How to Switch to Hdmi on PC Windows 11

Switching to HDMI on a PC can enhance your viewing experience by connecting to external displays such as monitors, TVs, or projectors. This allows for a broader visual workspace, better multitasking, or improved entertainment setup. Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft, provides a streamlined way to manage multiple displays. This guide is designed to walk you through the various methods to switch your PC’s display output to HDMI, ensuring you can easily share your screen regardless of your technical background.

how to switch to hdmi on pc windows 11

Using the Windows Key + P Shortcut

The quickest way to switch display modes in Windows 11 is by using a keyboard shortcut.

  1. Ensure your HDMI cable is connected properly to both your PC and the external display.
  2. Press the Windows key + P on your keyboard. This will bring up the “Project” menu on the right side of your screen.
  3. Choose one of the following options:
    • PC screen only: Disables the external display and shows content only on your primary monitor.
    • Duplicate: Shows the same content on both your primary monitor and the external display.
    • Extend: Turns the external display into an extension of your desktop, providing more screen space.
    • Second screen only: Turns off the primary monitor and displays content only on the external screen.

Summary: This shortcut is the fastest way to switch to HDMI on your PC. It’s beneficial for users who need to quickly change display settings without navigating through menus. However, if the HDMI cable isn’t recognized, this method won’t work, and you’ll need to try another solution on this list.

Accessing Display Settings

Customize your display through Windows Settings for a more tailored experience.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select “Display settings.”
  2. Scroll down to the “Multiple displays” section.
  3. Click on the drop-down menu and select how you want to use your external display (Duplicate, Extend, etc.).
  4. You can also rearrange the display order by dragging and dropping the numbered displays at the top of this page according to their physical arrangement on your desk.

Summary: Accessing display settings gives you more control over your display preferences, including resolution and orientation. It offers a visual representation of your setup, which helps in understanding how displays are arranged. The downside is that it involves more steps and might be slightly overwhelming for those unfamiliar with display settings.

Updating Graphics Drivers

Outdated or incorrect graphics drivers can prevent your PC from recognizing the HDMI connection.

  1. Right-click the Start button and select “Device Manager.”
  2. Expand the “Display adapters” section.
  3. Right-click on your graphics card and choose “Update driver.”
  4. Select “Search automatically for drivers” and follow the on-screen instructions to install any available updates.

Summary: Updating your graphics drivers can resolve any compatibility issues that may be preventing HDMI output. This ensures your hardware communicates effectively with your operating system. However, if you’re not comfortable updating drivers, you might need assistance from someone more technically inclined.

Ensuring Proper Hardware Connection

A secure connection is vital for the HDMI to function correctly.

  1. Check both ends of the HDMI cable to ensure they are firmly plugged in.
  2. If the cable is connected but there’s no signal, try a different HDMI port on your PC or external display.
  3. Test with another HDMI cable to rule out the possibility of a faulty cable.

Summary: Double-checking the physical connection is a simple yet often overlooked step. It’s beneficial because it can quickly resolve issues without changing settings. The downside is the need for physical access to cables and ports, which may be difficult in some setups.

Choosing the Correct Input on External Display

Your display might have multiple input sources; ensure it’s set to HDMI.

  1. Use the buttons on your external display to access the menu.
  2. Navigate to the input selection control.
  3. Choose the HDMI port to which your PC is connected.

Summary: This is another quick fix that is often forgotten. It’s straightforward when you know where the input controls are on your display. However, navigating on-screen menus can be confusing for some users.

Restarting Your PC

Sometimes, a simple restart can help your PC recognize new hardware like an HDMI-connected external display.

  1. Close all open applications.
  2. Click the Start button, then the Power button, and select “Restart.”

Summary: Restarting can resolve numerous issues without changing configurations, making it a powerful first step. However, it temporarily disrupts your workflow, which can be inconvenient.

Checking Projector Settings

If your HDMI is connected to a projector, ensure it’s set up correctly.

  1. Go to “Settings” > “System” > “Display.”
  2. Under “Multiple displays,” select “Connect to a wireless display.”
  3. Ensure your projector is on and select it from the list of devices.

Summary: For wireless projectors, checking settings can detect and resolve connection issues. This requires the projector to be turned on and discoverable, which might be a technical barrier for some users.

Disabling Integrated Graphics

On some systems, disabling the integrated GPU can switch the output to HDMI.

  1. Access the BIOS/UEFI during system startup (usually by pressing F2, F10, or DEL).
  2. Navigate to the integrated peripherals section and locate the integrated graphics option.
  3. Change the setting to “Disabled” or select the HDMI-connected GPU as the primary display output.

Summary: This method can force the output to utilize HDMI but is advanced and could affect system stability. It’s not recommended for users unfamiliar with BIOS/UEFI settings.

Running Windows Troubleshooter

The built-in troubleshooter can identify and resolve display-related issues.

  1. Go to “Settings” > “System” > “Troubleshoot”.
  2. Select “Other troubleshooters.”
  3. Run the “Video Playback” and “Hardware and Devices” troubleshooters.

Summary: Troubleshooters automate the resolution of common problems, which helps inexperienced users fix issues without detailed technical knowledge. However, they may not always find the root cause.

Consulting the Manual or Support

When all else fails, refer to the device manuals or seek professional support.

  1. Check the manual for specific instructions related to your hardware.
  2. Contact support from your PC’s or display’s manufacturer for personalized assistance.

Summary: Manuals or support can provide the most accurate information for your unique setup. The downside is that it can be time-consuming and may require waiting for assistance.


Making the switch to HDMI on a Windows 11 PC can open up new opportunities for work and play. While the process can seem daunting at first, following these steps can make it manageable. Each method has its advantages, and combining them could provide a comprehensive solution to enjoy the capabilities of HDMI connectivity fully.


Q: Why isn’t my PC detecting the HDMI connection?
A: Several factors could cause this issue, including a faulty cable, incorrect input source selection, outdated graphics drivers, or hardware compatibility problems. Follow the solutions in this guide to troubleshoot the issue.

Q: How do I know if my PC supports HDMI output?
A: Check the ports on your PC. If there’s an HDMI port, your PC supports HDMI output. Refer to your PC’s specifications for more details.

Q: Can I extend my display to more than one external monitor using HDMI?
A: Yes, if your PC has multiple HDMI ports or you use a docking station or HDMI splitter. You’ll need to configure these additional displays through the “Display settings” in Windows 11.

Larry R. Jimenez
I'm the senior editor of I help people solve their computer problems and recommend reliable products. My area of expertise includes electronic or hardware products, Windows, Mac, and application tricks. I'm active in the various online tech communities where he provides help for new computer issues as they are released.

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