Useful Tips

How to connect an external monitor to a laptop


Many owners of laptop computers are interested in the question of how to connect a monitor to a laptop. Agree, it is much more convenient to solve various problems and play games on a wide monitor, rather than peering at the image on a miniature screen. It’s not at all difficult to expand opportunities with a conventional monitor, as laptop developers made sure that we can connect third-party devices. Let's see in more detail how to do it right.

Many tasks require a large screen

Connection Methods

There are a number of methods that allow you to connect a second monitor to a laptop. It is recommended to proceed from the presence of interfaces on both devices. To connect the equipment, you need to understand what standards are present on the laptop panel. The following methods are considered the most common:

  • VGA - is considered a bit outdated, but it continues to be widely used in some laptop models. The standard is analog. Most often, the plastic from which the connector is made is marked in blue. Engage it in the absence of a DVI connector on the PC.
  • HDMI - its feature is the ability to transfer media using a single cable, has a high transmission speed. Usually use it to connect all types of multimedia devices. Audio signal via HDMI is transmitted only if the laptop video card supports this option.

  • DVI - in its design may vary slightly, it all depends on the specific model. The standard is digital, marked with white labels and plastic. Compared to VGA, this connector provides better quality. Experts advise using this standard with appropriate interfaces.
  • DisplayPort - reminds HDMI in its parameters, it is often used in new models. This digital standard, it provides a scalable interface with which you can protect HDCP from copying and transmit audio signals. This type of connector resembles USB connectors, but protrusions are equipped on one side of it. The interface is the newest, developers position it as the most high-quality and safe.

Connection Steps for VGA

If we talk about VGA, then for it the connection order is as follows:

  • unplug the monitor and laptop,
  • connect your laptop to the monitor using the necessary cable,
  • Connect both devices to the network
  • press the Power key on the monitor, and then start the system on the laptop.

After these steps, a desktop window should appear with the settings for the connection options. The system will offer to expand, duplicate the image, show only the projector or only the computer.

When using the first option, the “picture” will be displayed on both screens, expanding. In other words, on the right side you will see a continuation of the desktop. This is very convenient, because on one monitor you can drag a tab with a video player, and on the other at the same time do some routine work (look for something on the Internet, type text or program). When dubbing is selected, the image will be repeated on the displays of both devices. The other two types mean viewing on one device (either a monitor or a laptop).

If nothing has changed, try setting the transfer mode manually. To do this, select on the keyboard one of the F * keys (F1 – F12), on which the monitor icon is applied. By clicking it, you can easily switch modes.

Connection steps for DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI

Connecting a monitor for these types of interfaces is no different from VGA. It is enough to connect two identical ports on a laptop and a monitor using a suitable cable to them. The device then determines the additional display and reproduces the "picture". If no changes have occurred, it is recommended that you reboot the device.

It happens that the monitor and the computer do not have the same ports - for example, the HDMI port is not on the monitor, and the laptop panel is built with it. Do not despair, because you can find an adapter. Even in a regular computer store, adapters for any interface are sold: HDMI - VGA, DisplayPort - DVI, DVI - VGA and the like.

As described above, there are three modes for connecting an external screen to a laptop computer. It is about the following:

  • "Picture" is displayed only on the monitor,
  • output simultaneously to both devices,
  • Information can only be viewed on a laptop.


Windows OS in most cases automatically tightens the resolution on both displays. Do it manually if the system missed this point for some reason. Screen settings are not difficult to choose:

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Select "Screen Resolution".

  1. Examine the settings and enter the required parameter in the "Resolution" field. In addition to this field, you can change the orientation and select the screen. The fact that the resolution is optimal for this display is indicated by the mark “Recommended”.

Why do this?

The most significant reason to connect an external monitor to a laptop is the limited size of the regular screen, and if, for example, professionally involved in graphics, or play, watch a movie, then the capabilities of the standard display is not enough. It is necessary to connect a high-quality monitor, a larger size.

And with two monitors you can make an extended desktop. And keep on one screen, for example, a browser, and on the second - a text editor. This will work much more conveniently. Do not forget that the second monitor can help out if the laptop screen fails.

As a rule, the resolution of the monitor display is much higher than that of the laptop, even better if it is made on the basis of the IPS-matrix. This is the most acceptable option.

In this article, we will deal with how to connect a monitor to a laptop and configure if automatic configuration has not been completed.

Possible connection methods

At the moment, there are many ways to connect an additional monitor to a laptop. Even older laptop models often have appropriate interfaces for connecting. And new and even more so possess them. There are some of the most common and popular options. Which we will consider:

  • HDMI port and HDMI cable,
  • VGA port
  • DVI Interface
  • Using DisplayPort,
  • Using wireless technology.

Connection via HDMI port

Almost all new laptops (even budget ones released after 2011) have an HDMI port that allows you to connect an external monitor or TV to the device. The advantage of this particular option is that HDMI can transmit not only video but also sound.

