With so many people now working from home, you may well need two screens to be more productive. You don't have to rush out and buy a new monitor, though. If you have a working laptop running Windows 10 it's possible to hook it up to your PC, or another laptop so it acts as an extra display.
Windows 10 provides this functionality, and it’s easy to set up.
The connection is wireless, so it's not quite the same experience as having a second monitor connected via a cable, but it can be useful if you are stuck and need a solution. Since the process uses Miracast, you might be able make your TV act as a second screen if you have Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
Here's an overview of the process:
- Open Settings on the laptop which will be a second screen
- Click System
- Click Projecting to this PC
- Choose your settings
- Go to the other PC or laptop
- Press Win-P and click on Connect to a wireless display
- Wait until your other laptop is detected
- Select it and choose whether to duplicate or extend
If you're using a laptop as your main computer for work, you might be struggling for ports. But with these USB-C docks, you can add extra USBs and video outputs for connecting monitors.
Configure a laptop as a second screen
On the laptop that you’d like to turn into your second monitor head to Settings > System > Projecting to this PC.
Adjust the settings, striking a balance between security and accessibility as seen below.
On your main computer, press the Windows Key + P, and click the ‘Connect to a Wireless Display’ link at the bottom. This may not appear if your PC doesn't have Wi-Fi.
Your PC will scan for available displays, and you will then have the ability to Extend or Duplicate once your PC has found the second monitor (since Windows sees your laptop as a monitor, not a laptop).
As the names suggest, Extend will treat the additional screen as an extension of your current setup, giving you more space to use. Duplicate will force the secondary screen to mirror your main one exactly, so you’ll have two displays showing the same content.
Make your desired selection, and your main PC will now be linked to the monitor in the style that you've selected.
If you do happen to have a spare monitor, we've also got a guide on how to connect a second display to your laptop or PC.
How to use a second screen as a collaboration point
You can use your 'second display' laptop as a collaboration point and allow someone else to type and use the mouse on it if they pair with your main machine.
When you connect the screen, there will be a check box that will allow additional input. If you tick this box, this monitor will allow input from a mouse and keyboard when linked to another PC.
There aren't too many scenarios where this is useful, but it's there nonetheless.