How to Change Video Source on Laptop
Tech, How To

How to Change Video Source on Laptop: A Step-By-Step Guide

Would you like to stream videos, give presentations in official meetings, or present a project on a bigger screen instead of a laptop? You can use a TV, a projector, or a bigger monitor as a second video source. But what if you don’t know how to change the video source on a laptop?

There is nothing to worry about; you can change the video source on your laptop easily and quickly. Throughout this guide, we have described the most effective and quick methods for changing video sources. It’s just a matter of following the steps carefully.

3 Useful Methods to Change the Video Source on a Laptop

Methods of changing the video source depend on your second display or screen. We have explained the three methods with step-by-step instructions to make the process easier for you.

Method #1: Change the Video Source to TV

Whether you have a smart TV or an HD TV, you can switch the video source of your laptop to your TV. You can also use this screen as an extended screen or a dual-monitor setup in addition to mirroring your screen. 

Moreover, multitasking is much easier when several applications run simultaneously on multiple displays. Meanwhile, applications can even be moved between screens by dragging and dropping. 

Step# 1: Connect Laptop to the TV 

  • Connect your laptop to the TV via an HDMI cable.
  • Firstly, switch off your smart TV or LED screen. 
  • Connect one end of an HDMI cable to your TV’s HDMI port. 
use HDMI with Tv to change the video source on laptop
  • Ensure your laptop’s HDMI port is connected to the other end of the HDMI cable.
use HDMI to change the video source on laptop

Step # 2: Set the Playback Option

  • Simply right-click the volume icon on the Windows taskbar.
  • Click on “Sound” from the pop-up menu. 
playback setting to change the video source on laptop
  • Then click on the “Playback” button. 
playback setting to change the video source on laptop
  • Select the “Digital Output Device or HDMI” from the list. 
  • Click “Set Default” and select “OK. “

Step # 3: Auto Detection or Manual Setting of the Second Screen

Scroll down and see whether your TV is selected automatically as the second monitor. If not, you can select it manually by following the steps:

  • Right-click on your laptop desktop and click the “Display Settings” option. 
Display setting to change the video source on laptop
  • In the Display setting, press the Detect Button to choose the second screen.
  • Alternatively, press the Windows + P keys, and You can see the menu bar with various screen configurations.
Manual setting to change the video source on laptop
  1. Duplicate: When you select this option, the TV screen mirrors the laptop screen. Ideally, it’s useful when giving presentations, in which the laptop screen must also be visible.
  2. Extend: Using this method, you can use the TV as an additional display for the laptop. It allows you to drag windows between screens. Working on multiple applications simultaneously is easier with this feature.
  3. Second Screen only: 

You can only view the TV using this method. Meanwhile, the screen on the laptop turns off. This feature makes watching movies, browsing the web, and playing games on the big screen much more immersive and enjoyable. 

Step # 4: Tweak the Screen Resolution.

Depending on the TV’s resolution and screen size, you can further customize the display settings. On the external screen, the laptop should run at its default resolution (1366 x 768). 

Alternatively, you can change it to the TV’s native resolution if your laptop supports it. It’s possible to boost the resolution to 4K if your laptop and TV are capable of handling it.

Change resolution to change the video source on laptop

Step # 5: Manual Setting of TV’s Input Source

Changing your TV’s input source to HDMI may also be necessary. The process involves the following: 

  • To access the input menu on your TV, press the “Input” button from the TV’s remote control.
  • Then click on the “HDMI” option from the menu bar.
TV settings to change the video source on laptop

Method # 2: Change the Video Source to Projector

Whenever you have to give a presentation in a classroom or meeting, choose a large screen such as a projector. You can connect your laptop to a projector using HDMI or VGA ports. A projector usually has an HDMI input port, although some older models may have a VGA input port. 

