Connect to a projector

You can connect your computer to a projector to give a presentation on a large screen.

The instructions below describe how to connect to a projector by plugging the projector cable into a video port on your computer. This is the most common way to connect a projector.

You can also connect to some projectors (called network projectors) over a network. This allows you to give a presentation over a network if you aren't in the same room, or even the same building, as the projector. To see if your projector has this network capability, check the information that came with the projector or contact the manufacturer.

Watch this video to learn how to connect to a projector (1:19)

To connect to a projector

  1. Make sure the projector is turned on, and then plug the projector cable into a video port on your computer.

    Note

    • Projectors use VGA or DVI cables. You must plug the cable into a matching video port on your computer. Although some computers have both types of video ports, most laptops just have one type. Some projectors can be connected to a USB port on your computer with a USB cable.

    Illustration of VGA and DVI ports
    VGA and DVI ports
  2. Open Control Panel by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel.

  3. In the search box, type projector, and then click Connect to a projector.

    (To use a keyboard shortcut instead of Control Panel, press the Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key+P).
  4. Select how you want your desktop to be displayed:

    • Computer only (This shows your desktop only on your computer screen.)

    • Duplicate (This shows your desktop on both your computer screen and a projector.)

    • Extend (This extends your desktop from your computer screen to a projector.)

    • Projector only (This shows your desktop only on a projector.)

Picture of the choices for how to display your desktop
The four choices for how to display your desktop

Note

  • You can use this same procedure to connect your computer to a monitor instead of a projector.