How to Connect a Laptop Screen as External Monitor in Windows 10

Featured Image Connect Two Laptops In Windows10

Windows 10 has a built-in feature that allows you to connect a spare laptop screen as a second monitor. The projected display can be wirelessly controlled from a primary laptop as a duplicate or extended screen. This is helpful to enhance your viewing experience or when additional displays are needed, but you don’t have multiple monitors.

While there are advanced tools, such as Miracast-compatible laptop devices, you can achieve the same connectivity using a simple Bluetooth pairing between the two Windows 10 laptops.

Initial Setup of the Laptop Screens

The connectivity between the two laptop screens is launched through a feature on the Start menu: “project to a second screen.” It also gives you the options to adjust the additional settings.

Connect Laptops Win10 Project Second

For example, you can select “Bluetooth and Other Devices Settings” to ensure that the Bluetooth functionality is on for both laptops. Go to “More Bluetooth Options” on the right and check whether the other Bluetooth devices will be able to see the name of your PC.

Connect Laptops Win10 Bluetooth On

Also from the Start menu, go to “Projection Settings.” You need to ensure that both the primary and secondary laptop device are available everywhere on secure networks. You can mandate PIN for pairing to ensure that no unsecure device latches on to your Bluetooth network. It is useful to have a notification alert every time a connection is requested on the PC.

Connect Laptops Win10 Projection Settings

Go to “Display Settings” to ensure the primary and secondary screens have similar resolutions for best compatibility.

Connect Laptops Win10 Display Settings

You can rearrange your displays from the advanced settings, which identifies the laptop as a number 1 or number 2 device.

Connect Laptops Win10 Rearrange Displays

Start Connecting the Two Laptops

Go back to “Project to Second Screen” or press Win+ P to launch a pop-up screen. Make your selection of either a duplicate display or an extension of your primary screen. Click “connect to a wireless display.”

Connect Laptops Wireless Display

At first, nothing is available in search, which means you need to establish the Bluetooth pairings between the two laptops.

Connect Laptops Searching Display

On the primary display, go to the “Bluetooth & Other Devices” screen and select “Add a device.” This will open a new pop-up window where you can add the secondary Bluetooth-enabled laptop for pairing. Use the first option for Bluetooth if your laptop device is not Miracast-compatible.

Connect Laptops Add Bluetooth Device

The secondary Bluetooth-compatible laptop will be found. Select it to form a pairing with the primary laptop.

Connect Laptops Add A Device

If you’ve set up the notification alerts, you should receive an “add a device” message in the system tray of the secondary laptop. Tap to set up the device.

Connect Laptops Win10 Display Add Device

You need to ensure the PIN numbers on both the primary and secondary laptops are the same. This would ensure a secure Bluetooth connectivity.

Connect Laptops Pin Numbers

You will be able to see a message that says “your device is ready to go” in the primary laptop.

Connect Laptops Device Ready To Go

There will be a clear “connection succeeded” message on the secondary laptop device.

Connect Laptops Connection Successful

Project the Screen from One Laptop to Another

Once the Bluetooth pairing is available (see the fixes here if your Bluetooth is not working), you can see the primary and secondary devices in their respective screens.

Connect Laptops Wireless Displays Docks

Go back to “Project to a Second screen” on the primary laptop and search for the networks through “connect to a wireless display.” You should be able to locate the secondary laptop’s Bluetooth ID. You can also select this directly from the “Display Settings” menu.

Connect Laptops Connect Wireless Display

You should now see a “connecting to your device” alert on top for the screen pairing to take place.

Connect Laptops Connecting To Device

Next, you should see an “attempt to connect” alert on the secondary laptop’s system tray. Click “Allow once” or “always” to proceed.

Connect Laptops Win10 Attempting To Connect

The two laptops are now connected to each other. You are ready to begin projecting your screen wirelessly.

Connect Laptops Win10 Connectivity

Some troubleshooting is needed, especially if the Bluetooth pairing is not very compatible. To do this, first disconnect the two Bluetooth devices on their respective laptops, then search for them again. If both laptop devices have similar Bluetooth configurations, you should not experience much trouble getting the projection screen above.

Have you connected your laptop screen to use as an external monitor? To solve any issues with multiple monitor setups in Windows, follow our tips.

Sayak Boral Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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