How to Use an Old Laptop as a Second Monitor

If you have an old laptop that you’re not using anymore, you can put it to good use by using it as a second monitor for your desktop computer. This can come in handy if you’re working on a project that requires a lot of screen real estate, or if you simply want to have more space to spread out your work. Here’s how to set it up.

Step 1: Connect Your Laptop to Your Desktop

First, you’ll need to physically connect your laptop to your desktop computer. If your laptop has an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI cable to connect the two devices. If it has a DVI port, you can use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter and an HDMI cable. And if your laptop has a VGA port, you can use a VGA-to-HDMI adapter and an HDMI cable. Once you’ve connected the cable, your laptop should automatically detect the connection and display a message asking if you want to use it as a second monitor.

Step 2: Configure Your Display Settings

Once your laptop is connected, you’ll need to configure your display settings. On Windows, you can do this by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting “Display Settings.” On Mac, you can do this by going to System Preferences > Displays. In the “Display Settings” window (on Windows) or the “Displays” window (on Mac), you should see both your laptop and your desktop listed as separate displays. If you don’t see your laptop listed, make sure it’s powered on and that the cable is securely connected.

Once you see both displays listed, you can start configuring how they’re used. If you want your laptop to be your primary display, meaning everything will open on it and your desktop will be used as a secondary display, you can select it from the “Display” drop-down menu. Or, if you want to use your laptop as an extended display, meaning your desktop will be your primary display and your laptop will be used as an extension of it, you can select the “Extend these displays” option.

If you want to use your laptop as a second monitor but don’t want your mouse and keyboard to extend to it, you can uncheck the “Show this display on all desktops” option (on Windows) or the “Mirror Displays” checkbox (on Mac).

Step 3: Adjust Your Resolution and Position

Once you’ve configured your displays, you can adjust the resolution and position of your laptop’s display. On Windows, you can do this by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting “Screen Resolution.” On Mac, you can do this by going to System Preferences > Displays. In the “Screen Resolution” window (on Windows) or the “Displays” window (on Mac), you should see both your laptop and your desktop listed as separate displays. Select your laptop from the drop-down menu and then adjust the resolution to match your desktop’s resolution. You can also use the “Arrange” button (on Windows) or the “Position” drop-down menu (on Mac) to adjust the position of your laptop’s display.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Extra Screen Space!

Once you’ve adjusted your resolution and position, you’re ready to start using your laptop as a second monitor. You can now drag windows and applications over to your laptop’s display and use it just like you would any other monitor. If you want to go back to using your laptop as a standalone device, simply disconnect the cable and power it on as you normally would.

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