As a tech enthusiast, I have always been intrigued by the prospect of using a MacBook as a second monitor for my PC. I have seen various articles online claiming it is possible, however, most of them lack the details of how to set up such a configuration.
After much frustration, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find out the answer myself. Through trial and error, I was able to successfully set up a second monitor system between my PC and my MacBook.
In this blog post, I am going to share the steps I took to make this possible as well as some other solutions I discovered along the way.
The good news is modern technology has made it possible to use a MacBook as a second monitor for a PC. Although they’re two competing brands, you can connect them through apps and software, multi-monitor adapters, and the Luna Display Dongle.
To know how you can use your MacBook as a second monitor for your PC, stick around as we’ll drop here the steps to get it done.
|HDMI or Multi-Monitor Adapter||Connect your MacBook and PC using a suitable HDMI or multi-monitor adapter to share your Windows screen.||1. Connect the video cable to your PC. |
2. Connect the other end of the video cable to your MacBook using the HDMI or multi-monitor adapter.
3. Right-click on your desktop and choose “Display settings.”
4. Go to “Multiple displays” and select “Duplicate” or “Extend these displays.”
5. Use your MacBook as a second monitor for your PC.
|Luna Display Dongle||A hardware solution that allows you to use your Mac as a second monitor for your PC. Available for USB-C, HDMI, or Mini DisplayPort.||1. Plug the Luna dongle into the port of your PC. |
2. Launch the Luna app on your primary device.
3. Launch the second Luna app on your MacBook.
4. Luna Display will connect your devices automatically using Wi-Fi or a USB cable and let you use your MacBook as a secondary display.
|Screen Sharing Apps||Use apps that support screen sharing, such as Deskreen or AirDroid Cast, to share your PC’s screen with your MacBook through Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.||Deskreen: |
1. Download and install Deskreen on your PC.
2. Insert a virtual display adapter into your PC’s USB port.
3. Run Deskreen and copy the IP address from the homepage.
4. Open your MacBook’s browser and type the IP address.
5. Click “Connect” then “Allow” to connect your MacBook with your PC.
6. Select “Entire Screen.”
7. Choose your preferred second screen from the options.
8. Press “Windows logo + P” and select “Extend” to use your MacBook as a second monitor.
1. Download and install AirDroid Cast on your PC and MacBook.
2. Launch the software on both devices.
3. Enter the nine-digit code generated by your PC on your MacBook.
4. Click “Allow” when prompted to start screencasting.
5. Use your Mac as a second monitor for your PC.
Option 1: Connect With HDMI or Multi-Monitor Adapter
Due to the variation of ports on MacBooks and PCs, you won’t be able to connect the video cable directly.
Even if the latest models of MacBook have HDMI, you can’t still connect them to a PC. This is because the MacBook uses HDMI output and not input. Connecting two devices that both support output signals won’t work and might only damage your computer.
Data sharing on a MacBook takes place via port utilities such as Thunderbolts and USB-C, which aren’t designed into PCs.
Hence, to use your MacBook as a secondary display, you’ll have to provide a cable adapter. To get a suitable adapter, make sure to check first the ports engineered on your MacBook and PC.
With an adapter on hand, here’s how you can use your MacBook as a second monitor:
- Connect the video cable to your PC.
- Connect the other end of the video cable to your MacBook through the HDMI adapter or Multi-Monitor adapter.
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop, then choose “Display settings.”
- Hover to “Multiple displays” and tap on “Duplicate or Extend these displays” to screen share your Windows.
- You can now use your MacBook as a second monitor for your PC.
Option 2: Connect With Luna Display Dongle
Luna Display Dongle is a hardware solution that lets you use any Mac as a second monitor for your PC. It’s available for USB-C, HDMI, or Mini DisplayPort, giving you a comprehensive range of compatible devices.
Here’s how you can use Mac as a second monitor with Luna Display:
- Plug the Luna dongle into the port of your PC.
- Launch the Luna app—the one with a gray cat and white background—on your primary device.
- Launch the second Luna app—the icon with a gray cat and black background—on your MacBook.
- Luna Display will connect your devices to an existing Wi-Fi network or USB cable automatically and let you use MacBook as the secondary display.
Option 3: Use Screen Sharing Apps
Another way to use your MacBook as a second monitor is via applications that support screen sharing. This method makes it easy to share your device with another computer through Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
That being said, Deskreen and AirDroid Cast are two of the popular software you can choose from.
Deskreen is a desktop app that enables any device with a working web browser to act as a second monitor for a PC over Wi-Fi.
Here, you’ll have to install the Deskreen app on your primary computer and provide a virtual display adapter for a full secondary display experience. This virtual display adapter is out on the market at a very reasonable price.
Here’s how to use MacBook as a second monitor with Deskreen:
- Download and install the Deskreen app on your PC.
- Insert a virtual display adapter into the USB port of your PC.
- Run Deskreen and copy the customized IP Address that’ll appear on the homepage of this app.
- Open your MacBook’s browser and type the exact IP address you got from Step 4.
- Click “Connect” then “Allow” to let your MacBook connect with your PC.
- Select “Entire Screen.”
- Select your preferred second screen from the options that’ll pop up.
- Finally, press “Windows logo + P” and select “Extend” to use your MacBook as a second monitor.
AirDroid Cast is a powerful screen-sharing tool that allows you to share your PC’s screen with your MacBook wirelessly. On top of that, it’s incredibly easy to set up and can cast up to five screen displays simultaneously.
To use Mac as a second monitor with AirDroid Cast, follow this guide:
- From the official website, download the AirDroid Cast on your PC and MacBook.
- Install and launch the software on both devices.
- Your PC will generate a nine-digit code; enter it on your MacBook.
- After entering the code, the system will send a request to start screencasting. Click “Allow.”
- Now, you may use your Mac as a second monitor for your PC.
To Wrap Up
Luna Display, adapters, and software such as AirDroid Cast and Deskreen have made it possible to use MacBook as a second monitor for a PC.
Thanks to these innovations, you can now do more on your PC and boost your productivity.