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How to use your laptop as a second monitor

Laptops can be used very easily as a second display device (Image via MSI)
Laptops can be used very easily as a second display device (Image via MSI)

In a world where the need for multiple screens is becoming prevalent, your laptop can fill in for the role. This is an effective solution on two major grounds, one of which involves meeting the need for a second monitor, to begin with. Another big advantage is the amount of money and resources that an individual will be able to save.

Ideally, a PC usually comes with more than one HDMI port when you account for the dedicated GPU it might contain. However, options on notebooks are far more limited in terms of the HDMI port. While normal monitors have no problem with HDMI ports, they become an additional investment.

Using a laptop as a second monitor offers an easier solution regarding money and resources. Moreover, the process is quite simple to achieve as long as someone has internet connectivity. Let's look at the detailed steps a user will require to complete the setup correctly.


Setting up a laptop as a second monitor is a completely wireless process

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The most important aspect is ensuring that both devices are connected to the same network. This is mandatory, and there's no alternative to it, so the setup can only be done under internet connectivity. Once the two devices are connected to the same network, perform the following steps:

  • Open the laptop which you want to use as the second monitor. Go to display settings.
  • Choose "Projecting to this PC" from the options on the left.
  • There will be three options which will be locked at first. To unlock it, you will need to install an optional file.
  • From the entire list of external files, go for more options.
  • Type "wireless," and the correct file will be displayed. It's a small-sized file and takes less than a minute to be installed.
  • Once it's installed, come back to the previous page. All three options can now be changed, indicating that the laptop is ready to be used as the external monitor.
  • Come back to the device which will be your main PC.
  • Press the Windows+P button or go to display settings.
  • Choose "connect to wireless device" from the option.
  • The laptop will now be displayed on the available display devices.
  • Click on it, and the connection will start setting up. It is supposed to take some seconds to set up.
  • You can also enable input devices like keyboards and mice from the PC to the laptop. This makes the latter machine receptive to both visual and non-visual input data.
  • You will receive a notification on your second device, which will be used as the monitor. Approve it to complete the connection.
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Once the link is ready, you will get a second monitor, and there are four orientation options to go with it. I prefer to pick extended displays as they suit my needs.

A note of caution - There could be a possible lag since the process isn't exactly how physical monitors work. The entire system depends on how consistent and smooth the internet connection is. Any disruption in connectivity will force you to repeat the process.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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