Scott Hanselman

Use a second laptop as an extended monitor with Windows 10 wireless displays

October 18, '17 Comments [30] Posted in Tools | Win10
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James Clarke from the Windows team rolled into a meeting today with two Surfaces...but one had no keyboard. Then, without any ceremony, he proceeded to do this:

Holy Crap a Surface as a Second Monitor

Now, I consider myself a bit of a Windows Productivity Tips Gourmand, and while I was aware of Miracast and the general idea of a Wireless Display, I didn't realize that it worked this well and that it was built into Windows 10.

In fact, I'm literally sitting here in a hotel with a separate USB3 LCD display panel to use as a second monitor. I've also used Duet Display and used my iPad Pro as a second monitor.

I usually travel with a main laptop and a backup laptop anyway. Why do I lug this extra LCD around? Madness. I had this functionality all the time, built in.

Use your second laptop as a second monitor

On the machine you want to use as a second monitor, head over to Settings | System | Projecting to this PC and set it up as you like, considering convenience vs. security.

Settings | Projecting to this PC

Then, from your main machine - the one you are projecting from - just hit Windows Key+P, like you were projecting to a projector or second display. At the bottom, hit Connect to a Wireless Display.

Connect to a Wireless Display

Then wait a bit as it scans around for your PC. You can extend or duplicate...just like another monitor...

Connected to a Wireless Display

...because Windows thinks it IS another monitor.

You can also do this with Miracast TVs like my LG, or your Roku or sometimes Amazon Fires, or you can get a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter and HDMI to any monitor - even ones at hotels!

NOTE: It's not super fast. It's sometimes pixelly and sometimes slow, depending on what's going on around you. But I just moved Chrome over onto my other machine and watched a YouTube video, just fine. I wouldn't play a game on it, but browsing, dev, typing, coding, works just fine!

Get ready for this. You can ALSO use the second machine as a second collaboration point! That means that someone else could PAIR with you and also type and move their mouse. THIS makes pair programming VERY interesting.

 Allow input from the remote display

Here's a video of it in action:

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. I used two Surfaces, but I also have extended my display to a 3 year old Lenovo without issues.


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017 06:29:48 UTC
This stuff will only work if both machines have an Intel graphics cards
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005492/graphics-drivers.html
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 07:19:09 UTC
And only wireless? I docked my surface next to my desktop and gave up on this since they use wired network. (Use km-switch at least with mouse without borders.)
Grastveit
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 09:01:58 UTC
Cool! Just checked it out using my desktop and laptop and it worked reasonably well, I had to launch the "Connect" app on the device getting projected too, but other than that it worked fine. Both machines were using Nvidia graphics too.
Eluvatar
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 15:29:46 UTC
Oh wow.... I've known about Miracast for a while, but haven't wanted to buy a TV just for that. I don't travel much, but this opens some new use cases for the laptops....
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 18:22:06 UTC
I've got an old Alienware laptop hooked up to the main TV (we use it as our media center and Minecraft server).

It's set up so that when we play D&D the GM can 'cast the map, illustrations, and whatnot to the screen using that very function.

Didn't know about the input sharing though - that would make it easier to run updates and that sort of thing from my regular PC instead of the tiny media center keyboard.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 19:50:34 UTC
My desktop monitor doesn’t respond to the hdmi input from my laptop, so will try this tonite!
Howard
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 21:08:13 UTC
Used Rover well over 10 years ago to connect multiple desktop PCs together for the same purpose.....
bob
Thursday, 19 October 2017 07:46:21 UTC
I use linux mint and chromium with the media router extension switched on in chrome://flags on my laptop. That enables me to cast a chromium tab or the full desktop to any compatible device which might be directly connected to the laptop or in WiFi range..one of those devices being my sony bravia android TV.

Other set ups and devices are available..
Joe
Thursday, 19 October 2017 07:50:24 UTC
Wow, I wish I had known this before ! Is there any way NOT to also connect the sound though ? When extending a display I want to keep using the speakers of my main computer, not the ones from the old laptop on which I extended my display...
David
Thursday, 19 October 2017 09:13:28 UTC
Tried some solutions over the years but unlike those this is easy to setup and working like a charm! Default the audio is sent to my connected laptop as well, but setting the audio playback device back to my main machine solved that. Thanks for this tip!
Jaap
Thursday, 19 October 2017 09:53:55 UTC
Any word if this works on the Surface RT's Scott?
This would make a really cheap option for a small, high resolution portable monitor with great battery life.
Jake Langford
Thursday, 19 October 2017 13:28:06 UTC
The (long-awaited?) return of Maxi-Vista? https://www.hanselman.com/blog/MaxiVistaVersion2StillTheShiznit.aspx
John Garland
Thursday, 19 October 2017 18:30:26 UTC
@Grastveit, thanks for the link to Mouse Without Borders. I was trying out the solution Scott provided, thought "meh, not to bad, but I'd prefer to use the desktop directly on my surface using my mouse and keyboard" and am super happy with Mouse without Borders. I actually started to think about how it could be realized, even better to find it production ready for free!
Marc Wittke
Thursday, 19 October 2017 20:30:41 UTC
@David, yes, you can change where the audio is output from, just go into your sound settings/playback devices and set back to where you want your sound output from.

@Grastveit, I have it setup on my Suface Pro 4 / Acer Aspire V5-571P (around 5 years old, , both connected to my network via ethernet
Friday, 20 October 2017 08:13:50 UTC
@Chris, thanks, good to know wired may work. I googled more and apparently the problem is missing miracast-support on the desktop with nvidia gtx 770. The "Projecting to this PC"-dialog says "This device doesn't support receiving Miracast" and DxDiag.txt says "Not Available".
Grastveit
Friday, 20 October 2017 12:47:56 UTC
Hi Scott, nice tipp!! I will try it although my experience with Windows 10 and Miracast is not that good. I used a Samsung TV with both my Laptop and a Phone (both with the "old" kernel). I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 and my remote display with the Samsung TV stopped working. The same thing happened after I upgraded my Nokia 930. My experience has been bad with the remote display functionality in Windows 10.
Raul
Saturday, 21 October 2017 13:24:48 UTC
Cool article, Scott, thank u! Are u interested in blockchain technologies? Did u hear about it? https://goo.gl/HSmbNv
ArtyomTrefilov
Sunday, 22 October 2017 04:20:52 UTC
Did not work. Tried with my surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro Book. Just didn't work. Sorry Microsoft :-(
Yaheya Quazi
Sunday, 22 October 2017 13:54:35 UTC
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Ratan
Sunday, 22 October 2017 20:59:37 UTC
Works on my Roku for about 10 minutes and then it locks up and crashes.
PRMan
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 05:20:31 UTC
Jackson
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 15:13:43 UTC
Excellent topic ! Me who knows nothing in computer could follow the instructions to the letter and it helped me a lot with my screens. Thank you for sharing guys ;)
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 17:35:47 UTC
If you're using GNU/Linux or Mac OS X, you can also use Synergy -> https://github.com/symless/synergy-core

Very cool that Windows 10 offers this built-in!
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:56:13 UTC
cool article. thanks scott
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Mehndi
Friday, 27 October 2017 11:58:33 UTC
I wanted to connect my tablet to my laptop...

Thanks for sharing...

Monday, 30 October 2017 17:22:31 UTC
This has been a cool thing in the Connect app since, uh, Anniversary Edition I think? Looks like in Fall Creators Update they made it more "built in" and less "launch an app." I've used it a bit with my Windows phone to get Office on a laptop without Office.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.