Last Updated:

How to connect a second monitor to your laptop

The capabilities of modern video cards allow you to easily use two or more monitors to ensure full operation or just for convenience. Connecting a second screen is especially relevant in such areas as economics, finance, software development. If the user decides to use two screens at the same time, you need to clearly understand how to connect the second monitor to the laptop for full operation. And although this question is relatively simple, there are certain nuances in it that greatly affect the correct connection, the clarity of the image, etc.


Connector types (interfaces)

At the moment, the most popular interfaces that are used to connect an additional display are HDMI, VGA, DVI.

second monitor to your laptop 2


Almost all modern equipment is equipped with HDMI connectors, including TVs (sometimes laptops use the VGA interface instead of HDMI). If this connector is available, the connection process will not cause any difficulties, it is enough to connect these two devices using an HDMI cable.

HDMI Cable Picture

When choosing an HDMI cable, you need to clearly know what kind of interface you have: Standart, Mini, Micro. And already based on this parameter, it is necessary to purchase a suitable cable.

Standart, Mini, Micro

A more outdated interface is VGA (some users as well as manufacturers may mark it as D-Sub). According to experts, this type has already outlived its usefulness and soon it will not be used anywhere. At the same time, at the moment a lot of equipment is equipped with this type of connector, therefore, for several more years it will be used. Even on new models of video cards, this connector is present.


The DVI connector is not installed in laptops, but it is often built into video cards, monitors, TVs. And if you have a DVI connector on one device, and VGA or HDMI on another, in this case, the user needs to buy an adapter that will help connect the two devices. The only thing you should pay attention to when buying an adapter is the type of DVI connector (at the moment there are three types of DVI-A, DVI-I, DVI-H).


Choice of cables and adapters

Before you buy a cable or adapter, you need to carefully study the connected devices: what interfaces are available on the laptop.

Consider a particular situation with a certain laptop, when the first device has only an HDMI connector, and the second DVI and VGA.

second monitor to your laptop
second monitor to your laptop 8

To connect these devices, you need to purchase an HDMI cable, as well as an HDMI to DVI adapter. Although on the market you can find cables with direct connectors DVI on one end and HDMI on the other end of the cord.

HDMI to DVI adapter
HDMI to DVI adapter

Any pair of devices can be connected even in the presence of completely different interfaces, you just need to choose the right cable and adapter.
If you have an HDMI connector on both devices, it is enough to purchase only a cable with this interface.

And although the connection process here is simple, you need to remember about an important aspect: when connecting devices, they must be turned off, which very often users do not do. This will help to avoid possible problems with the failure of a particular part that is installed on the devices.
Once the secondary screen and the computer has been connected, turn on both devices and you'll see that you have a desktop display on both screens.

second monitor to your laptop 11

Set up a connected monitor

The second screen can be configured in different ways: to display a completely identical picture with the main monitor or to make it standalone and run other tasks.

To customize the image, right-click on the desktop and select the "Display Settings" line.

On a laptop, this can be done by pressing Fn+F8.

second monitor to your laptop 12

Next, you can choose one of four display options:

  1. «Only one computer screen" (in this case, the additional screen will be disabled; this option is used if at the moment the second one does not need to be used, thereby saving energy and computer resources).
  2. «Duplicate" (the same image will be displayed on both screens).
  3. «Expand" (this option allows you to perform several tasks on the computer at once, as if you are using two computers at the same time, for example, on one screen you can start a movie, and on the second you can continue to work)
  4. «Only the second screen" (if you select this item, the main monitor will be disabled, this item is relevant when connecting the second screen so that the display is on the screen with a larger diagonal).