How to Connect Two Monitors to a Dell Laptop With a Docking Station

Turn your laptop into a full-featured workstation

What to Know

This article explains how to connect two additional monitors to a Dell laptop via a docking station. However, these steps will remain the same for most laptops and docking stations.

Not all docking stations, even they're compatible with your laptop, will support two monitors at any resolution. Make sure to confirm your laptop and docking station will support both your monitors at your intended resolution and refresh rate.

How to Use a Docking Station With a Dell Laptop

Before you begin, make sure to have your laptop, its power cable, your docking station, its power cable, your monitors, and their power cables and connectors at the ready.

Once you have all your hardware ready, and you confirm your laptop and docking station are compatible and will support the monitors you want to connect, as well as the resolution/refresh rate you want to output, connecting your monitors to your Dell laptop is easy.

  1. Connect your laptop to a power outlet, and turn it on.

  2. If using a keyboard and mouse with your docking station, connect them to the docking station now.

    If using a laptop with a multi-monitor setup, a mouse is strongly recommended. With this much real estate to navigate, we find a mouse is far superior to a touchpad.

  3. Connect your monitors to your docking station. Power on your monitors, and verify they are in good working condition.

  4. Connect any ethernet cables or external USB devices to your docking station, if using them.

  5. Connect the power cable to the docking station, and power on your docking station.

  6. Connect your docking station to your laptop. What type of connection you use, like with each individual monitor, will depend on your specific model of laptop and docking station.

  7. Download and install docking station drivers. Depending on your setup, Windows might simply automatically detect your docking station or begin downloading and installing its drivers. Sometimes, you may have to do this yourself. Consult your docking station's manual, to be sure.

    If using a Dell docking station with your Dell laptop, which is not required, acquiring the necessary drivers is easy. For Dell Universal USB docking stations, simply download and install the latest DisplayLink drivers. For Dell USB-C or Thunderbolt docking stations, find the drivers for your specific device on Dell's Drivers and Downloads website.

  8. Once everything is connected and any necessary drivers are installed, your connected monitors should work. If they aren't working, you may have to configure Windows' display settings.

  • What is a Dell docking station?

    A laptop docking station, such as those made by Dell, lets portable computers easily connect with other devices, essentially turning a laptop computer into a desktop. For example, a user could work on a laptop while on the road, then return to their office and attach the laptop to a monitor or monitors, printer, speakers, etc., for a fully functional desktop experience.

  • How do I remove a laptop from a Dell docking station?

    When you're finished using the docking station and you're ready to remove your laptop, power down your laptop. Then, locate the Eject button on the side of the docking station; press and hold the Eject button. This tab will unlock the laptop from the dock and you can use the device as a laptop again.

  • What port do you use to connect a laptop to a docking station?

    There's a wide variety of docking stations that come with various combinations of ports. Many popular docking stations utilize a mix of USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI, USB 2.0, Ethernet, Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, and Thunderbolt ports.

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