How to Connect a Laptop Through Wi-Fi to a Second Display

By Michelle Carvo

Updated October 02, 2017

i Aidon/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Connecting a laptop through Wi-Fi to a second display is convenient, although it is not as stable or fast as connecting the two with a USB cable. You can connect your Windows computer to a secondary display over Wi-Fi on other Windows computers, Android devices and iOS devices.

Using Other Windows Computers

Connect your Windows laptop through Wi-Fi to a secondary display with one of the two Windows options that exist for this purpose. Splashtop XDisplay is one program option for computers with Windows 7. Splashtop allows you to extend your display to another laptop or to an iOS or Android device over Wi-Fi. The program is not compatible with Windows 8/10, however, as Microsoft does not support a virtual extended display on these operating systems as they did with Windows 7.

Windows 8/10 has this secondary display through Wi-Fi functionality built-in. Follow these directions to enable projecting to your computer.

Open the Windows 8/10 computer that you want to use as a secondary display and then click the “Chat” bubble on the bottom right of your screen to open the Action Center. Click “Connect.”

Click the “Projecting to this PC” link and then select “Available Everywhere” from the drop-down menu that appears.

Click “First time only” under “Ask to project to this PC” and then click the “Yes” button to enable the computer to be used as a secondary display.

Mirror your Windows 10 computer’s display to the other Windows 10 computer by clicking the “Chat” bubble icon in the bottom right of your screen.

Click the “Connect” button and then select your other computer from the “Receiving device” menu that appears.

Click the “Change projection mode” link below this and select “Extend.” Your Windows laptop is now connected to another Windows computer through Wi-Fi projection.

Using Android Devices

There are a couple different options available if you would like to use your Android smartphone or tablet as a secondary display for your laptop over Wi-Fi. Spacedesk is a free option that works by having you install the spacedesk driver software on your laptop and the spacedesk viewer app on your Android device. You can then project your Windows 7, 8 or 10 laptop’s screen to that Android device.

Another option on Android is iDisplay which works on both Android and iOS devices as well as both Windows and Mac laptops. It is a paid program that works over a Wi-Fi connection. You install the iDisplay app on your Android device and then install the iDisplay program on your Windows or Mac laptop to project your laptop’s screen to Android.

Using iOS Devices

As with Android devices, you have at least two options for connecting your laptop through Wi-Fi to a second display. The aforementioned paid software iDisplay works on iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. It offers 60 frames per second fast responsiveness over Wi-Fi and also allows you to use a cable for iOS and Mac if you would like a faster, more stable connection.

The other paid option is Air Display and this works over your wireless network. Air Display also works over Wi-Fi or USB and is compatible with Mac laptops and iOS devices.