How to connect your laptop to an external display

The Ananta touchscreen portable display plugged into a Surface Laptop 3 on a wooden table.

Photography by Dan Seifert / The Verge

It doesn’t matter how big your laptop’s screen is — if you’re going to be doing any serious multitasking for work or school, connecting a monitor can be a big help. Any modern laptop should be able to connect to whatever external monitor you have, but you may need to get creative.

The first step is to figure out what outputs your laptop supports. It’s likely going to be HDMI, mini-HDMI, a USB-C port with Thunderbolt and / or DisplayPort support, DisplayPort, or Mini DisplayPort. If you have an older computer, it may be VGA or DVI (the ones that are covered in holes). If you’re not sure what ports you have, a quick Google search can help you out. You should be able to find a list on the manufacturer’s website or in reviews of your laptop…

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