How to Setup a Portable USB Monitor with Your Laptop

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Nikhil P Naik

Setting up a portable monitor with your laptop is a pretty straight forward thing. An additional screen can do wonders for your productivity. If you are spending a significant amount of time on your PC or laptop, then it is a top way to use a second monitor to boost the productivity score. Here, we will see how to setup a portable USB monitor with your laptop.

What you will need
  • A laptop
  • A USB powered monitor
  • A USB cable (most occasions, came with the portable monitor you purchase)
  • Compatible drivers
  • Apps you want to use on the USB monitor


Linking the portable monitor with your laptop

There is a lot of brands who make USB portable monitors just for working as an additional screen to your laptop or PC. They exist between the full-sized display monitors and tablet screens regarding size, resolution, and color contrast. Brands like AOC are doing best in providing exactly what is needed by the consumers in a portable monitor since past few years.

Setting up the USB monitor with your laptop is easy. If you are using a Windows system, then it will become even more comfortable. Most of the modern laptops come with DisplayPort, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, or USB-C port. Older machines have only VGA or DVI port which is also applicable for the monitor you own.

If your monitor does not come with the USB cable, you can buy it from AMAZON or other sites after finding the type of cable you want for the connection.

Then you need to install the drivers included in the CD-ROM of the monitor, or you can visit the site of the manufacturer to find the relevant drivers of the product.

After successfully completing the above steps, hit the Win-P button and you will see four options on the side panel of the screen.

‘Duplicate’ and ‘Second Screen Only’ are the options for displaying a presentation or playing a movie. You can choose ‘Extend’ for work in the spreadsheets, it will also allow you to use drag-n-drop feature between the both screens.

If you are using ‘Windows 7’ system, then right-click on the desktop screen and go to screen resolution. In that, select ‘Extend these displays’ from the drop-down menu in ‘Multiple Displays’ and then click OK or Apply.

You can also change the positions of the laptop and monitor screens from the control panel. Go to Control Panel>Appearance and Personalization>Display>Screen Resolution and change the necessary settings you want.

You can also connect more than a single monitor to your laptop. However, modern laptops do not come with two VGA or HDMI ports, but you can buy a separate USB cable with the second end of HDMI/VGA to connect it to your USB monitor.

Note: if your portable screen does not show your laptop’s output after doing all this, you may need to manipulate monitor’s control for the correct output.


Whatever you decide to do, setting up a resolution of your portable screen is the primary concern you should have. For example, if you want to connect a 4K display, then you need to connect it with the video connection for the highest output. The choice of the portable display depends on the type of work you will be doing on it. If you have found another way to setup the additional screen to a laptop, please don’t shy to share it in the comments!

About the Author: Niki writes articles on

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About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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