How to connect a Laptop to an External Monitor?

Adding an additional monitor to your setup can prove to be quite useful. Second display will give you more screen real estate, thus increasing your productivity. It can help you with almost any type of work including photo and video editing, graphic design, or even simpler tasks like writing. Many professionals have more than one monitor in their setup, and some people connect even up to six displays. But let's start with the basics we'll teach you how to connect one monitor to start with, and if you like the setup, you can easily add more later on.

Basically every laptop nowadays has at least one way of connecting to an external monitor or a TV (connecting laptop to a TV from Intel). The typical ports that come with most laptops are VGA and HDMI, while some monitors might have DVI or DisplayPort as well.

To connect a laptop to an external monitor you will need proper cables. First check what ports your laptop and display support, so you know whether you have the proper cables or you need to buy an additional adapter. Let's say your laptop comes with a DisplayPort, but your monitor supports only VGA no problem all you have to do is buy a DisplayPort to VGA adapter and you're good to go.

We will show you how to connect an external monitor on two most popular operating systems today Windows and Mac OS X (difference between Windows and Mac OS X). Let's start with the Windows first, since more people use it after all. Once your laptop is connected to an external monitor, it should automatically detect it after a few seconds and set its resolution, but this doesn't always work perfectly and it depends greatly on the Windows version that you�re using. In case nothing happens try pressing the Display Function key located on the keyboard of your laptop. This is usually a combination of two buttons: Fn + F3, Fn + F4, Fn + F5, or in some cases Fn + F9 or Fn + F10. You will notice the second button by two displays that are drawn on it. After you press these buttons your additional monitor should activate. Now, depending on the real world position of you second monitor, you will probably need to make a few adjustments. In Windows this isn't hard to do, just find the Display Settings icon in the Control Panel. When you open it you will notice the option to change the position of your external display. Move it so that it matches the real world position. If you want, you can change the resolution as well.

If you are a MacBook (Apple laptops are called MacBook) owner the process isn't too much different. Similar to Windows, first make sure that you have all the cables you need. For example MacBook Pros have and HDMI output and you can easily connect it you your monitor via HDMI cable (if your monitor supports HDMI), but if you own a MacBook Air, you will have to buy (Buy on Amazon) a Mini DisplayPort to DVI/VGA/HDMI adapter (depending on the port supported by your monitor). After you connect the additional display, Mac OS X will automatically detect it and set the optimal resolution. In case you need to change the screen resolution or position, don't worry it's quite easy. First open the System Preferences by clicking on the icon in your Dock, and select Displays. Once it's open you will be able to change the settings to fit your needs.

After the initial setup is done, no matter what operating system you're using, you can choose how to use your two monitors as mirrored displays or the extended display. Mirrored displays are often used when giving presentations on a bigger screen or a projector, since it enables you to have the same picture on both screen, and gives you the option to control the content. On the other hand, the extended display is a great option when you're working, as it gives you more screen real estate to work with, and enables you to have more applications opened at once.

Written By : Dusan K., from Serbia(I.T Student)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice