How to connect a projector to a Windows 10 computer?

By ivan.diskin | October 29, 2018 |

greater than 10 minutes

Sometimes, you cannot help but make use of a projector. Perhaps, for example, you are in a conference or business meeting where you are obligated to present information on a big screen for numerous people to see.

In this guide, we will walk you through the intricacies of setting up a projector for use to display the same content on the screen of a Windows 10 PC.

We are going to examine different methods or paths of doing the same thing. The variable factors here are what version or build of Windows 10 you have running on your computer, the components or kinds of ports that will be available for use, the mode of signal transmission, and so on.

Now, here we go.

Before you begin…

In general, the most obvious requirements for the connection setup will the availability of two video ports or supporting wireless facility. In other words, the available ports much match each other, or the connecting facility on both devices must be compatible with one another.

If not too many years have gone by since the release of your PC and the projector you intend to use, then these requirements will probably not constitute a problem.

First, you must identify what kind of ports your Windows 10 PC and projector are equipped with if you plan to use a wired connection to link them up. There must be an identical port or corresponding standard on both devices in view.

Once you have taken note of the ports that match on your computer and the projecting device, you must move to get the appropriate cable to connect them. Here are some common ports standards:

  • HDMI

In recent times, HDMI ports have provided the platform for the most widely used wired connection setup on modern electronic devices. These days, it is incredibly difficult to find a laptop or standard display monitor that has not been equipped with a single HDMI port at least.

  • VGA

This port type is no longer as essential as it used to be due to the increasing popularity of HDMI ports. Nevertheless, VGA ports are still considerably popular on both desktop and laptop computers and might not go away anytime soon. Put it this way: If your laptop or projector lacks an HDMI port, then a VGA port is most likely the port standard available on the device.

We know of other port types or standards (AVI, for example) but there is not much point in us discussing them given how rarely used they are these days. In general, if your computer or projector is equipped with a port that is incompatible with the standard on the other device, all you need is a converter or special cable to get the work done.

Things to do if you want to connect your computer to a projector using an HDMI or VGA cable

If your PC is equipped with a VGA port, then you can quickly plug in a suitable cable and connect it to the VGA port on your port on your projector. The same thing applies if both your computer and the projecting device have corresponding HDMI ports.

You might have noticed that the obvious requirement for any connection setup demands that both devices in view have the same or corresponding ports standards (HDMI or VGA in most cases). However, we must account for scenarios where users have a computer with an HDMI port only while their projector is equipped with a VGA port and vice versa.

If the described problem relates to your situation, then you might be able to find your way around it by purchasing an HDMI to VGA converter so that you can connect your PC to your projector with a regular VGA cable. In any case, you will end up having to connect the converter to your computer’s port and then the projector to the converter through the cord.

How to connect your projector to a Windows 10 computer

(the standard way)

Here, we are going to show you the general or standard method of connecting a Windows 10 PC to a projecting device. Follow these instructions:

  • Give the Windows button on your keyboard a tap (or click on the Windows Start icon that is always visible on your desktop screen). From the options and programs available, you must click on Settings.
  • Once the expected program window shows up, you must click on System. By default, you will end up on the Display menu since it is the first item on the list on the left pane.
  • On the right pane, you must check for Advanced Display settings (usually in the bottom-right corner of the window). Click on it. The Advanced Display Settings window should be up now. We expect you to see two monitors appearing side by side.

You might have to click on the Detect button to see the other monitor if it fails to appear automatically. If this action fails to deliver the expected result, then we advise you turn on the projector, wait for some time, then reconnect it once again and see how things go this time.

  • Now, you must move to drag and drop the screens you see to the right or left to make sure they match the physical placement of the real monitor screens in actual life.

Anyway, Windows is supposed to show the two display devices (your PC’s main monitor and the projector) as little onscreen squares. Well, if you are struggling to determine which square of the lot represents a particular monitor, all you have to do is click on the Identify button and Windows will move to display numbers on the onscreen monitors.

This way, you can easily tell which monitor is which. Subsequently, after you identify or recognize the monitors, you must move on to use the drag and drop feature to manipulate the monitors until they match the placement of the real monitors.

  • At this stage, it is imperative you choose your main display (the one monitor where your Start menu icon will be visible). Click on the monitor you intend to use as your primary display to highlight it, then tick the checkbox for Make this my main display.
  • Now, it is time you moved on to create the settings that determine what your projector is going to display. You have to do some work on the Orientation settings and Multiple display settings. This rough guide will help you understand things quickly:
  • Duplicate these displays: If you want to see the same image or content on your projector and computer at the same time, then you must go with this option. It basically forces Windows to instruct the projector to duplicate the same content being displayed on your PC’s monitor.
  • Extend these displays: If you want to stretch Windows to fit across both screens (where you can move seamlessly from one end to another), then this option is what you must select.
  • Show only on 1: If you want Windows to display your content only on your PC’s main screen, then this option is what you need. Anyway, we recommend you choose this option in scenarios where you are not ready to show off the presentation on your PC to other people. This way, it will not appear on the projector screen until you decide otherwise.
  • Show only on 2: If you want to stop Windows from displaying anything on your PC’s monitor, then this option does the trick. We recommend you use it if you plan to focus on the projector’s screen entirely without you having to bother with the same content being displayed on another screen (your PC’s monitor).
  • You are almost done with your configuration. Now, all you need to do is click on the Apply button to keep the settings you have configured.

