Visit BenQ Education Website for education solutions

How to Connect a Laptop to a Projector?

  • BenQ
  • 2023-02-14
How to Connect a Laptop to a Projector?

For over a decade, connecting a laptop to a projector was quite simple. Just plug in the VGA cable, hit F5, and start presenting. But new laptops don’t have VGA ports and haven’t had them for a while now, and laptop users often have to carry around a wide variety of adapters just to make the connection work. This article outlines options for home and office users to connect laptops to a projector with both wired and wireless connections.


How to connect a laptop to a projector?

Wired Connection

Connect a laptop


Wired connection with a cable


Wired connection with an adapter


Connect to a projector


Cables are the most secure and often the fastest way to connect a laptop to a projector. While older laptops have legacy VGA ports, newer models come with digital ports that share HDCP information with the display to enable copy protected content to run. If a classroom or meeting room still uses VGA cables, an HDMI to VGA adapter will be needed. There are many kinds of VGA to HDMI adapters available, and some only carry video signals while others separate the audio and video signals so they can be sent over legacy analog systems.


The challenge today with wired connections is that many models of laptops have different video outputs that require different types of adapters. For example: 

  • MacBook® laptop: an older MacBook might have a VGA port or a full-size HDMI port, while a newer MacBook might have mini DisplayPort or USB-C Thunderbolt video output. 
  • Other laptops: brands such as Dell, HP, and Lenovo also have produced models with all four of these wired interfaces. Buying, managing, and often losing these adapters can be a hassle and a waste of time over obtaining and configuring the right adapter to make a presentation. 




Wireless Alternatives to Connect a Laptop to a Projector

Connect laptop to projector wirelessly at home or in the office

Connecting Projectors Wirelessly at Home

If you want to connect a laptop to a projector at home, there are plenty of options to choose from. Laptops are a great way to share photos or short video clips on your home projector, such as a wedding or overseas trip where you have lots of different photos and short videos to share. For these applications, you might consider an Apple TV® streaming box if you are a Mac® device user, or go with Google Chromecast, as both have the ability to connect laptops to projectors wirelessly. Read more about How to connect to a TV with Apple TV.


Connecting projectors wirelessly in the office

If you have an office space with meeting rooms and collaboration spaces, choosing the right system becomes more important. Meetings are expensive, and getting a meeting started on time is critical to keeping your meeting costs low. For most commercial applications, Google Chromecast is simply not reliable enough and was not designed for multiple users or protecting your content from wireless snooping. In the North America market, there are over 30 different wireless solutions such as Mersive Solstice and Barco ClickShare, plus other alternatives designed for business and classroom collaboration.


Choosing the right solution for your collaboration space can be a challenging task, but there are three key things you may want to keep in mind for any wireless presentation system you are considering:

  1. No need for network connection: consider a solution that does not need a network connection to work. This avoids having presentation traffic bog down your network, and provides quick access for visitors who are logging into your network just to make a guest presentation. 
  2. High security: look for a wireless solution that uses corporate-grade security and encryption. This will keep hackers and snoopers from “listening in” and recording confidential presentations.
  3. Ease of installation: look for a device that anyone can use in seconds without the inconvenience of finding, downloading, and setting up an app. Many less expensive solutions require the company-wide deployment of extra software, and visitors are often unable or reluctant to install third-party apps just for a one-off presentation.

Consider the BenQ InstaShow Wireless Presentation System

BenQ InstaShow is a wireless screen mirroring system that enables you to wirelessly connect a laptop to a projector. It is the simplest system on the market but still enables multiple presenters to wirelessly connect laptop to projector with a simple tap of a button:

  1. You simply plug in a transmitter to the HDMI or USB-C/Thunderbolt port on your notebook.
  2. Then, press on the button.
  3. Your laptop is connected to the projector.


There are no networking requirements (although it can be connected to a network for updates), and no software to run. You can even plug in the USB-C transmitters to mobile devices such as the iPad Pro® tablet and Samsung Galaxy devices to share content from mobile platforms. See how to set up BenQ InstaShow wireless presentation systems for real world use in this review.


InstaShow is one of the most secure wireless presentation systems on the market. InstaShow WDC30 uses enterprise-grade security in the form of AES 128-bit encryption and WPA3 authentication, with Wi-Fi 6 router tech to transmit every presentation. Since launch, InstaShow has been one of the fastest-growing wireless screen mirroring systems for corporate meeting rooms and classrooms in North America.


Connect laptop to TV wirelessly with BenQ InstaShow
Need Help Setting Up Your Meeting Room?

Complete the form below and our BenQ experts will help you find the perfect video conferencing solution within your needs and budget.