This post was most recently updated on April 9th, 2021
How to Connect 2 Monitors to a Laptop – Easy Solution For You
Before we get started with our article “how to connect 2 monitors to a laptop.” The latest version of windows comes with the ability to support 2 monitors but for a safe sight, you need to check out the following things we are listing down below.
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It depends on three things your windows OS, drivers, and capability of your graphics card. Windows XP,7/8/8.1/, and 10 all can easily support working with multiple monitors.
Here are the things that you need to check and the general requirements for all methods.
General requirements for all Methods
First, check the
- Ports on your laptop
- Ports on your monitor that you want to connect with.
You have these options and connections on your laptop and monitor.
- Mini Display Port.
- Thunderbolt or USB Type C
Locating the ports
- On a computer, these ports are located at the back of the CPU or the back of the monitor
- On a laptop, these ports are referred are display ports and are usually located at the left, right, or backside of the laptop.
- On the monitor, these ports are usually at the back of the monitor.
Pick the right cable and how to connect
You might need a different type of cable depending on the port your laptop has to connect to the monitor.
This is also known as D-Sub video cable
- Connect one end of the cable at VGA on a laptop or computer and the other end of the monitor to the monitor.
- Connect one end of the cable at the HDMI port on a laptop or computer and another end of the monitor to the monitor.
The good thing about HDMI cable is that it not only supports video but also it supports audio. And if you are using the HDMI cable with Ethernet then the cable will also transform the internet using the Ethernet.
- Connect one end of the cable at the DVI port on a laptop or computer and another end of the monitor to the monitor.
USB Type –C/ Thunderbolt
- Connect one end of the cable at the USB Type-C port on a laptop or computer and another end of the monitor to the monitor.
Thunderbolts are more efficient, high speed, and carry more data, audio, video, sound, and other information.
- Connect one end of the cable at the Mini Display port on a laptop or computer and another end of the monitor to the monitor.
These cables only carry video output.
Check the graphics card
Firstly, make sure that the graphics card you are using if it’s capable to support working in dual monitors. Usually, any middle-end graphics card comes with two external outputs but it’s better if you check it by reading its properties.
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You can check its properties by visiting the manufacturer’s website. Go to your graphics card’s website, find your graphic card and check its specifications and find out if it supports the connectivity of two monitors at the same time.
For instance, if you are using an NVidia graphics card, go to their official website and find an NVidia graphics card there and check its specification. The specification will be named as multi-monitor as shown in the image:
If your laptop supports multiple monitors, then it’s good, and if doesn’t two or more monitors you might need to buy a new graphics card.
If your graphics card supports multi-display, then it’s time to check the number of ports. Usually, a computer or laptop carries any of these ports:
DVI: Digital Video Interface
It’s a color-coded port with the label and white plastic.
It provides an interface along with optional high-definition Audio content protection.
VGA: Video graphics array
It’s a color-coded port with the label and blue plastic
HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface
It’s the port that connects all kinds of video devices and provides sounds via cable.
These are the images of ports; you can check these ports at the back or side of your laptop or your computer. Not only at the back CPU, but new monitors also come with these ports too. If your monitor has these, then it’s well in good because it saves both time and effort.
Or else you’ll need to purchase extra adapters or converters like DVI to HDMI adapter.
What to do if you can’t find the matching ports, in your monitor and laptop to connect?
No need to give up hope if you don’t have the required ports on your laptops. we have figured out a way out, Follow the steps written below fix this problem:
- Use any connector or adapter like HDMI to DVI adapter. Use this adapter if you have two different ports for your laptop or computer.
- You can use a switch splitter which is also referred to as a Display splitter. The display splitter comes with two HDMI ports. This method will work for you if you only have 1 x HDMI port on your PC or laptop but to connect two monitors you need 2 HDMI ports.
- You can also use a docking station, and the docking station will work in various circumstances.
The best solution for How to connect 2 monitors to a laptop
The Thunderbolt 3 port, is the newest way to connect the laptop and monitor to an output video that includes a new USB Type-C connector.
Using a USB Type-C port has some incredible advantages over other ports. Starting with, it can handle standard, data transmission (like a wired internet connection or external hard drives), audio, video, and power all alone and all at the same time.
Thunderbolt also helps you in reducing clutter from your work table also it makes the laptop smaller, thinner and reduces its weight by consolidating its parts.
The thunderbolt port comes with a massive amount of video bandwidth which makes it more capable of supporting multiple devices like the new MacBook comes with highlighting feature of supporting 2 x 5k displays at once.