Some of the latest laptops may not have either VGA or HDMI ports. Your laptop will require an adapter if it lacks a VGA or HDMI port. If you do not have either of those ports, you can connect one of these cables via an adapter. To connect both displays successfully, follow these steps carefully in sequential order.

Step # 1: Connect Laptop to the Projector

  • Using a VGA cable, connect the output port of your laptop to one end.
Connect VGA to change the video source on laptop
  • Afterward, put in the other end of the VGA cable to your projector’s input port.
Connect projector to change the video source on laptop

Pro Tip: Alternatively, you can use an HDMI cable despite a VGA cable if your laptop and projector both have HDMI compatibility. It’s capable of presenting fantastic picture quality because of its higher screen resolution.

Step # 2: Turn on Both Devices

  • Plug the projector’s power cable into a wall socket and switch it on.
  • Ensure that the projector’s lamp has warmed up for 30 seconds.
  • Also, turn on your laptop and let it be loaded completely.

Step # 3: Detection of Projector As a Video Source

Laptops automatically detect projectors. You can manually adjust the settings if it ever encounters some issue with automatic detection.

automatic detection to change the video source on laptop
  • On your windows laptop, hold the Windows button located on the keyboard with the “P” key simultaneously. You’ll see a list of your display options.
  • If you choose “Duplicate” from the drop-down menu, your projector will be mirrored your laptop.
  • If you would like the projector to serve as a second screen, select “Extend.”. This will allow you to drag items from your laptop and place them on the projector.

Step # 4: Manual Setting of Projector

Generally, an input source is automatically detected by the projectors. In the event that it is not able to detect, you can set it manually. To do so, you must use the remote of the projector to select the “Input” option.

Method # 3: Change the Monitor to a Video Source of the Laptop

To change the video source on a laptop, you can also connect it to a larger screen with a higher resolution for streaming videos and playing competitive games as well. You can get significant advantages of Dual screen setup by following the steps below to change quickly.

  • Connect both of your screens via HDMI, DVI, USB-C port, or thunderbolt 3 as well. 
  • Plug in one cable end to the laptop output port and another end to the monitor’s input port.
  • Wait for Windows to boot up after turning on the laptop and monitor.
  • Enter display settings in the Start search box and select Ease of Access display settings from the popup menu list.
Monitor settings to change the video source on laptop
  • Then click on the Additional Display Setting.
  • The number boxes will appear. Usually, number 1 denotes your primary display, and number 2 indicates your secondary video source. 
Monitor settings to change the video source on laptop
  • Both screens can also be repositioned to suit your desk arrangement.
  • Click on the Multiple displays section at the bottom of the page. 
  • If you want the same information displayed on both displays, choose to Duplicate these displays from the drop-down menu.
  • If you would like to use these displays as a larger desktop, you can choose the Extend these displays option.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want wired connectivity, you can also apply various methods to connect your laptop to the monitor.


In this detailed guide, we have explained the three methods of changing the different video sources. By changing the video source on your laptop, you can enjoy an immersive experience on larger and more vibrant screens. 

After reading the whole article, you will be able to change your desired video source in a few minutes without any hassle. All you have to do is pay attention and follow the steps cautiously.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to change the video source on a laptop with windows 10?

Connecting your laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable and right-clicking Volume and clicking “Sound” > “Playback” > “Digital Output Device or HDMI” will change the video source to your TV. Click “Set Default” and hit “OK”.

What type of HDMI cord is best for changing the video source on a laptop?

The laptop comes with a variety of HDMI cables and HDMI connectors. These connectors are available in three sizes: standard, mini and micro.

types of HDMI cords to change the video source on laptop

There are also different types of HDMI cables. You can choose the best one according to your requirements. 

  • Standard: standard HDMI cable supports 1080i or 720p resolution.
  • High Speed: High-Speed HDMI cable supports 1080i or 4K resolution.
  • Premium High Speed: This HDMI cable supports 4K resolution.
  • Ultra High Speed: This HDMI cable supports 4K-8K resolution.