How to Connect a Monitor to a Laptop and Use Both Screens?

Connect a Monitor to a Laptop and Use Both Screens

Laptops are becoming increasingly powerful and innovative. But, there is one thing that you have to compromise with- the small-sized screen. Unless you want to carry the 17-inch monster with you, it’s hard to cope with the 11 to 15 inches screen.

When working on the desk, it is better to keep the large monitor that will help you make a lot of tasks and things more comfortable.


On the other side, you can carry out your multitasking activities with the laptop screen with the extra desktop option. Using the portable monitor that you can carry around with the laptop and USB-C port will serve the objective.

Usually, the laptops come with one connector that you can readily plug into the monitor. The options available are HDMI, DVI, VGA, and display port. The thin laptops require adaptors since they cannot fit in the full-size DisplayPort or HDMI output.

Cables and adapters that can serve for your second screen


Most of the laptops come with the built-in ability to power the second screen. You have to find the HDMI or display ports for fitting the desktop or laptop.

When you have the older computer, you may have to look for the white DVI or another blue VGA socket.

All the four types of ports will be available for connecting your additional computer, projector, television, or any other secondary screen.


When you have any of these 4 ports, you can make use of on the proper cable. The thinner and lighter laptops sometimes lack the compatible port. So, you have to add the adaptor into the mix.

Setting up the second screen

Setting up the screen is an effortless task. You have to plug in the second monitor, and the computer will readily recognize it without the requirement of any extra software or complicated setup. All you require to do is to follow the optional steps for configuration.

For Windows


Step 1. Managing the setup

Once you connect the appropriate wire between the laptop and the monitor, you can start with Windows’s configuration to use both the screens. In most cases, you will see that Windows will automatically start detecting the monitor that is plugged in and turned on.

It will readily start duplicating the contents on the screen. In case you fail to see anything on the screen, you will have to use the buttons for finding the menu and then select the correct video input. It will then automatically switch to the input with the video signal coming in.

Now, you will have to right-click on the Windows desktop>>> choose Display Settings.

There’sThere’s an alternative to it.

Click Start > Settings  >  System. Then start finding for options like orientation, text size and resolution.

Step 2. Duplicating or extending the Windows desktop across two monitors

The duplicate option is available for the second monitor to mirror everything available on the laptop screen. There is an extended menu where the windows desktop is extended across the two monitors.

The third option shows only 1 or 2. You can click identify for further identification.

You can find another option for doing so. You have to switch between the modes and start looking for the function key on the laptop’s top row. It will show you, two monitors.

 You have to press the Fn key and the function key that will toggle through the various configurations. The configuration here is laptop display, the external screen only, and laptop + external screen.

In every case, you have to pick the ”extend these displays’displays’ option for treating the second monitor as the separate desktop. You can also run a different application for viewing the screens on the laptop screen. Now, you have to drag monitor 2 below the heading customize your display. This mechanism will default to the right-hand side of the screen of your laptop.

When the monitor’s resolution becomes more extensive than that of the laptop, the rectangle will become more substantial in the diagram. It has nothing to do with the actual size of the monitor. You have to drag the monitor icon of the second monitor to allow the bottom edge to line up.

 So, you will get an equal area for the top and the bottom. However, it’s good to remember that it will affect the mouse’s movement between the screens.

Step 3. Checking the screen’s resolution

In the next step, you have to go ahead with the procedure of checking the resolution for the display. You have to set the native resolution for each monitor. Then, you must check the specifications when you don’t know them already. When you have the screen with a high resolution around 4K, you will have the option for changing the size of the text, other items, and applications slider. These entities will make everything more readable.

When you are already happy with the customized settings, you can click on apply and wait for the changes to be implemented. You can see these changes on the monitor that is connected to the laptop. Now you can start using the monitor as the laptop screen. You can also add additional shortcut icons.

For macOS

Step 1. Managing the setup

Over on macOS, open the Applemenu>>>choose System Preferences>>> click Displays. Now go to the Arrangement tab and start changing the relative positions of displays. You will see it available on the left screen and one on the right.

Step 2. Setting the resolution of the screen

Now, using the option for mirror display checkbox, you can switch between the mirrored mode and the extended mode. In addition to that, you can set the resolution of the screen from the same menu.

For Chrome OS:

How to connect a monitor to a laptop and use both the screens - Chrome OS
How to connect a monitor to a laptop and use both screens – Chrome OS

When you are on the Chrome operating system computer, you have to click the information panel that is available in the lower right-hand corner. Now you have to select the cog icon and then go to the settings panel. You can choose this place from there. From that menu, you can configure whether or not the second display will act as the extension or the duplicate of the first one. You can now set the resolution and orientation of the display along with positioning them in the virtual space.

Summing it up

When you completed doing the steps, you can sit back and enjoy using the second screen. When you are operating in the extended mode, you will find flexibility in dragging the program Windows between the displays and maximizing them on each screen. Whenever you disconnect and switch off the second monitor, the operating system automatically reverts to the default configuration.

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