Almost all laptops can
connect an external display. Examples of such a display include a CRT monitor, flat panel display,
and have the display sent to that device instead of to the laptop display.
Connect the monitor, flat
panel, or projector to the laptop's external video connection on the back of
the computer. An example of a VGA connector for a computer monitor and VGA port
on a laptop is shown to the right. Once connected, your laptop may
automatically switch to the new external display, or you may be required to
press a key or keys on the keyboard to switch to the external display.
key sequence can vary depending on the laptop; however, is often
either: Fn + F3, F4, F5, F7, F8, or F9. For example,
pressing and holding Fn +
F7 at the same time could switch between your laptop and external
display. The function
key may be labeled as CRT/LCD or have a picture of a monitor on the
key or close to the key. Unfortunately, the keys pressed to switch displays is
dependent on the model and manufacturer of the laptop. If none of the above key
sequences work, consult your laptop documentation or consult yourlaptop manufacturer.
Newer laptops may also have a DisplayPort,
which can be used to connect external display devices that utilize a
DisplayPort cable. If your external display uses VGA, DVI or HDMI instead, you
can also get a DisplayPort adapter cable, allowing you to connect your VGA, DVI
or HDMI display to the laptop's DisplayPort.
Note: For computers
with Mac OS X 10.8 or later, if you have trouble getting an external display to
work with the computer, access the System Preferences menu and select
the Displays option. Then, press and hold the Option key. In
the bottom right corner of the Displays window, you should see a Detect
Displays button. Click that button to force the Mac OS to look for any
external displays that are connected to the computer.
Some laptops can output
video to both the laptop and the external display, or to a single display at a
time. Laptops with this feature can toggle between the two modes when the
appropriate function key is pressed.
Tip: Newer laptops and
monitors may use a DVI or HDMIconnection. See
these links for additional details and pictures of these connectors. If your
display has a DVI connection, but your laptop only has a VGA connection, you
need to use avideo
converter that converts VGA into DVI.
Laptop connected to docking
If your laptop is connected
to a docking
station, there should be a VGA or HDMI port on the back of the docking
station for a monitor. Depending on the dock station, the laptop may have to
remain open for a dual monitor display. Some docking stations have two ports
for connecting two monitors, also allowing for a dual monitor display.
How do I disable the
auto-switch or specify an external display?
Although not available with
all computers, some computers have an external display auto-switch feature or
will ask what display you want as the default in CMOS setup.
How do I change the
resolution on a monitor connected to a laptop?
Unless the monitor is
detected or setup in the operating system, it may not work properly or only
display at the default resolution. If you want to change the external display's
resolution, make sure the monitor is detected by the operating system.
Microsoft Windows users can
verify the monitor is detected by looking in the WindowsDevice Manager and
making sure a monitor is listed.
Linux users running X
Windows or a variant may need to modify their XF86Config file and add the
display settings for the external monitor or projector.