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DIY Tech , Newsletters
October 28, 2023
Transform Old Phone or Tablet into Free Second Monitor

If you’re accustomed to using multiple computer monitors at your desk, traveling with a laptop can be challenging, reducing you to a single-screen experience on a cramped display. Fortunately, there’s a free solution to transform old iPads, Android tablets, or other laptops into extra monitors for your Windows PC using a versatile utility called Spacedesk.

To install Spacedesk for Windows, you’ll need to set up two components:

  1. Spacedesk’s Driver Software: This software operates in the background on your PC and establishes connections with your additional screens. You can download it directly from the Spacedesk website. During the installation, ensure that you grant a firewall exception for Spacedesk, which is offered as an option in the installation process.
  2. Spacedesk’s Viewer Apps: These apps can be launched on your other devices, enabling your PC to recognize them as supplementary monitors. Viewer apps are accessible for Windows, iOS, Android, Amazon devices, and any other device through the web viewer.

The server connection operates via Wi-Fi. After installing the Driver software, open the Viewer app. Spacedesk should automatically detect your computer if it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Simply select it, and you can activate the second-screen mode.

By default, Spacedesk doesn’t scale up any display elements, potentially causing items to appear too small on your additional screen.

To address this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Windows Settings > System > Display.
  2. Select your new display from the list of monitors.
  3. Adjust both the display resolution and scaling to achieve a more comfortable viewing size.

Additionally, note that the Spacedesk Driver will launch automatically when your computer starts up. To change this behavior, perform the following:

  1. Right-click on the Spacedesk taskbar icon.
  2. Select “Spacedesk driver console.”
  3. Uncheck the option that reads “Automatic Start at System Boot Time.”

Ensure that you configure your monitors in Windows for seamless usage. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Display.
  2. You’ll see a layout of all your screens, which you can arrange by dragging and dropping to match their actual positions on your desk.
  3. Once configured, your mouse movements will correspond correctly with your additional screens.

In the Viewer app, you can access further options by clicking the Gear icon, including settings for screen resolution and quality.


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