How to Use your Laptop as a Monitor in 2021

Every time people buy a new laptop computer, they either dump the old pc or sell it at a cheaper rate. But do you know we can even use our old laptop as a second monitor? 

However, a laptop is not manufactured to work as a secondary monitor. But if you require, you can set that as an external monitor alongside the primary monitor. Many people need multiple monitors of different categories to perform their official works. So it is certainly not an uncommon case to use two displays at the same time. Moreover, you can ensure using your laptop in a productive way.

So if you are someone who wants to dump or throw away your own used laptop, we will provide you some tips in this guide on how to use your laptop as a second monitor:

How to use laptop as a secondary monitor

How to use laptop as a secondary monitor

In both Windows 10 and Mac operating systems, you can use your laptop as a secondary monitor. There are various ways to do that with third party programs like Input director, Miracast, Spacedesk, and others. At first, we assume your laptop runs on the Windows 10 operating system, and thus, we will describe the procedure via the Miracast feature. 

On Windows 10

Go to the start menu > Settings. Then choose System > Projecting to this PC. You will find three drop-down menus. Change the first drop-down menu to Available everywhere on secure networks and configure the other settings as per your preference. 

Then return to your desktop PC and check out the taskbar located at the bottom right corner of the screen. Locate Action Center there.

Click on Connect and a laptop will appear that you want to use. Select it. Now there will be a connection request on the laptop. Accept it and type a PIN if you’re going to add it. 

After that, right-click on your desktop and choose Display Settings. You will find an option to Extend desktop to this display under the Multiple displays section. Make sure to select it. Then you can rearrange your desktop and laptop screen according to your wish simply by dragging and dropping the display icons.

On macOS

Now let us assume you want to use a laptop as the second monitor on your MacBook. In that case, firstly, check the device ports if you need an adapter to act. 

After finding the appropriate cable, plug it into the monitor and go forward with the next step. 

Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences > Displays. Then click on the Arrangement tab. Unselect the box for Mirror Displays and rearrange the display by dragging the icons however you want. If you’re going to use a different display as the primary display, you can even do that by dragging the menu bar to the screen that you would prefer.

How to use your laptop as a monitor for pc

In case you face any trouble using Miracast, we suggest you use a wireless adapter if you have an ethernet connection.

So the method follows using a third party program like SpaceDesk to use your laptop’s screen as the additional display. 

laptop as a monitor for pc

At first, download both the Space Desk Drive program and the Space Desk Viewer program on your main system and laptop respectively. 

If you are a Windows 10 user, select any of the 64-bit and 32-bit versions. 

However, in using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, make sure to choose the appropriate option.

After installing the software, open the Spacedesk application. The app will act as a server on the main PC for incoming connections. That will help you extend your desktop to another system. 

Now return to your laptop and open the Spacedesk Windows Viewer application. There will be a connection option to turn your laptop into a second monitor. 

Use the Functionality menu to change the connection settings. That will allow you to use the mouse, keyboard of the remote device, and the screen resolution of the connection. 

Finally, for the setup,  create the space desk settings and then select the Computer name to enable Connect to the Primary Machine option.

How to use your laptop as a monitor for PS4

Gamers have gone crazy since the introduction of Sony PlayStation V (PS5). Unfortunately, many are yet to afford it due to the global economic recession. Still, gamers are playing games in full swing with the PS4. But what if your television suddenly stops working? In such a circumstance, a laptop screen would come in handy to use as the second monitor for PS4. 

You can initiate the method by using Remote Play. It is feasible to use your laptop as the second screen to play games on the PS4 console. Sony itself offers the streaming service via Remote Play. The purpose is to provide the facility of playing PS4 games on a computer monitor to the PC and Mac users. The essential things to set up the Remote Play include: 

  • A PC
  • A PS4 Console 
  • Internet
  • USB Cable
  • A PS4 Account 

At first, download Remote Play on your laptop from the Sony website that perfectly suits your device. 

