How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop With One HDMI Port (2023)

If you’ve ever seen someone in rapid action mode, juggling crazily between multiple monitors at work, you probably felt a little weirded out or intimidated thinking what the heck is even going on!

But truth be told, having to work with more than a single monitor boosts productivity by around 20 to 50%! Hence, looking like an international most-wanted hacker while you’re at it is totally worth it!

This is because you get to multitask more efficiently, with a faster copy-pasting, picture or video editing, making comparisons, etc. For performing speedily like a pro, just your laptop monitor isn’t always enough, which is why sometimes, you might need to add more monitors to your device.

So today we’re all about how to set up dual monitors with HDMI to make you the champ among your peers, whether you’re working or gaming at home or the office.

Contents

  1. Initial Prep To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop
    1. The Laptop Graphics Card
    2. Availability Of Ports
  2. HDMI Port Crisis
    1. Adapters
    2. Switch Splitter
    3. Docking Station
  3. How To Setup Dual Monitors With One HDMI
  4. For When Monitor HDMI Fails
  5. Can’t Find The Monitors You Just Plugged In?
    1. Loose Or Faulty Hardware
    2. Graphics Card Incompatibility
    3. Driver Update
  6. Conclusion
  7. Related posts

Initial Prep To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop

How To Connect Two Monitors To A Laptop With One HDMI Port (1)

The first thing to check before deciding to connect monitors on your device is whether the laptop is compatible with handling multiple monitors or not. And luckily, most Windows laptops can handle it, whether it’s the XP/ Vista or 7-10.

The Laptop Graphics Card

Now you need to ensure if your laptop’s graphics card can support multiple monitors at once or not. But don’t worry, it’s not difficult to do so.

Also Read: Best Thin And Light Gaming Laptops 2022

(Video) How to Connect Multiple Display Monitors with One PC (and Settings)

Just check the graphics card info on the website of your laptop manufacturer. Once you have identified the card, check its specifications on its corresponding official website. The info should be pretty simple to find as it will directly say whether multiple monitors are supported or not.

If by any chance your laptop’s included graphics card doesn’t support extra monitors, you’d need to purchase and install a model that does before proceeding.

Availability Of Ports

Check out the availability of ports on your laptop and the monitors you intend to connect to your laptop.

The ports you are likely to find include some or all of the following:

  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • Display Port
  • USB-C
  • DVI

Since we are looking to connect the monitors via HDMI, it is more convenient if both the monitors and the laptop have HDMI interfaces. This will save you the cost of getting adapters to match the cables.

HDMI Port Crisis

Since you intend to connect both monitors via HDMI, your laptop should be equipped with dual HDMI interfaces. So what to do if there is only one? Or if the HDMI port(s) in either your laptop or monitor isn’t working? Well, there are three workarounds to deal with these issues.

Adapters

Your laptop obviously already has one HDMI interface. So in order to obtain a second, simply convert a different port into an HDMI via their respective adapter.

For example, if you’re concerned about how to connect 2 monitors to a laptop with VGA and HDMI, adapters are a great save. This is because, in order to transform your VGA port, you’d simply need a VGA-to-HDMI adapter to get the job done.

(Video) Laptop and Two Monitors - No Dock Required

Switch Splitter

This is another smart hack to solve the single port issue. It is a device that enables you to obtain two HDMI ports from a single interface of your device.

Hence, if your laptop has one port, connect it to this device, and use two HDMI cables to connect to the two monitors via the two new HDMI interfaces this splitter provides.

Docking Station

Docking stations are yet another genius hack for enabling you to connect to two monitors via HDMI from your laptop. Not only does it get the job done, but has numerous other ports and functions to facilitate a versatile range of conveniences.

How To Setup Dual Monitors With One HDMI

As discussed above, you can use any of the three methods to make up for the single HDMI port in your laptop- adapter, switch splitter, or docking station. The rest of the connectivity process is the same for all methods

Adapter:You already have an existing HDMI interface, just convert another port into HDMI via its corresponding adapter and connect your HDMI cable into the transformed HDMI interface.

Switch Splitter:Split the existing HDMI interface into two via the switch splitter device and attach the two HDMI cables to the other end of the splitter containing the two new HDMI ports

Docking Station:Since docking stations connect to your laptop either via a sliding lock system at the side or via a USB interface, your laptop HDMI port remains free.

