Getting The Right Cable
Depending on the ports available, you will need a different type of cable to connect the computer to the monitor.
Also known as D-sub cable, analog video cable
- Connect one end to the monitor and the other end to the VGA port on computer
- Connect one end to the monitor and the other end to the HDMI port on computer
Note: HMDI allows to transmit to only display but also sound. If you have an ‘HDMI cable with ethernet’ it will also convey internet
- Connect one end to the monitor and the other end to the USB-C port on computer
Note: These cables are high speed, capable of carrying data, video, sound and other information.
- Connect one end to the monitor and the other end to the MiniDisplay port on computer
Note: MiniDisplay only carries video
How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop Hdmi
HOW TO CONNECT TWO MONITORS TO A LAPTOP HDMI
Multiple monitors are all the rage these days, and I am part of it. After all, multiple monitor setups can be quite useful for many situations. Most of us do use it for recreational purposes, gaming basically.
That aside, though, it can boost your productivity by many folds as well. As you plan to connect two monitors with your laptop, you can easily place your external monitors using a monitor stand without consuming more space and easy visibility. However, sometimes we are in a situation where we only have a single HDMI port on our PC or laptop.
TWO MONITORS CONNECTED USING MONITOR STAND TO LAPTOP USING HDMI
So, if you are in this situation, you might be wondering how to connect two monitors to a laptop hdmi. Well, let me try and answer that question. For the most part, your PC or Laptop only has a single HDMI port. If you want to attach multiple monitors, you are going to need multiple HDMI ports. So, what you can do is get yourself an adapter and required HDMI cables.
These are often called switch splitters or display splitters. If you want even more ports, as these splitters only usually have 2 ports, you should consider getting yourself a docking station. A docking station will give you the most bank of your buck and more ports.
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Try A Display Port Splitter Adapter
Older display port splitter devices used to be primarily for switching between two external monitors or display the same video output on two screens.
However, if you’re looking to connect two monitors to a laptop, you’re probably hoping to extend your display rather than mirroring.
Thankfully, newer display port splitter adapters are capable of taking the single HDMI or DisplayPort output from your laptop and extending the video display output across two or more monitors.
Shop carefully when looking for one of these display splitters that are capable of extending displays, since most only mirror. Look closely at the specs for this when you purchase.
Once purchased, just plug the single display port cable into your laptop. Then use cables to connect each of the adapter ports to each of your adapters. Many of these adapters provide plug-and-play installation without any software required. Others may require driver software. Some may also require an external power adapter.
Once all of the cables are connected and the splitter is powered up, you can adjust the monitor positions in Display Settings.
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Bonus Tip: What If You Cant See The Plugged
Sometimes the external monitors cannot be correctly detected by your laptop. This can be caused by improper connection, defective monitor or cables. Ensure all the cables connect correctly, and do some tests with an alternative monitor and another cable.
If it still does not work, it seems like your graphics card driver cannot properly support multiple monitors display. A driver update is necessary.
There are two ways to update drivers: manually and automatically.
Manually You can manually update the printer driver by searching the correct driver that is matched with your Windows OS on the manufacturers website and install it in your computer. This requires time and computer skills.
Automatically If you dont have time or patience to manually update drivers, you can do that automatically with Driver Easy. Its free version can detect and download the outdated drivers on your Windows with only a few clicks.
You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks :
The Pro version of Driver Easy.
How To Configure Your Dual Monitors
Once you have one or more external displays connected and detected by your computer, click on either of the detected monitors to configure it:
- To determine where your mouse can cross over from one monitor to the next, drag the squares representing your monitors around to rearrange them. Click Apply to save your changes.
- You can change the display orientation from landscape to portrait mode in the Scale and layout section.
- Here you can also change the scaling settings or display resolution.
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Connecting Three Monitors Or More
If you find two external displays lacking, you can use your laptop screen as a third monitor. Use the same procedure we described above, and you’ll be good to go.
But if you must have three large displays on your Windows laptop, you have to do a little bit more digging.
Check first if your laptop sports either one of the following ports:
- USB-C with DisplayPort Alt Mode
- USB-C with Thunderbolt3
Also, you must have Multi-Stream Transport compatible monitors or an MST hub.
