How to Use Surface PC as a Portable Monitor

Having a dual or multiple monitor setup can be very helpful in multitasking. My office has a triple monitor setup, including my main Surface Book display and two other external displays: an LG 29-inch ultrawide and a Dell 21.5-inch monitor on either side via Surface Dock. 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.

I also use a portable, dual-monitor setup when working outside my office. 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 efficiently perform most other activities.

In this guide, I will provide step-by-step instructions on connecting and configuring any Surface device, including Surface Go, Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book, as an external screen or projector.

Preparing your Surface PCs

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

  • Running Windows 11 or Windows 10 (with Anniversary Update or later).
  • Connecting to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Surface PCs with the Miracast protocol Support. Fortunately, all Surface lineups except the original Surface RT support 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 like the picture above. Let’s get started!

Configuring a Surface Pro as a second 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. Ensure you turn off the “This PC can be discovered for projection only when plugged in, as you will use your Surface PC as a portable display.
  8. Finally, you must confirm Yes when you project from another computer to this PC.
    Projecting to this PC confirmation

Projecting or casting to your Surface

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

  1. Open the Action Center icon.
    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. Depending on your configuration, you may need to confirm the connection on another PC (Surface 3). If the connection fails, you will need to try again.
    Click on target computer's name
  4. Once connected, Tick the “Allow input from a keyboard or mouse connected to this display” check box 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

Changing projection mode

You can change the projection mode as a real connected monitor by clicking on Change projection mode, pressing Win + P on your keyboard, or going to the Display settings. You can adjust the dual screen projection as:

  • PC screen only – Only display on your main PC screen.
  • Duplicate – Mirror content from your main PC to your Surface Pro screen.
  • Extend – Having an extra desktop, you can place different content on your Surface screen.
  • Second screen only – Turn off your main PC screen.
Changing Projection Mode

Disconnect the projection

Finally, when you finish your work, click Disconnect to stop your connection.

Disconnect the Wireless Display


Question 1

Can I use a Surface Pro with a cable as a monitor?


Using a Surface Pro or a Windows tablet as a second monitor with a cable is impossible. All Microsoft Surface devices use Miracast wireless technology to support the “Project to this PC” feature on Windows 10 and 11.

Question 2

Can I use Surface Pro as a monitor for Mac?


Apple doesn’t natively support the Miracast wireless technology used on Surface Pro or any Windows tablet and Miracast TV.

However, some apps on the Mac App Store provide workarounds that allow you to mirror the Mac screen or project specific apps to compatible TVs. Those apps include the Screen Mirroring Cast App by MeisterApps, Mirror My Screen, and others.