How To Run Dual Screens on PC

How To Run Dual Screens on PC

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The How To Run Dual Screens on PC

Laptops are great for portability and productivity, but nothing beats working on a bigger screen. Your eyes don’t have to work so hard, you can sit in a more comfortable position instead of leaning over a laptop screen and you can really do more. Double up to two screens and you can really boost productivity. Here’s how to run two screens on your laptop.

Many have announced the end of the laptop, but it lives and continues to function. Tablets and hybrids are all great, but sometimes you need the speed and power of a decent laptop. Combine that with two displays and you have a very viable desktop replacement. The one you can take with you wherever you go, but without the extra screens.

Most modern laptops can easily run two monitors. You might not be able to play the latest games unless you buy a gaming laptop, but you can certainly multitask. When I was working on a laptop I used a pair of Dell 24 inch monitors. One would have the Internet or a program on it and the other would have Word. I could write, perform actions or whatever on one screen and then write about it on the other. This made writing tutorials so much easier.

If you want the same kind of boost, here’s how to do it.

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Dual screen laptop

If you want to run two screens, you have two options. You can use your laptop screen as one and add a second or add a pair of monitors. The process is much the same and both offer similar benefits. It all depends on the material or the money you have.

I used a Dell laptop with a docking station and a pair of Dell 24 inch monitors. I could fold the laptop up and set it aside while using an external keyboard and mouse attached to the dock. I could also connect the docking station to my home network, which made my life easier. I would definitely suggest this as the way to go, but I can understand that not everyone wants a dock or can’t afford it.

To run two screens on your laptop, you’ll have one screen (s), cables, and enough connectors to put it all together. Most newer laptops will have HDMI and a DisplayPort. Older models may have DVI instead. Check your laptop and make sure you have compatible cables and monitors that work with the connection.

If you’re using a docking station, it will likely have both HDMI and DVI, so purchase the appropriate hardware to connect everything.

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Dual screen laptop without docking station

If you are not using a docking station, it is easier to use the laptop screen and a second monitor as you will need access to the laptop keyboard and touchpad. Your job is made easier by doing this as you only need access to a single HDMI port that most laptops now have.

  1. Install the laptop in a comfortable location.
  2. Place the second monitor where you can see it comfortably. Left or right of the laptop is usually best, but there’s nothing stopping you from placing it above the laptop screen.
  3. Connect the monitor to the laptop using an HDMI cable.
  4. Power on the monitor and laptop.

If you are using Windows 10, it should automatically detect the HDMI signal and let you start working immediately.

  1. Press the Windows key and P to select the project notification bar.
  2. Select Extend to share the desktop with the second display.
  3. Start using your new dual screen setup!

You can also choose to duplicate the screen, but this is better for broadcast or projection. There is also a Second Screen Only option, but we won’t be using that as it would defeat the item. Duplication is by far the best option.

If you need to further configure the configuration, you can.

  1. Go to Settings and System in Windows.
  2. Select Show then Identify. This will flash a number on the screen so you can see which is which in the Settings screen.
  3. Drag and drop the screen in the settings to make your mouse move between them as you want.
  4. Scroll down to select resolution, scale, and multiple display settings. Adjust them as needed.

That’s all there is to running dual screens on your laptop if you’re not using a docking station.

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Dual screen laptop with docking station

There are dozens of docking stations for laptops. Some will be made by your laptop manufacturer while others will be made by third parties. They offer great flexibility in how you use your laptop, but come at a cost. The average dock costs between $ 60 and $ 200, so it’s not cheap!

If you have a docking station, you can use one, two or three screens depending on your needs. For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be using two monitors, not the laptop screen.

  1. Place the docking station on your desk and connect the laptop to it.
  2. Place monitors where you can see them comfortably without having to twist.
  3. Connect the monitors to the docking station using HDMI and / or DVI.
  4. Connect the docking station and monitors to the mains.
  5. Optional: Connect an external mouse and keyboard to the docking station.
  6. Start your laptop.

Once Windows loads, it should detect the HDMI and / or DVI signal and pick up your monitors. To configure them:

  1. Press the Windows key and P to select the Project screen bar.
  2. Select Extend to share the desktop with your displays.
  3. Start using your new dual screen setup!

As above, you can use Windows settings to fine tune the look and feel of your dual screen setup. I won’t repeat the steps here, just follow the setup steps above to use dual displays without a dock. They are exactly the same.

If you can run two screens on your laptop, I would always suggest doing so. Not only does it look professional, but it also lets you work better and faster, play and stream or surf and work at the same time. Whether you work or play, you will definitely get more done with more screens!

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