So, you 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.
Last updated: 3/8/23. Updated guide for accuracy.
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.
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.
This is actually very important so you know what technical hardware you’re dealing with. Not all TVs and monitors support HDMI in/out, which is what we need as Chrome OS only works with HDMI.
Older TVs and external displays may not have an HDMI port, which means you’ll have to buy a newer device if you want to pair it with your Chromebook.
Some newer TVs and displays will have USB-C. If your Chromebook has a USB-C port, plug it in and try!
People who have home offices can benefit from hooking up their laptop to a TV for the extra screen space. It makes working with multiple programs on your screen much easier. It also makes working with Excel or Sheets much more productive! Scrolling sideways on a tiny Chromebook sucks.
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.
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 your connection looks like above.
Your Chromebook has an 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. Refer to 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 from Newegg or your retailer of choice.
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.
When it comes to HDMI cables, there are different price points for different features. Everything from connector material to speed of transfer is priced in. Find a reliable brand with decent reviews and you should be OK. Chromebooks don’t render in 4K or 8K, so there’s no need for that.
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.
Your device should recognize that the cable is connected by itself.
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 drop-down menu.
You can also center the display by clicking on “TV alignment” and adjusting the viewable area by using the “SHIFT” and Arrow keys to do any adjustments.
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 + Full Screen” on the Chromebook keyboard, or F4 on a traditional keyboard. This will show whatever’s on your laptop’s display on your external display at the same time.
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?
Did you get connected?
That’s it. It’s straightforward and easy enough.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.