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How do you Display a Laptop’s Screen Image Through a Connected Projector?

It might not seem like it at first, but projecting your laptop screen onto a projector is actually pretty easy. Many people assume that it’s more complicated than it really is because of how many different possible ways there are to do so. 

To help you out, we’ve put together this quick guide on what you’ll need and how to get started with displaying a laptop’s screen image through a connected projector in just a few minutes. 

Here is what you need


  • Outlet or an extension cord 
  • Sound system and a connector 
  • Laser pointer 

It is important to be prepared for any presentation. You might not know what materials are going to be needed until you get there, so it’s best just to bring your own.

Also, having a laser pointer is an essential tool for any public speaking engagement. It will help you point out words, phrases, and pictures that need emphasis while also ensuring your audience remains engaged with what’s being said.

1. Connect your laptop to the projector

Connecting your device to the other is easy with a video cable. We recommend using either VGA or HDMI, but if you’re not sure which one’s right for you here’s a quick guide. 


  • Usually colored blue or gray and common on most laptops


  • Commonly found on laptops and desktops



  • Found on all new Macbooks,iPhones and iMacs. Also requires an adapter to connect devices.


  • Found on all new Macbooks and most modern laptops. Also requires an adapter to connect devices.

This video is quite helpful for those who are not sure how to connect their devices. As long as you have all of the cables and adaptors needed, then connecting them should be easy peasy. 

2. Outlet and wires

Some places have outlets on both sides of a room and some only one side. It’s best to come prepared with an extension cord so that everything will go smoothly during your presentation. 

The best way to keep your battery from running out of power is by having a charger prepared. You wouldn’t want the laptop to turn off during a presentation. 

3. Plug into the sound system (optional)

The sound of a video is just as important when it comes to creating an engaging presentation. If you’ll be presenting videos that have audio, make sure your speaker or system can fill the whole room. It’s best to bring a charger for your speaker and remember to use something with an auxiliary input. These days, most laptops can connect via Bluetooth, but this is not always the case.

4. Setting up the projector screen

If you have a projector screen mounted on the wall, then simply pull it down to start your presentation. If you have a projector with a stand, pull out the tab on top and secure it.

5. Sync laptop and projector

Here are some shortcuts that should work on almost any PC: hold down the function key (FN) and toggle between F4, F5, F7 or F8. If you’re using a laptop with Windows 7, you can hold down the Windows key and press on P to access these functions:

  • PC screen only
  • Duplicate
  • Extend
  • Second screen only

Click on the ” duplicate” button to make your laptop screen mirror what is happening on projector. 

Windows 10

  1. To connect a windows 10 laptop to a projector first go to Start Menu > Settings > System. 
  1. Under Display, click on Advanced Settings.
  1. Drag the onscreen computer screens to the right or left until they are in the same place as their physical counterparts.
  1. Set your projector to what you want it to show. You do that by adjusting the Orientation and Multiple display settings. 

Duplicate These Displays: This will show the same image on your regular monitor and on the projected screen.

Extend These Displays: This option will stretch Windows to fit across both screens

Show only on 1: Choose this option before you’re ready to show your presentation. Then switch to Duplicate These Displays so its shown on the projected screen.

Show Only on 2: This will show only the second display and is useful when hooking up a tablet to a TV for watching movies. 

  1. Remember to click Apply to save your settings. 

Windows 10 April/ October Update

Connecting your PC to a projector is easier in some Windows 10 OS versions. The April Update and the October Update, for example, have a dedicated Settings section to  allow you to quickly connect to a projector.

  1. First go to Settings > System > Display
  2. Click on ‘Connect to a wireless display‘
  3. A window will appear on the right side of the screen displaying all the projectors availlable
  4. Select the projector that you want to connect to


To connect a Macbook to a projector, follow these simple steps.

  1. First click on the Apple icon in the top left  corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences > Displays
  3. Select optimize for Display/Name of projector > Arrangement
  4. Check the box labeled mirror displays. What you see on your laptop screen will be the same as what is on a projector screen.

Extended desktop on MAC

When you use an extended desktop, the screen won’t look the same as what is shown on the projector. You can choose what to show on your laptop’s screen and it will be shown on the big screen. 

  1. Repeat steps 1-3.
  2. To use extended desktop, uncheck the box labeled mirror displays.
  3. Click the window you want to show and drag it over to the projector screen.

You can also follow this video to see how its done. 


How do I project my laptop to my projector with HDMI?

Connect the HDMI cable to your laptop. Connect the other end of the HDMI cable to a projector. When you plug in the cables, make sure that they are tightly in place so that they do not come loose. Turn on your computer or laptop and your screen should show up on the projector screen.

Why won’t my laptop connect to my projector?

If you can’t see your computer on a projector, it might be a problem with the cable. Take a look at the cable and if there are any worn areas, replace it and try again.

​​Why is my screen not showing on my projector?

If something on our device is not working or does not work right, then we need to fix the problem. 

One way to do this is to start by checking for some possible problems:

1. Check to see if the projector is on.

2. Make sure the projector lens cap is removed. If the cap is still on, it’s going to block the picture.

3. Make sure that the right source is selected. If you’re using an HDMI cable, make sure that you select the HDMI as the source.

4. Cables you are using should be connected correctly to the computer/laptop and the projector.

5. Check to make sure your laptop/projector is not faulty. Try testing your laptop with other projectors and vice versa to see if there’s any faulty hardware. 

6. It is recommended to have a professional check over the devices if the above steps do not help with troubleshooting your issues.

How do I connect my projector to my laptop without a VGA port?

Most laptops don’t have a VGA port. You can get an adapter so you can use your laptop to connect to the VGA projector. There are HDMI to VGA adapters that support resolutions up to 1080p.

Why can’t I screen mirror Netflix on my projector?

If Netflix is not playing on your projector, there could be a few reasons. One common reason is you do not have the right kind of smart projector. If you are watching it through a HDMI cable, make sure that they are all connected properly.

What cable do you need to connect laptop to projector?

HDMI is the best way to connect your laptop with a projector. HDMI type-c cables are like regular HDMI cables, but they’re smaller.


Whether you’re giving a presentation to a group of coworkers or classmates, need to show a video for a class, or just want to watch a movie on a bigger screen, following these steps will help get your laptop and projector set up in no time.

What tips and tricks would you add to this guide? Let us know in the comments below!