How to Connect a Projector to a Computer

By Bennett Gavrish

  • Overview

    When you want to show pictures or give a slide show presentation to a large group of people, you should connect your PC or Mac computer to a digital projector, which will then display your computer's desktop onto a large screen. All modern digital projectors include a VGA port, which you can purchase a cable for and then use to connect to your computer, as long as your desktop or laptop computer has a compatible video-out port. This article will explain how to set up computers, both PC and Mac, with a projector.
  • PC Instructions

  • Step 1

    Plug in one end of the VGA cable to the video-out port on your computer and connect the other end to the digital projector's VGA port. This step should be done with both devices powered off.
  • Step 2

    Turn on both your computer and the digital projector.
  • Step 3

    Go to the Start menu and open Control Panels.
  • Step 4

    Double-click on the "Display" icon to open the computer's display settings.


  • Step 5

    Go to the "Settings" tab in the control panel window. Two display options should appear. Select the projector option, and your computer's image will be displayed through the connected projector.
  • Mac Instructions

    • Step 1

      Plug in one end of the VGA cable to the video-out port on your computer and connect the other end to the digital projector's VGA port. This step should be done with both devices powered off.
    • Step 2

      Turn on both your computer and the digital projector.
    • Step 3

      Open System Preferences by clicking on the icon in the Dock.
    • Step 4

      Go to the "Displays" section under the Hardware heading.
    • Step 5

      Click the "Detect Displays" button to get the computer to recognize the digital projector. Your computer's image should now be displayed through the connected projector.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Digital projector
    • Mac or PC computer with video-out port
    • VGA cable
    • Warning:
    • Most Mac computers come with DVI ports instead of VGA ports, so you may need to purchase a VGA-DVI converter cable in order to use some projectors.

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