December 1, 2022
How to connect your laptop to an external display

You can connect your laptop to another screen with just a few simple steps. The screen of your laptop can be more than enough if you are going to perform a simple task, but what if you need to perform some multitasking action? Perhaps the best option is to connect to a monitor or some other type of external display.

Fortunately, any cheap modern laptop should be able to connect to a monitor without major inconvenience. And if you are wondering how to do it, you have come to the right place, since here we will show you how to connect your laptop to an external screen.

What to keep in mind before connecting your laptop to a screen

First of all, you should know that connecting your laptop to an external screen will depend on the type of video output it has, and these may vary from one model to another. These are some of the ports or connectors that you can find on your laptop:

  • VGA or DVI analog port: VGA is an older connector, distinguishable by its three-row, small-hole input. Unlike this, DVIs are more current and support digital and analog signals.
  • HDMI: HDMI cables offer higher performance, taking into consideration the fact that they have support for high-definition audio and video in the same cable. They vary in size from Standard, Micro, and Mini, depending on their resolutions and port size.
  • Thunderbolt: This connector is an innovation from Intel and Apple that has evolved over time. Its most modern interface version is Thunderbolt 3, also known as USB-C, which can be two times faster than Thunderbolt 2 and four times faster than the original version.
  • DisplayPort: It is another video connection standard that is available in two formats, the DisplayPort standard that was developed by the VESA Video and Electronic Standards Association and the Mini DisplayPort, developed by Apple.

You should also know that there are a variety of adapters to convert the cable you have into the one you need. In addition, to perform a particular task, such as transmitting audio and video to a second screen, HDMI cables are more recommended than VGA cables. If you are only interested in video, you can use either option. Once you know what you want, it’s time to detail the steps to start connecting another screen to your computer.

external display

Determine what types of video ports your laptop has

The first thing to do is make sure you know the video ports that your laptop has. To locate them, you can be guided by your type of computer and the ports it has, which can be on the back of the device or on one of its sides. Once you know which cable to use, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Connect the cable to your laptop and then to the screen or monitor
It may seem obvious enough, but this is perhaps the most important step. After correctly connecting the cable at both ends, you should take into account the following aspects:

  • If you use Windows, simply press the WIN + P keys to open the menu that will allow you to configure the screen (this will appear on the right side of your laptop).
  • In case it doesn’t automatically recognize it, and you don’t see anything on the screen, right-click on your desktop and select the Display Settings option.
  • If you use Apple, your laptop will automatically detect the external display.
  • Otherwise, you can select the Detect screen option, within the Settings panel.
    Adjust your screen.

Screen settings

Now is the time to adjust the screen of your laptop, according to your needs. After your device has recognized the new screen, you can choose to use only the computer screen, mirror it, enlarge it, or only view the second screen. Whichever option you choose, you just have to click on the Apply button to save the settings.

In this case, the idea is to get both images to be enlarged in the best possible resolution so that they fit perfectly on the screen. To do this, you must check the original resolution of each screen separately. If you have a high-resolution external display, you may need to select the Change text size option on your laptop to make it easier to adjust.

Remember to take these tips into account when connecting your laptop to an external screen so that you can do it like a professional, and if you wish you can also prevent your laptop screen from suspending or turning off when closed.

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