can you use a laptop as a monitor?

Very often the user is caught off guard by a sudden breakdown, forcing him to look for spare options for comfortable work at the PC, or is overcome by simple curiosity about can you use a laptop as a monitor? In short: yes, you can, and both an experienced user and a simple layman can do it. In this article, we will tell you how to connect a laptop monitor to a PC and how to make a monitor for a PC from a laptop, because this is quite simple to do.

Can You Use A Laptop As A Monitor?

Ways to Use A Laptop As A Monitor

By the mechanism of their work, both devices are almost identical, so it will not be difficult to connect them together. It is also important to note that a laptop cannot be connected to the system unit to broadcast an image, just as you would not try to connect a system unit, it will still perceive a third-party device as additional memory.

Therefore, in order to install a laptop instead of a monitor, we will have to go other ways. There are two ways to do this:

  • Cable connection (HDMI, DVI, VGA)
  • WI-FI

How to connect a laptop screen to a computer?  Depends on what is more convenient for you. For the first two, you will need an appropriate connector and cable, for the second, a stable Internet connection.

Reference! Using most of the methods listed below, you can also broadcast an image to the display of any of your mobile devices.

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How to use a laptop as a monitor with a cable connection

This feature requires both of yours to support one of three connections: HDMI, DVI, or VGA. If the connectors don’t match, you can always buy an adapter. Having identified the matching gadget connectors, we simply find (or buy) the appropriate cable.

  • We connect the ends of the cables to the required connectors of both devices (for example, you can connect a laptop as a monitor via HDMI).
  • We turn on both devices.
  • After loading the screen, right-click on the desktop.
  • Select the Properties / Screen Resolution tab (depending on your operating system). On macOS   System Preferences -> Screens.
  • Select the one you want from the available options.
  • Select “Show Desktop to # 2”
  • Save all changes.

If you want to keep your laptop as your primary display medium for your PC, be sure to check the “use as default” checkbox.

Alternatively, you can link the two devices using an Ethernet connection or by purchasing a video capture card. For the latter, you will need a USB connector, but all the drivers required for operation will already be included in the purchased kit. This method will allow you not only to broadcast the image to a third-party display but also to control the PC with the keyboard of the second device.

Important! How to connect a laptop to a PC if they have different operating systems? Only with a third-party program and cable.

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How to use a laptop as a Monitor over wi-fi

How to use a laptop as a monitor using an internet connection? – It’s a little more complicated, but you don’t need to buy anything and check the connectors. There are two ways to do this: using the remote Monitor control utilities or a shared high-speed network. It should be mentioned, however, that you need a fast enough connection to work comfortably because otherwise, you will experience low frame rates and graphics problems.

How To Make A Laptop A Computer Monitor Over A Local Network

How to make a laptop a computer Monitor over a local network

  • Open the “Network and Sharing Center” through the control panel.
  • Create a remote connection on one of the devices you are using.
  • We use the installation wizard and install it manually, fill in all the required fields.
  • On the laptop, open the control panel and select the item “Projecting to this computer”.
  • Click “Available everywhere”, select the most convenient functions.
  • On the PC, right-click on the desktop and select “screen options”.
  • We connect to the wireless display and select the name of the desired device.
  • We agree with the connection and make a monitor out of a laptop.

Attention! To make a monitor for a PC out of a laptop by synchronization, you need Windows 10 installed on both gadgets, earlier systems do not support this function.

How to connect a laptop and a computer using third-party programs

Can I use my laptop as a monitor just by using a utility from the Internet? – Can! You have most likely heard of a program such as TeamViewer and its counterparts, often used to establish communication between two devices. Also, products with MacOs operating systems often already have a built-in AirDisplay application, but you can install it yourself if it is not available.

Important: Air Display focuses more on dividing the display and using the laptop  as a second monitor , rather than fully broadcasting the image. This option may work for you if you have insufficient resolution, but it will not be a full replacement for it. The program also belongs to the paid category and its cost is quite high.

The most popular utilities for remote communication

  • ZoneOS ZoneScreen.
  • Radmin.
  • TeamViewer.
  • AirDisplay.
  • Space desk

Such programs are divided into two types:

  • Mirroring displays (Space Desk) you will simply broadcast the image from the PC screen to the laptop screen, also with their help, you can split the image on both devices (great for separate work with a separate application (Photoshop)).
  • Utilities for remote PC control (TeamViewer) – with them you can not only broadcast the display of one device to another but also fully control the system using the second device.
Popular Utilities For Remote Communication

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How to install and use the telecommuting program (for example TeamViewer)

  • Install the utility of your choice using its official website, both on a PC and a laptop, check the availability of the Internet.
  • Open the program on your PC.
  • Find your ID.
  • Enter your PC ID in the Partner ID section on the laptop and click “Connect”.
  • The utility will ask you for a password, enter it and click “Login / Log on”
  • If you did everything correctly, now you have the opportunity to use your laptop as a monitor through a third-party application.

Option for gamers

If you are interested in how to connect a laptop monitor to a PC as a screen for a comfortable game, then you can use Steam Remote Play – a function of the famous platform that allows you to remotely launch the desired application on the main device, but at the same time broadcast and control it using the second.

  • To make a translator from one device for another, install the Steam application on both devices and connect them to a common network. Remote Play allows you not only to set up your laptop as a Monitor for your PC, but also to play games through it that did not previously meet its system requirements.
  • Open Steam on both devices, log into one account.
  • Instead of hitting PLAY / Play, click “Broadcast from ..”
  • Start streaming and enjoy the game.

Important! Connecting a laptop to the system unit is useless, since they will simply perceive each other as additional memory. You can connect the system unit to a laptop for the purpose of transferring files or operations with memory storage.

Setting up a laptop as a computer monitor is easy, you just need to find the one that works best for you. The least cost and time will require connecting a laptop as a monitor via a network or using a third-party program, but at the same time, if you have the appropriate connectors and wires, it will be easier to connect two devices using a cable.

Also, do not forget that when installing third-party programs, it is important to download the utilities only through official resources and keep the antivirus enabled during their installation.

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