How to View a Projector & Monitor From One Computer

By James Clark

Updated July 25, 2018

A projector and monitor can be viewed from the same computer by adjusting the display settings.
i projector ready for presentation image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from

Most computers and virtually all laptops are equipped with connection jacks for connecting a second monitor or projector. The hookup typically requires a VGA (video graphics array) cable to output the video signal from the computer to the projector. Newer equipment may offer High Definition Media Interface (HDMI) connections to transmit picture and sound. Viewing the monitor and the projector from one computer can be accomplished by adjusting the display settings so the operator can watch two different screens or the same image on the monitor and the projector.


Connect the computer and projector with a compatible cable. If using HDMI, insert the six-sided plug into the port with the wider end of the plug turned upward. Connect a VGA cable by aligning the 15 pins in the pug with the 15 holes in the VGA port, push the plug straight onto the port and tighten the locking bolt on each side by turning clockwise.

Turn on

Turn on the computer and projector, then click the computer desktop or Control Panel ("Setting preferences" on a Mac) and select "Display Settings" or "Connect to a Projector."


Choose one of the display options, such as "Clone" to view the same image on the monitor and the projector at the same time.


Disconnect a laptop from a docking station before connecting to a projector. The docking station may send a confusing signal to the laptop which might cause problems with the projector display.


Shut down the computer and turn off the projector while connecting the two components.