Connecting a Microsoft Windows 10 laptop to a TV or projector is probably the #1 thing I have to deal with in the corporate IT world. I always get calls from folks who are about to start a presentation in a conference room and have nothing but trouble getting their laptop working with a TV or projector. So, I thought I would write about it.
If you have an HDMI port on your laptop, you can usually use a standard HDMI cable to connect your laptop directly to the HDMI port television or projector.
Many laptop brands such as Lenovo, Microsoft Surface, and Dell have a mini-DisplayPort port. You can use a mini-DisplayPort to HDMI cable, or a mini-DisplayPort adapter with an HDMI cable to make a connection to your equipment.
If your laptop has a VGA port, you will need to use a VGA cable to connect it to a VGA port on the TV. VGA is not compatible with HDMI, so if you want to use a VGA port on the laptop with an HDMI port on the TV, you will need a converter.
Windows Presentation Project Mode
Once you are physically connected, hold down the Windows Key on your keyboard and press “P” to toggle Windows to the desired setting (or one that works). Choose between “Computer Only“, “Duplicate”, “Extended”, or “Projector Only“.
Some laptops may require you to hold down a function key (fn) and press a key that toggles the display port that is used on the laptop.
In many cases, you can connect your Windows 10 laptop to a TV or projector wirelessly using Miracast. You’ll have to check the equipment documentation to see if it supports Miracast.
In cases where you are using a non-smart TV or projector that does not support Miracast, you can connect an adapter or box that supports Miracast to the HDMI port of the TV or projector. Common devices are the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, Roku Streaming Stick, or Chromecast.
Follow these steps to get connected wirelessly:
- Ensure the TV, projector, or other Miracast device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your laptop.
- Set the device to receive a Miracast signal. These instructions may vary depending on device. Check the manufacturer documentation for steps. (In many cases, it’s automatic and no steps are needed).
- Hold the Windows Key and press “P” on your laptop.
- A menu should appear where you can select “Connect to a wireless display“. Select this option.
- Windows 10 will scan for supported devices you can connect to. Select it once it appears, and you’re off and mirroring!
Nothing Appears on the TV or Projector
If nothing appears when you connect everything up, here are some common things you can do to try to fix it.
Ensure the correct input setting is set to the correct selection on the projector or TV. Usually there is an “Input” button on the remote or the unit itself that will toggle it between each input.
- Select “Start” > “Shut Down” and power completely off.
- Ensure the cable is connected between the laptop and display/projector and the display/projector is turned on.
- Power the laptop back on.
Update Display Drivers
This one is common, especially with Lenovo laptops. Visit the website for the manufacturer of your particular laptop, and see if there are any newer display drivers available. In some cases, your laptop may have some type of driver update software that will automatically figure this out for you.
It’s a rare fix these days, but still a solution for some laptops. Visit the website for the manufacturer of your laptop and see if there is a BIOS update for your model.
Hopefully, with the above information, you’re off and running with your Windows 10 laptop mirrored to a TV or projector. If you’re still having issues or have more suggestions, please leave a comment.