University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education

PC Laptop Projection Instructions

(For printable instructions, click here)

The following PC laptop projection instructions include these important topics:

NOTE: For information on using Apple laptops and devices in general purpose classrooms, see the Apple Device Projection instructions.

Connecting to the Classroom Projection System

  1. Cables are located in the pocket of the instructor's podium. Connect the VGA (or HDMI if available) cable to the laptop. See the instruction on HDMI for more on that topic.

  2. Connect the audio cord to the headphone jack of your laptop (not the microphone jack) to have audio projected through the system speakers.

  3. Press the "Laptop" source button on the control panel. When the button stops blinking, start the laptop.

  4. To display material from the Internet either use the wireless network, or connect the wired network cable from the instructor station to the Ethernet port on your computer. NOTE: Register your computer for DHCP Service (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) prior to using the Ethernet connection
vga system
Touchscreen control panel, showing a room with both HDMI and VGA laptop connection options Control Panel
connect   vga
Connect audio cord to headphone jack   Connect VGA or HDMI cord to VGA or HDMI port


Common Troubleshooting Tips

Topics covered in this section:

Activating external display - Windows 7 and later

If the laptop image does not appear on the projection screen, activate the external display (this tells your laptop to
display the image from its screen onto the projector's screen). There are several ways to do this in Windows but
the simplest way is:

  • Press and hold the Windows key, then press the P key.
  • Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select “Duplicate” and press the Enter key.

You should see this image on your PC’s screen

  • If you prefer to use the projector as an extended monitor, select the “Extend” option.


Image size and resolution

The data/video projector has been designed to operate at a screen resolution of 1024x768 (XGA) or 1920x1200
(WUXGA/1080P). In most classrooms, the computer will be adjusted automatically when you connect it to the pro-jection system. If the image is too large, small, or otherwise distorted, you may need to manually set your comput-er’s display resolution to a lower or higher setting.



  • Click on the Start menu and choose “Control Panel”
    Select Display.
  • Click on Change (or Adjust) resolution.
  • Select 1024 by 768 pixels or other desired resolution and
    click Apply.

If the image is not filling out the room screen, you may
need to adjust the aspect ratio by pressing the Projector
Aspect Ratio button (in selected rooms) to display wide-
screen images. See the instructions on aspect ratio for
more information.

If the projector gives an error indicating “Frequency out of range,” follow the instructions above to change the resolution settings, making sure to select a refresh rate of 60hz (this setting can be found in the “Advanced Settings” panel).



If you need to adjust the volume:

  • Increase the system volume by using the volume up/down buttons on the control panel.
  • If you cannot hear any audio, verify that the "Audio Mute" button on the system control panel is not on. When the audio mute button is selected, the audio will not play.
  • You can also increase the volume by adjusting the laptop volume (using the laptop’s control panel). If that does not work, verify that the laptop’s mute button is not selected.

Playing videos using laptop DVD drive

Videos on DVDs using laptop DVD drive:

  • In some cases, the video may show up on the laptop's screen but not on the room projection screen. This is be-cause many laptop computers are not capable of displaying video from a DVD simultaneously on both screens. In order to display the video, you must disable the laptop's screen while the video is playing. This can be done by se-lecting the “Projector only” option in the “Activating external display” section above.

PowerPoint slide show with embedded videos:

  • PowerPoint users wishing to play embedded video should be aware that this will require a lot of computer processing power. Therefore, some computers are not able to display on two screens simultaneously (i.e. the built-in computer display and the classroom projection screen). If you wish to play a PowerPoint slide show with embedded video on the projection system and it does not appear on both screens, you may need to adjust some settings.

Here are some things you can do to successfully display embedded video:

  • To successfully display embedded video, you may need to disable the laptop monitor image, try disabling the built-in screen on your laptop. You should be able to do this by using the appropriate Function keys. Press the correct Function key combination (see chart above) until only the projection screen is showing an image.
  • Enable extended desktop mode on the computer:
    • Go to the Display control panel and check the box that says, "Extend My Windows Desktop Onto This Monitor”
    • Click Apply.
    • After the screen switches, drag the window containing the slide or video onto the desktop that's being projected.

Using PowerPoint in Presenter Mode (the extended desktop feature must be enabled for this mode to function):

    • Go to the Slideshow menu and click "Set up show”Click on the Presenter Mode or Show Presenter View
    • After doing this and starting the slide show, the slide will appear on the second monitor (the projection screen) and the laptop screen will contain the slide controls. The video should also play on the projection screen in this mode.

Additional Resources

There are many more topics covered in the frequently asked questions section of the OCM website.

Videos & Feature Instructions
There are useful tutorial videos on the OCM website, along with in-depth instructions of specific classroom technology features.

Apple devices and laptop instructions
Looking for instructions on using Apple devices or laptops in the classroom? See the Apple laptop instructions page, as well as the FAQ on this topic.

Still having trouble?
After reviewing the information about using laptops in general purpose classrooms, feel free to contact us for 1:1 or group orientation and training or troubleshooting. Call the Classroom Support Hotline to set up a meeting : 612-625-1086 or email