So you can use either the laptop’s HDMI and the docking stations HDMI together; or, if your docking station has dual HDMI, feel free to use those for both your monitors.

  • Ensure you have two working HDMI cables. Your laptop should be turned on
  • Connect each of their ends to the laptop and the monitors respectively. Use any of the hacks to obtain two HDMI interfaces from one
  • On your laptop screen, drag your cursor to an empty desktop space and right-click
  • For Windows 10, go to “Display Settings”. In the case of Windows 7 or 8, go to the “Screen Resolution”
  • Now you’ll find that there is a total of three displays-1, 2, and 3 in the display mode. Here, 1 is your laptop monitor itself, 2 and 3 are your external monitors
  • Select the display labeled 2, find the “Multiple displays” setting, choose “Extend desktop to this display” and click on “Apply”
  • Repeat the former step for display number 3
  • Click on the OK button to complete your adjusted settings. Now you can finally use your dual external monitors with your laptop
  • You can change other settings in this manner as per your required references

For When Monitor HDMI Fails

If by any chance, one or both of your monitors’ HDMI interfaces are busted, you can still use your HDMI cables and the laptop’s HDMI interfaces to make the connection.

(Video) How To Setup Dual Monitors with Laptop| 2022 Easy Guide (Windows 10)

Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Sticker Residue On Laptop

All you have to do is use a different monitor port, for which you’ll need the corresponding HDMI dongle. If, for example, you decide on using the monitor’s VGA or DVI ports, just grab yourself a pair of VGA-to-HDMI or DVI-to-HDMI adapters.

  • Connect the respective adapter(s) to your monitor(s)
  • Connect your HDMI cables to your laptop as usual
  • Plug in the other ends of the HDMI cables to the HDMI ends of the adapters
  • Move on to the rest of the process on your laptop as usual to complete the setup

Can’t Find The Monitors You Just Plugged In?

This is a very common occurrence and can happen to anyone for a number of reasons, all of which are fixable. So hold your horses and don’t go on panicking!

Loose Or Faulty Hardware

This is probably one of the simplest reasons why your monitors may not successfully connect to your laptop.

Either the connection is loose somewhere, or your cables or monitors are damaged.

Check for any loose connections and get a new pair of cables if the old ones are no longer as effective. If your monitors are damaged, get them repaired or purchase new ones if the damages are not worth fixing.

Graphics Card Incompatibility

As discussed in the very beginning, your laptop’s graphics card needs to be able to support the dual external monitors.

So, find the exact info of your graphics card, then check its compliance with external and multiple monitors. If you find that it’s incompatible, it’s time to take out the cash and get a new one that does. Upon proper installation, your problem will be solved in a jiffy!

(Video) How to setup Multiple Display on a Laptop

Driver Update

If you’re struggling even after making the above fixes, then it means your laptop is in need of a driver update; which can be done either manually or automatically.

Identify the right driver that matches your OS on the website of your laptop brand and install it following the steps it requires. This may be quite tricky and time-consuming and is something that should be done by someone tech-savvy.

The easiest way for those with zero patience like myself is to update drivers automatically with a software known as Driver Easy. It has both free and paid versions, simplifying your driver updates by automatically detecting outdated ones and updating them with minimal steps.

Conclusion

Connecting dual monitors to your laptop can unlock doors to an unbelievable level of productivity, convenience, and even gaming that you never knew could be possible.

Also Read: Best Laptops For Grad School Students 2022

But you may not always be blessed with the convenience of having two HDMI ports on your laptop.You have probably already realized this, which is why you were looking on how to connect two monitors to a laptop with one HDMI Portin the first place.

(Video) How To Connect Two Monitors To One Laptop (Windows 10-Best & Easiest way)

Regardless, after going through our instructions, hacks, and solutions, setting up your ultimate workstation will hopefully no longer seem like a struggle, and that too, via just a single HDMI interface!

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FAQs

Can I connect two monitors to my laptop with only one HDMI port? ›

Sometimes you have only one HDMI port on your computer (typically on a laptop), but need two ports so that you can connect 2 external monitors. In this case: You can use a 'switch splitter' or 'display splitter' to have two HDMI ports.

