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Is there ever enough desktop space for you? Would you like to be able to check your email while watching a movie or doing other tasks at the same time without problems? Well, have you ever thought about equipping your computer with two screens instead of one? It takes very little and the benefits you have on the quality of your work are indisputable.

We get it, you have been wanting to do this for a long time but you still don’t know how to connect two monitors to the PC . So don’t worry, I guarantee you that the procedure to be carried out is much less complicated than you can imagine. Everyone, in fact, can easily manage to use two screens at the same time on their computer, you just need to know where to put your hands and have a minimum of patience, nothing else.

So if you are really willing to find out what you need to do it, I suggest you take a few minutes of free time, position yourself comfortably in front of your trusty computer and concentrate on reading the step-by-step directions that you find right below.

Index

  • Preliminary information
  • How to connect two monitors to PC with cable
    • How to connect two monitors to the desktop PC
    • How to connect two monitors to the laptop
  • How to connect two monitors to your PC wirelessly
    • Miracast
    • Chromecast
    • Apple TV

Preliminary information

Before going ahead and explaining, in practice, how to connect two monitors to the PC, we want to provide you with some information about the paths you can take to achieve this goal.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the cheapest way to connect two screens to the computer involves the use of a cable : it is sufficient that the graphic card installed in it has at least two different outputs and, with a cost of a few pounds, it is possible connect in seconds.

The sockets for connecting the screens to the PC and the relative cables to be used can be of different types and the use of one technology rather than the other strictly depends on the video outputs available on the computer, the video inputs available on the second monitor and, not on less, from the required performance. Below you will list what are currently the most frequently used connection technologies (and related cables).

  • HDMI – this is the most used mode of connection between monitor and computer. This port is present on almost all devices of this type and is capable of transmitting and receiving content with a resolution of up to 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. To transmit at resolutions higher than 4K, it is An HDMI 1.4 or higher version cable must be used.
  • DVI – is another method of video transmission / reception, found on many monitors and on most desktop computers (but also laptops). The maximum resolution supported is QHD (2560 x 1600 pixels), with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. For your information, there are adapters on the market to “transform” a DVI output into an HDMI input, and vice versa, which are extremely useful when one of the devices in question (the computer or one of the two displays) has only a DVI port, while the other has HDMI. For example, using an adapter of this type, it is possible to connect 2 monitors to the HDMI PC even if one of the two does not have this latter input.
  • DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort – this is a technology supported on many computers (including recent ones) and older generation Apple MacBooks. It supports 8K maximum resolution with 75Hz refresh rate.
  • Thunderbolt (USB Type-C format) – Apple’s MacBooks, as well as some high-end laptops, provide the ability to connect one or more external monitors via Thunderbolt ports in USB Type-C format, with the help of an HDMI adapter o Mini DisplayPort. The maximum achievable resolution is 8K. Attention to some cases in which the USB-C port of the computer is not compatible with the Thunderbolt standard (eg as it happened on the old Apple 12 ″ MacBook), but only with the DisplayPort one, making it impossible to use monitors compatible only with Thunderbolt technology.
  • VGA – was probably the most widely used video connection standard between monitors, computers, and other peripherals. It supports full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) at maximum, however higher quality content than HD may be rendered suboptimal. Although the VGA port is present on many computers and displays, due to its size it may be missing on newer devices.

As for the wireless connection mode , ie wireless, things work in a slightly different way: to start, it is essential that at least one of the two monitors is connected to the PC via cable, in order to “start” the Wi-Fi connection on the second.

If the computer in question is powered by Windows 10 and the second display has support for the Miracast protocol , you don’t need to purchase anything; otherwise, you can buy a Miracast adapter or a “smart” dongle with this support, to be connected to a free HDMI port on the monitor.

In addition, to duplicate or extend the screen wirelessly, you can also use the Google Cast protocol (compatible with any computer on which the Google Chrome browser is installed), using a special “key”, and the AirPlay protocol , compatible only with Mac and usable through an HDMI device called Apple TV.

How to connect two monitors to PC with cable

The steps to connect two monitors to the PC via cable are really simple: after having “physically” connected the devices together, all you have to do is configure the screens appropriately, using the settings of the operating system in use.

How to connect two monitors to the desktop PC

To connect two monitors to the desktop PC , start by establishing the connection between the first screen (the main one) and the computer, if you have not already done so: therefore find the most appropriate video output on the back of the case, insert the special connection cable inside and connect the second end of the latter to the appropriate video input located on the monitor. If you haven’t already, connect your computer and display to power and turn them on.

Next, use the other connection cable (which, presumably, should be of a different type from the primary one) to connect the computer and the second screen to each other in the same way: if everything went well, the computer should “notice” this and automatically duplicate the desktop on the secondary display. By default, therefore, the same thing will be displayed on both screens.

To alter this behavior, or to change the resolution and arrangement of the screens, proceed as follows: if the computer is running the Windows 10 operating system , right-click on an empty spot on the desktop and select the Display settings item from the menu that you is proposed.

Now, locate the Multiple screens section and, using the drop-down menu of the same name, choose whether to duplicate the screen or extend it ; in the latter case, you can change the order of the two displays by accessing the Rearrange screens section .

To change the resolution of one or the other display or change its orientation, select the icon of the screen on which to act from the rearrange screens panel , go to the Scaling and layout section and use the Screen Resolution and Orientation drop-down menus screen to apply the settings you want.

