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How to Connect Two Monitors To One Computer With One VGA Port | An Easy and Practical Way

Many people are savvy enough to look for ways to extend their desktop displays by wiring them together. Some opt for LCD monitor extenders on the market, while others are happy just to buy a cable that has a splitter at the end. In either case, you should be able to connect two monitors to one computer with just one VGA port and dual monitors to make this happen. It’s easy, and you don’t even have to be tech-savvy or proficient in programming languages. To get started, you need access to the basics of computer setup and a few minutes.

When Is It Necessary to Connect Two Monitors To One Computer 

Many situations may require you to connect another monitor to your computer. For example, if you are a stock trader, programmer, or game player, you may need multiple monitors to get the job done.

Heck, even average users like us can benefit from having an extra monitor. Imagine working on a spreadsheet, playing music, or watching videos on one screen while composing emails on the other — all simultaneously!

two monitors setup

How Do You Set Up an Extended Desktop with Only One VGA Output from the Computer?

Here are a few ways to connect an extended desktop through a VGA port.

KVM Switch

Administrators often use a KVM switch to connect and control multiple computers from a single keyboard, video monitor, and mouse. You can share your single computer's VGA port with more than one monitor with this device.

How does it work?

It works by simply switching between the connected devices to the KVM. As a result, you will be able to use one monitor for two or even more computers!

The setup of this device is quite simple. All you need is just to connect your computer to the KVM device. Then, connect your monitor to both devices.

Then switch between each computer with a button press or hotkey combination. This is great if you have multiple monitor set up in your office or home and need to access them all on one monitor.

Splitter cable

The simplest method of connecting two monitors to one computer is to use a splitter cable. It has one male VGA connector that goes into the computer and two female connectors to plug into your monitors.

If you want to connect two monitors using a splitter cable, it is essential to note that both monitors must be the same model and make. Different models and monitors have different pin configurations, so they may not work together.

This method requires a VGA splitter cable or Y-cable that connects both monitors to the computer. 

Video Cards

Video cards are a step up from splitters because they enable you to connect two monitors to one computer without losing your high-resolution video. 

The most basic video cards have a single VGA connection and a single DVI connection. If you have a VGA monitor and a DVI monitor, connect the DVI cable from your monitor to the DVI port on the video card. VGA cables aid in transferring video signals.

Connect a VGA cable from your VGA monitor to the VGA port on the video card and connect the other end of that cable to the "out" display port on a VGA splitter. 

Connect another VGA cable from the "in" port of your splitter to your primary monitor's VGA input. If you have two monitors, but only one has DVI, use a DVI-VGA adapter to connect this monitor.

a person working in front of two monitors

USB-to-VGA Adapter

If your computer has only one VGA port, you can use a USB-to-VGA adapter to connect multiple monitors. The display works like any other plug-and-play monitor. The adapter even enables you to extend the desktop onto the secondary monitor.

Purchase USB-to-VGA adapters at most electronics stores. Look for an adapter that says it supports extended desktop functionality. This means that you can extend your desktop onto the second monitor and drag windows between each display. 

The adapter may also come with software that gives you more options for configuring your displays—for example, allowing you to rotate them or change the resolution on each display.

Lastly, if your second monitor is detected but there's no signal, you should make sure the cable connecting your second monitor is secure, or go through the settings again. You should do the same if your computer turns on with no display on monitor.

What Is the Downside of Connecting Two Monitors in One Computer Using Only a VGA port? 

Each additional monitor reduces the color quality of all monitors in the chain. Additionally, using splitters reduces the signal quality for each monitor.

Also, you will notice a performance hit when gaming. A weak graphics card might not drive both screens at full resolution and framerate.

The bandwidth of the VGA ports limits you. If you have a modern HD monitor that supports high resolutions, you might not be able to use its full potential when connected through VGA. VGA is an analog standard that gets worse over long distances. 


What is the maximum number of monitors that can be connected to one computer with one VGA port? 

The maximum number of monitors that can connect to one computer with just one VGA port is one. Additional monitors connect through another connection type, such as DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort.

What is a VGA splitter cable used for? 

A VGA splitter cable takes a video signal from one device and sends it to two or more monitors. The idea behind this device is that more than one monitor needs to display the same thing. This will allow for a dual monitor setup.

Can I use an HDMI splitter to extend my desktop? 

The simple answer is yes. You can use an HDMI splitter to extend your desktop. HDMI splitters are simply distribution amplifiers that only allow you to view the same image on multiple screens at once. This means that you can use them to show the same video or image on multiple televisions, projectors, or computer monitors.

Is an HDMI splitter the same as a switch? 

An HDMI switch connects multiple HDMI sources to a single HDMI input. This is useful if you have a limited number of inputs on your display and more devices to connect than inputs. For example, connecting a PS4, an Xbox One, and a cable box to a display with only two HDMI ports.

An HDMI splitter is the opposite of a switch. An HDMI splitter takes one input signal and splits it into two or more separate output signals. Use this to take one HDMI source and split it between multiple displays, or if you need to run the same signal over a long distance from a source device to two displays.

How do I extend the display with HDMI Splitter? 

Turn OFF your computer, disconnect the HDMI cable from your computer's graphics card, and then connect the two ends of the cable to the "IN" side of the HDMI splitter. 

Now connect the two "OUT" ports of your HDMI splitter to each of your monitors. Be sure to turn on both monitors before proceeding to the next step.

Connect your HDMI splitter to an electrical power source using its built-in USB cable port or AC adapter (if it has one).

Turn ON your computer and test both monitors. They should extend automatically (assuming you've set up your computer for multiple displays).


Gaining multiple displays by extending your desktop is easy with the right hardware. The external setup is fairly straightforward whether you want to extend your Mac or PC. All you need is VGA, which comes with almost all new computers and monitors. The above ways are sure to splice in the extra monitor in no time.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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