How to split screen on a laptop and monitor

If you want to know how to split screen on a laptop and monitor, this article is for you. Recently working from home has become a new normal. It has been known to enhance productivity and is now a priority for many people. 

One effective way to increase effectiveness is by incorporating a second monitor into your laptop setup.  This guide will explain the process of connecting an external monitor to your laptop, what you need, and how to optimize the use of both screens for an efficient workflow.

Whether you are using your monitor for graphic design or gaming projecting your laptop display to a monitor will improve your workflow. Additionally, this connection is perfect if you do not have a large-screen laptop.

Split laptop screen to run multiple programs

If you want to split your laptop screen and work on two programs left and right simultaneously, follow these steps. Open the program you want to use on the split screen setup.

Click and hold the title bar of that application. Drag the application window to the side of the screen where you want to snap it (either left or right). Let go when you see an outline guide.

Open the second application you want to use. Drag it to the other side and let go once it shows an outline. If your laptop and monitor have different connectivity options, we recommend adding a bridge device such as an Anker 553 USB-C Hub. It will allow you to connect with the incompatible monitor.

Laptop and Monitor
  1. Laptop: Ensure it has available ports for external connectivity.
  2. Display Cable: HDMI Cable
  3. External Monitor
  4. Anker 553 USB-C Hub

How to connect a monitor to a laptop and use both screens

Before starting you need to identify the different ports available on your laptop. Many standard laptops come with HDMI, Display Port, USB-C or VGA ports.

Once you verify this, choose the correct Cable compatible with your laptop’s port and the monitor you are using. Attach one end of the cable to the laptop port and the other end to the corresponding port on the monitor.

Configuring Laptop and Monitor Display Settings

Power on the monitor and access its settings to select the input port used for the cable connection which is HDMI 1, HDMI 2, or DisplayPort.

Go to your laptop desktop and Right-click on a space. Go to Display Settings. Use the Identify feature to recognize which screen corresponds to your laptop and which one corresponds to the external monitor.

Adjust display resolution settings for each screen according to your preferences. After that, choose between display modes like duplicating displays, extending displays, or showing on one screen only.

Duplicate Displays mirrors the content on both screens while Extend Displays allows you to use both screens independently.

Steps How to Split Screen on a Laptop

  1. Open the first application you want to use.
  2. Click and hold the title bar of that application.
  3. Drag the application window to the side of the screen where you want to snap it (either left or right).
  4. Release the mouse click, and the window will snap, filling half of the screen.
  1. Which cables are commonly used to connect laptops to external monitors?

    HDMI is frequently used due to its versatility and compatibility. You can also find laptops that use DisplayPorts, DVI, and VGA. 

  2. Can I use different-sized monitors for a dual-screen setup?

    Yes, you can use monitors of varying sizes for a dual-screen setup. However, for a more seamless experience, matching or similar-sized monitors are recommended.

  3. How do I set up my laptop and external monitor to extend displays?

    In display settings, choose the Extend These Displays option. This allows independent usage of both screens, expanding your workspace.

  4. Why is it important to designate a main display?

    Designating a main display determines where applications open by default, streamlining your workflow by organizing tasks on your preferred screen.

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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