How to connect your Chromebook to an external monitor or TV

By | 04/22/2016

You may want to connect your Chromebook to an external monitor, or maybe even your TV. Of course, the monitors on laptops aren’t the most pleasant thing to look at. And chances are, if you bought a Chromebook, you probably got one that’s 11.3 inches in screen diameter. That’s not exactly big. And not a lot of room to watch videos or play games. Thankfully, connecting your Chromebook to another monitor, such as your desktop monitor, is an extremely easy process.

Here’s how to do it:

Identify the port on your external monitor or TV

First, you need to inspect the device that you want to connect your Chromebook to. Check the bottom of the screen if it’s a monitor, such as your computer monitor. There’s usually a port on the bottom of it that looks like a large rectangle. For some computer monitors, this is on the actual rear of the monitor.

It should look like one of the following ports. It’s usually VGA or DVI. Look at the images and find out which port your monitor has. You’ll need to know this to purchase the right cable.

hdmi, vga, dvi ports for connecting your chromebook

Find one of these ports on your monitor or TV.

If you’re connecting your Chromebook to a TV,  make sure it has an available HDMI, DVI, VGA, or DisplayPort. Since the ports on a TV and their respective locations vary drastically, you just need to make sure you inspect all regions of your TV. For most, this would be on the rear of the TV. Again, use the pictures above.

Find the HDMI port on your Chromebook

Okay, so now that you’ve located the port on your external monitor, find the port on your Chromebook. This will most likely be on the rear- literally right where the hinges connect to the actual laptop. You should see a large rectangular port labeled (or not) HDMI. This is the port that you will use to connect to your TV or monitor.

chromebook-HDMI-port

Find this port on your Chromebook.

 

Choosing the right HDMI, VGA, or DVI cable


The only thing you’ll need to make this connection is an HDMI to VGA, DVI, or HDMI cable, depending on what you’re connection looks like above. Your Chromebook has and HDMI out port. So you know you need HDMI-X. The “X” is either VGA, DVI, or HDMI depending on the device you’re connecting to. Reference the picture above if you don’t know.

You can easily purchase one of these at any electronics retailer like Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, or Radio Shack. If you don’t mind waiting, you can order one online on Amazon, NewEgg, or eBay. These cables are relatively cheap and can be found available for as little as 5 bucks. There are different degrees and different types of HDMI cables, so make sure you do your research. The more expensive ones are usually higher quality, and plated with a different material. This could affect your user experience because a quality cable can result in a higher quality picture, refresh rates, or simply, durability. But if you’re looking to just connect your devices and don’t really care about any of those factors, just grab one of the cheap ones.

hdmi cable

Connect your Chromebook to your monitor or TV by choosing the right cable. This is an HDMI cable.

Making the connection to your Chromebook

Okay, so the next step is to make the actual connection. Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI out port on your Chromebook. Plug the other end into your monitor. Or TV. Make sure all your parts are connected properly and make sure they’re snug. A loose port connection can result in a scattered or flickering picture, or no picture.

If this doesn’t work out for you, troubleshooting the connection is always the first priority. Some TVs or cables may require you to push the connection with some strength to secure the connecting pins. So make sure that the ports are fully connected and snug.

Now that you’re connected, you should be able to instantly see your Chromebook’s preview on your monitor or TV. if you’re using a computer monitor, it should appear on-screen.

If you’re using a TV, you may have to change channels to the proper one in order to see anything. For most TVs, this is a channel usually called “Computer” or “PC.”

However, due to the variations in makes and models, read your user’s manual or call your TV manufacturer and find out what channel it is. Or you can just Google it.

Rotating, aligning, mirroring, and multiple-monitor setup

Now for some fine-tuning.

Your Chromebook allows you to rotate, align and adjust your screen. To do this, click on the status area- where your Google account picture is displayed. Then click on the external display area, and then click on manage displays. This will bring up a section with different options where you can play with and adjust your connection. You can do a few things here that are pretty awesome.

You can rotate the display by making the selection on the dropdown menu.

You can center the display by clicking on “TV alignment” and adjusting the viewable area by using the shift and arrow keys.

You can broadcast the display across multiple screens by selecting “Enabled Unified Desktop mode.”

You can mirror the display to show the same image on both your Chromebook and the external monitor by pressing Ctrl + Fullscreen on the Chromebook keyboard, or F4 on a traditional keyboard.

With your Chromebook connected to an external monitor, you can watch YouTube videos, play games, watch movies, browse the web, view images, or do whatever you do on a much nicer screen. Isn’t that cool?

Definitely yes.


About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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