Is there a way to use multiple monitors with a Chromebook? So you’re looking at your Chromebook and you notice it only has one video output port. Connecting one external monitor is pretty easy but what about two?
Let’s take a look at your options.
Chromebooks are very cheap laptop alternatives, and they can be used for quick-note taking in class, watching movies, and browsing the internet. They weren’t really made for anything resource-heavy like gaming or whatnot, although you can game on them using the methods outlined here.
In other words, don’t try to use the Chromebook for anything other than mobile-gaming on the monitors because most don’t have the hardware to run demanding games.
As it turns out, even if your Chromebook only has one video output, you can still connect multiple monitors:
How to Use Multiple Monitors to a Chromebook:
To use multiple monitors with a Chromebook you will need to either buy a USB-C to HDMI adapter or a USB 3.0 to HDMI video port. Performance is best with the USB-C to HDMI adapter, and you can buy one with extra USB ports, for other attachments like a wireless mouse or keyboard.
The first monitor can use the Chromebook’s original video port (most have at least one HDMI, but it could be Mini or Micro HDMI too). That’s the easiest to connect. If your Chromebook has one of the other HDMI ports, a simple physical adapter can be used, those only cost a few bucks.
The second monitor can use one of the adapters above, depending on what is available on your Chromebook. I recommend using the USB-C port on your Chromebook. Get an adapter that has an HDMI port. One of these should work. If your Chromebook does not have a USB-C port, consider using the USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter.
P.S. Don’t buy an HDMI splitter. While those look like they can get the job done, they actually only mirror the output to multiple monitors, so you’ll see the same thing on two monitors, which is not what you want. You want to use extended mode on multiple monitors with a Chromebook.
The USB to HDMI adapter works best with USB 3.0 ports, so make sure you plug it into the right one. It could work with USB 2.0 but the performance will be lower, and you might not be able to get the max resolution possible.
Display Settings on Chromebook:
Thankfully, Chromebooks allow you to configure the display settings and the usual options are available. You can use extended mode, mirrored, and even change the resolution. If you connect both monitors using the above options, the Chromebook should detect the displays and show them in the Display tab, where you can configure them.
Turn Off Internal Display
From there you can choose the desired mode, and arrange the layout, I recommend extended mode. You can also have one display mirror the internal display and then turn off the internal display by lowering the brightness using the hotkeys on your laptop until it turns off completely. It saves it from burn-in.
Turn Off Sleep when Lid Closed
Of course you can use the internal display, if you really want to, but switching from a big monitor to a little screen can really hurt your brain. It hurts mine, anyway. But if you really need three monitors, that’s one way to do it.
You can also disable “Sleep when the lid is closed” so you can have the lid closed and still use the Chromebook.
Tuck the Chromebook into a laptop dock or stand next to your monitors and you’ll have a very clean work environment. The performance is usually acceptable, depending on the resolution you’re trying to output, 1080P at 60 Hz is no problem. Even older Chromebooks should be able to support two monitors at 1080P.
Higher resolutions, like 1440P or 4K might be pushing it, especially on older Chromebooks. However, it does seem like most Chromebooks can output 1440P via the USB-C adapter. At least, when it comes to office-tasks like browsing the internet, it should work fine, but movies and other media might struggle.
So that’s one way to use multiple monitors with a Chromebook. It might sound a little tricky but it’s actually quite simple and everything is plug and play. It’s much easier to do if your Chromebook has a free USB-C port because those can be split into all kinds of other ports using adapters, including HDMI and others.
If you’re looking for a new Chromebook, take a look at my list of best Chromebooks for students or the best-selling Chromebooks over here. Make sure to get one with at least one USB-C port. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Do you have any questions? Drop them below!