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Dual Monitor Setup Guide in 2021 – Must Read

Newer laptops may also have a DisplayPort, which can be used to connect external display devices that utilize a DisplayPort cable.

It has 20 pins and comes in two varieties: standard and Mini DisplayPort. Despite the difference in size, their functionality is identical.

Standard DisplayPort cables:

Standard DisplayPort is ideal for video streaming, gaming, or extending a workstation.

Standard DisplayPort-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

Mini DisplayPort cables:

Mini DisplayPort cable transmits audio and video from computer or tablet to HD display.

Mini DisplayPort-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

If your external display uses VGA, DVI or HDMI instead, you can also get a DisplayPort adapter cable, allowing you to connect your VGA, DVI or HDMI display to the laptop’s DisplayPort. Here are few options which you can try:

Thunderbolt (USB-C)

Thunderbolt is the brand name of a hardware interface standard developed by Intel and Apple but Intel owns the rights to it. Apple helped bring the technology to market by including it in the updated MacBook Pro models.

Thunderbolt 1 and 2 use the same connector as Mini DisplayPort, whereas Thunderbolt 3, which uses the new USB Type-C connector standard, is the newest way for laptops and tablets to output video.

It allows for long distance data transfer over cheaper cables capable of carrying DC power.

Thunderbolt Cable-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

We mentioned what are the connector cables are currently available in the market through which you can setup dual monitor. Now let’s see it in practice.

Making the connection to your laptop

In this part we will be guiding you on how to add a monitor to your laptop for dual display, then here are the steps which you need to follow:

Step 1: Plug in and turn on the monitor. Attach your monitor to a power source then press the monitor’s power  button.

Step 2: Once you have got your cable, plug one end of your cable into your laptop, then plug the other end of the cable into the monitor. On Windows 10, press + P, and you will be presented with four options, which pop out in a menu on the right hand side.

Various options to project your screen on windows 10-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

Use the “Duplicate” or “Second screen only” choices if you want to display a presentation on a projector or play a movie. For work, however, the option you need is “Extend”.

This option will allow you to spread your whole desktop over both screens and drag windows and other items from one to the other.

Wait for your laptop’s screen to appear on the monitor. Once you see your laptop’s desktop appear on the monitor’s screen, you can proceed with setting up your laptop’s display settings.

Step 3: Windows positions the first screen on the left with the new one going to the right by default. This means that you will move the cursor from the right hand side of the screen in order to get to the new monitor.

In case you find yourself running it the other way round, then you will need to make an adjustment. For the same you can follow the below process.

Right click on the Windows desktop and select “Display Settings”, a dialog box appears with the screen images. Click and drag the screen images until you get them to their correct positions. You can also click on the “Identify” button to show you which screen is 1 and which is 2.

Select and rearrange displays on windows 10-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

Windows does not simply restrict a computer user to just the right and left positions. You can have an arrangement such that the new display sits below or above the other one. You can also have the positions of the screens fine tuned so that items that might span both the screens can be matched up.

Another way to switch between these modes is to look for a function key on the top row of keys on your laptop which shows two monitors. Press the Fn key and that function key and it should toggle through the various configurations.

Step 4: Adjust the resolution for each screen to improve the quality of text and video shown on screen. Use the drop down box to adjust the screen’s resolution. It’s advisable to use Windows recommended resolution for each display.

Display settings for laptop and monitor on windows 10-Connect External Monitor to Laptop

For screens with high resolutions, you will probably want to use the Change the size of text, apps and other items settings to make sure everything is easily readable. Typical settings are 150%-250%.

DPI settings for laptop and monitor on windows 10-Connect External Monitor to Laptop


We have explained what type of adapter and connectors are available on both monitor and laptop. In the second part we have discussed the actual process to connect your monitor to laptop.  We hope this article helped you to set up dual monitor.

If you have any questions while doing this process you can drop your comment, we will be glad to answer you.

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Sunil Pradhan

Hi there đź‘‹ My name is Sunil and I'm a front-end developer who loves to help others by simplifying web-dev related topics.

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Sunil Pradhan

Hi there đź‘‹ My name is Sunil and I'm a front-end developer who loves to help others by simplifying web-dev related topics.