If you have existing or want to use HDMI monitors, I recommend going for the MST hub. This plugs into your DP-compatible port and then splits the signal into up to 4 distinct monitors.
These hubs come in either DisplayPort or HDMI outputs. Thus, allowing you to use HDMI monitors in your setup. The advantage you get in this method is you can use more affordable HDMI monitors. However, it will also limit you to a maximum of four displays.
Your other option is to use MST-compatible monitors only. These displays connect via a daisy-chain configuration. This would allow you to have up to seven screens on a single port.
One downside to this is that these displays are few and far between. Furthermore, they are far more expensive than their non-MST counterparts. This is because they tend to be considered professional displays. That is why they typically have enhanced features such as color accuracy.
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Adding Your First Extra Monitor
The first thing you should do is to look at your computer. What ports do you have available? These are the most common display output slots you can work with: HDMI, USB-C, and miniDP.
When you have any one of these, your next step would be to choose a monitor supporting what you have. Most displays support HDMI, while newer ones have USB-C cables. MiniDP and DisplayPort technology, meanwhile, are usually found on Pro-level monitors.
It is pretty straightforward to add an extra display. All you need is to set up your new monitor, make sure it has the correct connection adapter, and plug it in. After that, your Windows laptop should detect it and start displaying your desktop automatically.
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Check Your Video Card Settings
If you have two ports, but you can’t seem to get both ports to work at the same time, the next step is to determine if your video card even has the ability to display to multiple monitors.
It’s easy enough to check: Just plug in both monitors, then press Windows + I and go to System > Display.
In the display settings, you may actually see the multiple displays come up, with some disabled and others set up as either your primary display or as an extended display.
You can ignore those for now and instead click on Advanced display settings at the bottom of this window.
On the next page, you should see Display information for each connected display if your graphics card “sees” the number of monitors that you’ve plugged in.
If more than one shows up, then the card is capable of displaying to multiple monitors.
If you only see one, then you should quit here because even though you managed to connect multiple displays, the card is only able to utilize one at a time. Much of your success in this comes down to hardware capability, so checking this first is the most important thing.
However, if you’ve confirmed that your video card can “see” all displays that you’ve plugged in, yet you can’t seem to get additional monitors to work, don’t give up. There are a few more things you can try to fix the issue.
Get A Proprietary Docking Station
While using standards such as USB, Thunderbolt and DisplayPort will be good enough for most users, dont forget that proprietary solutions exist. Many laptops have custom connectors that let you add a docking station that works as a native solution. These docking ports often make use of a connection that runs directly to the high-speed buses of the laptops motherboard, ensuring a premium experience and compatibility.
These docking stations usually have a multitude of display outputs. For example, the Dell E-Port products allow compatible laptops to easily connect two external monitors, offering multiple DVI and DisplayPort connections. Whether this option is available to you will depend entirely on your specific laptop model.
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Use A Thunderbolt Port For Second Monitor
A Thunderbolt 3 port can be found on some recent computers. On the other hand, most new computers contain at least one USB-C connector. An identical connector is used in both technologies.
You can connect the first Thunderbolt 3 display to the computers Thunderbolt 3 port and the second to the first monitor in the chain if you have two Thunderbolt 3 displays.
- Thunderbolt 3 displays are hard to come by and can be rather costly.
- If you already own a Thunderbolt 3 screen, buying a second one for a configuration like this isnt too expensive.
- The overall cost will be too high for most individuals to justify.
- Apple M1 MacBooks support only one external desktop monitor.
- Apple has pledged to address this in a future macOS release. Still, for now, third-party solutions involving particular dongles and display drivers are the only way to get around it.
- Now, Check that You can connect two monitors to a laptop.
Laptop/computer/desktop Support Multiple Display
If your laptop does not support multiple displays, you will need to add a graphic card that supports multiple displays.
Also, the windows operating system on the laptop should support multiple displays to make the setup possible. Windows operating systems like XP, 7, 8, 10, and 11 all support multiple display monitors.
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Use A Usb Display Port
A USB display connection is available on several monitors, and there are also many portable USB displays on the market today. This effectively converts your USB ports into additional display outputs, allowing you to easily connect a dual external display if your laptop only has one.
- Remember that USB displays may have more lag, lower refresh rates, and poorer picture quality than other displays.
