How to connect two monitors with one HDMI port

An HDMI splitter device
Credit: REI

An HDMI splitter device
Credit: REI

Trying to work out how to connect two monitors with one HDMI port might, at first glance, seem like trying to pass an elephant through the eye of a needle. You've got a computer with a single HDMI port. You have two monitors, each of which needs an HDMI cable to display what's on your computer. There's a very clear problem.

Thankfully though, there's also a very clear solution. Several different solutions, in fact. It all depends on what's going to be most suitable for you. We'll explain the various ways you can make this happen. No magic is needed either. So you can cancel the services of that old man who claims to be a wizard.

How to connect two monitors with one HDMI port

As we mentioned earlier, there are several ways you can use two monitors, even if you only have one HDMI port on your source device. There are three main solutions that we'll discuss: splitters, adapters, and docking stations.

Read More: How To Clean An HDMI Port


Unlike like the People's Front of Judea, HDMI splitters are a simple and easy way to get things done.

Very simply, these will take the signal from the computer, and split it so that the signal can be displayed on more than one monitor. This is ideal if you want the same image to appear on more than one screen.

And setup is as easy as it gets: simply plug your HDMI cable from your computer into the splitter's input port. Then connect from the splitter's output port to each of the monitors you wish to connect to. And if you want to know how to check which version of an HDMI cable you are using, perhaps to ensure the best cable connects to the best monitor, we have a guide for that.

A word of caution as well: don't confuse an HDMI splitter with an HDMI switch. A splitter will transmit the signal from one device to more than one monitor. While a switch will allow you to connect different sources to one monitor. So make sure you are choosing the right product before spending your hard-earned pennies.

HDMI adapters

HDMI adapters work slightly differently from a splitter, as these allow you to connect an HDMI cable to a non-HDMI port. Depending on your computer, you will most likely have either a VGA or DVI connection. some will even work with a USB-C connection. You can then buy the relevant adapter.

You'll then be setting up two different connections from your computer to your monitors. One will use the HDMI output, while the other will connect using the VGA or DVI connection.

Once you've connected both monitors to your computer, you'll need to go to Display Settings. From here, look for Mulitple Displays, and click on Detect to find the monitors.

Click on the new displays and then press multiple displays. From here, select Extend Desktop to this Display, then press Apply. Repeat the process until all your monitors are working.

Read More: DisplayPort vs HDMI: Which is better for PC gaming on your monitor?

Docking stations

Last, but not least, you could consider using a docking station to complete this process. A docking station has multiple ports, and they are designed to facilitate dual, or even triple monitor setups. They'll often have a USB-C connection to plug into your computer.

First, plug your docking station into your computer. Then, use a DVI or VGA cable from one monitor and plug it into the docking station.

You can then use your HDMI port to plug directly into your second monitor, or into the docking station if it allows this.

Then follow the steps we outlined above to find the displays in Display Settings to get them up and running.

These are three methods that will achieve a similar outcome if you want to connect two monitors with one HDMI port. An HDMI adapter is undoubtedly the easiest, but it won't allow you to view different images on the two screens.

The other two methods will allow you to do this, but the consequence is that they require slightly more work to set up.

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