How to Connect a Dell Laptop to a Monitor 2022


What to Know

Identify the video ports on your computers (DVI, HDMI, etc.) and connect your laptop to the monitor using the appropriate cable.Go to Settings > System > Display to adjust the video settings for each display.If your computers don't have compatible video display ports, you need to use a converter cable.

This article explains how to connect a Dell laptop to a monitor, such as the Dell Professional P2717H 27-Inch monitor. Depending on your Dell, you may have a few options.

How to Connect a Monitor to a Dell Laptop

Follow these steps to hook up your Dell laptop to an external monitor:

Go to the Dell Drivers and Download page to get the latest graphics drivers to make sure your video is optimized. The website should automatically detect your laptop model, so select it under This PC to get the latest drivers if your PC isn't already up-to-date.

Identify the video ports on your laptop and monitor. Dell laptops support a variety of video connection standards, including:


Find the cable you need, then connect one end to your Dell laptop and the other end to the monitor. Since the cables' ends are identical, it doesn't matter which one goes into which device.

If your laptop has a USB-C port, you can find converter cables that will allow you to connect to the monitor's HDMI port. There are also HDMI-to-DVI and VGA-to-HMDI converters.

To switch between the built-in display and the external monitor, use the keyboard shortcut Fn+8. Press Fn+8 again to see your video display on both screens, and press Fn+8 a third time to switch back to just your Dell.

Configure the display resolution, font size, and color settings. In Windows 10, go to Settings > System > Display to optimize each monitor's video settings.

Can My Dell Laptop Connect to an External Monitor?

The motherboards in all Dell laptops have a built-in graphics card adapter port, which allows you to display your computer's desktop on an external screen. Most external monitors are compatible with Dell laptops; you don't need a Dell brand monitor.

If your monitor and laptop have multiple compatible video ports, DisplayPort is the best option, followed closely by HDMI. DVI, VGA, and S-Video can only transmit video; the sound will come from your laptop, not the monitor.

The steps for hooking up a Dell laptop to a monitor are mostly the same as connecting a laptop to a TV or connecting a laptop to a projector.

Switch Between the Monitor and Laptop Display

The keyboard shortcut Fn+8 is the quickest way to switch between displays, but if that doesn't work, you'll have to do it manually.

In Windows 10, go to Settings > System > Display, then select Detect under Multiple Displays. You'll then be able to switch between screens.

Some Dell monitors have an input select button you can press to switch between video inputs.