[SOLVED] How to use three external monitors on a laptop that only supports two ?

markyork67

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Jun 4, 2015
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For four years I had my three monitors connected to my previous employer's laptop via a docking station.

Now: new employer, new laptop. They didn't provide a docking station, so I purchased a USB hub (reimbursed by my new employer) that can handle three monitors (it has two HDMI ports and a VGA port). I connected everything up, but the third monitor wasn't displaying. After much troubleshooting, research and trial and error, I found that the laptop only supports two external monitors. The laptop doesn't have a dedicated graphics card - just an integrated Intel UHD Graphics adapter.

So now I have an unused monitor on my right on my monitor desk mount.

I'm wondering if there is any way to make that third monitor usable - either as an extension of the middle monitor to make a widescreen of sorts, or is there some way to "trick" the system into making the third one and external monitor?

Laptop is a Lenovo T14 Gen1

USB Hub is Hiearcool USB-C Laptop Docking Station

Monitors are as follows:
Left hand monitor: eMachines 23", 16:9, 60Hz, 1920x1080, VGA and DVI connections
Middle monitor: Acer 27", 16:9, 60Hz, 1920x1080, HDMI, VGA and DVI connections
Right hand monitor (the unused one): Benq 22", 16:10, 1920x1080, VGA and DVI connections

I'm using a DVI cable on the left monitor, with an adapter to connect it to one of the HDMI ports on the USB hub.
I have an HDMI to HDMI cable for the middle monitor.

What - if any - are my options to use that third monitor with my employer's laptop?
 
Last edited:
Sep 12, 2020
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Mark, as you've discovered, you can't drive three external displays with Intel UHD graphics. However, you can add a "USB 3 graphics card" for that third monitor. Do a search on the Amazon for your region and pick the one that's most appropriate and gets the best "verified purchase" reviews.
 
Sep 12, 2020
142
30
140
15
Mark, as you've discovered, you can't drive three external displays with Intel UHD graphics. However, you can add a "USB 3 graphics card" for that third monitor. Do a search on the Amazon for your region and pick the one that's most appropriate and gets the best "verified purchase" reviews.
 

markyork67

Honorable
Jun 4, 2015
7
1
10,510
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Mark, as you've discovered, you can't drive three external displays with Intel UHD graphics. However, you can add a "USB 3 graphics card" for that third monitor. Do a search on the Amazon for your region and pick the one that's most appropriate and gets the best "verified purchase" reviews.
Wow - I had no idea something like that existed. I ordered a DVI to HDMI cable (the third monitor has both VGA and DVI outputs) and a USB 3.0 to HDMI graphics adapter cable. I'll post back here when I get them.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Wow - I had no idea something like that existed. I ordered a DVI to HDMI cable (the third monitor has both VGA and DVI outputs) and a USB 3.0 to HDMI graphics adapter cable. I'll post back here when I get them.
You need an HDMI to DVI cable not a DVI to HDMI, the direction of the signal matters. If your video card has an HDMI output that is. You can also just have used an USB 3 to VGA video adapter and used the VGA cable without any adapters.
 

markyork67

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Jun 4, 2015
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You need an HDMI to DVI cable not a DVI to HDMI, the direction of the signal matters. If your video card has an HDMI output that is. You can also just have used an USB 3 to VGA video adapter and used the VGA cable without any adapters.
Sorry for the confusion. I have a DVI port on my monitor. I'm planning on getting a USB to HDMI graphics adapter, so I'd have to use a DVI to HDMI cable to connect the monitor to the adapter.
 

markyork67

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Jun 4, 2015
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Adding an update on this:

I ordered a Startech USB 3.0 to HDMI graphics adapter. When I got it I downloaded and installed the necessary driver, shutdown my computer plugged in the monitor to the external graphics adapter, started up my computer and presto! I have not just three, but four monitors now (my three monitors and the laptop).
 
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