How to turn off SmartCast on Vizio TV

Vizio TV’s SmartCast allows you to cast content from your smartphone or laptop to your TV screen. While this feature has changed how we consume content, it has some challenges.

For example, all your activities, such as search preferences and search results, maybe ‘sold’ to advertisers. To lock out third-party entities from accessing your data, you should disable SmartCast on Vizio TV.

The need to turn off SmartCast on Vizio TV became a subject of discussion after a 2017 case. According to the Washington Post, Vizio agreed to a $2.2 million settlement after spying allegations.

While the Vizio TV Company did not deny or confirm the accusations, the case was an eye-opener that spying is possible, especially when using SmartCast on TVs.

So, how do you turn off SmartCast on Vizio TV? If your Vizio TV is a 2011 model or older, you do not need to disable the casting feature because Vizio Internet Apps are automatically disabled.

However, for TV models released after 2011, you need to turn off the SmartCast using simple steps. You will only need a remote control.

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How to turn off SmartCast on older Vizio TV models

While Vizio has disabled SmartCast on their older models, it is advisable to check if the feature is disabled or not. To check:

  • Press the Menu button on your remote control
  • Go to the Settings option
  • Scroll down to the Smart Interactivity option
  • If it is on, switch it off
  • However, if it is already off, leave it that way.

How to turn off SmartCast on newer Vizio TV models

Unlike the older TV models, the newer ones have SmartCast as a default casting feature. Therefore, you must switch it off if you do not want your activities monitored.

To exit SmartCast on Vizio TV if you have a Vizio TV released after 2011:

  • Press the Menu button on your remote control
  • Scroll down to the Settings option
  • Select System.
  • Go to Reset & Admin
  • Scroll down to Viewing Data and turn it off

Once you have turned it off, your casting activities are safe from third-party access. However, it would be ideal to do the same on your smartphone/laptop because it is part of the casting ecosystem.

Regulate information ‘leak’ on your smartphone

Once you get rid of the Vizio SmartCast display, you need to regulate the amount of data Google receives from your smartphone.

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In most cases, your laptop and smartphone send Chromecast usage data and crash reports to Google.

To disable this form of tracking on your smartphone:

  • Open the Google Home app.
  • Go to the TV list
  • Select the Vizio Smart TV
  • On the top-right corner, tap the three dots.
  • Select the Settings option
  • Disable the Send Chromecast device usage data and crash reports option

Once you have disabled this form of tracking, you can use your Vizio TV’s SmartCast safely. However, your Smart TV may still collect data through Automatic Content Recognition (ACR).

But, compared to unregulated SmartCast on your Vizio TV, ACR only collects data for a better viewing experience.

Use a VPN

Even with disabling SmartCast on your Vizio TV, your watch and search activities may still be accessible by third parties.

A VPN will mask your IP address and make your activities ‘invisible.’ While a VPN does not lock ACR out of your activities, it would be hard for the service to consolidate your data and sell it to advertisers.

Every time you use SmartCast, ensure that the VPN is on. If you miss switching on your VPN, your activities and search history may still leak.

There are paid and free VPNs. For starters, try working with a free VPN before transitioning to paid versions. Also, if you have more than one device, invest in a VPN that supports multiple devices.

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Conclusion

Turning off SmartCast on Vizio TV is one of the best ways to avoid third-party spying on you.

While your search and watch details may still be available to Vizio, even after disabling the casting feature, not much is shared. If you want total anonymity, consider masking your IP address using a VPN service.

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