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How to Use Laptop as a Monitor – In 3 Simple Steps

Almost everyone uses only a single monitor with their computer. And while this is good for basic usage, multiple displays can be great for productivity and improved multitasking. 

In fact, a PC desk setup with multiple displays can also be great for gaming. Thankfully, you can easily use multiple displays with either your laptop or your desktop PC without needing a second monitor.

This is due to the reason that if you have an old or extra laptop laying around, you can use its laptop screen to connect with your primary computer as a second screen. 

And today, we are here with a complete guide on how to use laptop as a monitor on Windows 10. In this guide, you will find all of the details for using your laptop as an external display. 

In fact we have also given things you need to consider after connecting the laptop you want to use a second screen. So make sure to go through this guide till the end if you want to use your laptop as an external monitor.

Benefits of using your Laptop as a Monitor

If you are new to using an external display with their laptop, you might not be familiar with its benefits. Hence, if you want to use your laptop as an external display, then you should also check its applications.

By knowing more about these, you can get the most out of your laptop when it comes to using it as a second screen. This includes the same benefits as using any other external screen as given here:

Improved Productivity:

The primary benefit of using an external display with your laptop or desktop is that it improves your productivity. You can open multiple windows at once on your device and use them all at once.

Playing a Game and Streaming:

Even if you use your computer to play games, you would still want to use your laptop as an external screen.

This is due to the reason that even if you want to use your PC for playing a game, having an external screen can be great for using Discord, Spotify, OBS for streaming, stream chat, and much more next to your games.

Media Consumption:

Apart from wanting to play games, if you want to play a quick YouTube video or play a movie while having other programs running at the same time, having an external screen can be great for media consumption in such cases.

Less Space:

When compared with a full size external monitor, a laptop’s display is much smaller and takes up much less space. This makes them great for computer setups that have a small desk.

What do I need for using a Laptop as a Monitor?

Now that you know more benefits about using an external screen, you would also wish to use your system as one. And before that, there are a few things you need to have before you go ahead and use your laptop as an external screen. 

  • For starters, you need to make sure that both your primary and secondary systems have WiFi connectivity.
  • Second, you will need to ensure that both your systems have the latest version of Windows 10 installed on them.
  • Last, you will need to ensure that you have a high speed WiFi in your home.

As for the things that you won’t need, you will be glad to know that an HDMI cable is not required for this connectivity since it is done completely wirelessly. Even though there are various miracast display apps available everywhere, we will be using inbuilt features of Windows to connect your device like a second display.

How to use your Laptop as a Second Monitor?

If you are wondering about how to use my laptop as an external display, then you will be glad to know that it is quite easy to do. Windows 10 allows you to do the same within Windows 10 settings.

This is made possible thanks to the miracast display features offered by the latest version of Windows 10. Thus, if you opened this guide to know how to use my laptop like an external display, then simply follow the given instructions one by one:

1. Connect all Computers to the same WiFi

In order to use your laptop as a secondary display with another laptop or desktop, you need to ensure that all of them are connected to the same WiFi network.

To ensure the same, you first need to open Windows Settings on your PC.

  • Once you are in the Settings menu, go to the Network & Internet menu on each device one by one. Here, simply connect to the same WiFi from the WiFi section present in the left hand side menu. Once this is done, you will be able to use your laptop as an external display with ease.
 How to Use Laptop as a Monitor - Follow These Simple Steps

If you do not have a WiFi router at your home, then you can simply turn on the WiFi hotspot of your smartphone and connect each device to the same WiFi.

2. Choose the Right Settings to Use a Laptop as a Monitor

After you have connected each device to the same WiFi, you need to first set up your system and change its settings in a way that it can be used as an external display with either another laptop or a desktop for making a dual display desk setup with ease.

