How to Extend Your Computer Desktop to Your TV

Many people like to connect a second monitor to their computer, to give them a larger desktop on which to work. Some people, however, can't afford to purchase a second monitor. You can just use your television. Connecting your computer to your television isn't enough, though; you have to also tell your computer to extend your desktop onto the television.

Flat Screen TV Mounted on Wall
credit: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Extend Your Desktop

Step

Connect your computer to your television, using your connector cable. The kind of cable you need depends on the kind of television and computer you use. Most people will need an S-Video cable or an HDMI cable. There's no difference when it comes to extending your desktop.

Step

Set your TV on the correct "Input", using your remote. You can find the "Input" you need by looking in the rear of the TV, where you plugged in your cable.

Step

Turn on your computer, and open the "Start" menu at the bottom left of the screen. Navigate to the "Control panel," and find the search bar in the "Control panel" window that appears.

Step

Type "connect display" into the search bar, and hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard. A section will appear: "Windows Mobility Center." Beneath that, select the option: "Connect to a projector or other external display." A new window will pop up.

Step

Click the button that says "Connect Display." The TV will recognize the computer and act as a mirrored monitor, displaying everything your computer's main monitor does.

Step

Click the "Icon of a computer", to open the monitor "Display Settings." Click on the "Second monitor", and check the box that says "Extend the desktop onto this monitor." Now the TV will act as an extension of your desktop, rather than a duplicate of it. "Apply" the settings and close the windows.