How to Connect a TV as a Second Monitor Via USB

by Andrew Cockerham
Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Whether you're a graphic designer, video editor or just want to watch a movie from your computer, a TV could always come in handy as a second monitor. But unless you have a high-end video card or a brand-new computer, making the connection can be a hassle. Fortunately, there are several products out there that let you connect your TV to your computer using nothing but a free USB 2.0 port.

Step 1

Plug your adapter into the free USB 2.0 port on your computer. Wait for the device driver to install.

Step 2

Connect the VGA, DVI or HDMI cable to your television. If you're using a PC, continue to Step 3. If you're using a Mac, skip to Step 4.

Step 3

Open your computer Control Panel and select "Appearance and Personalization," then click "Connect to an External Display." Decide whether you want to extend your desktop onto the TV or duplicate the display. Select the appropriate option from the "Display" menu and click "OK."

Open "System Preferences" and click on "Displays." Click on "Arrangement" and follow the prompts. Select whether you want your monitor to duplicate your current display or extend your desktop.


  • If you choose to extend your desktop, be aware that the programs you close on the second desktop will open there next time. If you only plan to use your second monitor occasionally, choose "Duplicate" from the display menu to avoid losing windows on your other display.


  • In the case of most available USB adapters, you can connect up to six to a PC or four to a Mac. This only applies, of course, if you have that many free USB ports.


Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrew Cockerham is a world traveler and perpetual student with He has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Gadfly," an annual literary journal, and "Spectrum." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Walla Walla University.

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