How to Connect Two Computers to One Monitor

by David Lipscomb Google

    If you have two separate computers for different purposes, such as personal and work use, you may find it convenient and necessary to connect both to a single monitor. Many monitors have dual inputs, making such a connection simple. However, you might need a keyboard, video and monitor switch to accomplish this task if the monitor lacks a second input.

    Dual Inputs

    Step 1

    Examine the back of your monitor for the presence of dual video inputs, such as a single VGA and DVI or HDMI output.

    Step 2

    Connect the VGA cable to one computer. Plug the other end of the cable to the matching input on the monitor. Rotate the retaining screws until tight at both ends of the cable.

    Step 3

    Plug the DVI or HDMI cable into the back of the second computer. Insert the other end into the monitor's digital video input. Screw down the retaining screws if you're using DVI.

    Using a KVM Switch

    Step 1

    Ensure both computers are turned off. Place the KVM switch on your desk where it is within convenient reach.

    Step 2

    Locate the video output port on the back of the KVM switch. Plug a VGA cable into this port. Plug the other end of the VGA cable into the monitor.

    Step 3

    Plug the VGA monitor outputs from each computer into the inputs on the back of the KVM switch. Tighten the retaining screws down for each connected VGA cable on the computers and the KVM switch.

    Step 4

    Plug the keyboard and mouse cables into their respective outputs on the KVM switch. Plug each set of keyboard and mouse cables from their ports on each computer into the matching inputs on the KVM switch. Plug each cable in sequentially to avoid mixing them up between machines.

    Step 5

    Double-check that the mouse, keyboard and monitor cables leading from each computer all correspond to the right machine. Plug the KVM switch's power cord into a nearby AC outlet or power strip.

    Step 6

    Turn the computers and monitor on to verify the connections are correct.

    Tips

    • Press the "Input" button on the monitor (if present) to cycle through the two inputs. Alternately, scroll through the monitor's menu as necessary to switch inputs. If you're using a KVM switch, just press the "Output" or "Computer" button to switch between devices.

    Required Items

    • VGA cable
    • DVI or HDMI cable
    • KVM switch
    • Power strip (optional)

    About the Author

    David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images