How to Use a VGA Port on a Laptop


Laptop are wonderful for their portability, but such convenience comes at the cost of a small screen. If you want the theatrical experience of using a larger screen TV or monitor for your media viewing, you don't have to buy a heavy, immovable desktop computer. Many laptops have a VGA port that will let you use an external display device. Hooking up the laptop is usually a simple and straightforward process, although you may have to venture into its display settings to get everything running smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • VGA cable
  • Monitor or TV with VGA port
  • Plug one end of the VGA cable into the VGA port on the laptop.

  • Plug the other end of the cable into the VGA port on the TV or monitor. Some monitors have a VGA cable built into them, with one end simply coming out of the monitor. In this case, just plug the other end into the laptop.

  • Turn on both devices.

  • Change the TV's input channel to the VGA port, if you are using a TV. Different TVs will have different ways of doing this, but usually you can accomplish it by pushing a button on the side labeled "input" until the desired channel is displayed. See if the VGA port is labeled with a particular number or name so you know what to select. Often, the correct setting will show a blue screen, or your laptop's desktop.

  • Set your laptop to use the VGA port, if necessary. Sometimes, it will automatically work in which case you can skip the remaining steps. If not, you need to change its display settings.

  • Click on the Start button and select "Control Panel."

  • Select "Adjust Screen Resolution" under "Appearance and Personalization." A window will open up with your display settings. The TV or monitor should be shown at the top as your second display. If not, push the "Detect" button.

  • Click on the drop-down list by "Multiple Displays" and select an option. You can choose to use the TV or monitor as a double of your laptop's display, an extension of it, or only use one or the other.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your TV doesn't have a VGA port, you can get an adapter that will convert VGA to one of the input types available on your TV. You can find such adapters online or in most electronics stores.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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