Connect Surface to a TV, monitor, or projector

Applies to: Surface Devices

View photos, videos, and presentations from your Surface on a TV, monitor, or projector. Or, connect to an HDTV and watch movies and shows on a big screen.

To connect your Surface to another screen, you’ll need a compatible cable and adapter. You can even connect to some displays wirelessly. Surface video adapters are available in the Accessories area on this site and in the Microsoft Store.

Which cables and adapters do I need?

Look at the video ports on your TV, monitor, or projector. Typical ports you might see include HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA.

If your external screen has an HDMI port

Depending on which device you have, you’ll need a USB-C to HDMI adapter or a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. (Both are sold separately.)

If your external screen has a DisplayPort

If your external screen supports DisplayPort and your Surface has a USB-C port, we recommend you use the USB-C to DisplayPort adapter (sold separately).

If your Surface has a Mini DisplayPort, we recommend using a Mini DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable (cable sold separately) to connect your Surface to your external screen

If your display only has a Mini DisplayPort, you can connect USB-C to HDMI adapter > HDMI cable > HDMI to Mini DisplayPort > Display, but the more adapters used, the more degraded the signal can get.

If your external screen has a VGA port

If your monitor doesn’t have a DisplayPort or HDMI port, use a VGA cable and the Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, or USB-C to VGA adapter. A VGA adapter or cable is for video only. Audio will play from your Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external speakers. For more info about this, see Surface sound, volume, and audio accessories.

Tip: Surface adapters are available in the Accessories area on this site and in the Microsoft Store.

How to connect with cables

After you have the correct cable(s) and adapter (if needed), plug one end of the cable into the port on the external screen. Connect the other end to the adapter (if using) and to your Surface or docking station. Just make sure you’re plugging in the right part of the cable to the right input.

Tip: If you're using a Surface Pro 3 Docking Station with Surface Pro 3, you can use the Mini DisplayPort on your Surface and the Mini DisplayPort on your docking station at the same time.

Connect to a wireless display

You can also connect to wireless displays when Windows detects one nearby. Or, use a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to connect to a screen using Miracast.

Note: You can download the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter from the Microsoft store to get the latest settings and updates to the Adapter.

  1. On your Surface, swipe in from the right edge of the screen or select action center
    Notification icon in taskbar
    in the taskbar.
  2. Select Connect, and in the list of displays, select the name of the wireless display.

If you have problems connecting your Surface or have questions about screen resolution, see Trouble connecting Surface to a second screen?

If you’re using a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to connect to a screen using Miracast, see Using the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter with Surface for more info.

Daisy chain monitors

If you have installed the latest Surface and Windows updates, you can daisy chain multiple monitors from your Surface Pro, Surface Book, or a Surface Pro docking station. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two monitors with DisplayPort 1.2 input ports (at least one of them must have a DisplayPort output port)
  • Standard DisplayPort cables with at least one Mini DisplayPort end to make your connections
  1. Using a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, connect the Mini DisplayPort on your Surface to the DisplayPort input on the first monitor. If only one of your monitors has an output port, connect your Surface to that monitor first.
  2. Connect the output port of the first monitor to the DisplayPort input port of the other monitor.
  3. Follow the monitor manufacturer’s instructions to set both monitors to use DisplayPort 1.2 as an input source.
    This might be called Multi-Stream Transport (MST)—allows the first monitor to pass the signal along to the second monitor.

Set up your screens

Once you connect another screen or screens to your Surface, you can choose what to display on each screen. Here’s how:

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, type project to a second screen, and in the search results, select Project to a second screen.

  2. Choose one of the following options:

    • PC screen only: You’ll see everything on your Surface screen. (When you're connected to a wireless projector, this option changes to Disconnect.)
    • Duplicate: You’ll see the same things on all screens.
    • Extend: You'll see everything spread over all screens, and you can drag and move items between them.
    • Second screen only: You’ll see everything on the connected screen or screens, and your Surface screen will be blank.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut (Windows logo key +P) to change your options for the additional screen or screens.

Supported resolutions and refresh rates

The resolution and refresh rate supported for the external display depends on how many displays you are connecting and whether the display on your Surface is on or off. It also depends on which processor you have.

