A second screen allows you to extend your Windows desktop and run more apps on screen at once - a great help for productivity. 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. Windows 10 provides this functionality, and it’s easy to set up.

As the connection is wireless, it's not quite the same experience as having a second monitor connected via a cable, but it can be useful if you only need a second screen occasionally or when on the move. Plus, as it uses Miracast, you might be able make that TV in your hotel room act as a second screen if you buy a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.

Here's an overview of the process:

  1. On the laptop which will be a second screen open Settings
  2. Click System
  3. Click Projecting to this PC
  4. Choose your settings
  5. Go to the other PC or laptop
  6. Press Win-P and click on Connect to a wireless display
  7. Wait until your other laptop is detected
  8. Select it and choose whether to duplicate or extend

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.

How to turn a laptop into an additional display

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.

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.