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How to use two computers with one monitor?

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Owning more than one computer has its perks. You can assign one to handle tasks in the background without slowing down your other computer, which is especially handy if you have both a work and gaming PC. However, having a separate monitor for each computer can take up a lot of space, along with the additional peripherals. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of hardware you need.

Wondering how to use two computers with one monitor? This article discusses three ways to use two computers with one monitor.

Below we have discussed:

Also read: How to change between monitors 1 and 2?

Use multiple ports

Many monitors come with multiple input ports at the back, allowing you to connect more than one device simultaneously using different cables. To switch between the outputs of both connected computers, you can use the input selection feature found on the monitor’s control buttons or remote control. The choice of cables, like DVI, VGA, HDMI, or USB-C, depends on the available ports on your computers and monitor.

Some ultrawide monitors have a feature that lets you display two computers side by side. However, this feature is usually found in modern high-end models. If your monitor supports this, check the specific instructions for your model to set up this dual display.

It’s important to note that this method doesn’t solve the problem of managing other peripherals like keyboards and mice. You’ll still need separate sets for each computer or deal with frequent plugging and unplugging, which might not be ideal for regularly switching between devices.

Use a KVM switches

Another choice is to use a hardware tool known as a KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) switch. A KVM switch is a device that enables the control of multiple computers using a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor. This eliminates the need for managing two sets of peripherals or constantly unplugging and replugging cables. However, it’s essential to note that you’ll need to make an additional tech purchase.

The KVM switch is equipped with a switch or button that allows you to decide which computer should have access to the peripherals. You can flip the switch at any time to change the controlled device. For this setup to function correctly, both computers must be turned on. The actual switching process usually takes only a few seconds, until your monitor shifts to the new input. It’s important to place your KVM switch somewhere easily accessible.

The price and features of KVM switches can vary significantly, ranging from less than $20 for a basic two-device switch to over $100 for high-end models supporting multiple 4k connections. The right choice for a KVM switch depends on your specific needs and budget.

However, it’s important to note that one limitation of a KVM switch is that the connected computers need to be relatively close to each other due to cable limitations. Additionally, investing in this hardware will incur an additional cost to your overall setup.

Source: Amazon
Buy KVM switch on Amazon

Use a Remote Desktop Program

Remote desktop connections, made possible by programs such as RDP and TeamViewer, provide an alternative way to remotely control another computer. This method enables you to manage one or more computers from your main device, even when you’re in different locations.

Although remote desktop connections offer a free and simple solution, they do have their downsides. Problems with connection quality and screen clarity may occur, especially when dealing with fast-moving images or tasks that involve high graphics demands, such as video editing or gaming.

Additionally, the second computer needs to be active and configured to accept the remote connection, introducing an additional layer of complexity and potential limitations to this approach.

Check out our article to learn how to enable Remote Desktop on Windows

Also read: How to use Multiple Desktops in Windows 10?

Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: