How to Connect a Laptop to a Desktop Via USB

Updated February 21, 2017

Connecting a laptop to a desktop takes less than a minute with a special type of USB cable known as a bridged cable. This differs from a standard USB cable, which should not be used because the different circuitry could damage the USB ports in each computer and possibly other internal components as well. A bridged USB cable comes with software on a CD-ROM that must be installed so the computers can communicate with each other for file transfers.

Open the laptop CD-ROM drive to insert the software CD that comes with the bridged USB cable and close the tray.

Install the software by clicking the on-screen buttons when prompted, then reboot the laptop.

Install the software on the desktop computer in the same manner and reboot when finished.

Connect the bridged USB cable from any USB port on the laptop to any free port on the desktop.


Connect computers only with a USB cable labelled specifically for bridged use. Any other type of USB cable could damage the computers.

Things You'll Need

  • Bridged USB cable
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.