These days it’s common to have a spare monitor or two in your home. They can clutter your shelves or garage as you spend weeks trying to figure out whether to keep or sell them - especially if your PC is broken. But can you use a monitor without a PC? We share all our tips down below.
Can a monitor work without a PC? Monitors are used to display images, videos, and other activities from a connected device. They work just fine on their own but need input to be useable. You can connect a monitor to various devices, including a phone, PS4s, PS5s, Nintendo Switch, DVD or Blu-ray players, and laptops, provided you have the correct ports and cables.
Connecting your monitor to devices like these means that you can stream online content (Netflix, anyone?) and complete your work using one larger screen. Most monitors can be connected to other devices by using an HDMI cable or two, but some need VGA or DVI cables to connect properly.
Make sure to confirm which type of ports your monitor and device have to see if they match; if not, you may need to get a new cable or a converter online. Once you have everything you need, connecting the device and monitor should be a breeze.
Related: How To Use A Laptop For A Monitor
Can You Play Games On A Gaming Monitor Without A PC?
Can you play games on a monitor without a PC? It is possible to play games from your PlayStation, Xbox, or Stadia, provided you have the right connection.
For example, your Xbox should connect using an HDMI port and your Stadia with a Google Chromecast connection. For PS4, you could also connect it using an HDMI cable, but you may need a VGA to HDMI converter depending on your situation.
When you have connected your device, you may want to consider playing with your monitor and device settings like ACM and DCR to provide the best gaming visuals and quality for you.
For example, the frame rate may need to be brought up or down, or the brightness may need to change. Play around until you find what is right for you. Once you have the proper settings, connect your device to the internet, and you can play your favorite games as much as you want to.
How To Use A Monitor Without A PC? (For Gaming & More)
- 1Confirm that your monitor and device each have an HDMI, DVI, or VGA port. If they do not match, you can either replace your monitor or find a converter online.
- 2Make sure that your monitor and device are both shut down and unplugged.
- 3Locate the matching ports on your monitor and device and plug the right cable into each port, making sure the cable is completely snug in each interface port. If you are using a converter, set it up according to manual instructions before plugging it into each port.
- 4Plug in your monitor and device to the available power outlets and turn them both on with the relevant controllers.
- 5The monitors themselves do not typically have WiFi, but the device should be able to. To connect to the internet, go to Settings>Connections>Network>WiFi on your device and input your password before pressing Connect.
If you are playing video games, you may need to adjust your game or monitor settings to find the right visuals for your needs. By navigating to the settings menu, you can adjust the frame rate, brightness, and other elements to find a balance.
Frequently Asked Monitor And PC Questions
Can you run a monitor through Ethernet?
The device that you connect to your monitor to see visuals can usually be connected to the internet, depending on the device. Laptops, PlayStations, and Xbox consoles often have ethernet cable ports to help give a stable connection.
Can I connect a monitor via Bluetooth?
Only in rare circumstances do monitors connect with Bluetooth, but generally, the bandwidth is not strong enough to support a clear image. Instead, try casting to your monitor with WiFi.
Can I use a monitor without a PC? Once you know what you are looking for and have the right equipment, absolutely. You don’t need to shell out for a PC to use that spare monitor to stream videos or games. Those who use it for schoolwork may even enjoy the freedom of two screens.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.