Can I use my laptop monitor for my desktop?

John October 11, 2014

This question was asked before but no clear answer was given:

How do I use my laptop monitor for my desktop computer (my desktop monitor got blown out in a power outage)?

When I plug the desktop’s VGA cord into my laptop all the screen does is blink to black when I move the mouse around.

  1. dragonmouth
    October 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Take a look at the following instructable:

    If I remember correctly, Tina Sieber also wrote an article on how to convert an LCD into a monitor but I can't find the URL.

  2. Oron J
    October 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    As DalSan and Jan explained, you can't use a laptop's screen like an external monitor, it's simply not built that way. You could use remote access software (e.g. Microsoft's Remote Desktop, or TeamViewer) and access the PC over your home network. Performance wouldn't be quite as good as when using a hardwired connection, but it will allow you to use your PC until you replace the monitor. Of course, you'd need a screen to set up that software in the first place...

  3. Jan F.
    October 12, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Laptops usually don't have video-inputs, only out. I would be surprised if it was any different for yours. I strongly recommend to disconnect the devices and check the specifications for a possible video in before you do more harm than good.

    Under normal circumstances it requires disassembling of the laptop to get the display and the converter out plus some hardware and circuitry hacking to turn it into a usable screen.

  4. DalSan M
    October 11, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Laptops rarely, if ever, have video inputs to use the screen as a monitor for external devices. You can use a USB video capture device to view the output of the desktop computer, but you would need to find a compatible VGA to RCA (or maybe a VGA to S-video cable attached to an S-video to RCA cable, and then connect to the USB capture device). In the end, it may be more cost effective just to purchase a cheap monitor or small HDTV with VGA input.