Using Windows with a Projector

by Barry Dysert
(last updated August 1, 2016)

5

There may be times when you want to display your screen using a projector so that others can see it. This is quite simple to do, assuming that the projector you're using is compatible with your computer.

Ensure that the projector and your computer are turned on. Plug one end of the projector's video cable into the "video out" port on your computer and plug the other end of the cable into the "video in" port on the projector. It may take a minute or so for the devices to synchronize. After that, you can control what is shown on the projector through the use of a function key on your computer. (Which function key does this varies. I have one computer that uses the F7 key and another computer that uses the F3 key. You may need to experiment a bit to find the right key on your system.)

There is typically a special key on the keyboard that allows you to access the "projector mode" of the function keyboard. On my systems there's a key near the Alt key that's labeled "FN". By pressing the FN key with the appropriate function key, you cycle through three different display modes. One display mode permits you to show what's on your screen to the projector while you can still view it on your computer screen. The second display mode permits you to show what's on your screen to the projector, but it does not show anything on your computer screen. The third display mode disables the projector and only uses your computer screen. You should allow several seconds to elapse when switching modes so that the devices have time to synchronize.

 This tip (12682) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is eight more than 8?

2016-11-04 21:01:30

Lou Jones

I don't know what changed, but now Windows + P does bring up the screen output options.


2016-08-02 20:20:39

Lou Jones

Thanks for the comment, Jennifer, but when I tried Windows key + P on my computer (an HP Pavilion 17 with Win 10) it just made the display shrink and take on a weird shape.


2016-08-01 09:40:26

Jennifer Thomas

Windows key + P is usually a reliable way to get to screen output options for a projector (Disconnect Projector, Extend, Duplicate, Projector Only).


2016-08-01 09:00:57

Barry

It varies by laptop, and I believe it's only for the VGA port (not HDMI). But if you've tried them all and none of them work, it sounds like you're out of luck. Maybe you could use Chromecast or something similar?


2016-08-01 08:40:29

Lou Jones

Good topic in that it related--sort of--to an issue I've had for a while. (Specifically, I'm dealing with using a TV as large-screen monitors via the HDMI connector.)
Barry states "By pressing the FN key with the appropriate function key, you cycle through three different display modes." Well, which function key is "appropriate"? I tried them all, with no similar result.


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