Home » How to Connect a Projector to a Laptop – 2023 Beginners Guide

How to Connect a Projector to a Laptop – 2023 Beginners Guide

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Entertainment is something that provides power to the body mentally and physically. It removes the stress and sadness of the mind and makes one energetic and free from all woes. For this purpose, the laptop is helpful along with other instruments. But can a laptop be used for entertainment? How?

The answer is yes and is by connecting a projector to the laptop.

Every projector is designed with one or more ports which permit you to receive and show an image created by a laptop or watch movies on a bigger screen. A laptop can be connected to a projector if it has proper preparation with equipment like the appropriate cords and inputs. Otherwise, it will result in a delayed or canceled presentation.

You can quickly and effectively make a duplicate screen of the original one, extend it or display an image on the projector with the help of simple keyboard shortcut or by the use of a DVI, HDMI, or VGA cable at all times of the day. You can also use Bluetooth if available.

Below is an account of how to connect a projector to your laptop in an effective way.

Find out the available connection and matching port:
The first important thing while connecting a projector to a laptop is to identify the matching port on both the machines. When you have found out the matching port on both your output device and an input device, you need to connect them to each other.

By the use of video cable:

There are many types of video cables that are used to connect a projector to a laptop. A variety of video cable can be found in most of the projectors. Here is a list of video cables. Have a look!


The HDMI cable is designed to connect two devices and is used to transfer sound and picture. This connection supports high-definition and Ultra HD video signal and audio. This type of cable has a flat, gold or silver head which is about 0.6 inches, or 1 centimeter across. This device is a bit identical to a USB port on your computer or laptop, though a bit wider and taller. It is standard and popular among video cables.

Nowadays, most projectors are designed with HDMI ports and also most laptops support this display electronics. Features like high-quality signal and the ability to carry both audio and video signals are making this HDMI popular and standard for all electronic equipment.

You may experience a situation where you cannot connect the two devices by the use of HDMI. In this situation, you need to buy DVI to HDMI adapters.


This sort of video cable has a blue head and 15 pin connectors in 3 rows of 5, which plugs into a VGA port on each device. Sometimes you cannot find the other pins on the inside, though it depends on the system’s setup. This connection is another cable that is commonly used to connect the projector to laptops and thus transfer the picture signal from the laptop to the projector. You can also find this connection almost in all the projectors. Connect the VGA cable from the laptop’s external video port to the projector.

This connection is universal for that electronic equipment that supports it. In case you own a display adapter for the laptop, connect it to the VGA cable before you connect it to your laptop.


This connection has a white head with 24 large pins and 4 small pins. Anew devise than VGA, makes the image sharper. Epson projector doesn’t have this port but it’s still somewhat common on projectors.

This device is most commonly used to connect computers, projectors. Some laptops support this DVI port. Apple laptop supports this device more than any other brand of laptop. This device is difficult to find out.


You can commonly find this device on projectors but can seldom find it on laptops. This electronic equipment is a small step up from the composite video, though it’s obsolete.

After you have identified the matching and appropriate ports on both your laptop and projector, you are able to connect the cables to both devices. Also, find out which matching port it connects too on the projector. You can generally find the connector ports on the back of the projector or flat-screen display. You can find that there are many video connections are labeled. If you don’t find them labeled, cast a look on the shape of the head on the cable and plug it into the port that has the same shape and size.

If you find holes in the cable head, find out the metal pins in the connector port which is identical to the holes and plug the cable into the connector port. In case, you cannot find the same connections on both the devices, you need to buy a video converter cable that converts one signal into a compatible one.

An important step to do is to press the power button on the laptop and the projector. You will find the power button on the buttons panel or it is remote for the projector. A symbol which is identical to a circle with a line through the top is used to indicate the power button. If your laptop is still off, turn it on.

When you have connected the laptop to the projector, the two devices are automatically connected or you will seldom need to press the “send” button to send the video signal to the projector or display, or other keys on the laptop’s keyboard to activate the projector. The button you need to press is not the same. It depends on the make and model of the laptop.

Typically, the button is F9+F3, F4, F5, F8, or F9. For example, pressing and holding the Fn+F3 button on the keyboard of the laptop at the same time transmits the video signal to the projector or display. You may be required to press and hold “Fn” to access the “F” keys. The Fn key may be labeled as CRT/LCD, or have a picture of a monitor on the key. Check the laptop’s manual if you are unable to find the key. If the problem still continues, contact your laptop manufacturer, or visit their website.

Some laptops can transmit the videos to both the laptop and the external display at the same time. You need to press the appropriate function key to enable the laptops to toggle between the two modes. Modern laptops may also contain a DisplayPort that you can use to connect the projectors which support the DisplayPort cable.
If the projector supports DVI, VGA, or HDMI instead, you will also find a DisplayPort cable that will let you connect DVI, VGA or HDMI display to the laptop’s DisplayPort.

Connect the audio cable of the projector to the Audio Out in the laptop and Audio In the projector. You need to tighten the connections. Some laptop and projectors don’t require any audio cable if they support HDMI as it carries both audio and video.

