How to use a laptop as a second monitor

A straightforward process to up productivity.

Image via Razer

Using a laptop as a second monitor is a nifty way of expanding a display in a pinch, and it doesn’t require any cabling or ports. Some users may also find it cheaper and more convenient to use their outdated laptop as a display instead of spending cash on a new monitor. The only requirement for using a laptop as a monitor is that both devices must be on Windows 10.

Start with the laptop being used as a monitor

  • On your laptop, click on the Windows icon.
  • Navigate to Settings, then System, and click on Projecting to this PC.
    • A window will open with the settings. There will be a text saying Add the Wireless Display optional feature to project to this PC with highlighted text below saying Optional features.
  • Click on Optional features.
Screengrab by Saeed Wazir
  • Click on Add a feature.
    • Another window will pop up with a list of features. 
  • Scroll to the bottom, and tick the checkbox for Windows Display.
  • Click on Install.
  • Go back to Projecting to this PC in System Settings.
    • A window will open showing the current settings. While the default settings are fine for many users, others may prefer a higher level of security and require a pin for devices before they pair with the laptop.
Screengrab by Saeed Wazir
  • Click on the highlighted text saying Launch the Connect app to project to this PC. 
    • A window will pop up saying that the laptop is ready to connect wirelessly.

Switch to the PC projecting to the laptop

  • On your main PC that will project to the laptop, press the Windows Key+P to bring up the projection menu.
Screengrab by Saeed Wazir
  • Choose the option that best suits your needs, and then click on Connect to a wireless display.
    • The PC will detect the laptop and project to it. 

Troubleshooting

Some users may experience connectivity issues, but these are usually easy to fix. Here are a few quick fixes that can solve connectivity issues.

  • Ensure both devices are running on the latest version of Windows 10.
  • Open Display Settings and click on the Detect button.
  • Restart both devices.