Have you ever worked on an assignment for your college or researched on a project for work and thought how much easier it would have been for you, if there were another monitor you could work on, in addition to your laptop?
Studies show that working on multiple monitors improves your productivity by 20-50%! So it does not only makes the task easier but also saves a lot of time while maintaining peak productivity. A win-win situation! You can do a lot of different tasks, like video editing and taking notes on your laptop while watching your professor’s lecture without losing your head using the small laptop monitor only.
Now let’s jump onto how you can easily connect two monitors to your laptop with only one HDMI port. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s get it!
Things To Check Before You Start
Before you decide to connect monitors, the first thing you have to do is to find out if the laptop is compatible to connect two monitors or not. This depends on the operating device of your laptop and some other factors which we will elaborate on further.
If you are using Windows XP or any operating system between Windows 7 to 10, you pass the first step, because they all support multiple monitors.
1. The Graphics Card
Next, you need to check the graphics card of your laptop and see if it supports two monitors. And don’t worry, it is easy to find it out.
Go to the website of your laptop manufacturer and check the information given under the graphics card. You can also visit the website of the graphics card manufacturer and go through the specifications. There won’t be any complicated language so you will find out if multiple monitors are supported by the graphics card or not.
If the graphics card does not support multiple monitors, don’t be sad for you can buy a graphics card of another model that does.
2. Available Ports On Laptop
Now, check for available ports on your laptop. The ports are usually located at the back or sides of a laptop. You will find some or all of the ports mentioned below.
• Display Port
As our focus is connecting the monitors using an HDMI port, it is more suitable if the devices can be connected via HDMI. This will also spare you from spending some dollars on an adapter to match the cables.
HDMI Port Crisis
If you want to connect the two monitors with your laptop, your laptop should also have two HDMI ports. However, many laptops have only one. Or if the HDMI port in your laptop or the monitor is not working? What can be done in that case? Let’s see what we can do.
If you already have one HDMI port on your laptop, which you have surely, you can convert another port into an HDMI using their specific adapter.
If you are trying to convert the DVI port of your laptop to HDMI for example, you can just use a DVI-to-HDMI adapter to use it connect the monitor.
Using Docking Station
Using a docking station will also allow you to connect two monitors to your laptop via HDMI. It will not only get your work done but also will provide you with many other functions and ports!
Using Switch Splitter
Switch splitter is a device that makes use of your laptop’s single HDMI port to provide you with two HDMI ports. So, if your laptop contains one HDMI port only, you can connect a switch splitter to connect both the monitors to your laptop using the two HDMI interfaces.
Setting Up Dual Monitors With One HDMI
You can use any one of the methods we have talked about earlier. The connecting process is the same for all the methods.
You will already have an HDMI port on your laptop, convert another port into HDMI using its corresponding adapter. Then, connect the transformed HDMI port and the HDMI cable.
Docking stations connect to your laptop mainly in two ways. It either connects via a sliding lock system at the side or through a USB interface, thus keeping the HDMI port free.
So you can use the HDMI port of your laptop and the HDMI interface of the docking station. You can also use the docking station only, if it has a dual HDMI interface, to connect both the monitors.
How this works is you split the HDMI interface on your laptop into two using this device and connect the two HDMI cables to the other end of the switch splitter which has the two new HDMI ports.
• Turn your laptop on and make sure you have two functioning HDMI cables
• Connect the ends of each cable to the laptop and monitors. You can use any of the methods mentioned above to acquire two HDMI interfaces from one
• On your laptop, right-click on your touchpad or mouse
• If you are using Windows 7 or 8, click on ‘Screen resolution’ and for Windows 10, press on ‘Display settings’
• On the screen, you will see a total number of 3 displays given as Display-1,2 & 3. The 1st display is the laptop itself, and the remaining two are the external monitors
• Click on display-2 and look for the ‘Multiple displays’ setting. Select ‘Extend desktop to this display and click on the ‘Apply’ option
• Repeat the previous step for display-3
• Press on the OK button to save the changes you made. Now the monitors are connected to your laptop!
What To Do When Monitor HDMI Fails?
If one or both of your monitor’s HDMI ports fails to work, you can use HDMI cables and the laptop’s HDMI interfaces to connect the monitors with the laptop.
In case of the failure of HDMI on your monitor, you can use another port and for that, you will need the corresponding adapter. It has to be DVI-to-HDMI or VGA-to-HDMI, depending on the port that you will be using.
• Connect the adapter(s) to your monitor(s)
• Connect the HDMI cables to your laptop
• Join the other ends of the cable to the HDMI ends of the adapter
• Continue with the rest of the procedure to connect the monitors to the laptop
Unable To Find The Monitors You Plugged In?
This is a very common scenario when you plugged in the cables with the laptop and monitors, but cannot find the monitors on your laptop settings. Do not worry because it can be fixed if you follow the steps below!
Slack Or Defective Hardware
Your connection being slack is the most obvious reason. Another reason is your cable or monitors are broken.
Check if there are any loose connections and then try again. If the issue is with the cables, it is the best idea to replace the cables and buy a new one. If the monitor is damaged, take it to a repair shop or buy a new one if the degree of damage is high.
Compatibility Of Graphics Card
Just to remind you once again, a graphics card is a very important factor in determining whether the external monitors are going to build a connection with your laptop or not.
So if you haven’t gone through the information on your graphics card, high chances are it is this part of your laptop that is inhibiting the connection to develop. If you find out that it is incompatible with your laptop, get a new one for your laptop that is compatible and you will be able to successfully connect the monitors with your laptop.
If none of the solutions above are helpful for you, it means your laptop needs a driver update. This update can be done automatically or manually, whichever is efficient for you.
Go to the website of your laptop brand pick out the right driver for the operating system of your laptop. Install it by following the necessary steps. You may run out of patience while you are doing this because it takes time and is also tricky, so you can rather make a techie do it.
Since it can also be done automatically, you can use a software named ‘Driver Easy’. This will help you to detect dated driver updates and update them with the least number of steps.
You may not be so fortunate as to have two HDMI ports in your laptop, but we won’t let you stay behind just for this.
After going through this article, we hope that you have learned how you can connect two monitors to your laptop with just a single HDMI. We also hope that this will open doors to productivity in your respective fields or even gaming!