Want to connect your laptop to external monitors like a computer or desktop? Read on to know-how!
Checklist For Running Dual Monitors With One HDMI Port
Laptop/Computer/Desktop Support Multiple Display
If your laptop does not support multiple displays, you will need to add a graphic card that supports multiple displays.
Also, the windows operating system on the laptop should support multiple displays to make the setup possible. Windows operating systems like XP, 7, 8, 10, and 11 all support multiple display monitors.
Graphics Or Video Cards On The Device Should Support Two Displays
Secondly, the laptop should have a graphics card installed that supports multiple displays necessarily.
How to check if the graphics card on the laptop supports multiple displays?
If you have a Windows 10 laptop, right-click on the empty space. Go to NVIDIA control panel> system Information> Display.
You will find the graphic card used in your laptop like GeForce MX 130. GeForce GTX 1660 or so. Now, google your query. For instance, does (graphics name card) support multiple display technology? You will get the desired answer in the results.
If your graphic card does not support multiple displays, you will have to replace it with one that does.
Ports Available At The Back Of Your Device
The most common ports available at the back of laptops and computers include HDMI port, DVI, VGA, and USB-C port.
VGA and DVI are found at the back of computers and desktops and rarely found in laptops.
Running Dual Monitor With One HDMI
Using HDMI Splitter
The easiest way to run two monitors with one HDMI port is by using an HDMI splitter. However, this only works if you want to see the display showing similar content on all screens connected (duplicate content).
An HDMI splitter is a sort of mediator device that has two or more HDMI ports in it. You can simply ask for an HDMI splitter on any hardware store or find it online easily. However, not all HDMI splitters are the same. The catch here is finding the most suitable one that can transmit the data and audio at the highest quality with no glitches.
How to connect two monitors using an HDMI splitter?
An HDMI splitter comes with a cable attached. To connect two monitors, connect one end of the HDMI splitter to the computer or laptop’s HDMI output port.
Now, use another HDMI cable. Connect one end of this cable to the HDMI splitter’s input port and another end to the computer or laptop’s HDMI port.
The setup will look like this: Computer/laptop (output) an HDMI splitter a computer/ laptop (input).
Using HDMI Adapter
An HDMI adapter is different from an HDMI splitter. An HDMI adapter helps you connect two or more monitors using HDMI to DVI adapter or HDMI to VGA adapter as per your convenience.
If you are connecting a laptop to a computer monitor, you can use HDMI to DVI adapter. On the other hand, connecting a laptop to a desktop will require an HDMI to VGA adapter (as desktops usually have a VGA port at the back).
How to connect a laptop with dual monitors via an HDMI adapter?
For this setup, you will need HDMI to DVI adapter (if your external monitors have DVI ports) or HDMI to VGA adapter (if your external monitor has VGA ports).
To connect them together, first, connect one end of the adapter i.e. the HDMI side to your laptop’s HDMI port and use another end of the adapter i.e. VGA or DVI to the first external monitor.
Now, use another cable that your laptop has a port for (i.e. either USB-C or VGA) to connect your laptop to the second external monitor. If you are using a USB-C/Thunderbolt adapter, connect the USB C side to the laptop’s USB-C port and connect the VGA/DVI cable from a second external monitor to this adapter. A thunderbolt connection is faster than other connections.
You may also like this post: Types of Video Display Adapters (converter): Everything You Need to Know
Now, follow the following steps:
- start your laptop and right-click on an empty space
- Go to Display Settings> Screen resolution (on Windows OS 7 and 8)
For Windows 10, go to Display settings and scroll down to find Multiple Displays and click on Detect to them and then go to Advanced display settings.
- You will see three displays. Display 1 as a laptop screen, display 2 and 3 as external monitors.
- Click on display 2 and click on multiple displays. Choose Extend Desktop to this Display> Apply. This will not duplicate the content on all screen displays but you can see different content on all three.
- Repeat the same with display 3 as well.
- Click OK and you are done.
- Using docking station
Another way to run dual monitors with one HDMI port is by using a docking station. A docking station is like a hub system that has multiple ports of all sorts. It allows you to connect multiple devices together.
How to connect the dual monitor using a docking station?
To run dual monitors with an HDMI port using a docking station, first out for ports available on your external monitors (it could an HDMI, DVI, or VGA).
Now, use a USB C docking station, this means this device would use a USB C port as an output source. Connect the USB C docking station to your laptop’s USB C port.
Now, take a DVI or VGA cable from an external monitor and plug it in the docking station’s desired port. This will connect the laptop and one external monitor together.
Now, connect the laptop to a second external monitor using an HDMI cable directly. If your external monitor doesn’t have an HDMI port, use a DVI or VGA cable in the docking station as well (depending on the availability of the port).
The three monitors will now be connected. Follow the procedure on the laptop same as in the same HDMI adapter to make them work together.
There are various ways to run dual monitors with one HDMI port using mediator devices like HDMI splitter and HDMI adapters, HDMI switch, and docking station.