How can you connect your PC to your laptop monitor?

Updated February 21, 2017

Desktop personal computers (PCs) can be connected to a laptop monitor with a VGA connector or via remote desktop connection. A Video Graphics Array, or VGA, connector is used to transfer video signals between the PC and laptop. When connected, the laptop monitor can be used instead of a standard desktop PC monitor or set side-by-side the desktop monitor to create multiple work screens. Set-up is simple and should only take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Connect the VGA cable into the VGA output port located on the side or back of the laptop computer. Screw the two ends of the VGA connector cable into the VGA port to secure the connection and prevent the cable from coming loose.

Connect the other end of the VGA cable into the back of the PC tower. Screw the two ends of the VGA cable into the port.

Right-click the desktop on the PC computer monitor. Click "Personalize" to open a new window. Selections can differ depending on the operating system being used. Select "Display" and then "Display Settings."

Choose a monitor to act as your primary monitor. If only one monitor is presently shown, click "Identify" to manually connect the laptop monitor to your PC. Switch between "Monitor 1" (desktop PC monitor) and "Monitor 2" (laptop monitor) to select which monitor you want to use.

Click "OK" to save your choices. Return back to the "Display Settings" page to switch monitors when desired.

Open Remote Desktop Connection software. Click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories" and "Remote Desktop Connection." This program is readily available for Windows XP users. Those with any other edition of Windows will need to download the software from the Microsoft Windows website.

Find your computer IP address. Go to Internet Explorer, Firefox or any other Internet browser and navigate to the What is My IP website.

Type the IP address in the "Computer" field on the "Remote Desktop Connection" software. Click "Connect" to create a remote connection between the PC and laptop. No cable will be necessary to create a remote desktop connection.


Not all laptop computers come with a VGA connector port. Check for this feature when purchasing a laptop. Desktop selections can differ, depending on the operating system being used. Check the official Microsoft Windows website to ensure that your computer has the capabilities to create a remote desktop connection.

Things You'll Need

  • VGA connector cable
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About the Author

Based in northern New York, Brandy Burgess has been writing on pets, technical documentation and health resources since 2007. She also writes on personal development for Burgess' work also has appeared on various online publications, including Burgess holds a Bachelor of Arts in computer information systems from DeVry University and her certified nurses aid certification.