How to Connect a Dell Laptop to Monitor

Have trouble connecting your Dell Laptop to a Monitor? Find out what you’re probably doing wrong.

Dell laptops come with some of the best graphic cards necessary for excellent extended video displays, and connecting a Dell Laptop to a Monitor is easier than you think.

Dell Laptop to Monitor

Connecting a Dell Laptop to an external Monitor has multiple benefits and applications, including Watching a movie, playing an online game, presenting group research, giving a business proposal, or simply monitoring price action on a forex market.

Connecting a Dell Laptop to a Monitor

Whatever your need is, in this post, you’ll learn how to connect your Dell Laptop to a Monitor and save yourself the extra cost of hiring a Tech specialist.

Ready to set up your Dell Laptop to a Monitor?

Locate and identify the available video ports on your Laptop and output monitor.

Dell laptops usually come with at least one of these ports:

  • Displayport
  • HDMI
  • USB – C with Displayport or Thunderbolt 3
  • DVI

Most commonly used monitors in homes and offices today have at least one of these,

  • RCA AV port
  • S-video port
  • USB-C
  • HDMI
  • Displayport
  • Component video port
  • DVI port

When connecting your Dell laptop to a Monitor, you should take note of the specific capabilities of each available video port.

Video ports in display monitors and projectors send data either in Digital or Analog formats.

Digital video ports allow playback of protected (encrypted) data, while Analog ports lack playback support for protected visual data.

Analog video ports include VGA/SVGA, DVI, S-video, and Composite Video.

We advise you to use the digital video ports to connect your Dell laptop to a Monitor to avoid playback errors.

Digital video ports include those primarily found in Dell laptops mentioned above.

Getting the right cables

Your choice of connecting cables should be based on the available video ports on your Dell laptop and Monitor.

Connecting Dell Laptop to Monitor using HDMI

You don’t need a high-speed HDMI or ARC compatibility to do this, and your standard HDMI cable will do.

If You find an HDMI port on the Dell laptop, as well as on the Monitor, then connecting both will work by a simple plug-and-play.

First, ensure you’ve shut down your Dell laptop and turned off the Monitor before connecting the HDMI cable. The HDMI cable goes into the HDMI port of the Laptop and Monitor.

There’s a way to connect a Dell laptop to a monitor without an HDMI port. We’ll discuss this later on.

Once your HDMI cable is plugged in, you can power your Dell Laptop and Monitor.

Setting up Dell laptop with Monitor

  • Switch the Monitor input to HDMI (or other connected ports) to identify the Dell laptop as the input source.
  • Once the Laptop completes Boot up, head to ‘Settings’ on the PC and select the ‘Display’ option.
  • Click on the available display options.
  • You can choose Duplicate this display to mirror your laptop screen on the Monitor or Extend this display to transfer the display to the Monitor.

Using hotkeys is quicker. Hit Fn + 8 to select your preferred display options.

If you’re connecting more than 1 monitor to your Dell laptop, click on ‘Identify’ from the display options settings to choose the primary and secondary display.

If either your Dell laptop or Monitor doesn’t have an HDMI port, you can use a USB-Type C (with Thunderbolt 3 or Displayport), VGA/SVGA, or any other ports available.

Once you’ve got the right cables based on available ports, then go ahead and set up your Laptop, following the steps above.

Connecting your Dell laptop to a monitor using Adapters

Perhaps you’re confused about what to do because your Laptop doesn’t have any of the video ports on your Monitor; the simple way out is using an adapter.

Several adapters are available today, including

  • HDMI to USB-Type C (with Thunderbolt 3 or Displayport)
  • USB -Type C to HDMI
  • HDMI to Displayport
  • Displayport to HDMI

Just find the correct adapter for you, and you’re good to go.

Please take note that the adapter you’re picking has the correct input. For instance, if your Laptop has a Displayport and the Monitor has an HDMI port, you need a Displayport to HDMI adapter and not an HDMI to Displayport adapter.

If you get the adapter wrongly, your Monitor won’t display your Laptop screen successfully.

Checking your Display Drivers and PC GPU

You must download the latest display drivers for your Dell laptop because using outdated drivers will affect the quality of your monitor display.

Finally, ensure your PC’s VGA (Video Graphics Array) in the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) supports multiple screen displays.


Can I use my laptop with the lid closed while connected to a Monitor?

Answer: Yes, you can. Click on the battery icon on your display screen. Select power options > choose what closing the lid does. Finally, choose to do nothing.

How do I adjust my monitor’s refresh rate connected to a Dell Laptop?


  1. Right-click a vacant area on your desktop and select Display settings > Display > Advanced Display settings.
  2. Select the desired Monitor and go to Display adapter properties > Monitor.
  3. Choose your desired Refresh rate.

How can I change the screen resolution for my Dell laptop?

Answer: Right-click an empty space on desktop > display settings > Display > Advanced Display settings. Select monitor and hit on Resolution.