How to connect your projector to a Windows 10 computer with October 2018 update installed

(the refined or straightforward way)

If you have a PC running the October 2018 Windows 10 update, then things will be a lot easier thanks to the improvements and features in the newer build of Windows. Microsoft made some changes to make connecting to a projector become more straightforward than ever.

Windows 10 is now embedded with a dedicated Settings section that handles tasks involving the setting up or use of multiple displays. We will show you how to take advantage of it. Go through these steps:

  • Open the Settings app by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, then following up this move with a tap of the letter I key. Once the program window comes up as expected, you must click on System.
  • You should be on the Display menu (the first item on the left pane). Click on the Connect to a wireless display link under the Multiple displays menu. A new window should show up on the right side of your current screen. There, you should see the projectors or display monitors available for use.
  • Click on the Projector or device you intend to use to connect to it. Windows will move to communicate with the device and set up the required link.

Moreover, if your Windows 10 computer and the projector you plan to use support Miracast, then the already smooth setup process should be considerably easier. A cable is not even required to support the connection in this case. All you have to do is select Connect to a wireless display option and move to select the required projector. If everything goes well, the projector will act to mirror your computer’s screen or the content on it.

How to connect your computer to a projector using Bluetooth?

If your projector uses Bluetooth, then you are in luck because your PC probably supports the same technology. If you can do everything right, then you might be able to quickly set up or pair your computer with the projecting device.

After a successful pairing of both devices in view via Bluetooth, you will be able to view or play your presentation the same way you would have done had you used a wired connection. These instructions will guide you through the process:

  • First, you must turn on the projector (using the power button on it). Once it comes on, you must move to set your projector source settings to Bluetooth or perform a similar operation depending on what kind of projecting device you have.

If you have an external or detached USB Bluetooth device instead, then it is time you inserted it into the projector.

  • Access the Windows on your PC and try to pair your system with the projector. Do this: Right-click on any area where icons or objects are absent on your desktop screen, then select Add a Bluetooth device from the options list you see.

From the Bluetooth devices available, you must select your projector and initiate the pairing operations. You might have to input some code here, so you will do well to check your projector’s manual or any documentation with the required information.

  • If everything goes well, Windows will prompt you to click on the Yes button to confirm the pairing, and by then, you will have finished linking the devices involved. The same images or videos on your PC’s monitor will now appear on the projector screen.

How to fix problems associated with the setting up of connections between a projector and Windows 10 PC?

Most of the operations involved in connecting a projector to a computer are relatively simple or easy to carry out.  We do not know of any bug that might complicate issues or prevent users from getting the result they want.

  • What we do know is that the vast majority of problems that manifest (if you encounter any issue at all) usually have something to do with your drivers. If you could not get your computer to connect or link up with your projector, then a driver on your PC is probably faulty or malfunctioning.

Maybe, the driver has become corrupted. Or perhaps, it has become too old (or outdated) to work properly. In either case, you must fix the issue by updating the affected driver. Well, you have to identify the faulty driver first, and this initial task might prove daunting enough to discourage you from continuing.

Moreover, there is a good chance that you will end dealing with problems affecting more than one driver, and in that case, you will have to identify all the problematic drivers and get suitable replacements for them. To this end, to make your job as easy as possible, we believe you might be interested in downloading and running Auslogics Driver Updater.

The recommended app is likely to help you identify the drivers that need to be updated after you download and run it. It will perform a scan to do precisely that. Furthermore, and most importantly, after it finishes identifying the corrupted, missing or outdated drivers, it will display options you can use to download and install the latest manufacturer-recommended versions of the needed drivers.

After you finish installing all the necessary drivers, you have to reboot your PC for obvious reasons. Windows might implore you to do this, or the app you used might prompt you to do same. Then again, we are still obligated to remind you about a restart of Windows being required to round up operations.

  • If you still cannot get your projector to connect to your PC or if you are still struggling to set up the connection between both devices, then we recommend you go through this sequence of operations and see if you are successful with doing things this way.
  • First, you must ensure that both the projector and Window 10 computer are switched off. Power the projector down or turn off your PC if you have to (before continuing). Now, you must connect both devices using a suitable cable.
  • Confirm that you have connected the devices correctly. Turn the projector on. Once the projector gains power, you can move to put on your PC and continue with the setup.

As far as we know, users experience fewer problems when they set up a connection between their computer and a projector in the order above. We can only hope things turn out well for you.

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