Connecting Laptop to Monitor

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

Please help me hook up a second monitor to my lap
laptop, I have tried everything and nothing works.

Please help me, Gladys

Dear Gladys,

I am guessing that you have the physical connection all set, and are trying to get the display to be shown on the monitor.

Just in case, though, we will look at the physical connection first.

Most laptops have either a VGA connection, or an HDMI connection for you to connect to either an external monitor, or a projector. You need to make sure your monitor or projector has the same type of connector, or you can purchase an adapter.

The VGA connector is usually (but not always) blue in color, and it always has three rows of pins on the cable and three rows of holes on the laptop.

the HDMI connector looks a little bit like a USB port with two of the corners cut out.

If you don’t know what either of these connections look like, just go to Google and search for them, you will see lots of illustrations.

Once you have connected your laptop, you need to send the video signal to the monitor. This process is different for most laptops, but you should look for a key in the top row of the keyboard that looks like a small monitor. Press that key (or the function key and that key) to send the display to the monitor. This might take a few seconds to switch over, so be patient and wait before you try pressing the keys again.

I hope this helps, Elizabeth


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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