Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop For An Extended View

Laptops are the ideal choice to work smoothly, but their relatively small displays can often feel a bit of an obstruction. Hooking up a second, or the third screen can at least help make your workload feel much more manageable. 

When you connect multiple external monitors to your laptop, you need to check the hardware capabilities of your laptop as well as your external monitors. Whether you are working with earlier versions of laptops and monitors or the latest, you can extend it to multiple displays. Having multiple displays means you don’t need to flip between applications on one screen to another anymore.

To connect two monitors to a laptop, you need to check whether your laptop has two video ports or not. If it has two ports, then you are good to go, but if not, then you will either need a USB external display, display port splitter adapter, or a Thunderbolt Port.

In many cases, connecting two or more monitors to your laptop is just like plugging them into several video outputs. Depending on your laptop’s age and the graphics chipset, there may be hardware limitations that prevent you from connecting two or more monitors. Older laptops may only support two displays, that is- the laptop display and a secondary monitor while the newer models may allow as many as three external displays.

Below, we are going to discuss how to connect two monitors to a laptop. 

Add external monitors using a USB external display adapter

There are adapters available out there which turn your USB port into one or two external display ports. The most commonly used adapters are “USB external display adapters”. These can help in adding an HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, or DVI port to your laptop.

  1. You need to pay close attention to the USB port version required by these external display adapters. The latest and modern USB video adapters require USB 3.0.
  2. You can check the version of your laptop’s USB ports by opening the ‘Control Panel’, selecting the ‘Device Manager’, and then expanding the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’. There only, you will see the USB ports listed.
  1. Before you install the adapter, you will need to install the driver software, that comes with the adapter, for them to function properly. If the driver software does not come with the adapter, you can download and install it directly from the manufacturer’s website. The driver software allows your laptop to communicate to the adapter through the USB port.
  1. Once the driver software is installed, you need to shut down your laptop.
  2. Then you need to plug the USB end of the adapter into the appropriate USB port on your laptop.
  3.  Next, start up your laptop and let it fully boot before moving on to the next step.
  1. With the driver software installed, your laptop should now be able to detect the two monitors. If the second monitor doesn’t display anything after your laptop starts up, you might need to perform some troubleshooting steps to find out the reason for the external monitors not working.
  1. Now you need to adjust the monitors so your cursor moves smoothly between your laptop display and the additional monitors.
  2. Next, you need to select the ‘Start menu’ and type ‘Display’ in the search bar.
  3. From the ‘Display settings’,  you will now see the second and third display.
  4. Now you can adjust the display so that it is positioned next to your laptop screen.
  5. After this, you just have to select the ‘Apply’ option to accept the monitor positions.

Adding external laptops using a thunderbolt port 

connect two monitors to a laptop

If you have recently bought a laptop, you might not have noticed that you have a special port on your device, called the “Thunderbolt port”. These ports exist on macOS and Windows 10 laptops. Usually, this port is located near the power adapter port. The port enables you to plug into a docking station with the help of a single cable.

Through the cable, the docking station provides video, audio, power, and even a data connection and most importantly, it provides access to two external monitor ports from that single Thunderbolt connection.

Also read: Casting Phone To Laptop – Steps And Explanation

Instead of purchasing a full Thunderbolt docking station, you can purchase a less expensive Thunderbolt adapter too. These help to extend the single Thunderbolt port on your laptop into two external monitors. If your laptop also has an  HDMI or Displayport port, then you can have up to three external monitors connected to your laptop in addition to the laptop’s display.

If you have newly purchased monitors, there are chances that they might include a Thunderbolt input. In this case, neither you need to purchase a dock nor a hub to attach an external monitor to your laptop.

Please Note: If you want to connect two external monitors, then your laptop should have two Thunderbolt ports.

The entire process of using a dock or a hub is the same. You simply have to plug the Thunderbolt cable into your laptop and then plug each monitor into the appropriate ports on your device. Then, you just have to adjust the position of each monitor in the ‘Display settings’.

Display Port Splitter Adapter

Earlier the display port splitter devices were used primarily for switching between two external monitors or for displaying the same video output on two screens.

If you are wanting to connect two monitors to your laptop, you are probably hoping to extend your display instead of mirroring. Well, the newer display port splitter adapters are capable of taking the single HDMI or DisplayPort output from your laptop and extending the video display output across two or more monitors.

Most of these display splitters, that are capable of extending displays, only mirror. 

Please Note: You need to look closely at the specs of these display splitters while you purchase them.

When purchased, you just need to plug the single display port cable into your laptop. Then, you can use cables to connect each of the adapter ports to both of your adapters. Many of these adapters come with a plug-and-play installation without the requirement of any software while others may require driver software or an external power adapter. Once all of the cables have been connected and the splitter is powered up, you can adjust the position of the monitors in ‘Display settings’.

So this was all about how you can connect two monitors to a laptop. We hope this article informative and useful to you.

Also read: Zoom Microphone Not Working? Try These 10 Quick Fixes

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