If you’re trying to figure out how you can use your desktop because your monitor is on the brink, then you’re in luck. Likewise, if you want to try and get some sort of second screen setup, then you can also do this pretty easily too. Using your laptop as a monitor has never been easier than it is now.
But how do you do it? Well, let’s look at some of the ways that you can use your laptop as a monitor.
Can I use my laptop as a monitor?
The correct answer is that yes, in most scenarios you can use your laptop screen as a monitor. There are many different ways that you can use your laptop as a monitor, using both cable and also wirelessly nowadays too. There’s a solution for pretty much every different reason why you might want to use your laptops screen.
However, there are some laptops that you will not be able to use as a monitor, for different reasons. Of course, there are many different reasons why you might need to use your laptop as your monitor.
So, lets answer each of them separately, and work out which laptops can be used as a monitor, whether you need a gaming monitor or something else.
A common misconception about connecting to a laptop via HDMI is that this is easy to do. However, the truth is that for 99% of laptops out there, this isn’t usually possible.
This is because laptop HDMI ports are made for output only, as they’re designed to be connected to a bigger device. If you look on the back of a monitor or television, their ports are usually HDMI input only.
So, we can’t use a HDMI to set up your laptop as a second display. However, there are ways that you can connect to your laptop.
How to use your laptop as a Monitor
If you want to use your laptop screen as a monitor, you are going to have to download some software to help you with this. However if you’re using the Windows 10 operating system, then you should be able to do this easily without downloading any software.
There are various different softwares that you can use that will give you the ability to use your laptop as a monitor. Ones that you should check out are KVM Software (Share Mouse) or another good one out there is called SpaceDesk.
However, if you’re running Windows 10, then you won’t have to do this, and you should just follow the guide below.
How to Use a Laptop as a Monitor for Windows 10
If you’re using Windows 10, then you’re definitely in luck. You can quite easily connect to your laptop and use it as a second monitor within the settings of your laptop using Miracast.
You should start by going into the settings of your device, and go to the Projecting to this PC option. You’ll need to change its settings to Available Everywhere, so you can connect to your laptop with another device.
Now back onto your computer, in your notifications tab you should be able to find Connect. Then, your compute will start searching for a device to connect to, and if your laptop is set up probably, then it should find it.
You should then hop onto your laptop and accept the connect. Then you can play around with the display settings and set them as you wish to.
Using a Laptop as a Monitor for Steam
If you want to use your laptop as a monitor for desktop gaming on Steam, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a solution for this too. This is because Steam actually has an in-home streaming option which you can use to stream games on your laptop.
You can either use your laptop itself to control the game, or you can use your desktop and just use the screen of the monitor.
Can you use a laptop as a Monitor for a Playstation (PS4/PS5)?
Unfortunately for a PS4 or PS5, it isn’t as simple as connecting a HDMI cable between the two. However, it is possible for you to use a laptop screen as a monitor for your PS4/PS5. Unless you want to buy extra parts to do this, then the best way is via the Sony Remote Play app.
Firstly, you need to download the app onto your laptop. Secondly, go into the app and check the settings. Set everything up for 1080p (as long as your laptop supports this).
Then, connect your controllers to your laptop via the controllers cable. Then, just go into the app and find your Playstation – it should detect it automatically!
What about for an Xbox?
Fortunately, seeing as Xbox is a Microsoft machine, they’ve made this much easier with an Xbox. You can literally just connect a laptop between your laptop and console and you should be able to play your games as usual, using your laptop as the monitor screen.
If you have Windows 10, then there is a solution to do this wirelessly too with the Xbox app. So, you don’t necessarily need a HDMI cable.
Which laptops have HDMI input?
Whilst the vast majority of laptops out there, won’t allow you to connect to it via a HDMI cable, there are some that will allow you to extend your desktop and use them as a second monitor. This is because their HDMI ports are designed to accept input.
The most common models with this capability are Alienware laptops, which makes sense as these are gaming laptops, and many people might want to use the high quality display as a secondary.
Models like the RX17 and the 18 are well known for having HDMI input, and this would be an easy way to use the laptop as a monitor.
So to conclude, there is usually a resolution that you can find that will allow you the ability to use your laptop screen as a monitor, whether you’re looking to connect a computer or a console.
Although using a laptop as a home office monitor screen is never ideal, this shows that it can at least be a backup option if needs be.