How To Connect Your Laptop to a Computer Monitor

How To Connect Your Laptop to a Computer Monitor

You use your laptop for various tasks related to work, gaming, or graphic design, but sometimes, a larger screen is necessary to display improved images. Monitors are an excellent choice for viewing content, but you’ll need a way to connect the additional screen to your laptop. Use this guide to learn how to connect your laptop to your monitor and create a new way to view your desired content.

Cable Connections

A cable connection is the go-to method for connecting most devices and will be the best solution to connect your monitor and laptop. There are a variety of ports on each device with many similar connection options.

The most common ports on either device are HDMI, USB-C, and DisplayPort; all three provide strong connections and support high-resolution video and audio signals. Each cable has its benefits, but all are excellent for your connection needs.


Most modern imaging devices use HDMI to produce clear images or make stable audio connections. The numerous pins in an HDMI connector provide numerous channels to pass along various video and audio signals.

The high bandwidth ensures signals can travel far, making them ideal for connecting devices that transmit video to a distant source, such as a TV screen or projector. HDMI is a common option for connecting to a computer monitor, as it provides a detailed picture and a reliable cable over various distances.


More devices use USB-C cables for connections because of their multifaceted uses. This cable type transmits video and audio and supplies power to a device. With the capability of transferring signals and charging a device, it’s no wonder many computer monitors and laptops have USB-C ports. If your laptop relies on a USB-C for charging, you must be mindful of the battery when you connect to the monitor, as charging won’t be available when the devices are connected.


Like HDMI, DisplayPort uses a multi-pin connector to make channels that transfer video and audio signals. This cable is a great choice for high-resolution video, which helps during the visual components of developing a PowerPoint or creating an image using a graphic design application.

The high refresh rate makes this cable connection an excellent choice for videos or video calling because it yields a more fluidly moving picture. Like HDMI and USB-C cables, DisplayPort is one option amongst a handful of ways to connect your laptop to your computer monitor. We will look into a few methods that will allow you to connect via a unique cable or without cords.

Legacy Cables

You may need legacy cables if you have older technology, such as an old monitor or a laptop from the early 2000s. Two legacy cables connect to legacy technology: VGA and DVI. Both cables look similar and have the purpose of transmitting video signals, but they have noticeable differences in their connections. DVI cables transmit digital and audio signals that create a more crisp image than VGAs. VGA cables transmit analog signals, which aren’t common in most technology today, but they do support longer cable lengths.

Most VGA and DVI ports were used on PCs, but they weren’t uncommon on laptops. Many computer monitors once used these cables to connect two devices, and older devices left over from a few decades ago continue to rely on them.

Because of the VGA’s analog signal and the lack of DVI’s in modern technology, there is an obstacle in connecting legacy technology. Fortunately, many adapters exist to ensure you can stay connected.


Adapters play an important part in your connection between your devices. You’ll need an adapter if the ports on your computer and laptop don’t match. Use a VGA cord adapter when you have legacy devices and need to connect between a DisplayPort port on the monitor and a VGA port on the laptop.

Adapters are also currently used in modern computers. If you need a connection between USB-C and HDMI, adapters are available to connect the different ports. An adapter will provide opportunities for multiple connections when you need an available port.

If you have an external speaker connected to the computer monitor via HDMI but need your USB-C on your laptop to charge it, a Displayport to USB-C adapter will greatly help. Buy a few adapters for various connections and open up new ways of connecting.

Wireless Connections

Although wired connections are a great way to connect computer devices, there are other ways to connect without them. Wireless connections are possible with certain devices and software programs, such as Mac laptops’ AirPlay or Windows’ Miracast. You will need compatible devices to use these connections; otherwise, you’ll need additional devices, such as a receiver, to bridge the signals.

Wireless connections provide benefits such as more mobility of your laptop and fewer cables, but they also have less reliable connections thanks to the potential for interference from different sources. Using cables for connections is safer and more stable, but having other options is helpful when cables aren’t available.

Connecting Multiple Monitors

Your workstation may feel better with multiple monitors showing your different pages. Despite having one laptop, connecting multiple computer monitors with different devices is possible.

USB-C Dongle

Use a USB-C dongle to connect multiple cables to your laptop. These cables will connect to your monitors via other ports, such as another USB-C or a DisplayPort. Most of these devices have ports available for current network cables that connect to modern devices, such as HDMI and DisplayPort, while others have multiple ports of the same connector.

HDMI Splitter

An HDMI splitter takes the HDMI source from your laptop and splits it into two signals for your monitors. Both monitors have the same signal and picture quality, providing clear images across multiple screens. The splitter may have up to four ports, which will allow you to have multiple monitors functioning at once.


While a cable connection is best for your laptop and monitor, you may encounter a few issues. Start troubleshooting by inspecting the cable connectors and ports. For HDMI and DisplayPort, check the pins to ensure they aren’t bent.

Use canned air to blow out any dust or particulates that may cause a disconnection. Some laptops may have settings that you’ll need to adjust to allow video to display on an external monitor. Ensure your laptop recognizes the monitors you use for a quick setup.

Connecting your laptop and computer monitor can improve your productivity by providing better visuals. Use these methods for your network setup, and ensure you have a great connection between devices to see your tasks in a better perspective.

How To Connect Your Laptop to a Computer Monitor

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