Can I split a single HDMI to two monitors? ›

For example, if you want to send a single video source to multiple TVs or monitors, you'll need to use an HDMI splitter, which duplicates or “mirrors” from a single HDMI “in” connection, and provides multiple HDMI “out” ports so you can plug in many displays.

How do I extend two monitors on one HDMI port? ›

How do I connect two monitors to a computer with only one HDMI...
  1. Plug one end of an HDMI cable into the HDMI port of your computer.
  2. Plug the other end of the cable into the HDMI port of the first monitor.
  3. Take a VGA/DisplayPort/DVI (as applicable) cable and plug one end into the corresponding computer port.
1 Dec 2021

Can I use an HDMI splitter to extend not duplicate my laptop screen across two monitors? ›

An HDMI splitter can't extend the display to two monitors. What a splitter does is mirror the original image to 2 or more displays. A USB-to-HDMI adapter may effectively add a second HDMI port, which will extend the display. However, not all computers are able to output to a display via a USB port.

Can my laptop support 2 monitors? ›

Go to Settings, click on system and go to display. Check to see if the multiple displays option is available by scrolling down. If you see the option, then your PC is capable enough to support multiple monitors.

What type of splitter do I need for dual monitors? ›

Active splitters allow you to connect multiple monitors to a single video source, while passive splitters allow you to connect multiple video sources to a single monitor.

Can I use a VGA splitter for dual monitors? ›

The VGA splitter is one of the more efficient ways of creating a dual monitor connector. The cord is specifically designed to bridge the gap between two monitors while only taking a single port on your computer.

Do HDMI splitters reduce quality? ›

Does HDMI splitter reduce quality? HDMI Splitters do not automatically reduce quality because they are copying a digital signal. But using lower quality hardware or a non-powered HDMI Splitter is less of a guarantee. Splitters used with very long HDMI cables may have signal quality issues due to the cable length.

Can an HDMI port be split? ›

You can use an HDMI splitter to connect and operate multiple devices through one HDMI port. An HDMI splitter simply has a cable with an HDMI plug on one side and on the other side (depending on the HDMI splitter type) you can have two, three and even four HDMI ports.

Can an HDMI splitter extend display? ›

HDMI Splitter

This lets you expand your single HDMI port to two external displays. No power input is required. Just plug the single USB end into your computer's HDMI port, and plug each of your two monitors into each of the two HDMI ports at the other end of the adapter.

How can I connect two monitors to my laptop without a docking station? ›

Laptop Dual Monitor Setup without a Docking Station - YouTube

Why isn't my laptop detecting my second monitor? ›

A buggy, outdated, or corrupted graphics driver can cause problems that may prevent Windows 10 from detecting a second monitor automatically. The easiest method to fix this issue is updating, reinstalling, or downgrading the driver.

How many monitors can my laptop support? ›

Almost all laptops can drive a single external monitor by plugging the monitor in directly. Two monitors can be plugged into most laptop docking stations with distinct content on each screen via DisplayPort or HDMI connectors.

How do I connect 3 monitors to my laptop with one HDMI port? ›

You can use an HDMI splitter to connect three monitors, but the results likely won't be what you hope. A “splitter” is a video adapter that takes a single output and splits it into multiple duplicate outputs. It can only display a single video output on numerous monitors.

Will HDMI to USB work for dual monitors? ›

This USB to HDMI® Dual Monitor adapter lets you add two independent HDMI displays to your computer using a single USB 3.0 port. One of the HDMI ports can output resolutions up to 4K, while the other can output resolutions up to 1920 x 1200.

How do I connect 2 monitors together? ›

How To Connect Two Monitors To One Computer - YouTube

Is a DisplayPort better than HDMI? ›

Compared to standard HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 is superior. DisplayPort 2.0 has also been announced, and it has an even higher maximum bandwidth than HDMI 2.1 at nearly triple the bandwidth of DisplayPort 1.4.

Why does my HDMI splitter not work? ›

Overall, the main reason why your HDMI splitter isn't working is likely to be that it isn't in a fully HDCP compliant setup. It may not be a problem with your splitter itself, as it could also be with the HDMI cables that you're using, as well as the TV or monitor you're connecting them to as well.

