How to connect your laptop to a monitor and work from a larger screen

How to connect your laptop to a monitor and work from a larger screen

Regardless of the size of your laptop display, adding a second monitor can make the experience more comfortable and productive. It’s simple to connect an external monitor to most laptops and then set up the display with just a few clicks.

You can choose to extend the display to the second monitor, giving you more screen space, or duplicate the display on both screens.

How to connect a laptop to a monitor

Depending on the type of monitor and laptop you are using, you may need to use a USB, HDMI or VGA cable. HDMI is the most common monitor connection today, but some laptops forgo an HDMI (or mini-HDMI) connector and rely entirely on USB. Also, many modern portable monitors are USB only. As for VGA, you’ll generally find that now-outdated connection only on older monitors and laptops.

HDMI, VGA and USB monitor connectors.

1. With the laptop and monitor turned off, connect the monitor to the laptop with the appropriate cable.

2. Turn on the laptop and monitor and wait for Windows to start.

3. In Start Search box type display settings and click up Display settings easy access when you see them appear in the search results.

Finding Ease of Access Display Settings in Windows 10.

4. In the window Screen settings click on Additional display settings .

5. You should now see the numbered boxes representing the laptop and additional display – usually, number 1 is the laptop’s built-in display, but to check which is which, click Identify and the numbers will appear briefly on both displays.

6. If necessary, you can drag the two monitors across the screen to make sure they are oriented as on the desktop, then click Apply .

Display settings in Windows 10.

7. Scroll down to find the section Multiple displays . Click the drop-down menu and choose Duplicate these displays or Extend these displays depending on whether you prefer them to show the same information or whether you want to use them as a larger desktop.

How to connect a MacBook to a monitor

Depending on your MacBook, you’ll have the option to connect with a USB-C or Thunderbolt connection. If you can connect the monitor directly to the laptop, if the monitor has a USB-C port, use that. If not, you need to use an adapter or hub that can convert the monitor connector to the format used by your MacBook.

1. With the MacBook turned off, connect the monitor to the laptop with the appropriate cable.

2. Turn on your MacBook and monitor and wait for the Mac to boot.

3. Click on the logo Apple and then select System Preferences …

4. In the Preferences window, click Monitor .

View settings on a MacBook Pro.

5. In the view settings window, click the tab Disposition .

6. You should now see two tiles representing the laptop and the additional display. The one with the white menu bar at the top is the MacBook’s integrated display. If necessary, you can drag the two monitors across the screen to make sure they are oriented like on the desk.

Display settings in mac

7. If you want both monitors to display the same thing, click Mirror Displays . Otherwise, leave the checkbox blank to extend the screen to the second monitor.

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