How to Use an External Monitor With HP Pavilion Laptop

Updated July 19, 2017

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.

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

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

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).

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.


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.

Things You'll Need

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

Michael Hintz is a technically inclined individual with a penchant for the English language. Having recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where he wrote for the school's newspaper, he is now looking for full-time writing and editing work while building his online writing portfolio at sites like eHow and Answerbag.