If you have decided to connect two monitors to your Windows 7 or Windows 8.x desktop PC, know that the steps to take are not very different from those seen a little while ago: to access the Control Panel area dedicated to display settings, do right-clicking on an empty spot on the desktop and selecting Screen resolution from the context menu displayed.

And on Mac? In this case, you can access options similar to those seen above by going to System Preferences (the gear wheel symbol located in the Dock bar ) and then selecting the Monitor section icon . To manage the screen duplication settings, click on the Layout tab located in the window that opens on the screen; to change the resolution and orientation of either display, use the Monitor tab instead .

How to connect two monitors to the laptop

If you have a notebook , you can connect to a second screen using the video output you prefer, among those available: unlike desktop computers, they are usually placed on one of the side edges of the PC, and not on the back.

If you have more than one video output available, you can also connect two external monitors and get a total of three screens in total (including the one already integrated). 

How to connect two monitors to your PC wirelessly

Is the second screen far enough away from the computer, or would you prefer to connect the devices without the help of annoying cables? In this case, you can consider using some devices that allow you to “adapt” any monitor with HDMI input to receive data wirelessly .

Clearly, it is essential that the first of the two screens is connected to the PC via cable, since, otherwise, it would be impossible to start the connection to the second screen.

Furthermore, there is the possibility that the images arrive, on the second screen, with a slight delay: the occurrence or not of this condition strongly depends on the distance between the devices involved and the type of technology used.

Miracast

If your computer is equipped with the Windows 10 operating system and has support for the Miracast protocol , you can use the latter technology to project your computer screen onto a second display, without using any cables. Clearly, unless you have a monitor natively compatible with this technology, you need to equip yourself with a special adapter, which must then be connected to a free HDMI port on the monitor.

Even the Amazon Fire TV Stick , for your information, integrates support for the Miracast protocol: therefore, if you own a device of this type (or are willing to buy it, even for other reasons), know that you can use it for the purposes of this tutorial.

After obtaining the necessary, proceed as follows: if the monitor you have is natively equipped with Miracast support, turn it on and prepare it appropriately, following the instructions in the user manual of the same; if, on the other hand, you have chosen to use an adapter, connect it to the HDMI port of the display, turn on the latter and set it to the right source, if necessary.

If you have chosen to turn to the Fire TV Stick , connect it to the monitor via HDMI , power it via USB or power socket and configure it; Once this is done, open the device Settings using the appropriate icon on the main screen of the same and reach the sections Sound and screen> Activate screen duplication .

At this point, move to the computer with Windows 10 , open the notification area of ​​the operating system by clicking on the balloon located next to the clock and press the Connect button . If you do not see it, first click on the Expand item , in order to view all the available “tiles”.

Finally, wait for the name of the device chosen for the connection to appear among those detected, click on it and wait for the images from the computer to appear on the secondary screen.

You can choose whether to duplicate the screen or extend the desktop by clicking on the Project button , which is also resident in the Windows notification area. 

Chromecast

Chromecast is an HDMI key produced by Google that must be connected to the monitor input of the same name: once connected to the Wi-Fi network, it can receive content from any computer with the Google Chrome browser installed, through the Google Cast protocol .

Chromecast is available in two variants: the standard one, which supports the maximum resolution Full HD ; and Chromecast with Google TV which has a remote control, Google TV operating system (to install apps directly from the device) and can reach 4K resolution with HDR support (the latter has taken the place of Chromecast Ultra which featured the same features as the base Chromecast, but had 4K support and an Ethernet port). Both devices can be purchased on the Google store , or at major electronics chains.

Once you have the Chromecast, connect it to a free HDMI port on the monitor, power it via USB (only possible with Chromecast base) or power socket and, after turning on the screen, configure it.

Once this is done, approach the computer and, after connecting it to the same Wi-Fi network on which Chromecast is located, start Google Chrome and click on the button (⋮) located at the top right, to call up the browser’s main menu. Now, select the Transmit item from the displayed menu, wait for the HDMI dongle to be detected and choose to transmit the desktop , using the Sources drop-down menu . To start the duplication of the screen, finally click on the name of the Chromecast.

Apple TV

As for Macs , in addition to Google Cast, you can replicate (or extend) the Desktop on a second monitor wirelessly, using AirPlay technology , Apple’s native system designed for the transmission of multimedia content between almost all devices. produced by the big name of the “bitten apple”. In this case, you will need to connect a very specific device, called Apple TV , to the HDMI port of the secondary monitor .

If you had never heard of it, this is a small multimedia box that, when connected to the Internet, enables the reception of video content (but also audio, if necessary) from Macs and other Apple devices. Apple TV is available in two versions: HD , with support for the maximum resolution Full HD and 32 GB of internal storage; and 4K , which enables playback of 4K content and is available in 32GB and 64GB sizes.

After obtaining the device and having it properly connected to the monitor, proceed with its initial configuration , then go to the Mac and make sure that the latter is connected to the same Wi-Fi network in use on Apple TV. At this point, you can cast the screen by simply clicking on the broadcast icon that appears in the Mac menu bar (the screen with the triangle next to it ) and clicking on the name of the Apple TV which should appear in the dedicated menu.

Through the latter, once the connection is established, you can choose whether to activate the duplication of the screen or whether to extend the Mac desktop. For advanced options such as resolution and orientation, follow the same steps seen above for the cable connection.

If the icon dedicated to the duplication of the screen is not visible, open the System Preferences , by clicking on the gear -shaped icon located on the Dock , access the Monitor section and put the check mark in the box next to the item Show duplicate options in the menu bar when available .