How to Use a Laptop as a Second Monitor to Your PC

How to Use a Laptop as a Second Monitor to Your PC

When you’re working on many tasks simultaneously, it gets difficult to manage work on one screen. Even with the multi-desktop facility, your current screen might simply not be big enough to fit everything you want. In other words, you will never know when you find yourself wishing for a bigger screen. A solution to this could be using additional monitors to your system. This method boosts productivity to a great extent because your viewing area is almost doubled in size, allowing you to shift your work around and prioritize according to your needs at the moment. A second monitor goes a long way in making your work more organized, thereby allowing you to become more efficient.

Can we use a laptop as a second monitor?

A brilliant option is utilizing an old laptop that is wasting away in a corner and turning it into a second monitor. Many of you will now be wondering how to use a laptop as a second monitor, but in reality, it is a solution that helps to keep you from spending on expensive screens as well as gives you the much-needed space to sort out your tasks.

Using the laptop as the second monitor is very easy, as we will show you today. There are different ways of doing so, and we will walk you through each of the different ways below.

Laptop as the second monitor in Windows Operating System

There are many ways we can use a laptop as second monitor. The easiest way to do it follows the steps below:

  • Connect your laptop to your desktop through an ethernet cable.
  • On your desktop computer’s main screen, use the right-click on your mouse and select the option ‘Properties.’
  • When the next window opens, click on the ‘Settings’ tab.
  • There will be two screen-shaped icons showing, one marked ‘2’ and the other marked ‘1’. Hold and pull down the ’2’  icon to the position of your laptop screen relative to your desktop screen. E.g., if you have placed your laptop to the left of your desktop, you hold and pull the ‘2’ icon to the left of ‘1’ icon on the ‘Settings’ screen.
  • A prompt will appear asking if you want to enable this monitor. Click on ‘Yes.’
  • A checkbox named ‘Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor’ will be present below. Make sure you check the box before you click on ‘Apply.’
  • To identify which screen is which, you can press the ‘Identify’ button. Once you press it, you will see the monitors flashing with their respective screen numbers.
  • To change your primary monitor from your laptop to your desktop computer, select the screen you want to make primary. On the window that opens, check the box that is named ‘Use this device as primary monitor’ and press Apply.

Laptop as second monitor in Mac Operating System

Using your MacBook as an additional screen for your desktop computer is easy with these short steps:

  • Go to the ‘System Preferences’ option under the Apple logo in the menu bar of your Mac.
  • Click on the ‘Displays’ option.
  • Your laptop should automatically detect the new screen (desktop screen) connected to it. If not, click on the ‘Detect Displays’ button.
  • Click on the ‘Arrangement’ tab to change the position of the screens with respect to one another so you can get a realistic view of both screens.
  • Press ‘Apply’ and start working!

Laptop as second monitor with external software

There is a multitude of applications and software out there that help you set up your laptop as an additional monitor to your desktop. Some of them are-

  • Spacedesk: It is the perfect software that can utilize old laptops and turn them into additional monitors. It is exceptionally stable and smooth and works seamlessly with devices of different configurations. There is zero lag in the application, irrespective of whether you have a slow network speed or an outdated version of LAN. This application is capable of displaying 1080p resolution even at speeds of 2 Mbps. It is also free of cost, which is a huge advantage in this world of paid apps.
  • Air Display: Using this application, you can connect almost all kinds of screen devices as a secondary monitor- from a laptop to an iPad. It is compatible with Windows 7 and 8. Download the app on your secondary monitor, and the drivers for the software on your primary monitor. Once done, connect both devices to start using two monitors! The software can lag depending on the hardware specifications of your primary monitor and the network speed of the current network.
  • MaxiVista: It is a software that allows you to pair two monitors as long as they are connected to the same network. You can also pair a desktop with a laptop, two laptops together, and many other combinations. This software has a 14 day free trial period after which it costs $39.95. Though it may seem to be on the pricier side, it is a terrific tool that works very efficiently. Make sure you utilize the 14 day period to check if your system can be properly configured using the software.

Once you’ve decided you will stay clutter-free with the visual space of two monitors instead of one, you can choose any of the above methods in helping you achieve your goal. Happy working!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here