How to use Laptop as Monitor

How to use Laptop as Monitor

Using dual monitors instead of a single monitor is a perfect boost in your productivity. This means you don’t have to split your single screen for performing multiple tasks and worry about which windows should be prioritized on top. On the other hand, a multi-monitor setup can also act as a media display for you in your spare time. Whereas, using your dual screen for entertainment purposes is another benefit that you’re getting.

If you’re lacking an extra monitor and thinking of getting one, instead, you can use your old laptop as an external monitor to improve your productivity level. There are some steps that you need to perform to use a laptop as a monitor.

Ultimate Guide Towards How to use Laptop as Monitor

Multi-screen systems are everywhere in this modern era. They are commonly used in all professions because it’s the most convenient leveraging asset for all. Even doctors are using it for their professional work. However, if you’re working from home, your laptop is kind of a compliment to use as a second monitor.

On top of that, achieving that doesn’t need much technical knowledge. It’s a simple one-way process. It’s more like plugging in the HDMI, VGA, or DVI. But what if you don’t find the appropriate cable for it. In this situation, a KVM is the best solution.

Now you might ask what is KVM and how to impliment it.

It’s a physical switch that helps your system in achieving the connection with other networks. (e.g) back in the day, we used to connect the system with a printer by turning a switch.

To make a bridge between your system and laptop, you have to install the KVM software on both of your machines where your local network tends to build a bridge between your desktop and laptop, turning your laptop into a monitor. Here’s when the real twist kicks in. Now your setup will allow you to use a single mouse or keyboard on both your desktop and laptop.

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The Main purpose of KVM for a Second Screen

Split-screen and low workspace are the two main factors that compel most people to have a multi-monitor. Because it’s complete stress. However, KVM software makes it easy for those people. But keep in mind, the KVM software doesn’t allow you to drag and drop any active programs between the screens. However, there is some other software that allows you to drag and drop and open the files on your second screen/laptop and it’s better than the USB flash.

Input Director

input director

Input Director is a KVM tool that you can get for free on the internet. The main purpose of this program is to provide you with the client and server options which are the so-called Master and Slave. Now here’s the thing, you need to install the Master(Server) on your desktop system and Slave(Client) on your laptop that you want to use as a second monitor.

Once you’re done with it, it’s time for configuring the location of your laptop making it related to the desktop. Network IP address can help you out in installing the Slave.

Input Director makes a big difference in your setup with its Cursor Wraparound feature. This means now you can drag programs out of the screen.

Share Mouse


Share Mouse is yet another best KVM tool that can turn your laptop into a second monitor. It provides some top-of-the-line features including sharing the file via drag and drop, clipboard sharing, and the monitor manager that can help to interact between the machines. On top of that, you can keep track of everything by fading up the second monitor, not in use. Whereas, you’re saving the power of your laptop.

The free version of this software is available, but the professional version of it is way better providing you with the full functionalities.



Older yet the best VIRTUAL KVM tool to convert your older laptop into a second monitor. But keep in mind, the above tools that I recommended have free versions. Unlike those, the synergy is paid from basic to pro versions because of its great functionalities. Synergy includes features like encryption, drag and drops file sharing, clipboard sharing.

One of the best things about the synergy is that it acts as a centralized system once it gets installed on Raspberry Pi. This means it controls all the systems connected to your network. On the other hand, there are many versions of Synergy available for different operating systems.

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Mouse Without Borders

mouse without borders

Mouse Without Border is another awesome tool for converting your old laptop into a second monitor. Developed by Garage while used by many giant companies. The garage is a team working inside Microsoft where the team members use their brains to develop something useful for the users.

Over the years they have introduced many useful products to us which include Mouse Without Borders, Microsoft Launcher for Android, Eye Control for Windows 10, and Microsoft Health Bot Service.

Whereas, Mouse Without Borders is a perfect virtual KVM tool that helps to connect the systems by using a system of codes. You’ll also see the network adapter on the Mouse Without Border window through which you’re connecting. The software is also fully packed with the necessary features including the drag and drop file sharing feature and a convenient clipboard feature.

Using a laptop as a monitor makes everything pretty easy by adding up more to your productivity. But what dragging files to your second monitor. In basic settings, of course, you can’t do that. However, using one of the virtual KVM can add up more to your setup. So try one of these 4 virtual KVM tools is highly recommended once you’re done connecting your desktop to your old laptop.

Images Credit: MakeUseOf.

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