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How to Turn a Laptop Screen Into a Second Monitor

More screen space is beneficial in many ways. With more viewable real estate on your computer screen, you can run more applications at once and multitask, which will make you more productive.

If you have a laptop computer and a spare CRT or LCD monitor, you can convert the external monitor into the primary display screen for your laptop computer. Turning the screen on a laptop into the secondary display is not as difficult as you might think and only takes a few minutes.

Plug in the external monitor power cord to an available electrical socket.

Turn off the laptop. Connect the VGA cable to the blue video port on the back of the notebook. Plug the other end into the output adaptor port on the external monitor.

Turn on the external monitor first and then the laptop computer. Allow the laptop to boot into Windows normally.

Right-click anywhere on the open desktop screen in Windows and click the "Screen resolution" link on the pop-up menu.

Click the monitor on the screen with the number "2" on the icon display. Enable the "Make this my main display" option and click the "Apply" button. The external monitor now becomes the default display, and then laptop screen becomes the secondary monitor.

Click the icon monitor with the number "2" on the display (now the laptop screen). Select the "Extend these displays" option in the drop-down list next to the "Multiple displays" label. Click the "OK" button. You can now drag windows to the laptop screen and extend the desktop.

Things You'll Need

  • VGA Cable
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About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.