How To Use A Laptop As A Second Monitor? – Expert Guide!

Often when multitasking, people prefer working with more than one display. While the split screen feature does provide some multitasking capability, having two separate monitors in an extended display setup is much more effective.

However, if you don’t own an extra monitor or don’t want to invest in one because of your current budget, you can still use your laptop as a second monitor.

In this guide, we will be exploring how to use a laptop as a second monitor. We will be sharing detailed instructions on how you can connect your laptop to your PC or another laptop as a second monitor. Let’s get right to it:

Also Read: How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop?

Using Your Laptop As A Second Monitor – A Step-by-Step Guide

There are two methods through which you can use your laptop as a second monitor. Let’s start with the simpler one.

Using HDMI Cable & Video Capture Card

Commonly, laptops come with an HDMI port which can be used to connect them to other devices like TVs and monitors.

However, this doesn’t mean that the HDMI port can be used to project directly to your laptop.

Technically speaking, the HDMI port in your laptop is an HDMI-out port, which means you can only use it as an output port and not as an input port. But that doesn’t mean you cannot use it as an input port at all.

Let’s dive into a detailed step-by-step guide on how you can project to your laptop using an HDMI port and use your laptop as a second monitor.

Step 1: Purchase a Video Capture Card & HDMI Cable

To use your laptop as a secondary monitor through HDMI, you will need a video capture card and an HDMI cable.

A video capture card will reverse the compatibility of your HDMI-out port and allow you to project your display directly to the laptop’s screen.

There are various video capture cards available in the market. If you simply want to use the laptop as a secondary monitor, you don’t need to get an expensive one. The expensive ones come with advanced features that are suited for streamers.

Also Read: Best Laptops For Data Analysts

Step 2: Connect Your Laptop with Your PC/Other Laptop

Once you have both an HDMI cable and a video capture card, connect your laptop to your PC using an HDMI cable and place a video capture card with the laptop you want to project to.

Make sure that you turn off both laptops when you are connecting them and after you have connected them, turn them on.

Step 3: Adjust Display Settings

Once you have connected both devices, go to the display settings on your primary laptop and optimize the settings as per your needs.

You can adjust which screen you want as your primary display and adjust the settings like resolution, refresh rate, and whether you want your monitor to mirror or extend the display.

Once you have adjusted the settings, you can begin using your laptop as a secondary monitor to your primary setup.

Using Wireless Technology (Miracast)

If you don’t want to get into the hassle of purchasing the video capture card and HDMI cable and want the connection to be established wirelessly, it can be done as well.

Creating a wireless connection between two laptops to use one laptop as the secondary display or between your laptops is an easy process.

Let’s dive into the detailed step-by-step guide that will explain how to do so:

Also Read: How To Connect Switch To A Laptop?

Step 1: Connect Both Devices To the Same Wi-Fi Network

The first condition for creating the connection is ensuring that both the devices, the primary laptop or desktop PC and the secondary laptop are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Go to the Wi-Fi settings and make sure that is the case. If not, then you must connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi.

Step 2: Prepare Your Secondary Laptop

Next, you have to go to the settings of your secondary laptop and prepare it for projection.

You can do this from Settings in the Start Menu. Go to Settings by clicking on the Gear-Shaped icon in the Start Menu, then go to System>Displays>Multiple Displays, and then choose the option to connect to a wireless device.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut key command Windows Key + P and choose the option “Connect To A Wireless Display” which will be at the bottom.

After that, click on the option at the bottom that says “Projecting to this PC”. Once you do that, your laptop will become discoverable as a secondary monitor.

Step 3: Connect Your Primary System with Laptop

Now do the same on your primary device except for the final step. Once you choose the option for connecting to a wireless display, you will see a list of options for available wireless devices.

Choose your secondary laptop. Since you have already activated it, you will be able to see it listed here.

Click on it and once connected, you will be able to use the secondary laptop as a second monitor to your primary laptop or PC.

Step 4: Optimize Settings

Once both devices have been connected, you can go to Display Settings on your primary display to optimize the resolution and other settings for best visual experience.

Choose Extend display setup between both devices to use both monitors as primary and secondary and adjust the order in the way you prefer them to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my laptop as a second monitor with HDMI?

Yes, you can. We have shared a detailed step-by-step guide in the above article on how to do so. You will need a video capture card since laptops do not come with an HDMI-in port, but you will be able to do it.

Can I extend the screen of my laptop to another laptop?

Yes, you can. You can create a wired connection between two laptops using an HDMI cable and a video capture card or you can create a wireless connection using Miracast. We have shared detailed instructions in the above guide about both methods.

Can I use my laptop as a second monitor through USB Type-C?

Yes, you can but only if both laptops come with DisplayPort support in USB Type-C port. The latest laptops do offer this functionality, but not all of them. It is a modern feature still available only in very few laptops.

Wrapping Up!

Summing it all up, it is possible to use your laptop as a second monitor. The above guide shares two detailed methods on how you can do so.

If you are using an HDMI cable, you will also need a video capture card. However, if you connect both devices wirelessly, you will be able to use your laptop as a second monitor without any additional accessories.

I hope the guide helps you learn how to use your laptop as a second monitor. Good Luck!

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