Two Computers One Monitor: How to Set it Up?

You might often need to use two separate computers for various purposes. You would find it inconvenient to work on two monitors in such situations. So, how about using two computers on one monitor? If you are wondering, that is indeed possible, and there are multiple ways to set it up. 

Using a single monitor for two computers can make your tasks significantly easier. So, you might want to use this setup for your work. Here, we have some simple methods to accomplish the two computers one monitor setup. 

3 Ways to Set Up Two Computers One Monitor

Not all users might find the same method viable for setting up two computers on one monitor. So, you might want to consider various methods before applying one. Here are the main ways to achieve the two computers one monitor setup:

  • Using the Multiple Monitor Input Ports

Most monitors come with multiple ports depending on the model. So, you can simply connect your computers to each of these ports. Connect one CPU to one of the ports and the other to a different one. However, you would need two cables for doing this. So, you can try out other methods or borrow a cable from a friend. 

Some of the latest ultrawide monitors can display the two computers simultaneously. If your monitor does not have this feature, you can only use one computer at a time. You can change the input from the monitor’s settings to switch to the other computer. 

But, what about the keyboard and mouse? If you are wondering, you would need to change their connection to another computer when required. So, you would find this convenient only if you are using only one device at a time. 

  • With Hardware KVM Switch Devices

Keyboard video monitor (KVM) switching devices are a very simple way to accomplish the two computers one monitor setup. As their name suggests, it allow you to switch the keyboard, video, and monitor among multiple computers. And, that means you would not have to keep switching the connections of the keyboard and mouse. 

Setup and Usage

You need to buy a hardware KVM switch if you do not own one already. Alternatively, you can go for a software KVM switch as well. Connect your computer’s power adapter and monitor’s cable to the KVM switch. Then, turn on the monitor and connect the keyboard and mouse to the compatible ports.

The computer selected on the KVM switch would show up on your screen. But, how do you switch to the other computer? If you are wondering, you can use the button on the KVM switch for that. Pressing it should bring up the other computer on your screen within seconds. 

Should You Use this Method?

KVM switches come at a wide range of prices and offer various performances. So, you can find low-end ones or high-end ones as per your requirements. You might also find this method very convenient depending on the tasks you must perform. 

But, this method has its downsides after all. It is unsuitable for users who cannot wait for the screen to switch to another computer. You must also consider that KVM switch cables are quite short. Apart from that, KVM switches are often expensive, depending on the quality you buy.

  • Using Remote Desktop Software

You can easily achieve the two computers one monitor setup with the aforementioned methods. But, what if you could use one computer to view both the computers? In case you did not know, you can make that possible with a remote desktop app. And, there are many viable third-party apps to choose from for this task.

Are you using a Windows PC? Then, you can simply get the Microsoft Remote Desktop program from the Microsoft Store. You can also get this app on your Mac device and use your PC to view it. 

How to Set up a Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection?

You need to install the Microsoft Remote Desktop on your PC first if you do not have it. Also, enable remote access on your PC if you have not done so already. Go to the System section in your Settings menu and click on Remote Desktop. Toggle it on if you find it disabled, and then click on Confirm. You can then use this device to view another computer. 

The Remote Desktop Connection feature is pre-installed in some earlier Windows versions. You can find them through the Start menu search bar. Open this program and type the IP address of the other computer that you want to view. 

You can also enter the name of the device in this field. Click on Show Options and enter the account credentials you prefer for accessing the second computer. 

You can save these credentials to access the second computer on the one you are now using. Click on Connect to view the other device on your screen. 

When Should You Use Remote Desktop Solutions?

Remote desktop apps are a convenient way to view your second computer from the main one. It might help you save quite a lot of desk space. You need to connect both your devices to the same network to use this method. And, that means you must ensure a good connection. 

You might find delays in the functions you perform on your second device using the first one. In such cases, you would face a lot of inconveniences until you fix the connection. But, there is an effective solution to this issue – you can fix it by using a local network.  

Set Up Two Computers One Monitor with alternative Methods

The aforementioned methods are the main ways you can set up two computers one monitor. So, you must apply one of them or look for other alternatives. You can make working on multiple computers easier by using other methods as well. And, that includes sharing the keyboard and mouse with two or more screens, among others.