PS4

After the installation process, switch on your console and go to Settings > PlayStation Network > Account Management. Turn on Active as Primary PS4

Update the software of your console to 3.50 through System Software Update 

Now go to Settings > Remote Play Connection Settings and turn it on. Put your console on the rest mode to use Remote Play on your device.

Again go to Settings > Power Save Settings > Set Features Available in Rest Mode > Enable Turning on PS4 from Network.

Then open the downloaded Remote Play from the Sony website. According to your screen specifications, press Settings and make adjustments to the fps and resolution to experience an optimum gaming performance. 

After that, connect the PS4 controller to your computer using the USB port. Hold the PlayStation and Share buttons simultaneously to establish a wireless connection. After your controller’s LED starts flashing, connect it to the pc, using the USB cable. Wait for several seconds and the devices will get paired. 

Now open the Remote Play app on your computer and log in from your PS4 account. Check out if the console is turned on. Now you are ready to play games using your laptop screen.

How to use a laptop as a monitor with HDMI

If you have issues using Remote Play to use the laptop monitor as the secondary display, you can still play games on PS4. The alternative way is to utilize the laptop display to control PS4 by Capture Card. The necessary things to set-up this process are:

  • A laptop
  • A PS4 console 
  • A Video Capture Card
  • Dual function HDMI port
  • A wireless internet connection
  • Enabled file sharing

In the beginning, use a USB port to plugin and install the Video Capture Card (VCC) on your laptop. Make sure the card is good in quality to perform well. 

Then, use an S-Video connection cable to establish the connection between your Capture Card and PS4 console. 

Attach HDMI-in to the Capture Card and HDMI-out to the console.

Turn the console on and run the VCC software on your laptop. The console will appear on the laptop screen. 

Once it is done, you can now play PS4 on a laptop with HDMI.

How to use your laptop as a monitor for Xbox One

If you own an Xbox One, obviously you would want to use it to play games on a large TV screen. But what if your TV is out of service for a while? In that case, you can use the screen of the laptop as a second monitor to play Xbox one. You can do it in two different ways: with HDMI and without HDMI.

What You Need:

  • Xbox One
  • HDMI Cable
  • Laptop with HDMI Input Connection
With HDMI 

It is probably the most straightforward process to use a laptop display as the second screen of all. Initially, connect the power source to the Xbox and plug your HDMI cable into your laptop’s HDMI input port. Choose the video source that goes with your laptop configuration. And, you would be fine to run your Xbox One via your laptop.

Without HDMI

Some laptops don’t come with a proper HDMI input source. In that case, you can enable gaming on your Xbox One via your laptop screen without HDMI connectivity as well. 

What You Need:

  • Xbox One
  • Ethernet or Wireless Connection
  • Laptop running Windows 10

In the first step, install the Xbox app from the Microsoft Store.

Open the app, log in to your Xbox account from it, boot up your Xbox.

Once you complete the login process, click the Connection button.

After both devices connect to a similar network, you can play games on your Xbox one via laptop.

How to use your laptop as a monitor for switch

Nintendo Switch has been an excellent innovation for gamers to play on portable consoles. It has gained popularity among the users for its excellent screen and wireless joysticks and extensive game library. 

However,  at home, you can play games on it with a larger screen for a better vivid gaming experience. 

What You Need:

  • The Nintendo Switch 
  • Laptop
  • Nintendo Dock
  • Game Capture Card
  • HDMI Cables 
  • Software

At first, connect the Nintendo Switch to the Nintendo Dock. 

If you previously connected the Dock with your laptop monitor, unplug the HDMI cable.

Make a connection between the Nintendo Dock and the Capture Card via HDMI cable. 

Turn on the Capture software on your laptop.

Use the USB cable to connect the Game Capture Card with the laptop.

Within a moment, the home screen of the Nintendo Switch will be displayed on the laptop. 

Control the switch on your laptop by using the Joy-Con. Make sure to enable the full-screen mode to enjoy an immersive screen experience.

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