- This is dependent on the speed of your computer and the amount of USB bandwidth available.
- Theyre still great for Slack, email, and websites. Just not high-definition video or games.
- Now, Check that You can connect two monitors to a laptop.
Configure A Laptop As A Second Screen
On the laptop that youd like to turn into your second monitor head to Settings > System > Projecting to this PC.
Adjust the settings, striking a balance between security and accessibility as seen below.
On your main computer, press the Windows Key + P, and click the Connect to a Wireless Display link at the bottom. This may not appear if your PC doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
Your PC will scan for available displays, and you will then have the ability to Extend or Duplicate once your PC has found the second monitor .
As the names suggest, Extend will treat the additional screen as an extension of your current setup, giving you more space to use. Duplicate will force the secondary screen to mirror your main one exactly, so youll have two displays showing the same content.
Make your desired selection, and your main PC will now be linked to the monitor in the style that you’ve selected.
If you do happen to have a spare monitor, we’ve also got a guide on how to connect a second display to your laptop or PC.
Or, if you’re keen to add a second screen to your PC or laptop, take a look at our recommendations of the best monitors to buy, such as the space-saving Samsung S32:
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What Equipment Is Needed For Dual Monitors
All you need is two monitors and a computer! Your monitors should already come with the appropriate cables to connect to your computer. Once you have everything connected to your computer, youre good to go! No extra equipment needed, unless you want to add dual monitor stands for more desk real estate.
How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop
In case you need more screen space
Laptops are great, but as portable computers, theyre always short on screen real estate. Connecting two external monitors to a computer can turn it into a genuine productivity powerhouse, but its not always clear how to connect two monitors to a laptop. Depending on your exact model, you have many different options.
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For Most Older Laptops: Get A Display Splitter Box
If you have an even slightly older laptop, it probably doesnt have Thunderbolt/USB-C, instead sporting a VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort port. This will let you easily add an external monitor, but if you want to connect two, things get more complicated.
Most laptops only have a single video-out option, with a rare few offering multiple ports. Its sometimes possible to use two ports at once for multiple external monitors, but this is rare, as manufacturers tend to expect you to use your laptops screen and a monitor together.
So youll likely have to turn to a third-party solution, like the Matrox line of dual- and triple-head docks, which use a single video cable to output to multiple monitors. These are a bit expensive, but theyre probably the best solution for most people. Just keep in mind that theyll be limited by your laptops graphics card, so if you have integrated graphics, dont expect to run a bunch of 4K displays without problems.
Use A Second Screen As A Main Or Secondary Screen
Once you connect one or more monitors to your laptop, you can set up two or more monitors in Windows and specify which monitor you wish to use as the main one. Windows usually detects display devices connected to the laptop or PC automatically and assigns numbers to them. The main monitor is designated number 1. All others are numbered in ascending order.
Proceed as follows to set the ranking of monitors and adjust the screen arrangement in Windows to the physical position of the screens.
Step 1: Right-click on a free desktop area and select Display settings.
Step 2: Under Display and Multiple displays you will see display devices detected by Windows, e.g. one or more additional monitors. Click Detect if none are visible.
Step 3: Go to Advanced display settings to make changes to the arrangement and order of the connected monitors. Adjust further settings such as the screen resolution, for example.
Step 4: The easiest way to change the use mode of the connected monitors is to use the shortcut + . Settings such as Duplicate let you mirror desktop content. With PC screen only or Second screen only you determine whether you only use one of the connected screens. Use Extend to create a connected desktop from connected monitors. These options can be found in the Display menu under Multiple Screens.
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Configuring The Monitor With The Display Driver
Use the video or graphics card driver to configure screen settings.
Right-click an empty space on the desktop, and then click the Settings, Properties, or Control option that matches your graphics card.
Your graphics card control panel displays.
Graphics card control panel varies depending on the graphics card configuration.
Select the display option you want, such as Clone, Duplicate, or Extended option.
How To Set Up To Connect Two Monitors
Since everything is ready, you can start connecting the two monitors to your laptop.
Note: Connect your monitors while your laptop is turned on. In most cases, Windows will detect when a new monitor is plugged in.
For example, I have VGA and HDMI ports on my laptop, and my external monitors have cables for VGA and HDMI ports as well:
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