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How to Connect Your Laptop in Teaching Spaces & Meeting Rooms

   Laptop with VGA connection     Laptop with HDMI connection

Most teaching spaces and meeting rooms have connections for a laptop, so that you can display the laptop content on the projector/LCD screen.



  1. Identifying the cables
  2. Connecting your laptop
  3. Troubleshooting


Identifying the cables

 VGA cable

VGA connector (video only). Used in conjunction with the audio cable.

Audio cable

Audio connector. Used in conjunction with the VGA cable.

HDMI cable

HDMI connector (video & audio)

Network cable

Network connector (also called the ethernet connector).  This cable connection is faster and more reliable than using Wi-Fi.

USB cable

USB connector. Only required in rooms with a SMARTBoard


Connecting your laptop

  1. If there is a control panel on the desk, you will need to press the laptop button on the panel.
  2. To connect your laptop, plug in the cables that you will find on the desk. There will be several cables – video, audio, network, USB (for the SMARTBoard).

    For video, some rooms have a VGA cable, others have an HDMI cable, and some have both. If your laptop accepts both, then HDMI is the preferred option.

    Laptop ports
  3. HDMI connection: An HDMI connection requires 2 cables - the HDMI cable carries video and audio, and you will also need to connect the blue network cable.

    Laptop and HDMI connection
  4. VGA connection: A VGA connection requires 3 cables – VGA connection for video; audio cable to plug into the audio out/headphone socket of the laptop; and the blue network cable.

    VGA and audio connection

  5. For rooms that display to a SMARTBoard, 4 cables are required - VGA connection for video; audio cable to plug into the audio out/headphone socket of the laptop; a blue network cable; and USB (for connecting to the SMARTBoard).

    Laptop connections with SMARTBoard

  6. MacBook connections: A MacBook can connect directly with an HDMI cable, but if the room has only a VGA connection, then you will need to provide your own VGA to MiniDisplayPort (Thunderbolt) adapter, plus an audio cable to plug into the audio out/headphone socket of the laptop.
    MacBook VGA to MiniDisplayPort adapter
  7. If the laptop image does not display automatically, press the WINDOWS and P key, then select duplicate display; or press Function and F7 keys on your laptop (on some laptops, it is Function and F5 keys) in order to send the laptop image to the projector/LCD.



  • If the document camera image continues to be displayed rather then the laptop, either;
    • For a SMART document camera, press the Computer View button on the base of the document camera.
    • For a Lumens document camera, power off the document camera.
  • If the laptop image still does not appear on the projector/LCD screen, try the following;
  1. Right click on the desktop.
  2. From the menu select screen resolution.
  3. Change the resolution to 1024 x 768 to force the display.
  4. If using an Apple device, go through a similar process using System Preferences > Display.

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