Also, an HDMI connection provides the highest picture quality. Even the digital DVI interface cannot compete with this technology. To begin, let's consider the option of connecting a monitor to a laptop via HDMI. First you need to make sure that the connected devices have an HDMI port.

  1. First, turn off the power of the display and turn off the laptop completely.
  2. Next, insert the HDMI cable into the appropriate connectors on the laptop and display.
  3. Turn on both devices.
  4. As soon as the operating system boots up, an image will appear on the screen.

Attention! In most cases, the OS automatically adjusts the resolution and all other necessary parameters. No further configuration is required. But if you still have to adjust the picture, you can read more about this below.

Connection via VGA port

VGA is an analog image transfer protocol. Currently, this interface is already outdated and successfully superseded by more advanced technologies. However, in some laptops it is available. And with it, you can connect an additional screen.

Connecting a monitor to a laptop using the VGA interface is quite simple. The main thing is to make sure that both devices have appropriate ports. However, to achieve a high-quality image in this case will not work.

  1. Turn off the display (completely, including from the mains) and the laptop (also completely).
  2. We connect a VGA cable, one connector to the screen or TV and the corresponding connector on the laptop. It is important to ensure that all pins enter their sockets.
  3. We fix the connectors using the supplied screws.
  4. Turn on both devices.
  5. We are waiting for the OS to load and perform the necessary configuration operations.

DVI Connection

This interface is digital. But the catch is that it is extremely rare in laptops. Most often, it can be found on video cards in stationary computers. This connector provides a better picture than a VGA connection.

Now let's look at how to connect a second monitor to a laptop using the DVI port. Make sure that both devices have the correct connectors. If they are not, then you can use another method or try to connect through the adapter.

  1. First, turn off both devices. Completely.
  2. Next, we connect both devices with the appropriate cable.
  3. Turn on the screen or TV and laptop.
  4. We are waiting for the operating system to load.
  5. Customize the image (if necessary).

Attention! Some users are not particularly willing to turn off devices before connecting. In the case of VGA and DVI interfaces, this is necessary! In the best case, the corresponding ports on the devices may burn out.

Connect via DisplayPort

DisplayPort interface appeared relatively recently, the connector is somewhat reminiscent of HDMI and they are often confused. However, the cables are completely different! The interface allows you to connect the monitor to a laptop and ensure maximum image quality.

Sound can also be transmitted using this interface. But only if the screen has its own speaker system. DisplayPort is found mostly in premium segment laptops. There are "middling" with the corresponding connector.

Connecting the monitor to the laptop is as follows :.

  1. Turn off both devices completely.
  2. We connect them with a special DisplayPort cable.
  3. Turn on the laptop and screen.
  4. Enjoy the quality picture.

Wireless connection

Connection is possible using Wi-Di or Miracast technology. However, there are several problems, not all monitors and TVs support wireless connection. Also, such a connection is possible only in the operating system Windows 8.1 and higher.

The main disadvantage of the method is the disgusting image quality! The wireless channel does not have the bandwidth to ensure high quality video. But in this way you can connect two monitors to a laptop.

However, there is no universal algorithm for making a connection, since the devices can be different. With its own characteristics.

Additional Monitor Modes

In Windows 10, press the combination of the Fn buttons (function key) + the screen image button, and then the monitor mode settings will open. Similarly, in Windows 7. There are only 4 items on this list.

  • Computer screen only. In this mode, only the laptop display will work. The connected monitor will be disconnected.
  • Recurring. Or in other words, duplicating, the monitor will display the same thing that the laptop is currently showing.
  • Expand. The workspace of the system is expanded to a second monitor. You can conveniently place windows and start working productively.
  • Second screen only. In this case, only the monitor display works. The laptop screen turns off. A very popular option.

Differences between Windows 7 and 10 when connecting

There are few differences, the main difference in Windows 7 is by default slightly different mode names. So "Only the computer screen" was renamed to "Turn off the projector."

Duplicate is called Duplicate. "Only the second screen" has evolved into "Only the projector." This is where all the differences end. Everything else happens according to the same scenario. And this cannot but rejoice.

Connecting a laptop to two screens

How many monitors can I connect to a laptop? Many will say that one. But actually more is possible. If the laptop has several ports for connection, then you can connect 2 displays. And if you use a splitter, then the number of monitors is limited by their availability.

Another option is to use wireless connectivity. But in this case, the picture quality will suffer greatly. An external laptop screen in this case will not be able to display the image normally.

How to connect a monitor with different ports

It also happens that the ports on the laptop and monitor do not match. In this case, only adapters will help. There are a lot of types of adapters in nature: HDMI-DisplayPort, HDMI-DVI, DVI-VGA, HDMI-VGA and so on. It all depends on which interfaces are available to the user. And choose the right one.


So, above we examined most of the ways how to connect the monitor to a laptop with the operating system Windows 10 and Windows 7 on board. There are many ways to connect. It is better to use those that provide the highest quality transmitted image: HDMI and DisplayPort. But in practice, the choice is yours.