The following chart contains the resolution and refresh rate that is supported for one external display:

Surface

Max refresh rate

Max screen resolution 

Surface 3

30 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface 3

60 Hz

2560 x 1600

Surface Book

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Book with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304

Surface Book 2 13” or 15”

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Go

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Go with LTE Advanced

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Laptop (1st Gen) with i5 or i7 processor

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Laptop 2 with i5 or i7 processor

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Pro (5th Gen) with i5 or i7 processor

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Pro 6 with i5 or i7 processor

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Pro (5th Gen) with m3 processor

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Pro 2

24 Hz

4096 x 2160

Surface Pro 2

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Pro 3
 
24 Hz 4096 x 2160
Surface Pro 3 with i5 or i7
 
60 Hz 3840 x 2160

Surface Pro 4 with Core M processor

60 Hz

3840 x 2160

Surface Pro 4 with i5 or i7 processor

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Studio (1st Gen) with i5 or i7 processor*

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

Surface Studio 2 with i7 processor*

60 Hz

4096 x 2304

*See Displays that work with Surface Studio for more information on connecting external displays to your Surface Studio

The following chart contains the resolution and refresh rate that is supported for two external displays:

Surface Max refresh rate Max screen resolution
Surface Book
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Book with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Book 2 13” or 15”
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Book 2 13” or 15”
 
60 Hz 2560 X 1600
Surface Go
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Go with LTE Advanced
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Laptop (1st Gen) with i5 or i7 processor
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Laptop (1st Gen) with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Pro (5th Gen)
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Pro (5th Gen) with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Pro (5th Gen) with m3 processor
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Pro 2
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Pro 2
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1440
Surface Pro 3 with i3 processor
 
60 Hz 1920 x 1200
Surface Pro 3 with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Pro 3 with i5 or i7 processor
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1440
Surface Pro 4
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Pro 4 with Core M processor
 
30 Hz 3840 x 2160
Surface Pro 4 with i5 or i7 processor
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Studio with i5 or i7 processor*
 
60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Studio with i5 or i7 processor*
 
30 Hz 4096 x 2304
Surface Studio 2 with i7 processor* 60 Hz 2560 x 1600
Surface Studio 2 with i7 processor* 30 Hz 4096 x 2304

*See Displays that work with Surface Studio for more information on connecting external displays to your Surface Studio

Use taskbars on all of your screens

After you have your second monitor or a projector set up to your liking, you might want to have more than one taskbar to make switching between apps and files easier on the desktop. Here's how to get taskbars on all of your displays and change how buttons appear on them.

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter taskbar, and in the search results, select Taskbar settings.
  2. Under Multiple displays, select Show taskbar on all displays.
  3. From the Show taskbar buttons on list, choose one of the following options:
    • All taskbars: The taskbar buttons for all of your open windows will be duplicated on the taskbars on each display.
    • Main taskbar and taskbar where window is open: A taskbar button will appear on your main monitor and in the taskbar on the display where the window is open.
    • Taskbar where window is open: A taskbar button will appear only on the display where the window is open. None of the buttons will be duplicated on other taskbars.

Move apps between your screens

Connecting another monitor to your Surface is a great way to multitask. You can use one monitor for work (for example, running Office apps) and the other for play (chatting or music).

Once connected, use one of the following key combinations to move an app to the second screen:

To Do this
Move Microsoft Store or desktop apps to another monitor. Windows logo key +Shift+Right arrow
or
Windows logo key +Shift+Left arrow

You can also move a Microsoft Store or desktop app to another screen by clicking the title bar and dragging it to the other screen.

Move Microsoft Store or desktop apps to the left, center, and right on a monitor. Windows logo key +Right arrow
or
Windows logo key +Left arrow

Use two apps side by side

Windows 10 makes it easy to use two apps side by side. For example, you can schedule meetings on your calendar while you respond to email, or record a lecture in class with Sound Recorder while you take notes in the desktop.

To use two apps side by side:

  1. Open an app that you'd like to use.
  2. Press and hold (or click and hold) the title bar and drag the app to one side of the screen.
  3. On the other side of the screen, select another app. It will appear next to the first app.