By default, when you close the laptop lid, it goes to sleep mode. If you have an external monitor connected to your laptop and want to close your laptop’s lid, you will need to change some Windows settings.
In this article, we will discuss two things:
- How to close a laptop and use an external monitor
- How to connect the laptop to an external monitor, along with audio output
When we connect to an external display, we normally use the external display as an extension to the laptop LCD. If it is not required and we only use an external display, it would be better to close the laptop lid to save power and extend the laptop battery.
Close your laptop lid and use the monitor
There are multiple ways to configure laptop lid settings. We will discuss three ways here. Please note that all of the methods discussed below can be used for Windows 11, Windows 10, and even Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
Using Windows Power Options
You can configure the laptop lid close action settings in Power Options. Here’s how to use a monitor with your laptop closed:
- Open the Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound and select Power Options.
- From the left hand menu, select “Choose what closing the lid does”. Power options for lid closing open.
- In the drop down options of “when I close the lid” select “Do nothing”.
- Click Save changes button.
Now you can close the lid, and still the display on the external display won’t be disturbed, and the system keeps running. This is the easiest way to run a laptop with the lid closed.
Once this setting is configured, your monitor will not shut off when you close the laptop lid. The laptop will not go to sleep when you close its lid.
Using Command Line
You can also set the lid close action to “do nothing” using Command Prompt. Here’s the command to set lid close action for using an external monitor:
Open cmd and run the following command if your laptop is plugged into the power socket.
powercfg /setacvalueindex scheme_current sub_buttons lidaction 0
Run the following command if your laptop is not charging (running on battery)
powercfg /setdcvalueindex scheme_current sub_buttons lidaction 0
You may change the integer value at the end of the command to the following for the associated action:
- 0 – Do nothing
- 1 – Sleep
- 2 – Hibernate
- 3 – Shut down
Using Lid.cmd Script
You can also use a pre-configured script to change the actions for closing your laptop’s lid instantaneously. The script was created and then shared on Microsoft Technet Gallery for the public to use.
This is especially useful for the people who frequently like to change between their settings, such as sometimes putting their computer to sleep by closing their lids and sometimes letting it run.
- Download the script and place the file in a location you can easily access using Command Prompt.
Lid.cmd (1.3 KiB, 47 hits)
- Open Command Prompt as an Administrator and change the directory to where the script is placed.
- Now enter either of the commands to change the action to close the lid:
- To configure the action to “do nothing” upon closing the lid, enter:
- To configure the action to “Sleep” upon closing the lid, enter:
- To configure the action to “do nothing” upon closing the lid, enter:
Here are a few more settings related to laptop lid closing action:
- Connect the laptop to an external monitor
- Change display settings to enable 2nd display
- Adjust audio settings according to the second screen monitor
Connect laptop to monitor as external display
To connect your laptop with the screen you need to have a cable 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.
Both the monitor and the laptop need HDMI connector port. Just insert one side in your laptop and the other into the monitor and everything on your laptop is now displayed on the monitor as well.
Change Display Settings to enable second display
To make changes to the display, press the Windows Key + P, which opens the Project menu. You will see four options:
- PC Screen only
- Second 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 “Second screen only”.
Laptop screen is always the primary screen by default. It will be disabled when the second screen only option is selected.
Adjust the audio output settings for external monitor
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.
- Right-click the speaker icon on the task bar
- Select playback devices and a small window will appear with sound options
- Select Digital Audio HDMI
- Right click and click on set default.
Now you will get the sound from the monitor if it has a speaker or an audio/video peripheral.
For me, this option is 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 use external monitors, speakers, keyboard and mouse.
One thing to note here is that if you restart your Windows computer, it will detect and activate the primary screen, which is the laptop screen. The secondary screen will automatically get activated and the laptop screen will be turned off on the logon screen. So if you have a broken laptop screen, it will be difficult to start the computer, as the laptop will always detect its own LCD as the primary display, and will try to activate it until the system is fully booted.
What do you do when you want to run the laptop with lid closed?
There are some questions users frequently ask, so I’m adding them here so everyone can benefit. If you have any questions, you can ask in the comments section below.
Is there any disadvantage to close laptop lid and use monitor instead?
While there is no disadvantage, you should be careful with the setup. For example, the laptop may overheat if the lid is closed and you’re not monitoring the temperature. Better to keep the laptop on a cooling pad. You should also ensure that you have configured the Power Options, so that the PC does not always keep running.
Can I attach the docking station to my laptop and close the laptop’s lid?
Using a laptop with a docking station is an efficient way to get the most out of your laptop. If your docking station supports HDMI or DisplayPort, you can easily connect it to the laptop with an external monitor.
Can I power on my laptop without opening its lid?
Yes, you can power on your laptop without opening its lid. If connected, the laptop display will automatically shift to the external monitor.
Can I disconnect the laptop lid?
Although risky, you can disconnect the laptop lid by uninstalling it from the Device Manager. You can also run your laptop without the laptop lid by connecting an external monitor to HDMI or DisplayPort.