You probably would have heard of people using multiple monitors with one computer but using a laptop as a second monitor is not a very common process.
Many people have old, unused laptops with them and would want to use them as external monitors. Or it could also be done by gamers, designers, and many other professionals looking for more flexibility or to cut down costs.
If you are looking for easy to follow guidelines to do this task, you can follow the steps mentioned in this article.
Table of Contents
Ways to use a laptop as a monitor
There could be many reasons why you would want to use a laptop as a monitor. Let’s not get into that. Instead, let us figure out how you can do this in different scenarios.
Using Miracast in Windows 10
Fortunately, in Windows 10 you will find software called Miracast that will help you connect your laptop as a monitor. Miracast is available with all the new Windows operating systems and it functions through a wireless connection between two devices.
You can use Miracast for screen mirroring and here are the steps for it.
On the laptop that needs to be used as a second monitor, click on the Start button and then select the Settings option
You can search for ‘Projection Settings’ and then click on that when it appears
Once the window opens, you will see two settings – select the first ones as ‘Available Everywhere‘. Select a PIN if you want to secure your connection
Apply the changes and your work is done on this laptop
Go to the other computer which is the main device you will use for projecting
Click on the Notifications icon and open the Action Centre
Click on the Connect button to make your computer look for wireless displays in the range
Once your laptop’s name appears in the list, connect it
Go to the Desktop and right-click on it
Select Display Settings
In the section for Multiple Displays, select the ‘Extend desktop to this display‘ setting
Apply the settings and the work is done. Your computers are configured to use the laptop as a second display
Using Wi-Fi in Windows
For this process to work, both your computers need to have wi-fi enabled on them. Here is how you can set your laptop as a secondary display.
On your laptop navigate to the Settings option and click on System
Select the ‘Projecting to this PC‘ option. You can customize the settings inside this window
Apply the changes
Now on the main computer press Windows+P on the keyboard. You can connect to a wireless display through this option
It might take some time but the computer should detect your laptop
Once it does, select your laptop
You can now select the Extend or Duplicate option
The Extend option creates an additional, independent display and will act as an extension of the main monitor. If you choose the Duplicate option, then the laptop will mirror the display of the main monitor.
Using a laptop as a monitor for gaming consoles
If you are an avid gamer and wondering if you can use your laptop as a secondary monitor for your game consoles, then you’ve come to the right place. So, can a laptop be used to act as a monitor for Xbox or PlayStation?
Well, yes it can be! However, the steps aren’t as simple as the ones above and you will need to follow the guide as it has been provided below.
You will be happy to know that you can use software to stream games directly from the PlayStation console to your laptop! To get your laptop to work as a monitor with a PlayStation console, you will first have to install an app.
Please note that to make this work your laptop should be compatible with video input.
You will need a PlayStation Network Account for login
Download and install the app from Sony or other download sites
Switch on your PlayStation console and go to the Settings option
Enable the Remote Play Connection and apply the setting
Once done, activate the ‘Enable Turning On‘ option on the console
There are some settings in the Remote Play app and you can configure them on your laptop
After finalizing the right settings, you need to connect the PlayStation controller with the laptop USB port through a USB adapter
There is an alternate method to do this but it will require you to purchase additional hardware called the Video Capture Card and an S-video connection cable. This card is basically used to take the gaming video and play it back on your laptop.
On the PlayStation console, go to Settings and click on Network Settings
Switch on the File Sharing option and make sure the console is connected to a network
Connect the video capture card to your laptop with a USB cable. Once connected it will install its software on the system
Attached the HDMI in on the capture card and the HDMI out on the PlayStation
Open the software for the capture card on your laptop and power on the PlayStation
The card should detect the PlayStation and the video should be on the laptop
The PS4 Remote Play app is available for Apple as well and you can connect your MacBooks to work as a monitor with the PS4 app!
Connecting your laptop to the Xbox console can be down in two ways and both will help you use your laptop as a monitor for playing games. Follow these steps and you should be on your games in no time.
The first way to connect your laptop to the Xbox console is with an HDMI cable. However, most laptops do not come with an HDMI input option. This means that the laptop can send video but take in video an an input.
There are a few high-end laptops that do have this option and if you have one, here is what you need to do.
Connect you laptop’s HDMI port with the Xbox HDMI port
On the laptop, go to Display Settings
Here you can choose the appropriate display option
On the Xbox console, you will need to access the System Setting
Here you can configure the display options
Once done you can use the laptop as a monitor
If you cannot find a laptop with HDMI in, then we have a whole article devoted to HDMI In Alternatives.
Cables are always a little messy and it is best to avoid them. The 2nd method of connecting the Xbox with the laptop is via the Xbox app. However, the app only works with Windows 10 onwards. Your laptop needs to have a minimum processing power of 1.5 GHz or more along with a minimum of 2 GB of RAM.
Once you have the minimum requisites taken care of, you can follow the below mentioned steps for the connection
Make sure that the Xbox and the laptop are on the same wireless or wired connection
On the Xbox, you need to get into the Settings
Now click on Xbox Connections and enable Game Streaming
On the laptop, open the Xbox app
On the left-hand side of the app, you will see a Connection option
Click on it and the app will start searching for Xbox consoles
Once your’s is shown in the list, select it and click on Stream
This will let you use your laptop as a display to the Xbox console
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have more questions about using your laptop as a monitor? Here are some common ones that have been answered.
Can any laptop be used as a monitor?
Yes and no as it totally depends on the device that will connect to the laptop. For example, we read above that to connect the laptop with the Xbox console through HDMI, the laptop needs to have an HDMI input option
Will there be performance issues if I use my laptop as a monitor?
There could be. It depends on your internet connection, your laptop configuration, part quality, etc.
I have an old laptop. Can it still be used as a monitor?
Well, it depends on the laptop’s configurations. It should have the ability to connect to networks, have the required HDMI cables, a good graphics card, etc. If all this is there, then you should be able to use it.
Using additional monitors with computers is a relatively easy process as it is something that happens quite frequently. But using a laptop as a monitor is not a common occurrence so the process can be a little daunting at times!
However, with the right guides and tools it is not difficult to do so and this article will help you use your laptop as a monitor. There are times when people travel with their laptop and game consoles, and dont always have access to TV’s to play games.
In such cases, they use their laptops as monitors to play their games. Secondary monitors also help you multi-task, increase productivity, and cut down costs as well!