How To Use Your Laptop As A Monitor

Whether for its portability, or for its convenience, laptops are one of the undisputed kings of modern computing and many users make use of its format and its peculiarities in their day to day.

Of the many things we can do with them, those related to connectivity are usually the ones that get the most out of these devices; perhaps this is the reason why Microsoft has provided a way to connect to another computer from our laptop and use it as a second monitor as one of the options of Windows 10. Today we will teach you how to use your laptop as a monitor step by step.

Using our laptop as a monitor

It is common to accompany our laptops with a second monitor to gain in workspace and functionality; this is the reason why these computers have built-in (in many cases) video outputs, usually in the hand of the HDMI format. Making use of this quality only requires a compatible cable and a monitor that accompanies the laptop.

However, today we are talking about something different. If what we want to do is the reverse, using our laptop as an external monitor for another computer, the task is much more difficult than connecting a simple cable, since the screen we see on our laptops is connected directly to the computer itself, and does not usually have additional inputs. But there is a way to use our laptop as a second monitor: through computer projection.

This “computer projection” is an option found in Windows 10; this is not the only operating system to use functions of this type, and we can even find third-party programs to help us complete this task.

However, due to the enormous popularity of Microsoft’s OS and the ease of using an option integrated into the system itself, throughout this text we will focus exclusively on the famous blue window operating system.

How To Use Your Laptop As A Monitor

Configuring our computer as a second monitor in Windows 10

To make use of this functionality, we will need at least two computers. We will start with the options we must make on the computer that we will project; we will continue on the options to follow on the computer that will receive the laptop as a second screen.

Step 1: configure screen projection on the target computer

To configure these options we need to enter the OS configuration screen. To do this, simply right-click on the start button and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Once there, we will be able to enter inside “System” and, in the left sidebar, find the option “Projection on this computer” where we will see a series of options that we will have to configure to use the screen. We recommend the following:


  • In the first drop-down, we should change the “always off” to an option such as “Available on secure networks”. Select “Available everywhere” in an option; but better to leave it on the home network (or the secure network we are using). If you need to open this option on all networks, go ahead.
  • The second drop-down is under “Request projection on this computer” and we recommend that you leave it on “Every time a connection is requested” to control which devices use this feature.
  • The last drop-down controls the inclusion of a PIN to use this feature and we recommend that you enable the PIN request. The last item, which is a switch, allows us to use this feature without connecting the laptop to the power; it is up to us how we want to use our device.

Once these simple steps have been completed, we can configure the options of the other device.

How To Use Your Laptop As A Monitor

Step 2: Configuring the device that will “project” your desktop

Already on the second device, we need to connect to our laptop to be able to use it as a monitor. Continuing with the Windows 10 example, we will have to enter the configuration window; again, right click on the start button and select “Settings”. Once in settings, we will go to “System” and from there we will access the “Display” option in the same window.

Step 3: coordinating the projection and final words.

Once there, we will have to go to the “Connect to a wireless network” option (Next to the buttons for detecting and identifying a screen) and click on it. It will direct us to a drop-down menu very similar to the operating system’s networks and wireless connections.

In that menu, we will look for our laptop (under its name) and when we try to access it, if you have followed our recommendation, it will ask for a PIN.

To enter it we will go to our laptop; we allow the connection with the requesting device and enter the code provided by the computer in the device to be used. If we have done these steps correctly, a projection of the desktop in question will appear on the screen.

The projection may not be as smooth as connecting a monitor to a second computer directly, but this option allows us to perform a couple of interesting maneuvers. Firstly, we can configure mobile devices to be projected onto the monitor and play multimedia content from these devices.

In addition, the target device does not have to be a laptop, it can also be another desktop computer. Although we will not be able to do it remotely, since they must be on the same network; the price to pay for extending the functionality of our equipment in this way.



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