How to Connect a Laptop to a Desktop Computer Using a USB Cable

By James Clark

Connecting a laptop to a desktop computer will let you transfer data files between computers and share a single Internet connection, printer and other peripherals. A special type of USB cable is required for this connection to work. Get the cable, then follow these steps to hook up a PC to a laptop.

Things You'll Need

  • Desktop computer
  • Laptop computer
  • Bridged or Networking USB cable

Step 1

Log off and shut down both computers.

Step 2

Connect one end of the bridged USB cable to a free port on the laptop computer and plug the other end into a free USB port on the desktop computer. USB ports are typically located on the side and back edge of a laptop and on the front and back of the desktop.

Step 3

Power up both computers and wait for the "New Hardware Detected" message to appear on each screen. You can now use both computers to transfer data back and forth.

Step 4

Turn the line switch in the USB cable to Link Mode to transfer data between the desktop and laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use a standard USB cable to connect computers. It will not work and may cause electrical surges that could damage the ports and possibly internal electronics on both computers.