How to Use a Projector as a Second Screen

Some people feel limited when using their computer’s monitor alone to work. This will be the case when you have to multitask on the same PC. You must have heard about extended screens or seen people use more than one monitor for one computer. You can get a bigger desktop using a projector as a second screen.

Using a projector as a second screen means extending your desktop area from your computer’s monitor to the projector screen. This way, the projector acts as an extended screen of your monitor. To do this, connect the projector to your computer via an HDMI cable. Once the connection is complete, set the projector’s input source to HDMI and, most importantly, change the projection mode and choose Extend. An easier way to do this is to press and hold the windows key and the P button.

The extended projection mode can be handy if you want to get many things done simultaneously. In this article, I have provided detailed information on how to use your projector as a second screen; you will find an alternative approach to the one stated above.

What Does Using a Projector As a Second Screen Mean?

When using Extended Desktop mode, your computer’s monitor and projector screen function as one large screen. A separate portion of the overall display image is shown on each monitor. In other words, the content displayed on each monitor varies.

How to Switch Between Projection Modes On Windows

Switching between the projection modes while the projector is possible. Press the combination Windows Key + P, and a list of options will appear.

  • PC Screen Only: Only the display on your computer is used.
  • Duplicate: it displays your desktop on the projector that is linked as well as your existing display.
  • Extend: The picture is divided between the two monitors. This is helpful if you want to show your presentation on the projector and do other tasks on the computer at the same time.
  • Second Screen Only: the display on the monitor turns off while projecting the computer’s content on the projector screen.

Note that your projector screen can also be utilized as a second monitor if you use the duplicate option. However, the projector does not act as an extension of the monitor. Instead, it is a separate screen linked to the desktop. Using your projector as a second screen will depend on your preference. Extend and Duplicate is different projection modes, but using either make your projector a second screen.

How Do I Extend My Screen to a Projector?

With Windows 10, using a laptop or computer in extended mode enables you to continue using it even when a movie is displayed on the projector screen. Read on if you’re wondering how to connect your laptop’s screen to a projector.

A projector may function as an additional monitor when connected to your computer. With this, you may expand or duplicate the screen on your computer so that you can read your most recent financial data in a theatre-style projection or show a business presentation to a group of employees.

Also Read:

How to Fix VGA No Signal 

Follow these steps to set up your projector as a second monitor:

Note The Computer’s Connection Ports

To find out your computer’s connections, look on the back or side of your desktop or laptop. The majority of desktops include several ports. However, they might be different types, such as a DVI connector with a long, rectangular shape and a variable number of pins or an HDMI connector that resembles a USB connector but is not quite rectangular.

Note The Projector’s Connection Ports

To find out what connections the projector supports, check the back of the device or go to the specification sheet. A D-Sub port that supports 15-pin VGA connections is available on almost all projectors. Additionally, some projectors have an HDMI connector and, less frequently, DVI or USB connections. Choose HDMI or DVI for a higher-quality picture if your computer and projector both support them. VGA still provides decent quality, though.

Link Both Devices With The Recommended Cable

Utilize a cable with the proper connection to connect the projector to your computer. If you can’t locate a match, you may use a straightforward adapter between the cable and the projector to convert a DVI connector into an HDMI or VGA connector.

Turn On Both Devices

Turn on the computer and the projector. It is important to set up the projector’s input source correctly; otherwise, no image will appear. If you use an HDMI cable, set the input source to HDMI.

Set The Projection Mode To Extend

To utilize the projector as an extension of your usual desktop, press the window key and P at the same time and then choose either Extend.

Alternatively, you can use this approach

  • Your laptop and projector must first be connected.
  • A laptop can be wired or wirelessly connected to a projector.
  • Once both devices are linked, navigate to your laptop’s display menu.
  • Select one of the several display choices now.
  • Select the expanded display option from this menu.
  • To save changes and close the menu, click OK.
  • The laptop and projector screen may now be used with different displays.

Why Won’t My Computer Connect To My Projector?

You could be getting the awful ‘No signal’ notice on your projector screen while trying to link it to your PC. And you must be asking why the projector does not display my computer screen.

There might be a few alternative explanations for why this is occurring. We will focus on these explanations in this section of the essay. We will also assist you in understanding how to make your computer show on a projector.


The projector and PC may be incompatible. Both devices need to have the same ports for them to work together. Even if they don’t have the same ports, you can still fix this problem by purchasing an adaptor or converter.

Projector And Computer Are Not On The Same Wi-Fi Network

To connect, your computer and projector must be on the same network. If they are not connected, you must set up your computer and projector on the same network. Consider this step if you connected both devices wirelessly.

Output of video

The majority of projectors offer a video output that works with PCs. You’ll need to buy a video output converter if your computer doesn’t have a suitable video output.

Final Thoughts

There are two options to choose from depending on how you want to utilize your projector as a second screen—either the Extend option or the Duplicate option. Extend will extend your screen and make both screens behave as one. Determine the one that suits your preference and use it. Ensure that your connections are made well; otherwise, no image will be displayed.


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