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How to Connect Your Laptop to a
Full-Size Monitor

by Pete Low

Maybe you dropped your laptop and cracked the screen (not that I've done that or anything). Maybe you're just tired of squinting at that little monitor. No need to get another computer. It's easy to connect your laptop to a full size monitor that you already own, or to a cheap used one you can get from Ebay or Craig's list.

Look on the back of your laptop to see what kind of socket it has for an external monitor. It might be either VGA (15 pin holes, color coded blue) or DVI (more pin holes, color-coded white). If you're buying a monitor, buy the same kind. If you already have a monitor but it doesn't match, you'll have to spend a few bucks and get an adaptor.

Turn off the laptop and plug the connector from the monitor into the socket, using an adaptor if necessary. Turn on the laptop. If you're lucky, it'll be just that easy.

If you're not lucky, nothing will happen. But that just means you'll need to switch on the monitor with some keystrokes. You might also have some cool options about how you want things displayed.

Look for the FN key. Also find the CRT/LCD key, which may be the F8 or F9 key, or any of the F keys. It may actually say CRT/LCD on it or have a picture of a monitor.

If it doesn't, check the instruction manual of your laptop or do like me and try a few keys randomly.

Anyway, once you've found those two keys, press down FN, hold it down, and press down the CRT/LCD key. The picture should show up on the external monitor, either right away, or within a few seconds. You may even be able to shift through a menu of options by pressing the CRT/LCD key again, so you can choose whether to have the display on both screens, one screen, or part on one and part on the other.

If you really want to be fancy, get a cool wireless glow-in-the-dark keyboard and a wild-looking high-performance cordless mouse like this, and it'll be as easy to use as a desktop.

PaydaylonerWelcome to PaydayLoner's Money-Saving Article Collection

If you want to know more about saving money, earning money, credit, debt, and frugal living in general, I hope you'll find these articles interesting and helpful, though I can't guarantee their accuracy. Some were written by me, some by friends. My name's Pete Low, not that you care, and you're invited to visit my blog for more posts about credit, debt, etc. at

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