How to Connect an HDMI Switch to a Laptop

Use an HDMI switch to alternate between devices

What to Know

  • Connect an HDMI cable from your laptop to an input port on the switch.
  • Run an HDMI cable from the switch's output port to the display you'd like to use.
  • On the switch, select whichever input the laptop is using. The laptop's image should now appear on the new display.

This article explains how to use an HDMI switch with a laptop.

Will an HDMI Switch Work With a Computer?

The short answer is yes, but the longer answer is it depends on your computer, switch, HDMI cable, and desired resolutions/frame rates. For most laptops, most HDMI cables, and most HDMI switches, everything will just work out-of-the-box; however, for more niche configurations or when using older devices, it may be a bit more complicated.

For example, if you're trying to output in 4K at 60 FPS, you're going to need both HDMI cables and an HDMI switch that support this resolution at that frame rate. If you're not sure whether or not the hardware you have will work, aside from trying it out yourself, you can search for your particular cable or switch online and see what features they support.

You don't need to use a switch if the only device being hooked up to the TV/monitor is the laptop. If it's just the laptop, you can go directly from the laptop to the TV/monitor.

How to Connect an HDMI Switch to Your Laptop 

Before you begin, you're going to need a display, be it a monitor or TV, as well as an HDMI switch and HDMI cables that support the resolution and frame rate you're targeting.

  1. If your switch has dedicated power, plug it in and turn it on.

  2. With a charged laptop or one connected to power, run an HDMI cable from your laptop's HDMI port to one of the input ports on your HDMI switch.

  3. Use an HDMI cable to connect the switch's output port to your display of choice.

    You can use a TV, monitor, projector, or any kind of display with an HDMI connection that works for your cable and switch's supported resolutions and frame rates.

  4. With everything connected, power on your laptop and display. Select your desired input (in this case the laptop) to be sent to the switch's output (the TV/monitor)

    It's important to keep in mind that an HDMI switch does not enable you to use multiple displays simultaneously, rather it allows you to switch among several different inputs (in our case, the laptop) to one display.

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