How to Use an External Monitor With HP Pavilion Laptop

Written by michael hintz
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How to Use an External Monitor With HP Pavilion Laptop
VGA connector on top of a DVI connector, both used to connect external monitors. (dvi/d-sub adaptor image by TEA from

HP Pavilion laptops, like most laptops produced in the last decade, include an integrated video port of one type or another. The type of video port will vary from one laptop to the next; some may have two types. The four most common types of video ports are VGA, a 15-pin video connection usually labelled blue; DVI, an up-to 29-pin video connection usually labelled white; S-video, a round 4-pin port that looks similar to a PS/2 mouse port; and HDMI, a smaller connection that carries both audio and video, which is only found in newer laptops.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Laptop with a video port
  • Monitor or television with corresponding video port
  • Compatible cable to connect the two

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  1. 1

    Determine the type(s) of video port(s) both the HP Pavilion laptop and the desired monitor have available.

  2. 2

    Acquire the necessary cables and adaptors to connect the laptop to the monitor and power both on.

  3. 3

    Connect one end of the cable to the laptop's video port and the other end of the cable to the monitor or television. The laptop will determine that new hardware has been attached and automatically configure it (monitors are considered plug and play devices and require no additional drivers).

  4. 4

    Press and hold the laptop's function key while pressing the "F" key that configures external video. The most common F keys for switching between screens are F3, F4, F5, F8, and F9. This is sometimes known as a "Fn + F" key combination stroke. To determine which F key your laptop uses, look in the laptop's owner's manual.

Tips and warnings

  • DVI and VGA will work best with computer monitors. S-Video and HDMI will be easier to configure and connect to a television.
  • Televisions may need to be set to a special setting to receive video through HDMI or S-video channels.
  • Instead of switching between screens, you may be able to set it up so that the external monitor is an extension of the laptop's screen. This is most often done by pressing the "Fn" and "F" keys together a second time. Consult the laptop's owner's manual for more information.

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