How to Connect Three Monitors to a Laptop

Trying to find solutions for three monitors on your laptop? You’re not the one who feels that way. Just like you, many individuals have trouble setting up three monitors on a laptop. If you want the best IT solutions, you don’t have to spend a fortune.

However, you can achieve the same benefits from much cheaper adapters as you would from more expensive docking stations and a variety of other expensive hardware by simply using three monitor adapters instead of a docking station. Unless you really go into it, there’s a lot more potential here.

What I want to show you today is that there’s so much more that you can do with a third display, whether it’s for your trading station or just to minimize switching between windows. You may be asking yourself:

  • Can a laptop get linked to three monitors?

  • The best way to connect three displays to a laptop without a docking station?

  • Using one HDMI port, connect three displays to your laptop

  • What is the best way to connect three monitors to a laptop with a docking station?

If you’re like me, you were seeking to set up three monitors on Windows 10 so where you could day trade. During the day trading community, which I’m a part of, there are a lot of inquiries regarding how to connect multiple monitors to a laptop.

I’ve tried a few various settings, and the one that works best for me isn’t the most expensive.

Currently, I have a three-monitor trading desk set up, as seen below.

External monitors connected to a laptop via a dock. Picture credit: Plugable
External monitors connected to a laptop via HDMI. Picture credit: Plugable

I have also 3 HDMI-enabled monitors in my home theatre setup. You can already attach ONE monitor to your laptop with an HDMI cable because most laptops today include HDMI ports (if your laptop has an HDMI connection, which most modern laptops do).

Monitors are often connected via HDMI, so if you’re shopping for additional monitors, be sure to verify if the monitor has an HDMI port.

There is also DisplayPort, which can be daisy linked on some monitors, but we’ll get to that in a second.

What does a laptop HDMI connector look like? A hexagonal HDMI connector on a laptop has rather rounded corners at the bottom, so the wire will only fit one way around. A little tab in the center fits into the cable connector. The HDMI letters are usually written next to the connector.

On my laptop, the HDMI connector looks like this.

HDMI connector looks like this
HDMI connector looks like this

That is where the HDMI cable’s connector plugs.

HDMI cable
HDMI cable

With the HDMI cable, I’ve paired my laptop screen and one additional monitor. We’re down to three displays now.

The best way to connect three displays to a laptop without a docking station?

A USB to HDMI converter could be used to connect three displays to a laptop. On one end, you get to choose the correct USB connection for your laptop (USB type A or type C) and two HDMI ports on the other. You may now connect multiple displays through HDMI by using a native HDMI connection on your laptop.

This is the Startech USB to dual HDMI adaptor that I’m currently utilizing.

StarTech's USB32HD2
StarTech’s USB32HD2

StarTech’s USB32HD2 is the device in a discussion.

As a result, I have one monitor connected to my laptop through HDMI and two other monitors connected via the StarTech USB to dual HDMI converter. This allows me to connect three monitors to my laptop while still using the screen on my laptop.

In my instance, this means that my USB to HDMI adapter takes up one of my laptop’s USB ports, which I don’t mind. However, if your laptop is short on USB ports, you could be better off with another option.

Using one HDMI port, connect three displays to your laptop

Yes, you certainly can. If you don’t want to sacrifice a USB connection on your laptop, you can use an HDMI splitter for 3 (or even 4) monitors. On one end, you connect the HDMI splitter to your laptop’s HDMI connection, and on the other end, you attach up to four displays to the HDMI splitter.

However, your own arrangement can be different. Perhaps you prefer the concept of working with a laptop docking station, which allows you to connect various accessories and even connect via LAN cable.

What is the best way to connect three monitors to a laptop with a docking station?

You may have a laptop that comes with an optional docking station that you can purchase separately, or you can get a generic docking station. A docking station made exclusively for your brand and type of laptop may provide a cleaner appearance on your desk.

By looking at the bottom of your laptop, you can typically tell if it’s compatible with a matching docking station. Check to see if a docking station connector slot is available. Also, while you’re at it, look for the model number on the bottom of your laptop. To find specific docking stations for your laptop model, Google the model number + “docking station.”
However, this does not rule out the possibility of using a generic docking station. Generic docking stations link to your laptop via a USB type A or USB type C connector and provide a variety of connectivity choices, including LAN, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA (for older monitors), and more.

Others to consider: the method for connecting three monitors to a laptop mentioned above requires that your monitors have an HDMI connection. Most recent monitors include HDMI as a connection type, however, you should always check the connection interfaces of your monitor(s) before purchasing a specific adapter.
Other common display connectors include “DisplayPort,” DVI, and VGA (the latter being an older standard that isn’t as common on contemporary monitors). On monitors, input ports are frequently labeled, such as this DisplayPort (DP) and HDMI connection:

This means that you will require a USB-to-DisplayPort converter rather than one that converts USB to HDMI.

How many monitors can you daisy chain together on a computer?

DisplayPort allows some displays to be daisy-linked. As long as your laptop is equipped with a DisplayPort port, you can daisy-chain numerous monitors on it.

  • Connect your laptop’s DisplayPort port to the first display.
  • Using the DisplayPort connector on the first display, attach the second monitor.
  • Then add a third monitor, if you need it, and repeat.
    Once you have connected your displays with the appropriate adapter and cables, you may need to complete some more Windows configurations.

How to add a third monitor on a Windows 10 laptop.

There are a few extra steps you can take in Windows 10 to enhance your three-monitor setup once you have the monitors physically connected to your laptop. Choose “Display settings” from the context menu when you right-click an empty spot on your desktop.

Display settings

Display settings screen appears next, with a visual depiction of all your monitors on the screen. According to the graphic below, my displays are numbered 1 through 4.

Arranging display

I’ve put monitors 2, 3, and 4 next to each other and above my laptop screen in the image above.

While in Windows 10 display settings, you may identify which monitor is which by clicking on the “Identify” button in the “Display” section. Afterward, Windows will display the corresponding identifier on each of your monitors, allowing you to quickly identify which one is where.

Your Windows display settings can now be adjusted to match your physical monitor setup by simply clicking and dragging the monitors in Windows display settings. Moving your mouse from one screen to another by dragging across their borders is crucial.

click and drag the monitors
Click and drag the monitors

Windows 10 display settings can be closed once you are comfortable with the three additional monitors on your laptop and their locations.

In case you’ve forgotten, there’s one last question.

Is it possible to connect three monitors with different resolutions (or screen sizes) to a laptop?

Three monitors with various resolutions can be set up on a laptop. But if you wish to have multiple application windows open on multiple monitors, the results may not be as good as you’d hoped. Consequently, the window boundaries will “break” at the screen borders when an application window spans multiple displays with different resolution settings.

This is a good idea if you can acquire more than one monitor with the same resolution specs available.

Three Monitors on a Laptop: What Specifications Should You Look For?

There are a few things to consider when looking for a laptop with multiple monitors:

Adaptive connectivity options (HDMI, DisplayPort) that match your laptop’s ports

  • Adaptive connectivity options (HDMI, DisplayPort) that match your laptop’s ports
  • Monitors with a thin bezel create a more visually pleasing configuration than those with a thick bezel.
  • In this case, you’ll want to acquire daisy-chainable monitors for your laptop.
  • There will be a better end effect when using monitors with the same resolution specs
  • A multi-monitor arrangement works best with identical displays.


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