Last Updated: December 16, This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Sam Browning. Sam has not only written countless step-by-step articles for social media and tech, but he also has experience writing instructional articles on technology for Davidson College and reviewing video games.
He is currently pursuing a degree in English with a minor in Digital Studies at Davidson. This article has been viewed 12, times. Learn more Using external monitors alongside your laptop helps keep you organized, gives you bigger screens, and greatly increases the size of your digital workspace.
Depending on the hardware of your laptop and monitors, there are a number of ways to connect your setup. This wikiHow article will teach you how to set up two external displays with your laptop. Check that your monitors have DisplayPort v1. Plug your monitors in. Connect one monitor to the other with either a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable. If you are daisy chaining with DisplayPort cables, connect a cable from your laptop to the DisplayPort In of the monitor that already has a cable in the DisplayPort Out port.
Provide power to your monitors. Plug in the power cable for each of your monitors. Connect the two monitors with a DisplayPort cable. Connect your laptop to the appropriate monitor. You should connect your laptop to the DisplayPort In of the monitor that already has a cable plugged into the DisplayPort Out port.
Configure your displays. To organize your workspace so it works best for you, adjust your display settings. You have now successfully connected your laptop to both of your external monitors! Method 2. Verify that your monitors and laptop are compatible.
To daisy chain with Thunderbolt or USB-C cables, one of your monitors must have two Thunderbolt ports, while your laptop and other monitor only need one port. Plug the power cords into your monitors. Before the monitors can be used, they must be connected to power with the provided cables. All Thunderbolt ports have the capacity to both input and output video, so if your monitor has multiple ports, it does not matter which port you use.
You can try to verify this by looking up the specifications of your monitor and checking to see if the ports support "Alt Mode". If one of your monitors only has one port, connect your laptop to the other monitor. Set your display preferences. You have now successfully set up your laptop and two monitors with Thunderbolt cables!
Method 3. Find a docking station that is compatible with your laptop and monitors. Depending on your laptop, your dock will need to use different connectors. Additionally, make sure the video output ports are compatible with your monitors, or that you have the appropriate adapters. Some laptops connect to docking stations by sitting on top of the station, then being locked into place, so there will be no connecting cable.
Plug in the docking station and monitors. Connect the docking station to your laptop. Since the connection method will vary depending on your laptop and docking station, follow the instructions included with your dock if you are not confident you know how to connect it. The two most common connection methods will be setting your laptop in a specific position on top of the dock or connecting the dock with a built-in cable.
Connect each monitor to the docking station. Using the appropriate cables, plug one end into the "In" port on each monitor and the other into the "Out" port on your dock.
Plug your laptop charger into the docking station optional. Some docking stations can also charge your laptop, so consider plugging your charger directly into the dock to maximize your cable management. Turn on your laptop, monitors, and dock. If your dock does not have power, your setup will not work, so do not forget to turn the dock on! You should now be able to use your new setup! Method 4. Check the ports on your laptop and monitors. If your laptop has multiple ports and you do not want to or are unable to daisy chain, you can simply connect a port to each monitor.
Make sure that the ports are compatible with those on your monitor. Your monitors must be connected to power before use. Connect your laptop to one of the monitors. Depending on the age of your computer or monitor, you may instead need a VGA cable. Connect your laptop to the second monitor. Be sure that the cables are snug in their ports! Customize your display settings. Adjusting your display settings will let you change how many monitors you are using, whether they are mirroring your laptop or acting as separate screens, and more.
Once your preferences have been changed, you are now ready to start working on your multi-monitor setup! Method 5. Determine what type of splitter you need.
If your laptop has a DisplayPort output, go with a DisplayPort splitter. Double-check that you have enough cables to get everything connected! Plug the power cables into your monitors. Be sure the power cables are securely connected before proceeding. Plug the splitter into your laptop. Connect each monitor to the splitter. Turn on your laptop and monitors.
Adjust your display settings. Set up your displays so they work best for you. Your digital workspace is now ready! Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. You Might Also Like How to. How to. How to Use an iMac as an External Monitor.
If the inputs and outputs on the monitor and laptop match, you can purchase a cable, such as this simple HDMI cable on Amazon , and hook the two together. Users of Windows 7 need to follow a different procedure than Windows 8, 8.
An increasing number of laptops use a USB Type-C socket to complicate matters further, carrying data, video, and charging capabilities. Indeed, some devices only support USB 2. In contrast, others offer USB 3. There is another factor to your choice of cable or adapter, however. Although you can still connect the monitor as a secondary display, you may find that the screen gets stretched or appears more blurry than it should be.
Take a look at the image below to see the difference between a dual-link left and a single-link cable right. Similarly, although the HDMI 1. If you have a portable computer with an HDMI 1.
Even the older DisplayPort 1. If you need more help, here's what to do: Select Start , then open Settings. Once you've chosen your setup, select Apply.
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Can you help us improve? Resolved my issue. Lillian Lai. But how to connect external monitors to a laptop? This article introduces an easy and clear guideline to connect two external monitors to your laptop. Generally speaking, most Windows laptops now support dual monitors, at least. But you need to make sure your laptop is capable to add two external monitors.
And that depends on your Windows operating system, the capability of your graphics cards and drivers. First of all, you may need to make sure your graphics card supports multiple monitors.
For example, if you are using the NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, you can check it out on the official website , and click your graphics card, and check the specification, then you will see if it supports multiple monitors. If it does not support adding multiple monitors, you may need to buy and install a correct graphics card e. Then you may need to check the ports on your laptop. Generally, a computer or laptop should include any of these four ports:.
Display Port can provide an interface with optional audio high-definition content protection. You can check the ports on the back or on the sides of your laptop. In addition to the ports on your laptop, the monitors should have the corresponding ports as well. That will save your time and money to connect them.