Computer monitors could be wireless

How to use a Windows laptop as a wireless monitor (for another PC)

You want a secondary screen to show your productivity in Windows 10, but you don't have another monitor on hand. However, if you have an up-to-date Windows laptop or tablet, you can use it as a wireless monitor.

What you will need

To take advantage of this trick, you will need two Windows 10 computers that support the Miracast streaming video standard. Most newer laptops and tablets have this built in, as do some desktops. However, if you've created your own desktop or have a desktop without a Wi-Fi adapter, Miracast might not be supported. For this to work you need to connect both computers on the same local Wi-Fi network.

If you're not sure if your Windows laptop or tablet supports Miracast, click the Start button, type "projection" in the search box, and then click the "Project to this PC" result. If “This device does not support Miracast reception” appears in the settings menu, you cannot use it as a wireless monitor.

First step: set up the receiving PC

Before you can connect your two Windows computers, you need to activate the connection. On the PC that you want to use as a wireless monitor (referred to as the "receiving PC" in this manual), click the start button, type "project onto this PC" in the search box, and then click "Project" to this PC ”.

You will get to a settings window. In the first drop-down menu, you must select "Available Anywhere" or "Available Anywhere on Secure Networks". The second option means that strangers cannot accidentally project their screen onto your screen on a public Wi-Fi network.

In the second drop-down menu, you can control whether Windows notifies you every time a device tries to project onto this PC, or only the first time a new device is connected. Select "First time only" if you frequently use this system as a monitor.

Turn on Require PIN for pairing if you are using the device in a crowded or unsecure location. The last option can be used to prevent projection from taking place when the laptop is not connected. The monitor projection can be very battery-intensive.

Make a note of the PC name at the bottom of the screen. (In the screenshot above, it's "Defiant".) Now switch to the main PC that you want to host the wireless monitor.

Step two: make the connection

When your receiving PC is ready, you can now project your screen from the main computer.

Press Windows + P on your keyboard to open the Project menu. On a touchscreen, swipe your finger in from left and instead tap Project at the bottom of the Action Center menu.

On the Project menu, click or tap the “Connect to a wireless display” link.

After a moment, the receiving device set up in step 1 is displayed in the list. Click it.

The receiving machine displays a screen with the message "Connecting [host]". (If you set up a PIN or permission requirement in step 1, you will need to check the connection here.)

By default, the first time you connect, your secondary computer is just a mirror of what is on your primary PC's screen. Skip to step 3 to tweak this and use the secondary PC as an extended monitor.

Step three: customize your monitor

On your main PC, click the Start button, type "change display settings" in the search box, and select the result, "change display settings".

In this menu you can treat your receiver PC as follows: any standard monitor. To get the most out of your screen, open the Multiple Displays drop-down menu and select the Expand These Displays option. In the warning that appears, click Keep Changes.

Now your desktop storage space will expand to the side screens of both your primary and recipient PCs. You can run programs simultaneously on the second screen and the main screen, or you can expand a single program window across both windows.

By default, the receiver's PC screen is located to the right of the main PC. If this doesn't match the physical configuration of your screens, you can click and drag the screens at the top of this menu and then click the "Apply" button.

And of course your receiver PC also runs its own instance of Windows under the projected desktop. You can reach it by pressing Alt + Tab or swiping your finger in from the left edge of the touchscreen. The monitor projected from the main PC is a window labeled "Connect".

You cannot use the mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen on the receiving PC to control the main PC unless you open the Action Center (Windows + A or slide your finger from the right) and click the notification "allow entry". Otherwise you will not be able to reach Windows "under" the projected monitor.

To stop using your Receiver PC as a wireless device: On the monitor, press Windows + P or slide the Action Center open and tap Project. At the top of the menu, click or tap Disconnect. Your wireless monitor will stop working even if the receiving PC is shut down.