You own a Chromebook and another machine — a Mac or a PC. Now you need an extra screen to boost your productivity, and you’re wondering if it’s possible to use your Chromebook as a second monitor. This piece is for you.
In this article, we explain how to use a Chromebook as a monitor using several different methods. Along the line, we will also find out if it is possible to use a Chromebook as a monitor with an HDMI cable.
But first, let’s get started with the basic question.
Can You Use Chromebooks As A Second Monitor?
Yes. With the right software and setup, your Chromebook can double as a second monitor for your needs. There is a couple of free and paid software you can install on your Chromebook that will enable you to use it as a second monitor.
You need to use software packages, not HDMI cables, as the HDMI ports on Chromebooks cannot serve this purpose, by design.
If your Chromebook is slightly broken, consider fixing the broken Chromebook screen first.
Do Chromebooks Have HDMI Input?
Chromebooks don’t have an HDMI input port. Chromebooks, like many other personal computers, were designed to only give HDMI output. Though Chromebooks have HDMI ports, it is usually for output from the device to another device like a TV or a monitor.
However, with certain software like Duet Display and Splashtop, you can work around this issue.
The software works like an emulator in that it creates a virtual environment that enables the host computer to share input with the Chromebook.
1. Use Chromebook as a Monitor With HDMI
With the current set of Chromebooks available, there is no known way to connect ChromeBook as a monitor with HDMI to another device.
You can only connect other devices to Chromebooks as secondary displays via HDMI and not the other way around.
Don’t try to connect your Chromebook to another laptop via the HDMI ports. It may damage the hardware of both devices. Both devices will only send video output to each other.
2. Use “Duet Display” To Use Chromebook As A Monitor
The following steps explain how to use a Chromebook as a monitor using Duet Display:
Step 1: Download & Install “Duet Display” On Both Devices
- Download and install Duet Display software for your primary computer.
- Download and install Duet Display in the Google Play Store for your Chromebook.
- Create a Duet Account to complete the setup and installation. Make sure to use the same account for both devices.
Step 2: Enable Screen Sharing
- Click “Profile”
- Check the box next to “Screen Sharing Enabled”
Step 3: Connect Your Computer & Your Chromebook
Connect your primary computer and your Chromebook to the same network.
Click “Android” in the Duet window on your computer.
Click “Air” to connect wirelessly to your Chromebook
This is found at the top bar of the Duet Display Window.
Click on your ChromeBook’s ID (or IP address) once it shows up on the “Discovered Devices” list.
When your computer connects to your Chromebook, its screen will be displayed through an Android window on the Chromebook.
Step 4: Adjust/Personalize Screen Settings
You can either ‘mirror’ your primary display or ‘extend’ it on your Chromebook. To mirror means to have the same thing show on both screens while to extend means to make the Chromebook’s screen an extension of the primary screen, so you can drop and drag stuff onto it.
To adjust these settings, do the following:
Click on the connected device
Click “Adjust Display Settings” under “Device Connected”
Click to check the box next to “Mirror Display” to mirror or leave it unchecked to extend
You will also find a list of preferences you can tweak to fit your needs. You can adjust the Framerate, Aspect ratio, and Retina display (for Mac devices only).
Check out how to use airplay on Chromebook to stream content to it or from it cables.
3. Use “Splashtop Wired XDisplay” To Use Chromebook As A Monitor
Splashtop Wired XDisplay is free to use. It requires a USB cable to connect your Chromebook to your primary computer. It has all features in Duet except that it doesn’t support a wireless connection.
The following steps describe how to use a Chromebook as a second monitor via Splashtop Wired XDisplay.
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Step 1: Download & Install Splashtop On Both Devices
- Download the software for your primary device from the Splashtop website. It can work on both Mac and Windows devices.
- Download Splashtop Wired XDisplay **for your Chromebook.**
- Install the software by clicking on the installation file and following the prompt.
Step 2: Connect Both Devices With A USB Cable
Step 3: Launch The App On Both Devices
The app detects your ChromeBook within seconds and starts sharing the screens.
Step 4: Mirror or Extend your Screen
Mirroring your screen is enabled by default. Thus, both screens display the same thing. To extend your screen or use Chromebook as a secondary monitor/display, do this if you use a Windows device:
Click on the “Advanced” tab on the Splashtop Window.
Uncheck “Enable Mirror” option.
- Navigate to the “App Menu” by clicking on the WiredXDisplay on the menu bar
- Click on “Preferences > Arrangement”
- Uncheck the “Mirror Display” item.
4. Use Spacedesk To Use Chromebook As A Monitor
Spacedesk is another free app you can use to make your Chromebook a second monitor. It supports Windows, Android, and Chromebooks.
Here are the steps that show how to use your Chromebook as a monitor with the Spacedesk app.
Step 1: Download & Install Spacedesk On Both Devices
- Download Spacedesk for your Windows device from the Spacedesk website.
- Download Spacedesk for your Chromebook via the Google Play store.
- Install the software on both devices.
If your Chromebook doesn’t support android Apps, skip to step 4.
Step 2: Launch The App On Both Devices
Step 3: Click On The ‘+’ On The Chromebook App.
The plus sign is next to the text “Connect To A Primary Machine (Server)” on your screen display.
Step 4: Enter Your Windows Computer’s IP address
When both devices connect, your Windows computer may flicker. This is because it is trying to fit the desktop layout and screen resolution to the new screen it detected.
If your Chromebook doesn’t support Android apps, you’ll have to use the SpaceDesk HTML5 viewer website. Open that link on your Chromebook, and then enter your computer’s IP address. Your Chromebook needs internet access to access the viewer website.
Step 5: Adjust Screen Sharing Method
By default, your Windows screen is mirrored onto your Chromebook.
This means both screens show the same thing. However, if you want to Extend your screen, that is, make your Chromebook a secondary display, do this:
Right-click your Windows desktop
Select “Display Settings” on the popup menu
Select “Extend these Displays” under the “Display” header
Alternatively, you can:
- Press the "**Windows"** and "**P**" buttons on the keyboard simultaneously.
- Click on **Extend** display
5. Use “Deskreen” To Use Chromebook As A Monitor
This method is specially targeted to Linux users. However, Deskreen also supports Windows and Mac.
With Deskreen, an open-source application, you can use your Chromebook as a second display. The application connects both devices wirelessly and has extra features like teleprompter mode.
The following steps describe how to use a Chromebook as a second monitor with Deskreen:
Step 1: Download & Install Deskreen On Your Device
Deskreen doesn’t have a separate app for Chromebooks thus you only need to download and install it for your device.
Step 2: Connect Both Devices To The Same Wi-Fi
Step 3: Connect The Devices
Launch Deskreen on your Host device
Scan that QR code on the screen with any QR Code scanner app on your Chromebook
Open the link that pops up on your Chromebook.
This action displays the desktop’s second screen on your Chromebook screen.
Click on the full-screen button to use the full Chromebook screen as a second display/monitor.
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Repurpose your Chromebook as a Second Monitor
So far, you have learned how to use Chromebooks as a monitor via various methods. These methods work on all kinds of Chromebooks.
So, if you have an old Chromebook, the methods presented in this article will help you just as well.
Repurpose your machine as a second monitor by adapting your method of preference, and enhance your productivity without a big investment.