How to Use Surface PC as a Portable Monitor

Having a dual or multiple monitor setup can be very helpful in multitasking. Personally, I have a triple monitor setup at my office, which includes my main Surface Book display, an LG 29-inch ultrawide, and a Dell 21.5-inch monitor on either side. This setup allows me to view and work on multiple websites simultaneously, up to six websites side by side, which is particularly useful for research, writing articles, and other tasks that require a lot of screen space.

When I work outside of my office, I also use a portable multiple monitor setup. Although I don’t have a dedicated portable monitor, I have found that my Surface 3 with a built-in kickstand works well as a portable wireless display. This allows me to browse the web and perform most other activities with ease.

In this guide, I will provide step-by-step instructions on how to connect and configure any Surface device (except Surface RT and Surface 2) as a portable wireless display.

Table of contents

  1. Preparing your Surface PCs
  2. Configuring a Surface as a secondary monitor
  3. Projecting to a Surface wireless display

Preparing your Surface PCs

Before you continue, make sure your both Surface PCs meet the following requirements:

  • Running Windows 11 or Windows 10 (with Anniversary Update or later).
  • Connecting to the same wireless network.
  • Surface PCs with the Miracast protocol Support. Fortunately, all Surface lineup except the original Surface RT supports these protocols. Click here for detailed Surface support for Miracast.

In this scenario, I will use my Surface Book as the main PC and a Surface 3 as a portable monitor just like the picture above. Let’s get started!

Configuring a Surface as a secondary monitor

To configure a Surface as a wireless display, on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on Projecting to this PC.Projecting to this PC - Windows 10
  4. Select “Available everywhere” or “Available everywhere on secure networks” from the first option.
    Windows PCs and phones can project to this PC when you say it's OK
  5. Select “First time only” or “Every time a connection is requested” from the second option. If you don’t want to confirm every time you connect, choose the First time only option.
    Ask to project to this PC
  6. Turn on the Required PIN for pairing, if you need extra protection.
  7. Make sure you turn off the “This PC can be discovered for projection only when it is plugged in as you will use your Surface PC as a portable display.
  8. Finally, you will need to confirm Yes when you project from another computer to this PC.
    Projecting to this PC confirmation

Projecting to a Surface wireless display

Once you have configured your Surface PC (Surface 3) to accept projection, On your main PC (Surface Book), on Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Open Action Center.
    Open Action Center
  2. Click the Connect button.
    Click Connect
  3. Click the name of the remote wireless display PC (Surface 3) you want to project. You may need to confirm the connection on another PC (Surface 3) depending on your configuration. If the connection fails, you will need to try again.
    Click on target computer's name
  4. Once connected, Toggle the “Allow input from a keyboard or mouse connected to this display”, if you also want to use the remote computer (Surface 3)’s mouse, keyboard, touch, and pen input on your main PC (Surface Book).
    Allow remote input on Main PC
  5. You can also change the projection mode just like a real connected monitor, by clicking on Change projection mode or pressing Win + P on your keyboard.
    Changing Projection Mode
  6. Finally, when you finish your work click Disconnect to stop your connection.
    Disconnect the Wireless Display