Maximize Your Workspace: How to Close Your Laptop and Efficiently Use Your Monitor

I. Introduction

Using an external monitor with a closed laptop, commonly referred to as “closed-lid mode,” is a convenient and efficient setup that provides several benefits. This setup can enhance multitasking capabilities, reduce eye strain, increase productivity, and prolong the lifespan of your laptop. In this article, we will walk you through the process of how to close your laptop and use an external monitor effectively.

A. Definition and explanation of using an external monitor with a closed laptop

Closed-lid mode refers to operating your laptop with the lid closed while utilizing an external monitor as the primary display. This mode is great for users wanting more screen real estate on their workstation or for those simply wanting a more comfortable viewing experience.

B. Benefits of using an external monitor

1. Enhanced multitasking capabilities: With more screen space, you can have multiple applications open simultaneously, making it easier to switch between tasks.
2. Reduced eye strain: An external monitor can be adjusted to your preferred height and angle, reducing the need to strain your eyes and neck.
3. Increased productivity: A larger screen allows you to view documents or applications in greater detail, making it easier to focus and complete tasks.
4. Prolonged lifespan of the laptop: Working in closed-lid mode can help keep your laptop cooler, which in turn may extend its lifespan.

II. Pre-requisites

Before closing your laptop and using an external monitor, you will need the following equipment:

A. Equipment needed

1. A compatible laptop – ensure it supports closed-lid operation
2. An external monitor
3. cable (HDMI, VGA, etc.) appropriate for your laptop and monitor ports
4. Optional: external keyboard and mouse for easier usability

III. Setting up the connections

To close your laptop and use an external monitor, you will first need to set up the necessary connections.

A. Connecting the external monitor

1. Power off the laptop
2. Plug one end of the video cable into the laptop, and the other into the external monitor
3. Ensure the connection is secure

B. Connecting optional peripherals (keyboard and mouse)

1. Plug in the USB or devices according to their specifications

IV. Adjusting settings in the laptop

Now that your connections are in place, you will need to configure your laptop's settings to work with the external monitor.

A. Power on the laptop

First, turn on your laptop to access the necessary settings.

B. Configuring display settings

1. users
a. Right-click on the desktop and click “Display settings”
b. Select “Extend these displays” or “Show only on [external display number]”
c. Arrange the displays if necessary
2. users
a. Click on the “System Preferences” and go to “Displays”
b. Open the “Arrangement” tab
c. Select “Mirror Displays” or configure display arrangement

C. Configuring laptop to work in closed-lid mode (Windows)

1. Right-click on the Battery icon on the taskbar
2. Click on “Power Options” or “Power and Sleep Settings”
3. Go to “Choose what closing the lid does”
4. Set “When I close the lid” option for “Plugged in” to “Do nothing”

D. Configuring laptop to work in closed-lid mode (Mac)

1. Go to “System Preferences” and click on “Energy Saver”
2. Go to the “Power Adapter” tab
3. Uncheck “Put hard disks to sleep when possible”
4. Close the Energy Saver window (no further action needed for closed-lid mode)

V. Closing the laptop and using the external monitor

With your connections established and settings adjusted, you are now ready to close your laptop and use the external monitor.

A. Ensure all cables are securely connected

Double-check that the video cable, as well as any optional peripherals, are securely connected.

B. Close the laptop lid

Gently close your laptop lid, ensuring not to disturb any connections. The display should now be on the external monitor.

C. Begin using the laptop with the external monitor and optional peripherals

Your laptop should now be operating in closed-lid mode and displaying on the external monitor. Enjoy a more comfortable and productive workspace.

VI. common issues

If you encounter any issues while attempting to close your laptop and use an external monitor, try the following solutions:

A. No display on the external monitor

1. Check the video cable connections
2. Verify the monitor is turned on and set to the correct input
3. Ensure the laptop's display settings are correctly configured

B. Incorrect display settings

1. Revisit the laptop's display settings and make necessary adjustments

C. Laptop goes to sleep when the lid is closed

1. Verify closed-lid settings have been properly adjusted in the laptop's power options

VII. Conclusion

In summary, closing your laptop and using an external monitor is a simple and efficient way to create a more productive workspace. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can seamlessly transition to a closed-lid laptop setup while reaping the benefits of enhanced multitasking capabilities, reduced eye strain, increased productivity, and prolonged laptop lifespan.


1. Can I use any external monitor with my laptop?

Ensure that your laptop and external monitor are compatible and have the appropriate video ports (HDMI, VGA, etc.) for a successful connection.

2. Can I use my laptop in closed-lid mode without an external monitor?

No, closed-lid mode requires an external monitor to be connected and configured as the primary display.

3. Can I close my laptop and use an external monitor while on battery power?

Yes, but you need to adjust the closed-lid settings for “On battery” mode in your laptop's power options.

4. Will using an external monitor decrease my laptop's battery life?

Using an external monitor consumes additional power, so your laptop's battery life may decrease depending on your usage.

5. Can I use multiple external with my laptop in closed-lid mode?

Yes, it is possible with compatible hardware and ports on your laptop. You will need to configure the display settings accordingly.

6. My external keyboard and mouse are not working in closed-lid mode, what can I do?

Verify that the peripherals are connected correctly and that the necessary drivers are installed.

7. Can I use my laptop in closed-lid mode without an external keyboard and mouse?

It is possible, but the laptop will be difficult to use in closed-lid mode without an external keyboard and mouse. It is recommended to use these peripherals for better usability.

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Tracy C.
Tracy C.

Hi! I'm Tracy and I am the owner of this little website. I build it as a resource center to troubleshoot common tech, hardware and software issues.

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