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Instructions: Connect the external monitor to the notebook - this is how it works

Laptops are becoming increasingly popular. At home, however, a real desktop with an external monitor is usually more comfortable. Most laptops have a port for an external monitor. We explain here how to connect an external monitor to a laptop and what you have to pay attention to.

Most laptops have a port for an external monitor. This makes a notebook even more convenient to use at home. With an external monitor, the screen size increases and the resolution is usually higher than on the internal display of a notebook.

We explain here how to connect an external monitor to a laptop and what you have to pay attention to.

1. Basic requirements

The laptop and monitor must have the appropriate connections - ideally the same type of connection. In most cases this will be an analog VGA connector. It is identified by a rectangular symbol on the hardware and on the cable. The connectors on the cable are often blue. Other options are: DVI, Mini-DisplayPort, or HDMI. In order to be able to connect the laptop and the external monitor, the corresponding cable and, if necessary, an adapter are required. An adapter is necessary if the connections on the laptop and monitor do not match. In our case, there is a VGA connection on both sides. The right cable is also available.

2. Establish connection

First of all, the connection between the laptop and the monitor must be established. It is advisable to connect both devices to the power supply, boot up the laptop and then connect the VGA cable. The cable is first connected to the socket on the laptop and then to the external monitor. Then you can turn on the monitor. In many cases, the laptop will automatically recognize the connected monitor. In this case, the content of the desktop can already be seen on the monitor. In other cases, the monitor initially remains without a signal.

3. Configure the connection under Windows XP

The menu with which you can define the settings for connecting an external monitor can be accessed via Control Panel> Display> Settings. Two blue rectangles appear in the upper third of the window, symbolizing the internal display on the one hand and the external monitor on the other. Below this area, the settings (e.g. resolution) can be specified for each of the two monitors. The point "Extend Windows desktop onto this monitor" is interesting. This allows the external monitor to be used in addition to the internal display. Contents no longer appear twice. Alternatively, one of the two displays can also be completely deactivated.

4. Configure the connection under Windows 7

Windows 7 offers similar settings. The corresponding menu can be reached under Control Panel> Appearance and Personalization> Personalization> Display> Connect to an external monitor. Basic settings, such as the resolution, can also be specified there and selected from several displays so that the external monitor is also used. The corresponding option is called “Expand this display”.

5. Use hotkeys

Most notebooks have hotkeys with which you can adjust the control of an external monitor particularly quickly. If the basic settings (such as resolution) have been saved, these hotkeys are usually sufficient. The hotkey is usually on one of the F keys and is activated in conjunction with the Fn key. A monitor symbol on the key reveals where the hotkey is hidden. A look at the respective manual can help if the position of the hotkey is not immediately accessible.