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How to close your laptop lid and still use an external monitor

BenQ SW270C
BenQ SW270C (Image credit: Cale Hunt / Windows Central)

Using a laptop with an external monitor and some peripheral accessories is a great way to create an effective workstation, especially if you've got one of the best computer monitors. Something that can be annoying about this setup, however, is the fact that closing the lid of your laptop to save on space will also put the device to sleep. This will cut off the display signal to the monitor. Thankfully, you can easily solve this problem by changing a few settings in Windows 10. By doing this, you'll be able to make it so that your laptop doesn't go to sleep when you close its lid.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll show you how to keep your laptop on when closed so that you can use an external monitor.

How to close your laptop lid and still use a monitor

Here's how to use a monitor with your laptop closed:

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. On your laptop's desktop, right-click the battery icon.
  2. Select Power Options.
  3. On the left side of the Power Options page, select Choose what closing the lid does.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the "When I close the lid" options row, select Do nothing from the dropdown menu under the "On battery" column.
  2. Also select Do nothing from the dropdown menu under the "Plugged in" column.
  3. At the bottom of the page, select Save changes.

You can now close your laptop lid while still using your external monitor, regardless of whether or not your laptop is plugged in to a charger. Note that we recommend plugging your laptop in while using an external monitor so that you don't have to worry about the battery draining while you use your workstation.

More Windows resources

If you have an external monitor but you're having issues getting your laptop to connect to it, check out our guide on how to fix second monitor not detected on Windows 10. Also, for more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

3 Comments
  • I find it very strange that Microsoft still have not put this option in their settings app. It is not there in Windows 10 and not Windows 11 either
  • It is absolutely crazy how many little quality of life functions just simply don't exist in computers. The logical thing would be that when a laptop is first connected to an external display you get a pop up "would you like to keep this laptop active when the lid is closed while connected to an external display?", Yes/No and a check box to say save this decision and don't ask me again. You know, that thing that is already a thing that happens for countless other actions within Windows.
  • I would think that closing it would lead to overheating on some laptops depending on how the ventilation is designed. I just leave them open always while in use to prevent thar.