Modern monitor screens are highly powerful and perfectly optimized to increase your productivity. Whether you are a gamer or a working professional, you will need the best monitor that you can afford for the best user experience. However, sometimes even the largest monitors don’t have enough space to display multiple programs simultaneously. So, what’s better than the HD or 4K display you have? Well, a second display! 

The problem is most computers and laptops only offer a single HDMI port, and the VGA ports are a talk of the past. So, how to connect two monitors to one computer with one HDMI port? This article offers all the help you need to set up your dual monitor system without professional help in no time! 

Why do You Need a Dual Monitor Setup? 

Monitors play an important role in maximizing the user experience. For instance, a high-end gaming PC or workstation with a 3090 is incomplete without the best monitor for RTX 3090. In this regard, gamers and the working class benefit differently from the ability to double their screen size. 

Gaming

Gaming is a resource-consuming sector that forces you to squeeze out every drop of juice from your budget. In other words, you can never have a gaming PC suitable for every latest trend. For instance, one top-notch monitor is good for gaming, but you will miss out on a lot of the action. So, a dual monitor setup can aid you by increasing your depth of view, focusing points, and resolution. Furthermore, you can also adjust your system settings to game on one screen and discord or twitch on the other. Lastly, you can watch videos or enjoy music on one screen and play games on the other. 

Work

Computers are the source of income for several professionals and freelancers. Sometimes your screen might just run out of space to cope with your work requirements. So, a second monitor or display will give you that extra space for multitasking. For instance, you can use your main monitor for writing and the second one for research. Similarly, graphic designers need multiple programs to work simultaneously. So, they use a secondary display to quickly switch between apps without minimizing the main program.

Can you Connect Two Monitors With Just One HDMI? 

Yes, you can connect two monitors to your computer with a single HDMI port. Multiple display setup has become more of a necessity than a luxury. So, modern manufacturers offer built-in features that help you in your daily tasks. However, with so many models available in the market, it is impossible to keep track of which computers support dual monitors and which don’t. So, you might just have to check it yourself. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered, and you can check your system compatibility by following these simple steps:

Check the OS

Multiple displays have become common in the recent few years. So, it is obvious that older operating systems won’t come with built-in support for a dual or triple display system. Fortunately, most Windows and Apple users have updated to the latest version. Still, some people are still stuck on older versions of Windows like Windows 8, 7, or even Vista! The same goes for some old-school Mac users who forgot to upgrade. 

For Windows users, multiple display support is available in all builds of Windows 10 by default. You can check for compatibility by:

  • Right, Click on the desktop. 
  • Select display from the drop menu. 
  • Scroll down on the screen till you find settings for multiple displays. 
  • However, if you can’t find such an option in the display settings, then it is probably time to upgrade to the latest Windows version. 

For Mac users, the multiple display feature is slightly more complicated. You don’t solely rely on the OS version to check for compatibility. Instead, you must check the specifications sheet on the manufacturer’s website to confirm support. 

Check the GPU

Unlike the Mac, you don’t need to upgrade the whole computer to support dual monitors. Instead, all you need is to ensure that your graphics card or GPU supports dual or multiple displays, and you are good to go. Moreover, it would be best to have sufficient computer resources to support all your activities for the best user experience. Otherwise, it is no use to install a second monitor if you aren’t going to enjoy maximum resolution or work on multiple projects at the same time. 

One way to check your graphics card for compatibility is to check the manufacturer’s website. Check your GPU brand and model from the display settings or computer specification sheet. Search the model on the manufacturer’s website, and multiple display support will be listed as one of the features. Otherwise, you can also try asking on the user community forums for expert opinions. 

Update the Drivers

The most important part of hardware upgrading is the software updates. There is no use in using the latest computer hardware with outdated software support. So, once you check the hardware and OS compatibility, the next step is to install the latest drivers for all your hardware. You can do this by checking for optional updates in Windows settings, using manufacturer support assistant programs, and by using third-party programs like DriverEasy. 

So, What are your Options? 

Now that you have checked your computer for compatibility, the next step is to figure out how to connect two monitors to one computer with one HDMI port. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to do it. So, even if one of the methods fails, you can always try the others till you succeed. The only problem is that computers with one HDMI don’t often leave much of choice but to look at extra hardware support. Anyways, here’s are a few methods that you can test on your PC:

Use Another Display Port

Most computers come with one HDMI and some other display ports. The purpose of all these ports is to ensure maximum compatibility with the latest and some older monitors. However, you can use these ports to your benefit by using them in combination. The ports on your computers may be HDMI, DVI, VGA, and DisplayPort. The idea is to connect one monitor with HDMI and the other with one of these ports. However, for this to work, you must first ensure that your monitor supports these ports. Once you connect the monitors, your computer should automatically detect the changes. Next, go to system settings and adjust them for your requirements. 

Use a Converter

So, your second monitor supports a port other than HDMI. Chances are, your computer also has a second port for display input. But what’s this! The two ports aren’t identical. It is a more common problem than you may think. Fortunately, brands and third-party manufacturers offer a quick and easy fix to this issue. There are various display port converters available in the market that you can use for your benefit. Let’s consider the scenario that you have two monitors, both with an HDMI port. However, your computer has one HDMI input and one VGA input. 

In this case, you will need a converter that transforms HDMI to VGA. Simply insert one of the HDMIs into the converter and plug it into the computer in the VGA port. Your system should now detect the two monitors, and you can start using them. Some other examples of display port converters are:

  • HDMI to DVI
  • HDMI to DisplayPort

Use a USB Adapter

The last option is also the most promising for everyone. The reason that it’s placed last is to make sure that you save money before investing in one of these adapters. The concept behind this fix is that if your computer doesn’t have a second HDMI port, install one. Nowadays, you can find various high-quality USB HDMI adapters on the market. However, there are several brand-specific and operating system-specific models. So, make sure that the adapter is compatible with your computer. Here’s how to use a USB adapter:

  • Insert the USB adapter into one of the USB ports of your computer. 
  • The Windows should detect the hardware automatically. 
  • However, if it doesn’t, check in the Windows updates or download and install the driver software from the brand website of the adapter. 
  • Once installation finishes, shut down the computer. 
  • Insert the HDMI of the second monitor in the adapter, and turn on your computer
  • The system should automatically detect the new monitors and adjust the settings for your taste. 

Conclusion

Multiple displays are gradually becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. You can use the second display for multitasking or working on two programs simultaneously without switching between the tabs. In other words, a dual monitor setup can double your work productivity and enhance your gaming experience. However, most computers come with only one HDMI port. The problem is how to connect two monitors to one computer with one HDMI port? Therefore, this article offers all the ways to help you make the most of your computer.

Gabriel
Meet Gabriel. He is 32 years old. He lives in New York, and gaming is his passion. He stepped into the field of gaming when he was 12. He spent most of his time playing games. His father often got angry because he did not focus much on his studies, but he thought of doing something in his gaming career. Inspired by his uncle Jamie, he started his own gaming website, and now he is a successful freelancer.