How to connect an XBox to a laptop monitor

Updated February 21, 2017

Your ability to connect an Xbox to a laptop monitor is going to depend largely on the type of video output-input capabilities your laptop has. If you have HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) capabilities on both your laptop and Xbox-- usually Xbox 360 does-- then you're good to go because an HDMI port is both an input and output port. However, not all laptops will have these capabilities, and that is where you'll run into difficulties.

Check your laptop's video input ports. Newer laptops will have HDMI ports that are both input and output at the same time. Older computers might have VGA (Video Graphics Array) input and output ports: the input port for VGA is a small, trapezoid-shaped male port with three rows of five circular female ports within it. Even older computers may have only output video capabilities and cannot be connected to an Xbox.

Check your Xbox console's video output ports. Newer Xbox or Xbox 360 consoles will have HDMI capabilities, while older Xbox consoles will not. If your Xbox doesn't have HDMI capabilities, the only way to connect it will be through A/V cables, also known as RCA cables.

Connect a cable into the laptop's input port. If you have both HDMI and VGA input ports, use an HDMI cable. HDMI will have the best picture, and it can transport sound where the VGA can only transport sound. Use a VGA cable if you only have VGA capabilities; the VGA cable is the same kind of cable that connects a PC to a PC monitor.

Connect the VGA cable to a VGA to HDMI adaptor. The output end of the VGA will be the one connecting to the adaptor; this end of the cable is a long, thin, male port and it connects to a similar, long, thin, female port. If you are using an HDMI cable or have to use RCA cables, skip this step. HDMI cables, VGA cables, VGA-to-RCA, and VGA-to-HDMI adaptors can be found at just about any electronics store.

Connect the VGA cable to a VGA to RCA adaptor if you have to use RCA cables. The RCA adaptor will work similarly to the HDMI adaptor except that it will have the RCA cables already connected to it and will therefore not require you to purchase additional cables. If you are using an HDMI cable or a VGA-to-HDMI adaptor, skip this step.

Connect the HDMI cable to the adaptor. If you were already using an HDMI cable and you are not using an adaptor, or if you are using RCA cables, skip this step.

Connect the other end of the HDMI cable or RCA adaptor to the Xbox.

Things You'll Need

  • HDMI cable
  • VGA cable
  • VGA-to-HDMI adaptor
  • VGA-to-A/V (RCA) adaptor


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