How To Use Your Laptop as a Monitor?

Dual Screens Made Simple: Step-by-Step Guide on Using Your Laptop as a Secondary Monitor

Not Just Laptops is supported by readers like you. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Did you just find out that you can use your laptop as a secondary screen and now want to try it out? In this guide, we list the 2 easiest methods – with the steps to follow along. You’ll be using your laptop as a monitor in no time!

The process isn’t the easiest out there, but we’ve tried to keep the steps as short & simple as possible. If you are not a technical person, no need to worry – the process does not require any technical knowledge from you. You just need to know some basic info about your system.

You’re probably thinking of connecting your PC to your laptop with an HDMI cable – but we won’t go there. That would ONLY cast your PC’s screen onto the laptop but won’t work as a video input for another device.

So how do you use your laptop as a monitor, the right way? Let’s find out.

How Do I Use Laptop As A Monitor?

There are multiple ways to set the whole thing up. You can either use Windows built-in functions or you can use 3rd party software available on the Internet. Let’s get down to the steps for both.

Method 1: Using Miracast [For Windows Operating System]

Miracast is a built-in application that comes with the latest versions of Microsoft Windows OS. But you need to set it up before you can use it to connect the laptop as a monitor.

Follow the steps on the laptop that you want to use as a Monitor

1. Go to Start Menu and click on Settings

Go to Start Menu

2. Now press the “System Icon

3. Look for “Projecting to this PC” on the left menu option and click on it.

Look for “Projecting to this PC”

4. To allow other objects to project on it, change the first drop-down menu to Available Everywhere

Change menu to Available Everywhere

5. Make other necessary changes.

This is pretty much everything you need to set up on your laptop to use a secondary monitor. Now let’s get down to the settings for the computer that it needs to connect to.

Follow the steps on the Main PC that is being used as the main monitor

1. Open Task Bar, and click on the Notifications icon

2. Now select theConnectbutton on the Notifications window.

Select the Connect-button

3. Your Main PC will look for an available device to connect to the screen. When your laptop name appears on the screen, select it.

Look for an available device

4. To accept the connection request, check your laptop and click to accept. 

5. Right-click on the PC desktop and select the “Display Settings“.

6. In the Display menu, change the “Multiple Displays” section to “Extend desktop to this display

Change to - Extend desktop to this display

7. You have now successfully set up your laptop as a secondary monitor.

Now, you can easily use the second monitor to view multiple documents at the same time – or whatever else you need the 2nd monitor for.

Method 2: Using a Third-Party Tool

If you are not satisfied with Miracast, you can try out another third-party web application that serves similar purposes. Here, we are using a very popular tool named Space Desk.

System Requirements

To run this particular software on the primary PC as well as the secondary monitor, the system needs to have certain specs.

For Primary PCFor Secondary Monitor
OSWindows 10 (version 1607 – later only), 8.1 & 7.Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7
GPUNVIDIA/AMD/Intel/Basic Display.
DirectX12/11/10/9DirectX 10
DirectX WARP(Min. 800 MHz CPU / Min. 512MB RAM)

For Primary PC

  • Windows 10 (version 1607 – later only), 8.1 & 7.
  • Graphics adapter NVIDIA/AMD/Intel/Basic Display.
  • WDDM 2.6/2.5/2.4/2.3/2.2/2.1/2.0/1.3/1.2/1.1
  • DirectX 12/11/10/9

For Secondary Monitor

  • Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7
  • DirectX 10
  • DirectX WARP (Min. 800 MHz CPU / Min. 512MB RAM)

To use Space Desk, now you need to download the application from the official website. Download the Space Desk Viewer Software for Secondary Machine for your laptop that will be used as a second monitor. You will be thrilled to know that this software is also available for iPhones and iPad users. And for the main PC, simply download the Space Desk Drive Software for Windows Primary PC.

Follow these steps on your main PC and laptop:

1. Install the software on both systems and restart to finish the process.

Install Space Desk

2. Make sure both systems are connected to the same LAN or WiFi network.

3. Go to your Laptop and launch the application.

4. The system will automatically detect your Primary computer on the list.

5. Confirm the systems and click on Connect.

Connect to your system

6. You are now connected to your primary PC.

If by any chance your PC is not listed as soon as you open the app on your laptop, you can try out another process that does not require any internet connection:

1. Go to the Space Desk HTML Viewer on your laptop.

2. You will be asked to type in the IP Address of your primary computer.

Insert IP Address of your primary computer

3. To find this IP Address you can simply launch the application on your primary PC and the address should be displayed there.

Find IP Address of system

4. Copy the address and paste it to your laptop screen as required and then click on Connect.

5. Your laptop can now be used as a secondary monitor.

You can try out either of the two processes depending on your connection type. Both of them work perfectly well and are very easy.

Benefits of Using a Secondary Screen

So you’ve set up the connection, but still don’t really know why so many people love to use 2 monitors? Relax, young productivity hacker – let’s check out the benefits together.

1. Multiple Programs

The basic idea is to use multiple software in Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office, games, documents, spreadsheets, movie/video streaming, etc., at the same time. It’s pretty cool when you can easily drag the file from one system to another. Many people have a work schedule that involves working and researching on multiple topics together.

For example, a content writer needs to switch between multiple Chrome tabs to research and write content concurrently. Also, if you need to watch a video and keep an eye on your mail simultaneously, this could come in handy at the same time. Many YouTubers, Gamers and Twitch streamers, etc., swear by this setup.

2. Increases Productivity

No matter the profession, having multiple screens will make your workflow faster and increase productivity. Both freelancers and full-time employees can rearrange their digital workspaces much better and save time on switching between tabs, or avoid scouring multiple windows to find that one document. Plus, there are always nifty third-party apps that you can now keep right in front of you.

3. For Digital Marketers

Dual screens have brought huge benefits to marketers. Copying and sharing media files, posting updates, keeping track of the finances and other stats, etc., have all been made easier. Even sharing data across multiple platforms is a whole lot easier with just a single drag and drop. Not to mention the visuals and editing, or even 3D modeling.

The Verdict

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, there are tons of other advantages as well. But make sure your systems are compatible and allow for a good secondary display.

You can also use multiple other KVM software or third-party applications on your laptop and primary PC to set up multiple monitors. Some of the very popular ones are the Input Director, ShareMouse, etc. All of these have the same purpose but a little different way of setting up the system as needed.

For best results, you may want to check out laptops with 4K display, so your secondary screen is as crisp as it gets.

By the way, did you know you can also use your laptop as a PlayStation screen?

How would you use dual screen? Let us know in the comments below.

Other informative articles:


  1. I am trying to connect my laptop to a external monitor through HDMI
    AND VGA CABLE which is not happening. can you be any help.

    Thanks in advance

  2. I was looking at how to use my laptop as a monitor, not a second screen.
    IE. I want to use my laptop to display the output of a video recorder. (NVR Security system)
    Is this possible?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here