How to connect your PC to a projector in a few simple steps

It's easy to connect your PC to an external projector using a cable.M_a_y_a/Getty Images
  • You can connect most PCs to a projector in just a few simple steps using a VGA or HDMI cable.
  • Connecting your Windows computer to a projector allows you to display whatever is on your screen on a wall, hanging screen, or wherever your projector is pointing.

If you're teaching a class or giving a presentation, you might find it necessary or at least convenient to connect your computer to an external LCD projector. Thankfully, if you have a laptop or desktop computer that runs Windows, the operating system makes it relatively simple to connect the two devices so you can display what's on your PC's screen to whatever surface the projector is pointed at.

Before you get started, you'll likely need to have either a VGA or HDMI cable to connect the devices. You'll need an additional adapter if your laptop lacks a monitor port. Once you have the necessary cables for your device, you can begin the process of getting Windows to recognize the device.

How to connect your PC to a projector

1. Ensure both your laptop and your projector are powered off before connecting the two via the VGA cable, HDMI cable, and/or additional adapters. Advertisement

2. Plug your projector into an electrical outlet and turn it on. Power up your laptop as well.

3. Depending on your laptop, press the "Fn" key on your keyboard as well as either the F4, F5, F7, or F8 keys to bring up the display settings — which key you press depends on your particular laptop.

4. Once your display menu launches, choose whether you want to duplicate what's on your laptop's screen, extend to create a full picture (i.e. when looking at an image in detail that is larger than your computer's screen can handle), use only the projector, or toggle the projector off altogether.
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Choose how you want to project your screen.Jennifer Still/Business Insider

It should also be noted that some Windows machines now allow you to connect to projectors wirelessly should the projector have that capability. In this case, you may utilize the option found on the display options setting screen or follow the directions included with your projector by the manufacturer.

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