Unlock the Secret: Keep Your Monitor Active with a Closed Laptop in Windows 10


There are various reasons why one would want to keep a monitor on when closing a laptop operating on Windows 10. These setups are especially useful for users who want to use an external display or multiple screens with a laptop, without sacrificing their workstation’s mobility features. In this article, we will explore the steps for setting up a laptop to keep the monitor on when it’s closed on Windows 10.

Preparing Your Laptop for Use with an External Monitor

1. Choosing an appropriate external monitor

Before you start connecting your laptop to an external monitor, it’s important to select a suitable display. Key factors to consider are the size, resolution, and refresh rate of the monitor. Look for monitors with resolutions and refresh rates compatible with your laptop’s graphics card to ensure the best viewing experience.

2. Connecting the external monitor to the laptop

Depending on your laptop and monitor, you may require an HDMI, DisplayPort, USB, or VGA cable to connect the two devices. Identify the appropriate ports on your laptop and monitor, and connect them using the appropriate cable.

3. Ensuring all necessary drivers are installed

Windows 10 usually installs most drivers automatically. However, some monitors and graphics cards may require additional drivers for optimal performance. Visit the manufacturer’s websites for your laptop and monitor to download and install any necessary drivers.

Changing Power Options in Windows 10

1. Navigating to the power options menu

To keep the monitor on when your laptop is closed, you’ll need to adjust the power options. Right-click the battery icon in the taskbar and select “Power Options” from the context menu.

2. Creating a custom power plan

In the Power Options window, click “Create a power plan” on the left side. Choose a default power plan to base your custom plan on, assign a name, and click “Next.”

3. Adjusting power settings specifically for using with a closed laptop

In the custom power plan settings, you can adjust various options, including display brightness and sleep timing. Set your preferred options, then click “Create” to save your new power plan.

Adjusting Display Settings in Windows 10

1. Opening display settings

Right-click on the desktop and select “Display settings” from the context menu to access the display settings menu.

2. Detecting the connected monitor

Under “Multiple displays,” click the “Detect” button to ensure that Windows 10 recognizes your external monitor.

3. Choosing the appropriate display mode (duplicate, extend, or second screen only)

You can choose among three display modes: “Duplicate” to show the same image on both screens, “Extend” to use both screens as a single work surface, or “Second screen only” to display the image on the external monitor only. Select the option that best suits your needs.

4. Setting the correct resolution

Ensure the resolution settings for your external monitor are optimized by selecting it from the display menu and adjusting the “Resolution” dropdown.

5. Configuring multi-monitor display options (optional)

If you have multiple monitors connected to your laptop, configure their relative positioning and orientation under the “Arrange your displays” section.

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Configuring the Lid Close Action

1. Accessing the “Choose what closing the lid does” menu

In the Power Options window, click “Choose what closing the lid does” on the left side.

2. Modifying the settings for when the laptop is plugged in and on battery

Under “When I close the lid,” set both “Plugged in” and “On battery” options to “Do nothing.”

3. Saving changes and testing the new settings

Click “Save changes” and close the laptop lid to test if the monitor stays on when the laptop is closed on Windows 10.

Advanced Tips for Optimizing Your Monitor-on-Closed-Laptop Setup

1. Enabling hotkeys for quick display mode switching

Learn the specific hotkeys for your laptop model to quickly switch between display modes, usually involving the “Fn” key and a specific function key.

2. Implementing desktop organization tools

Utilize tools like DisplayFusion or AquaSnap to better manage your multi-monitor workspace.

3. Utilizing remote access solutions

Set up remote access software like TeamViewer or Chrome Remote Desktop to access your laptop from another device.

4. Employing energy-saving measures and practices

Use power-saving settings when possible, turn off your laptop screen manually, and unplug chargers when not in use.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

1. Resolving connectivity issues between the laptop and monitor

Ensure that cables are properly connected or try swapping out cables to rule out faulty connections.

2. Addressing incorrect display resolutions

Revisit display settings and adjust the resolution to one that is supported by your monitor.

3. Correcting issues with multi-monitor configurations

Review your display settings configuration to confirm proper setup.

4. Dealing with software incompatibilities

Update your graphics card and monitor drivers or troubleshoot software issues using compatibility mode settings.


In this article, we’ve discussed the process of keeping a monitor on when the laptop is closed in Windows 10. Configuring a laptop to work with an external monitor while closed offers numerous benefits, from increased screen real estate to an improved workstation setup. With these steps, you’ll be equipped to make the most of your new arrangement, opening up exciting opportunities for productivity and creativity.


1. Can I use my laptop screen as a secondary monitor when it’s closed?

No, when a laptop is closed, its screen will always be turned off.

2. What cable types can I use to connect my laptop to an external monitor?

Common cable types include HDMI, DisplayPort, USB, and VGA. The appropriate cable will depend on your laptop and monitor’s available ports.

3. Is there any impact on my laptop’s performance when using an external monitor with the lid closed?

There may be a slight performance decrease, depending on your laptop’s specifications and workload, but for most tasks, the impact should be minimal.

4. Can I use my laptop when it is closed and connected to an external monitor?

Yes, as long as you configure your power settings properly, as explained in this article.

5. Is it possible to keep the monitor on when the laptop is closed on other operating systems?

Yes, similar settings and configurations can be adjusted for macOS and Linux systems to achieve the same result.

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6. How many external monitors can I connect to my laptop simultaneously?

The number of monitors you can connect depends on your laptop’s specifications and graphics capabilities, including available video output ports.

7. What should I do if my laptop’s screen flickers when connected to an external monitor?

Check your cable connections, update your drivers, or adjust refresh rate settings to resolve flickering issues.

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