What's the best way to switch monitors between work PC and home PC?

Tim wants to know how he can switch multiple monitors between his work PC and home PC - we try and assist.

Question by Tim from United States | Answered by in Displays & Projectors on Mon, Apr 11 2022 9:20 PM CDT

On my desk currently, I have my work laptop with 2 monitors and my home PC with 1. I want to set things up so when I am at work, the work PC has 2 screens, and the home PC has 1. But when I am not working the Home PC has 2 screens while the work PC has 1.

Can I use an HDMI switch to switch one of the monitors between the 2 PCs? Or will it be a pain to get Windows to recognize how many monitors I have up using the switch?

No, I don't want a KVM. Home PC Work Laptop Mon 1 Mon A Mon B Above illustration of the current setup, I'd like to switch Mon A between Home PC and Work Laptop. Rephrasing, if I put a switch on Mon A, is Windows smart enough to say "I have 2 mon now", "Now I have 1 mon" without any extra action by me when I flip the switch?

Hi Tim,

You are on the right track, and while I haven't used monitors arranged in your setup, you are correct that a KVM is not what you are looking for. That said, I have used an HDMI switch in conjunction with Windows and can confirm it will work, like the one pictured below.

What's the best way to switch monitors between work PC and home PC? 01 | TweakTown.com

In my experience, the only issue I have run into on occasion is Windows taking longer than usual to detect the monitor if the machine is already powered on. This situation would be resolved with a reboot. Keep in mind, I haven't tried this setup recently as this was years back, so things could be better with more modern versions of Windows.

Another thing to keep in mind is display throughput. You will obviously want an HDMI switch that's 4K capable if your display supports the resolution, and I would probably only use it on secondary displays to negate any input lag if your machine is used for gaming.

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