How to Use Your Laptop as a Monitor – Ultimate Solution

How many times have you wondered that you need a second monitor for a dual monitor setup? And then how many times have you dropped the idea thinking about the expenditure? We say this because it has happened to us too.

Not all of us have the financial leeway to have a dual setup. But we also understand that two monitor setup adds to your performance, multi-tasks, and whatnot. A larger screen real estate leads to increased productivity. Be it for gaming, editing or graphics design, a second screen is always welcome.

Therefore, we have brought to you a way to solve your problem. We think you must already have a laptop. And do you know you can convert that small portable thing into a second monitor? This helps you in saving your money as well as utilising the resources you have to the best.

In this article, we will tell you the process of how you can turn your laptop into a monitor. So you get to experience a larger screen real estate at no extra price.

How to use your Laptop as a Monitor?

Using your laptop as a monitor will resolve a lot of your issues including the budget. To make your laptop act as a monitor, you need to understand the connection systems. And in the following segment, we will tell how to do it.

In Windows 10

These following steps tell you how to use your laptop as a second monitor. And make sure both your laptop and PC are an updated version of Windows10:

First, you will need to switch on or boot your laptop and the PC.

Steps to follow on your laptop:

  • Go to the Start menu on your laptop.
  • Then go to the Settings app and click on it on you.
  • Select System from the options.
  • Next, select the Projecting to this PC.
  • Henceforth, you will see different options which you will have set according to your requirements.
  • First, you will need to set the first option. The first option is Windows PCs and Android devices can project to this PC when you say it’s OK. So you can change it from Always Off to Available Everywhere or Available Everywhere on Secured Networks. And it will depend on your network security requirements.
  • Then there is Ask to project to this PC option. Again there are two options under that, First time only and Every time a connection is requested. You can choose either of them depending on if you want the laptop to ask you every time you connect to the monitor or not.
  • Next you have the Require PIN for pairing option. And this option will enable you to create a PIN so that only devices which enter the said PIN will be allowed.
  • The last option is PC can be discovered for projection only when it’s plugged in. So you can switch this on or off to save your battery life.

Steps to follow on your desktop or PC

  • Go to the main screen of your PC. 
  • Then you will need to press Windows Key and P together.
  • And there are options of how you want to project your screen.
  • Select the Extend option when you want your laptop as a second monitor.
  • Then you will see the laptop name available.
  • Choose that and your laptop will work as an extended screen second monitor.

You can also choose other options like Duplicate or Second Screen according to your preference. Duplicate lets you see on the laptop whatever it is on the PC. And the Second Screen only lets you work on the laptop.

On Mac

These are the steps you will need to follow to make your Mac act as a second monitor for your PC. The only thing you need to make sure is that the PC monitor has a DVI or VGA connectivity. Hence, it also means that you will need a DVI or VGA cable and also a DisplayPort adapter.

  • First, switch off both your Mac and PC.
  • Then you will need to detach the video cable from the rear part of your monitor.
  • And determine whether your monitor has a VGA or a DVI port.
  • Then attach the DisplayPort adapter to your Mac. You mostly find the port on the side of your Mac.
  • After that you just connect the end of VGA or DVI cable to the DisplayPort adapter on the Mac.
  • And the other end of either cable attaches to the port on the rear of your monitor.
  • Next you must turn on both your PC and Mac. And the Mac automatically recognizes the PC’s monitor as the second one.
  • On the Mac, you will see a Display option on the Apple toolbar at the top. 
  • When you click on it, choose the Open Display Preferences. Here you will adjust your settings according to your requirements.


Q – How do I know if my laptop supports HDMI input?

A – Usually laptops which are not specifically custom made have HDMI output. But to know if your laptop support HDMI input, you will need to check model specifications. When you look at the section I/O ports, you will see whether the HDMI port is listed as an ‘input’ or an ‘output’.

Q – How does a VGA port look?

A – When you want to know whether your monitor has a VGA port just look at its shape. So these ports have edges which are rounded. And also the pins are circular.

Q – How does a DVI port look?

A – A lot of monitors have DVI ports instead of VGA. And these ports are rectangular. Also, the pins here are square-shaped instead of circular.

Q – Can I use a laptop as a second monitor for Windows 7 PC monitor?

A – Yes, you can use it. Like we have mentioned before, you can also use the Extend feature in the Windows 7. So that you can use the laptop as a second monitor.

Q – Can I use a Mac as a monitor for the PC?

A – If you have a Displayport adapter and VGA/DVI cables, you can easily use it. Just follow the section on Mac written above and you will understand it.


We hope this article of ours has helped you in knowing how to use your computer as a second monitor. Not only does this save your money but also makes your gaming experience better. Also, it adds to your productivity and even better designing skills.

You can check our article on Best Monitors for Color Accuracy.

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