How to Connect a Monitor to a Laptop

Most laptops have a video output port that allows you to connect an external monitor or projector. You can use an external monitor as your primary display, or as an extended desktop. With an extended desktop, you can increase your working area by spreading out your windows and applications over two or more monitors. This article describes how to connect an external monitor to your laptop.

To connect an external monitor to your laptop:

  1. Determine which video output port(s) your laptop has. Common video output ports include HDMI, DVI, and VGA. Many laptops also have a Thunderbolt 3 port that supports the DisplayPort standard. If your laptop has more than one video output port, you can use any of them to connect the external monitor.
  2. If your monitor has a DVI input port, use a DVI video cable to connect the monitor to your laptop. If your monitor has a VGA input port, use a VGA video cable to connect the monitor to your laptop. If your monitor has an HDMI input port, use an HDMI video cable to connect the monitor to your laptop. If your monitor has a DisplayPort input port, use a DisplayPort or Mini DisplayPort cable to connect the monitor to your laptop.
  3. If your laptop only has a Thunderbolt 3 port, you can use a Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect the monitor to your laptop. Thunderbolt 3 cables are available in different lengths, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
  4. After you connect the cable to the monitor and your laptop, turn on the monitor. If you’re using a Thunderbolt 3 cable, you might see a message on the screen that says, “DisplayPort Device Connected.”
  5. Open the Settings app, and then select System > Display > Detect. Your laptop should detect the external monitor and display the image.
  6. If you want to use the external monitor as your primary display, select System > Display > Screen resolution, and then select the resolution and refresh rate that you want to use. If you want to use the external monitor as an extended desktop, select System > Display > Duplicate. Your laptop’s desktop will be displayed on both the laptop screen and the external monitor.

You can adjust the position of the external monitor in the Display settings. To do this, select System > Display > Screen resolution, and then drag the external monitor to the position that you want it in. If you want to change the orientation of the image on the external monitor, select System > Display > Orientation, and then select the orientation that you want to use.

You can also adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of the image on the external monitor. To do this, select System > Display > Adjust resolution, and then move the slider bars to the settings that you want to use. If you want to calibrate the colors on the external monitor, select System > Display > Color calibration.

If you want to disconnect the external monitor, open the Settings app, and then select System > Display > Disconnect. You can also disconnect the cable from the monitor or your laptop.

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