One of the great advantages of having a laptop is that you can use it on the go, but the reality is that often it will be used at a desk in your office. In these situations the limited screen estate can be a problem, however it needn’t be.

Most modern laptops come with the means of adding an external monitor. The type of lead used may change, but it’s simply a case of making sure you have the right connectors and hooking the two together. It’s incredibly simple; add a keyboard and mouse with USB or Bluetooth and you have a desktop-like setup with all the flexibility of a laptop. It’s not just monitors you can add either. A projector is perfect for a presentation or showing off big screen movies at home, all you need is a spare wall and your cinema experience is set to go.

You can choose from a number of setups when you plug your second screen into your laptop. The most basic setting allows you to simply mirror what is on your existing display – your second screen shows the same picture as the one on your laptop. Or, you can extend the screen space by making the monitor separate giving you two screens. Here, there’s a further choice to be made as to which one you have as the default and which the secondary. Finally you can simply turn the laptop screen off and simply use the external display in isolation.

To get to the monitor settings go to the start screen and type Control Panel and click on Control Panel in the results, then open the Appearance and Personalization panel and click on Adjust Screen Resolution. This being Windows there’s a simple keyboard shortcut to get you there faster Windows Key + P.

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