Using One Display Monitor with Two Computers

If you want to use one monitor with two computers, you can do so by using a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch, manually switching between the inputs, or by using remote desktop software. Here’s how to set up all three methods:

Method 1: Using a KVM Switch

A KVM switch allows you to connect multiple computers to a single monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You can switch between the computers by pressing a button or using a hotkey combination on the keyboard.

Steps to set up a KVM switch:

  1. Purchase a KVM switch: Make sure the KVM switch supports the video connections (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, or VGA) used by your computers and monitor.
  2. Connect the monitor to the KVM switch: Use the appropriate video cable to connect your monitor to the KVM switch’s video output port.
  3. Connect the computers to the KVM switch: Use the appropriate video cables to connect each computer’s video output to the KVM switch’s video input ports.
  4. Connect the keyboard and mouse to the KVM switch: Plug your keyboard and mouse into the KVM switch’s designated USB or PS/2 ports.
  5. Power on the KVM switch and computers: Make sure the KVM switch is powered on (if required) and turn on both computers.
  6. Switch between computers: Use the KVM switch’s button or the designated hotkey combination on the keyboard to switch between the connected computers.

Method 2: Manually Switching Inputs

If you don’t want to use a KVM switch, you can manually switch between the inputs on your monitor. This method requires that your monitor has multiple input ports.

Steps to set up manual input switching:

  1. Check your monitor’s input ports: Make sure your monitor has multiple input ports that match the video output connections on your computers (e.g., HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, or VGA).
  2. Connect the computers to the monitor: Use the appropriate video cables to connect each computer’s video output to the monitor’s input ports.
  3. Power on the computers and monitor: Turn on both computers and the monitor.
  4. Switch between inputs: Use the monitor’s input/source selection button (usually found on the front panel or in the on-screen menu) to switch between the connected computers.
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Please note that with this method, you’ll need to use separate keyboards and mice for each computer, or manually unplug and replug them when switching between the computers.

Ultimately, using a KVM switch is the more convenient option as it allows you to share a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor between multiple computers with ease. However, manually switching inputs can be a cost-effective solution if you don’t mind the extra effort.

Method 3: Using Remote Desktop Software

Remote desktop software allows you to access and control one computer from another. This method does not require any additional hardware, but it does require a stable network connection between the two computers.

Steps to set up remote desktop software:

  1. Choose a remote desktop software: There are several remote desktop solutions available, including Microsoft Remote Desktop, Chrome Remote Desktop, and TeamViewer. Choose the one that best suits your needs and is compatible with your computers’ operating systems.
  2. Install the remote desktop software on both computers: Follow the software’s installation instructions and install it on both computers.
  3. Configure the host computer (the one being accessed remotely): Set up the host computer according to the remote desktop software’s instructions, which usually involves enabling remote connections and setting a password or access code.
  4. Configure the client computer (the one accessing the host remotely): On the client computer, launch the remote desktop software and enter the host computer’s details, such as its IP address, access code, or hostname, as required by the software.
  5. Establish the remote connection: Follow the software’s prompts to establish a remote connection between the two computers. Once connected, you should be able to control the host computer from the client computer using your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  6. Switch between computers: To switch between the two computers, simply minimize or close the remote desktop software on the client computer.
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Please note that remote desktop connections may experience latency or reduced performance compared to a direct connection, especially when using high-resolution monitors or running resource-intensive applications. Ensure both computers have a stable network connection for the best possible performance.

With these three methods, you can easily use one monitor with two computers. Choose the method that best fits your needs and setup preferences.

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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