What cable is needed to connect 2 monitors? ›

The monitors may come with VGA or DVI cables but the HDMI is the standard connection for most office dual monitor setups.

Can you use HDMI and VGA for dual monitors? ›

If you're using a dual monitor setup, it's often cheaper to use at least one older monitor model. Older models all take VGA inputs, but may not use an HDMI input. Because of this, you may have to use a mix of VGA and HDMI cables for the setup. Using VGA and HDMI at the same time is both possible and very easy to do.

Can you run 2 monitors off 1 DisplayPort? ›

What is DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST)? DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport allows you to daisy chain monitors with DisplayPort 1.2 ports. Daisy chaining describes the ability to connect a series of monitors to a single video output port on your computer or docking station.

What is the difference between an HDMI switch and an HDMI splitter? ›

We'll get into more detail, but the short version is that an HDMI switch takes multiple sources and lets you choose (switch) between them, sending one cable to your TV. As you've probably figured out already, a splitter takes one signal and splits it across multiple HDMI cables.

What happens if you don't have enough HDMI ports? ›

The easier and more affordable option is just to buy some extra ports in the form of an HDMI switch. An HDMI switch is essentially a hub that connects to one of your TV's HDMI ports, and allows you to use that single HDMI port for multiple channels.

Do I need 2 HDMI ports for 2 monitors? ›

An important prerequisite for your dual monitor setup is making sure your PC has the correct outputs. This means your machine should have at least two HDMI outputs, or one HDMI output in addition to a DisplayPort output. PCs with a dedicated graphics processing unit (GPU) may have up to four possible connections.

Can you run 2 monitors off 1 DisplayPort? ›

What is DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport (MST)? DisplayPort Multi-Stream Transport allows you to daisy chain monitors with DisplayPort 1.2 ports. Daisy chaining describes the ability to connect a series of monitors to a single video output port on your computer or docking station.

How can I connect two monitors to my laptop without a docking station? ›

How to Connect Two Monitors to One Laptop Without Docking Station

Can you daisy chain two monitors with HDMI? ›

As of 2021, you can only daisy-chain monitors that are equipped with DisplayPort v1. 2 or Thunderbolt. You can't daisy-chain via USB-C, VGA, or HDMI ports.

Can I use a VGA splitter for dual monitors? ›

The VGA splitter is one of the more efficient ways of creating a dual monitor connector. The cord is specifically designed to bridge the gap between two monitors while only taking a single port on your computer.

What cable is needed to connect 2 monitors? ›

The monitors may come with VGA or DVI cables but the HDMI is the standard connection for most office dual monitor setups.

How do I connect 2 monitors together? ›

How To Connect Two Monitors To One Computer - YouTube

How do I connect two monitors to one DisplayPort laptop? ›

To daisy chain via DisplayPort:
  1. Power on all monitors.
  2. Enable DisplayPort 1.2 and/or MST in the settings menu of each monitor.
  3. Connect your laptop to monitor 1 by:
  4. Connect the DisplayPort out on monitor 1 to the DisplayPort in on monitor 2 using a DisplayPort cable.
  5. Repeat step #4 for any subsequent monitors.
5 Oct 2022

What's better HDMI or DisplayPort? ›

HDMI is technically superior thanks to the release of HDMI 2.1, which surpasses the capabilities of DisplayPort 1.4, but monitors that support it are scarce. Expect that to change soon, though, as a number of manufacturers announced HDMI 2.1 monitors at CES 2021.

Can you piggyback monitors? ›

Daisy Chain: One Cable to Connect all Your Monitors - YouTube

How many monitors can my laptop support? ›

Almost all laptops can drive a single external monitor by plugging the monitor in directly. Two monitors can be plugged into most laptop docking stations with distinct content on each screen via DisplayPort or HDMI connectors.

Can you use USB to HDMI for monitor? ›

The USB to HDMI active adapter basically works like an external graphics or video card as an interface between the computer and monitor. Most computers will have a USB 2.0 or 3.0 Type A port.

How do I connect 2 HP monitors? ›

Extend or duplicate the desktop with a second monitor.
  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop, and then click Display settings.
  2. Make sure the correct number of monitors displays. ...
  3. Scroll down to Multiple displays, if necessary, click the drop-down menu, and then select a display option.

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