customize in Newsstand and Your News sections.
  4. Go to Play Newsstand to customize your content. This content will then display on Backdrop.

Art

From museums, galleries, and locations around the world

  1. Tap Art
  2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
    1. Google Open Gallery subcategory includes art from museums, archives and institutions
    2. Google Cultural Institute subcategory includes exhibitions and diverse collections
    3. Street Art subcategory includes urban art and murals from around the world

Featured photos

Beautiful public photos from around the web.

  1. Tap Featured photos.
  2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
    1. G+ featured photos curated from G+
    2. 500px featured photos curated from 500px
    3. Getty featured photos curated from Getty
    4. U.S Federal Lands featured photos from US National Parks

Earth and space

Imagery from land, sky, and beyond

  1. Tap Earth and space.
  2. Slide the sliders to the right to display the following content:
    1. Google Earth - Visual explorations from around the Earth
    2. NASA Image of the Day - Latest images and news from NASA

Custom speed

For all content except Weather, you're able to adjust the speed at which your content displays by following these steps:

  1. Tap Custom speed.
  2. In the top right corner, move the scroll bar to the right to turn ON .
  3. Tap Slow, Normal (default), or Fast.

Weather

At your Chromecast's location. You choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Source: Google

  1. Tap Weather.
  2. Slide the slider to the right  to turn on weather.
  3. To choose Fahrenheit or Celsius, slide the slider next to your choice to the right to turn on.  Source: Google
Backdrop history
With Backdrop history, you'll never let a moment pass you by. To see the most recent content displayed on your Chromecast home screen,
  1. From your Android or iOS device, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  3. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
  4. Scroll to find the device card for the Chromecast showing your images.
  5. In the middle right of the device card, tap the clock icon .
  6. Use the arrows to scroll through your 5 most recent pieces of content.
Remove Backdrop preferences
To remove your Google account from a device, choose the device you want to disassociate.
  1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
  3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
  4. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
  5. Tap Backdrop Settings > Remove your Backdrop preferences > Remove to confirm. Note: This action can’t be undone.
Manage your Backdrop devices
It's easy to manage which of your Chromecast devices are configured for Backdrop. To disconnect a device,

From your Android, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.

  1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
  3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the home screen and tap LINKED Backdrop DEVICES.
  5. You'll see a list of devices that have been configured with Backdrop.
  6. To disassociate your Backdrop preferences with a device, tap the device name.
  7. When you see the confirmation message, tap REMOVE to remove the device.

From your iOS, open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.

  1. Tap the navigation drawer More menu icon. You can find this in the search bar.
  2. Tap Settings > Chromecasts with my Backdrop.
  3. To disassociate your Backdrop preferences with a device, tap the device name.
  4. When you see the confirmation message, tap REMOVE to remove the device.

  Step 4. See what's on your Backdrop 

Here's how to see the most recent content you've selected to display.

From the Google Home app
  1. Open the Google Home app Chromecast cast icon.
  2. In the upper right corner of the home screen, tap Devices  to see your available Chromecast devices. 
  3. If you haven’t already, sign in using a Google account.
  4. In the top right corner of the device card you'd like to set up with Backdrop, tap the device card menu .
  5. Scroll to find the device card for the Chromecast displaying the content you're interested in.
  6. In the lower right corner of the device card, tap the clock icon .
  7. Use the arrows to scroll through your 5 most recent pieces of content.
  8. Tap Done to leave Backdrop history. 
From the Google app
  1. You must also have the Google Home app installed on your mobile device to perform the following action with the Google app.
  2. If you haven’t already, download and install the Google app on your Android or iOS device from the Play Store or Apple App Store.

For Android:

  1. Say "Ok, Google. What's on my Chromecast?"

For iOS:

  1. Open the Google app Google app.
  2. Tap the microphone in the Search Bar at the top.
  3. Say “What’s on my Chromecast?” 

 

 

Please note: Backdrop can't be turned off. If you disable all customized Backdrop preferences, images from "Featured Photos" will still appear on your TV display when the Chromecast is idle.

 

Elise is a Chromecast expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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