  • To start, go to your laptop’s Windows settings via Windows search and open the System settings to open the Projecting to this PC settings from the left hand side panel.
  • Now, you need to go through each drop down menu and select the right settings as given here:

Windows and Android Devices and Project to this PC when you say it’s OK: Available Everywhere

Ask to Project to this PC: Every Time

Require PIN for Pairing: Never

This PC can be Discovered only when Plugged In: Disable

 How to Use Laptop as a Monitor - Follow These Simple Steps

3. Connect your Laptop or Desktop with your Secondary Laptop

Once you have gone through each of the drop down menu settings given above, you can move over to your primary device like a laptop or a desktop from which you want to stream video output as a source.

On the primary laptop or desktop system, open the Display Settings using the Windows search feature. Here you will find a table of contents regarding all the various display settings that you may want to change on your PC. 

  • Here, scroll down and select the Connect to a Wireless Display option to begin connecting your laptop’s display via miracast.
  • You will then see a list of displays or system options that you can choose to connect as a miracast display. 
  • After selecting your desired system for a connection, you will need to accept the connection on your laptop that you are using as an external display. This same method will work in both cases whether you are using a laptop or a desktop for connecting a miracast display. 
 How to Use Laptop as a Monitor - Follow These Simple Steps

Things to Consider after Connecting a Laptop as a Monitor

Upon going through the guide given above, you must be using your Windows devices together as secondary display and primary system with ease. But if you are using the miracast tech for the first time, then there are certain things you should know.

In other words, to get the most out of your laptop’s display, you need to ensure that you are using it correctly. Even though this display feature for using a extend display mode is quite handy for compact desk setups, it still have some limitations that you can also find down here:

Change the Monitor Modes for your Laptop Monitor

One of the best things about using such miracast displays is that they act just like all other HDMI displays that you will find out there. Hence, you can change the monitor modes like PC only, duplicate, extend, and second screen only.

For the same, you press Windows Key + P on your keyboard which will offer you a list of different ways to extend your computer’s display. Out of all these, the “extend desktop to this display” is considered as one of the most versatile options.

 How to Use Laptop as a Monitor - Follow These Simple Steps

Using a Laptop as a Monitor on Windows 7 and Windows 8

If you are using older Windows 7 or Windows 8 devices and want to use them along with your laptop’s display, then you will be glad to know that they also support the miracast tech.

To use this tech, you can simply follow similar instructions on such older operating systems or use the Windows search to find the same display settings.

Controlling a Computer via a Laptop being used as a Monitor

Apart from acting like a display, you can also use the keyboard and touchpad of your secondary laptop for controlling your desktop or laptop. To allow this, you need to simply select the “Allow Input” option while creating the connection for a miracast display.

Projecting to this PC over a Wired Connection

Those of you who are using a desktop most likely use an ethernet cable with it and do not have WiFi. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot project to your desktop without getting a WiFi adapter for your desktop to enable miracast projection.

Can you use a Mac Laptop as a Monitor? 

In case you are using Apple based devices, then you won’t be able to use it with miracast. In other words, if you want to extend an Apple device as an external display, then you will need to use some third party app. Even if your Apple notebook comes with an HDMI port, it only supports output.

What’s the Difference between a Monitor and using a Laptop like one?

Even though a laptop’s display connected via software is great if you have a tight space on your desk, it is not viable for gaming. Because of the limited data transmission speeds of WiFi, such a display is only ideal for basic tasks and not gaming.

Projecting to this PC is not Available

To fix this issue, you can simply use the Search bar to look for “Add or Remove Programs” and go to the Optional Features section. Here, search for Wireless Display, right click on it, and add this software feature to your devices.

It will be automatically downloaded from the Microsoft website for using displays without needing a cable. If it is not available here, you can also manually download it from Microsoft’s site.

 How to Use Laptop as a Monitor - Follow These Simple Steps


Using an older laptop or a secondary laptop that you have laying around as an external screen can be a great idea. This allows you to use your laptop screen for opening extra applications with ease on your PC. 

For the same, we have already discussed all the details required to use a laptop as a monitor. You can also find more information related to using your laptop as a monitor which can be quite handy after you have connected your laptop as a second monitor.

Let us know your favorite uses and applications of using your laptop as a monitor in the comments down below. You can also find links on our site regarding other handy uses of older laptops that you may have at your home.

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