Use a monitor as external display for laptop


Almost all laptops can connect to an external display and have the laptop display sent to that external display instead of, or in addition to, the laptop screen. Examples of an external display include a CRT monitor, flat panel display, and projector.

Connect the external display to the laptop’s external video connection on the back of the computer. A VGA connector for a computer monitor and VGA port on a laptop needs to connect with each other to establish the connection between both devices to use a monitor as an external display for the laptop. Once connected, your laptop may automatically switch to the new external display, or you may be required to press one or more keys on the keyboard to switch to the external display.

The key sequence can vary depending on the laptop but is typically one of the following: Fn + F3, F4, F5, F7, F8, F9, or F10. For example, pressing the Fn and F7 keys at the same time could switch between your laptop and external display. The F key to be used may be labeled as CRT/LCD or have a picture of a monitor on the key or close to the key. Maybe, the keys pressed to switch displays is dependent on the model and manufacturer of the laptop. If none of the above key sequences work, consult your laptop documentation or consult your laptop manufacturer.

Some laptops can output video to both the laptop and the external display at the same time or to a single display. Laptops with this feature can toggle between the two modes when the appropriate function key is pressed.


Newer laptops may also have a DisplayPort, which can be used to connect external display devices that utilize a DisplayPort cable. If your external display uses VGA, DVI or HDMI instead, you can also get a DisplayPort adapter cable, allowing you to connect your VGA, DVI or HDMI display to the laptop’s DisplayPort.

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