You have to appreciate the far we have come in terms of technology. It was just years ago when overhead projectors and slide presentations were the in thing.

Amazingly, contemporary projectors have HD capability, wireless connectivity, and interactive features. More premium models can split the screen into quadrants and display different images at the same time.

In short, a projector functions in the same way that a TV screen or a computer screen does. It is a tool whose primary role is to project the picture onto a surface.

In the majority of cases, projectors connect to a laptop through a VGA port. Having a computer that does not have a VGA port is increasingly becoming a reality. So what do you do if your computer does not have this port? Do you give up on using the projector?

If that is the case, you can still use the HDMI port to connect to the projector. Furthermore, there are various connectors, but you can use it if your laptop and projector do not have the same output and input ports. For example, there’s USB to VGA, HDMI to VGA, VGA to HDMI among others.

How to Connect a DVD Player to a Projector

The common practice is connecting the projector to a computer for presentations. But that does not mean you cannot use the projector for other purposes. For example, you can use the projector to watch movies by connecting it to a DVD player. Yes, it is possible.

The associated benefit is that you get to watch bigger images than your TV can manage. However, the size of the image depends on the type of projector that you have.

So how do you go about connecting your DVD player to the projector?

The yellow RCA cable should go into the DVD “out” port. Insert the other end of the cable into the “in” port on the projector. Power on both devices.

Press the menu button on the projectors remote or on the surface buttons. The next step is to select the video player in the video settings. You can now enjoy watching videos and images from the DVD player through the projector.

How to Connect Chromebook to Projector

Interconnectivity between devices is turning out to be one of the essential features. As a result, Contemporary devices are becoming wireless. A decade ago, the idea of a wireless projector would have sounded preposterous. It is now a possibility.

However, if the projector that you need to use is not wireless, then you will need to use the cables and ports. The problem comes in determining which wire goes where.

You can connect your Chromebook to a projector by using the HDMI cable. Just plug one end of the cable to the projector and the other to the Chromebook. Switch on the Chromebook and log in.

Your Chromebook will detect the new connection and display the configuration settings, and you can set your preferences. For example, you can choose to extend or mirror the image. You also have the freedom to vary the resolution.

Alternatively, you can use an adaptor to go between the HDMI cable and the VGA port. Older projector models do not have an HDMI connection. Instead, they have a VGA, and that may pose problems when connecting to a Chromebook. You will need an adaptor.

How to Connect Laptop to Projector with HDMI

There are various ways that you can connect a laptop to a projector. Among the most popular methods is using an HDMI cable.

The cables are slowly becoming the standard for connecting the various devices to a projector or TV.

Locate the connector ports which are usually at the back of the projector and of the laptop. Sometimes, most of the connector ports are labeled to make it easy for you. If it is not marked, you can figure it out by determining which port can fit the cable appropriately.

Make sure that the metal pins on the connector cable correspond effectively with the holes on the connector plug.

Turn on the laptop as well as the projector. You can use the remote control that comes with the projector.

It is important to note that some computer models require you to send the video for the projector to work. The send video button varies between different models. It can either be F3, F4, F5, F7, F8 or F9.

If you are using windows then press the button with the windows logo plus the P button to access the projector options, they will be on a sidebar to the right.

The ‘PC screen only’ option turns off the projector so that you can use your laptop screen only. The duplicate option displays the same image on the laptop screen to the projector.

The extend button converts the projector screen into a second display. You can drag on items from the computer screen to the projector or vice versa, as is necessary.

You may also need to select the video source, which in most cases is the input port. In this case, you will choose HDMI on the remote.

How to use an ELMO Projector

Digital projections and laptop wireless connections may seem to have overtaken the traditional projectors. Surprisingly, the overhead projectors are still a favorite in presentations and lectures.

The ELMO projector has an iconic status associated with its ease of use. You plug and project your presentations or images on a screen without the need to go through various settings and options.

To use the Elmo projector, place it on a flat surface. Make sure that the vents at the bottom are not obstructed. Then lift the column at the side to an upright position. The column should automatically lock-in. And if you need to put away the projector, you can pull the locking sleeve push it down.

Connect the projector to a power source and switch it on. The last step is to place the material that you want to project on the screen surface. You can then use the focus knob to adjust the center of focus as is necessary.

How to Make a Projector Screen

Most of us enjoy watching movies or a favorite TV
program on a big screen. You can make your own projector screen cheaply using the locally available materials.

The first step is to decide on the screen size. It can be as big as possible according to your preference. The next step is to source for the bed sheet that is as big as the projector screen that you desire.

Sew in the PVC pipes on both ends of the bedsheet. The purpose of the PVC pipe at the top and the bottom is to create a flat surface for the image. It also makes it easy to store.

Insert eyelets on the top side and put some hooks on the ceiling. You don’t have to worry about the hooks as they are barely noticeable.

And to make it easy to store, you can cut the PVC pipe in two before sewing it in.
If you want to connect a laptop with a projector with a VGA cable, you may check this guide as well: