How to Connect Your Laptop to Another Screen, Monitor, or Display

How to connect your laptop to another display is a complicated question. More of us are searching for a way to do this, either to aid in working or studying from home and setting up information on multiple displays or to show something on your home theater TV screen.

The good thing about this question is that any laptop bought within the last decade has the capacity to connect to a monitor.

How to connect your laptop to another screen starts with figuring out what cable type you will need.

You may require an HDMI, USB-C cable with Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort. All of these cables are available from, fortunately. If it’s an older computer, it might require a VGA or DVI cable.

You will have to check both devices – the laptop and the other display to make sure you have connectors for both. For example, most modern screens and displays use either HDMI or DisplayPort. If your laptop is sending the signal out through another standard, a converter or adapter may be needed to get a signal from the laptop to the screen.

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Browsing the different cable types, you will find combination cables like USB-C to DisplayPort cables.

If you can, make it easy on yourself. Use the same standard on both ends. The most common is likely an HDMI cable. If you can connect your laptop to your screen through a simple HDMI connection, you’re golden.

What To Do In Your Laptop to Connect it to Another Display

Once you connect the cable from the laptop to the display, it may auto-recognize it. If it doesn’t, you might need to do some configurations in your Windows operating system to recognize the secondary screen.

This is where things get a little more complicated. Every version of Windows has a slightly different way of going about enabling a second display. Fortunately, they all follow roughly the same pattern.

  1. Go into your Start Menu and select ‘Settings’.
  • Under Windows Settings, select ‘System’ which should include Display, Sound, Notifications, and Power.
  • Under ‘Display’, choose ‘Detect’. This will scan connections for a second monitor.
  • Choose ‘Identify’ to define which one will be the primary monitor and which one the secondary.

You’re done! It’s that easy. Though it can take some Googling and guesswork, as long as you have the right laptop cable, it should be smooth sailing.

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