How To Run Laptop With Lid Closed And External Monitor Connected

While it is not always necessary to run laptop with lid closed and connect it to an external monitor screen, in most of the cases, the laptop is connected to the external monitor when closing the lid. In this article, we will discuss two things:

  1. How to connect the laptop to an external display along with audio output
  2. How to keep the laptop running with lid closed

When we connect to an external display, normally we use the external display as an extension to the laptop LCD. But when it is not required and we are only using an external display, it would be better to close the laptop lid to save power and extend laptop battery.


Connecting laptop to an external display

To connect your laptop with the screen you need to have an able that connects the laptop with the external monitor, this cable is called an HDMI cable. While you can also use other means to connect to an external display like VGA, DisplayPort and DVI port, HDMI is the most used digital port of all.

HDMI external port - Male
HDMI external port – Male

Both the monitor and the laptop need HDMI connector port. Just insert one side in your laptop and other in the monitor and everything on your laptop is now displayed on the monitor as well.

HDMI port - Female
HDMI port – Female

Change Display Settings to enable 2nd display

To make changes on the display. Press Windows Key + P which will open the Project menu. You will see four options:

  1. PC Screen only
  2. Duplicate
  3. Extend
  4. 2nd screen only

All options are pretty self-explanatory. To connect to an external display and turn off the laptop display, you will select the fourth option “2nd screen only”.

Project to additional screen in Windows 10
Project to additional screen in Windows 10

Adjusting the audio output settings

The advantage of using HDMI is that you can also stream audio through the monitor device. For example, if you are connecting an LED TV, it will have the capability of streaming audio in addition to video from the laptop. Just follow the steps below to enable audio through HDMI device.

  1. Right-click the speaker icon on the task bar
  2. Select playback devices and a small window will appear with sound options
  3. Select  digital audio HDMI
  4. Right click and click on set default.

Now you will get the sound from the monitor if it has speaker or an audio/video peripheral.

Volume Mixer
Volume Mixer
Making an audio device as default in Windows 10
Making an audio device as default in Windows 10

Run laptop with lid closed without shutting down or hibernating

After connecting the laptop with the monitor you would want to close the lid of your laptop but not shut it down as it will stop displaying everything on the monitor and furthermore it also helps you to save some battery on your laptop.

  1. To close the laptop lid and keep it running, go to Control Panel ( Run –> Control )
  2. In the Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound –> Power Options

    Choose what closing the lid does
    Choose what closing the lid does
  3. From the left hand menu, select “Choose what closing the lid does”. The power options for lid closing opens.
  4. In the drop down options of “when I close the lid” select “Do nothing”.
  5. After making these changes click Save changes option.

    Run Laptop With Lid Closed
    When I close the lid do nothing

Now you can close the lid and still the display on external display won’t be disturbed. This is the easiest way to run laptop with lid closed.

For me this option is very useful as I keep my laptop running all the time. I have selected to do nothing when I close the lid while the laptop is connected to the power source. This helps me save power as well as I can use external monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse.

What do you do when you want to run the laptop with lid closed?

18 thoughts on “How To Run Laptop With Lid Closed And External Monitor Connected”

  1. This is exactly what I was looking for! It’s important to note that you need to select “Do Nothing” for the “On battery” section too. My screens were shutting down when I closed the lid which brought me here. Your instructions couldn’t be any simpler!


  2. after using this however, I am unable to switch back to duplicating or extending displays on both my laptop screen and monitor. any idea why?

  3. Thanks for this page – my laptop at work wasn’t speaking to my monitors (randomly happened one day, no idea why), and after following your instructions, everything is copasthetic!


  4. I was doing this for a while, but now my computer is overheating and shutting down. I think on my laptop i may need to keep it open to help it breath, so I’ve been trying that and it seems to be working. Do you think that’s it?

    • Are you leaving the computer idle for 5 minutes? And is it fully shutting down at around 5 minutes, or is it crashing? Amanda is right just have a look at your power and sleep settings for now, but if it’s anything but the computer going to sleep/hibernation after being idle, then I have no clue either.

  5. I have two external monitors and when I close the lid, one of the external monitors also shuts off. Suggestions to keep using both external monitors?

  6. i’ve done all the steps above and when i close my lid nothing happens and my external monitor turns off same with my laptop

    • I have the same issue. I’ve changed the settings as detailed above and my monitor still turns off when closing the lid of the laptop. I have changed the settings to ‘Do Nothing’ when closing the lid with and without plugged into power. Any ideas?

      • Control Panel\System and Security\Power Options\Edit Plan Settings/Change advanced power settings
        From here expand on “Display …Turn off display after” and select NEVER on battery and plugged in

        Hope this helps


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