How to Use an Android Device as a Second Monitor
Working on more than one monitor can save you a lot of time and boost your productivity. However, if you don’t have a second monitor at home, or if you only need a second monitor for a short amount of time, you can use your Android instead. This can be a better option because it won’t take up a lot of room and it’s also portable.
In this article, we’ll show you different ways you can use your Android device as a second monitor. Additionally, we’ll go through the process of setting your Android TV and tablet as your second monitor.
How to Use Android as a Second Monitor for a Windows PC
There are a lot of third-party apps that can make your Android a second display. For Windows, the best app you can use is Spacedesk, a screen mirroring and screen extension app. In order for this to work, there are a couple of things you need to do:
- Download Spacedesk drivers on your Windows. Make sure you choose the right installation file type for your Windows OS version.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install Spacedesk.
- Install the Spacedesk app on your Android device.
- Open the app.
- Tap on the + icon next to Connect to Primary Machine (Server).
- Enter the IP address of your Windows.
- Tap on the Connect button.
When these two devices are linked, your Android screen will be the same as your Windows display. If you don’t want your Android to mirror the Windows screen but rather just to act as its extension, this is what you need to do:
- Right-click anywhere on your Windows display.
- Choose Display Settings.
- Select Extend these displays on the drop-down menu.
- Click on the Apply button.
The good thing about this app is that you only need an internet connection to use it, without the need for a USB cable. Just make sure that your Windows and your Android are on the same LAN network. Keep in mind that the Spacedesk Android app can only be used with the Windows Spacedesk driver.
How to Use Android as a Second Monitor for a Mac
The best screen mirroring and extension app available for your Mac is iDisplay. This is what you need to do to make your Android a second monitor on your Mac:
- Download iDisplay drivers from their website.
- Allow iDisplay to make changes to your device.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install iDisplay on your Mac.
- Restart your Mac if prompted.
- Download the iDisplay app from the Google Store.
- Open it on your Android device. The app will immediately start searching for nearby devices.
- Connect your Android to your Mac.
- Choose between Additional Monitor and Mirrored Monitor.
That’s all there is to it. You can also use iDisplay with Windows and iPhone devices. Just make sure that the two devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi. You can even use iDisplay to attach three or even four monitors. What’s more, you can link several devices at once, even though this only applies to Mirror Mode.
How to Use Android as a Second Monitor for Linux
Most screen mirroring and extending apps only work for Windows and Mac, but Linux users can turn to the Deskreen app. What’s more, this app lets you use multiple displays at once. In order for this to work, you’ll need to have 5GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Once you’ve downloaded the app to your Linux device, this is what you need to do next:
- Download the Deskreen app on your Linux.
- Right-click on the downloaded file and go to Properties.
- Check the Allow executing file as a program box.
- Open the app on your Linux. You’ll see a barcode and a link on the window.
- Scan the barcode or copy the link to the mobile app.
- Connect the two devices.
- Click on the Allow button.
- Choose Share Screen View or Share App View.
- Confirm that you want to share your Linux display on your Android device.
With Deskreen, you can only use 5 GHz Wi-Fi or Ethernet to connect these two devices, or you can use a USB cable. This app is free, and it’s very easy to use.
How to Use Android as a Second Monitor Through a USB Cable
Any of the third-party apps mentioned above can also be used with a USB cable. This method can be more convenient in situations where you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. However, to download any of these apps, you must be connected to the internet.
Basically, whichever app you choose, this is how you can use it with a USB cable:
- Connect your Android device and your computer or laptop with a USB cable.
- Download the chosen app on your computer.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
- Download the app on your Android app.
- Connect the two devices.
You shouldn’t unplug the USB screen while you’re sharing your screen. Since the USB method is an alternative, you can also just use Wi-Fi to maintain the connection between these two devices. Just make sure it’s the same Wi-Fi.
How to Use Android TV as a Second Monitor
Not only can you use your Android device as a second monitor, but you can do the same with your Android TV. In this case, your Android TV and computer will have to be on the same Wi-Fi. You might also need an HDMI cable, or you could use your Android TV as a second monitor wirelessly with Chromecast. The Chromecast app and Chrome extension can be used with your computer and your phone.
As you may know, Chromecast lets you play movies and TV shows on your computer, which you can watch on your TV. Once you’ve added the Chromecast extension to your Chrome, this is what you need to do to use your Android TV as a second monitor:
- Open Google Chrome on your computer.
- Click on the Chromecast button in the upper-right corner of the browser. Next to Cast this tab to…, select the right arrow. You’ll see the following options: “Cast current tab,” “Cast entire screen,” or “Audio mode.”
- Select Cast entire screen.
- Click Yes on the confirmation window.
- Select your Android TV on the device list and wait for these two devices to connect.
Now you’ll be able to use your Android TV as a second screen. When you don’t want to use your Android TV for this anymore, you can just click on the Stop sharing button on your computer.
How to Use an Android Tablet as a Second Monitor
Using an Android tablet as a second monitor could be an even better option for the much larger screen. You can use any of the apps we mentioned above for your Android tablet. If you don’t want to use any of them, you can download Splashtop Wired XDisplay. This app is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Kindle, and Android devices. Keep in mind that you’ll need a USB cable for this app.
To use your Android tablet as a second monitor, follow the steps below:
- Download the Splashtop Wired XDisplay app on your computer. Make sure to choose the correct version for your OS.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to install the app.
- Download the app on your Android tablet.
- Connect these two devices with a USB cable.
- Start using your Android tablet as a second screen.
Extend Your Screen With Your Android
There are plenty of reasons for wanting a second screen, whether it’s for your job or for fun. Fortunately, there are various third-party apps that you can use to extend or mirror your computer’s display. All you need is an internet connection and a USB cable.
Have you ever used your Android device as a second screen before? Which app did you use? Let us know in the comments section below.