There are specialized adapters, which are also referred to as mini-laptops that are specifically designed to regularly dock to multi-monitors with other connections like mice, keyboard, and more.
So check out if your laptop and your monitor carry a thunderbolt port then thunderbolt is the best solution so far. To build up a connection you just need to hook up each monitor to one USB Type-C port/Thunderbolt port. The procedure to make this happen is simple only if you have the latest laptop and new monitor.
Follow the step written below to connect 2 monitors to a laptop:
- Find if your laptop has multiple USB-C ports/ Thunderbolt ports, if you are using an old laptop then there are fewer chances for your laptop to have a thunderbolt port so in such case you’ll need any kind of adapter for each monitor like USB-C to DVI and USB-C to HDMI adapter.
Remember: To build-up a connection. You’ll need 1 adapter for each of the monitors you are connecting your laptop with.
- If your laptop and monitor luckily have 1 Thunderbolt/ USB Type-C port and you need to connect two monitors to one laptop, then all you need is a docking station to connect 2 monitors to 1 Thunderbolt port.
This is how a docking station looks like all you need to do is to plug the cables into the port and done.
In coming times, the USB Type-C port/ Thunderbolt ports will be commonly used and it’ll be the best way to connect 2 monitors into one port.
For older laptops: A Display Splitter box
If you are using an old laptop, there are fewer chances for it to have a Thunderbolt 3 port, but definitely, your laptop will have VGA, HDMI, DVI, or Display Port.
With the help of these ports you can easily add an external monitor but if you are looking to connect 2 monitors to a single laptop thing will start getting serious.
Most of the laptops have only one output video option only rare devices come with a feature to support multi-monitors at the same time when we are talking about older laptops.
using a single port to connect 2 external monitors is an easy process but it’s rare because the manufacturers expect you to use a monitor and the laptop screen together.
If you are willing to use two monitor screens along with the laptop screen then you’ll need to opt for a third-party solution which is to use a Matrox line of dual monitor and triple monitor head docks.
Here’s a little spoiler, this display box splitter is a bit expensive, but they are one the best solution you can opt for. and remember that these display splitter boxes are limited to your graphics card, so if your graphics card is integrated then expect a bit of problem or lags while you are running a bunch of displays.
A lesser than ideal option and cheaper option is the USB Adapters
If buying Multi-port docking stations is heavy on your pocket, then don’t worry because we still have another cheaper alternative.
You have heard about Universal Serial Bus (USB) right? At first, they were not designed to support the video function, but since when the manufacturer has started making version 2.0 the job has been done easily.
These adapters can easily turn any USB port into a monitor output port like a USB to HDMI port.
The USB adapters offer a lot of benefits. First of all, it’s an easy alternative you can opt to get video-out on almost modern Windows and Mac OS machines, the second is it’s portable, inexpensive, and easily expandable. With this method, it’s also possible to add many monitors but also your laptop should have USB ports.
These USB adapters work on their own low-processors graphics card, these USB adapters’ USB have a bigger impact on the resources of a system like on RAM and processor cycles than another standard external display.
Most of the laptops will slow down and might show some probes when you try to connect two or more than two external devices to the laptop.
The best, quick and cheap way out for multiple monitor setup is combining your laptop’s screen and with one- monitor attached with HDMI/ VGA/ Display port/ DVI and one USB adapter.
Connections and cables
Make sure the ports that are available on your laptop matches are also on your monitor to build up a connection by sourcing the appropriate cables.
You will need two cables if you are connecting two monitors with one laptop. One to port no 1 of the laptop and the other end at the 1st monitor and other to port number 2 of laptop and another end at the 2nd monitor.
Here is the last step you need to do to connect 2 monitors to a laptop. You’d be surprised to know that you can configure the display of 2 or 3 screens you are using.
To make a different set-up for each of the screens you are using follow the steps.
- Go to your change the appearance of your displays
You’ll get to see 2 main options
- Duplicate the display
In this option, both options will show the display, between the 2 screens.
- Extending the display
In these settings, you can spread your applications on 2 different monitors. These settings are usually used by document control professionals so that they can display documents on screens.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to connect 2 monitors to a laptop. There is no hard limit in terms of max. resolution when making a VGA connection, the graphics card used in a laptop can support a maximum of 2048 x 1536p.
If you are looking for a digital connection, then a DVI connection is a better choice for you.
We hope this article will help you understand how to connect 2 monitors to a laptop. If you are facing any unexpected problems, then feel free to share your problem in the comments section, we’ll help you out.