How to Convert an LCD to a Touch Screen

By Dustin Lamb

Using a touch screen with a computer allows you to do some things you wouldn't be able to do with just a mouse and keyboard. You can interact with the computer in a more natural way. You can also make sketches or take quick notes. Converting a liquid crystal display (LCD) to a touch screen can be done by installing one of many kits available. These kits contain a clear screen overlay to put over the monitor, a screen controller and universal serial bus (USB) or other cable type that plugs into your computer. The touch screen overlay is the same size of the computer monitor and is installed over the monitor in the monitor case. This is a fairly simple upgrade that most people can perform.

Things You'll Need

  • LCD touch screen conversion kit
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 1

Unplug the monitor power cord. Open the computer monitor housing carefully by removing the screws holding it together on the back of the monitor.

Step 2

Clean the computer monitor screen and touch screen overlay from the conversion kit thoroughly with a microfiber cleaning cloth. Clean both surfaces, because it will be more difficult to clean them after the upgrade is complete.

Step 3

Orient the computer monitor so the screen faces upward. Remove the front monitor frame. Install the touch screen overlay over the computer monitor. Make sure to orient the correct side outward that is intended for touch (consult the product manual for the touch screen conversion kit).

Step 4

Install the screen overlay controller inside the monitor housing if there is extra room. This is the small electronic board that attaches to the touch screen overlay. If there is not extra room in the case, route the wires from the screen to the controller along with the existing monitor cables through the back of the case.

Step 5

Replace the front monitor frame over the screen overlay. Make sure that the sides of the touch screen overlay stay parallel to the sides of the computer screen. Carefully flip the monitor over and insert the case screws on the back that were removed earlier. Tighten the screws almost all the way. They should not be tightened to their original tightness, because this could crack the screen overlay.

Step 6

Set your monitor back to an upright position. Plug in the video cable for the monitor to your computer and the power cord. Do not plug in the cable from the screen overlay controller to the computer until you consult the LCD conversion kit manufacturer's website for advice on how to install any drivers and programs for your model.

Step 7

Plug in the USB or other cable that came with the kit from the screen overlay controller to your computer. The touch screen overlay will be recognized and installed.

Step 8

Calibrate the touch screen overlay using the installed program. You need to touch different parts of the screen so the screen overlay will be in line with the computer monitor as you are prompted to. The original computer monitor will still be used to display video through the touch screen overlay. Test the touch screen with different programs on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cathode ray tube (CRT) computer monitor cases should not be used. These are dangerous to open and could injure you.