How to Switch Between Monitor & TV

Updated February 21, 2017

Laptop and desktop computers can be connected to TVs for viewing computer content on a larger screen. Sometimes it's desirable to switch back to the computer monitor from the TV when both devices are connected to a computer or, in the case of a laptop, to switch back to the laptop's built-in LCD screen. The keyboard function keys offer quick shortcuts for toggling back and forth between the monitor and TV. Although the precise function key varies with the computer model, the procedure is the same.

Press the "Fn" (Function) key in the lower left corner of the laptop or desktop keyboard. Hold the key.

Locate the video function key along the top row of numbered function keys on the keyboard. The keys are numbered left to right, starting with F1. Look for the numbered F key featuring two small icons of a video screen. One of the icons will be filled in; the other is hollow. For example, on an Acer laptop keyboard, the F6 key is the video function key, while F8 is the key to use on a Dell laptop or desktop keyboard. Older keyboards may be printed with CRT/LCD rather than a monitor icon on one of the numbered F keys.

Press the numbered F key while holding the "Fn" key to switch from the monitor to the TV. Press a second time to switch back again.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer keyboard
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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.