How To Use your Laptop as a Second Monitor [Beginner’s Guide]

Using your laptop as a monitor seems bizarre. You cannot use your laptop as a monitor because it is designed to be used as an individual device. Individual devices like laptops are designed to perform its function without the need to connect external peripherals. But, some techniques will help you use your laptop as a monitor indirectly.

Laptops do not contain any input ports for display because they don’t need one, but some means will make your laptop work as a monitor. Your laptop’s GPU will generally have two to three outputs; one of the ports is used for the built-in screen, while the remaining two are used for external monitors. You will need to follow our instructions carefully because the method will be a little technical to make your laptop act as a monitor.

This article will discuss different methods that will help you use your laptop as a monitor.


Four Ways to Use your Laptop as a Monitor

  1. Use your laptop as a remote desktop
  2. Use the Windows MiraCast feature.
  3. Install Third-party applications
  4. Altering the internal electronics of laptop

Using a Remote Connection

The first and probably the most admired method to use your laptop as a monitor is configuring a remote connection. This method requires an application known as Teamviewer and an internet connection to work correctly. Grab two laptops for this method, one laptop to be used as a monitor, and another as a monitor display source.

To build up a remote connection, you need to install the Teamviewer application on both laptops. Open the application on both the laptops, and copy the Teamviewer ID of the source laptop and type it in the monitor laptop, and click connect to continue the process. After clicking connect, you will be asked to type the desktop’s password to configure the connection and complete the process.

Now, you are ready to use one of your laptops as a monitor, the quality of output may not be perfect, but you can still use it for your desired intention. The connection configured by Teamviewer software is end to end secured.

Using Windows MiraCast Feature

Another easy and simple way to use your laptop as a monitor is using MiraCast. The MiraCast is an end-to-end and straightforward, secure technology that connects devices via a wireless connection.  This method is direct to configure and does not need any extra cables to connect devices. Nowadays, almost every laptop features MiraCast technology. It was first featured in Windows 8.1, which enabled the users to connect devices without external cables. You can easily connect two devices and send high-quality audio and videos.

Just like the TeamViewer software, the MiraCast needs to be installed on both the laptops and a secure wireless connection between the desktop and laptop to work correctly. You can also check your laptop to see if it features the MiraCast technology; hold the Windows key and press R, then type dxdiag in the search bar and press Enter. A new window will pop-up; search for MiraCast in that window, and next to the word, you’ll see the information that shows whether it is available or not.

Using Third-Party Programs

If none of the above methods look acceptable to you or don’t work well enough, you can use third-party software to use your laptop as a monitor. Several third-party apps can help you use your laptop as a monitor. You can try with the Space Desk software.

Like the MiraCast, the Space Desk software should also be installed on both the laptops to work perfectly. It also requires a stable local network supporting TCP/IP network protocol. One of the advantages of the Space Desk software is that it is not limited to compatibility issues; this software is compatible with every device. After the software is installed on both the devices, the Space Desk software runs one device, and the Space Desk viewer program runs on another.

This software features its display drivers and network display server program to make sure everything works perfectly. Make sure to frequently update your Windows firewall to allow the software to run on private and public networks. Also, make sure to remove any Space Desk program before installing a new version.  The Space Desk software is not only available for laptops and desktops but also iOS and Android devices.

Re-purposing Broken or Old Laptop

The last method we’re discussing is only recommended if you have an out-dated or a broken laptop. You can try to re-purpose your old or broken laptop and use it as a monitor. The only issue with this process is that it requires excellent technical skills to work correctly.  It would be better if you were careful with the procedure because it can damage your hardware.

To start the process, you need to open up your laptop, cut the LCD cable from your laptop’s motherboard, and connect it to an adapter. Moreover, provide a power source to the display panel and use your broken laptop as a monitor.

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Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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