How to Close Laptop and Use Monitor with Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to use your laptop with the lid closed but still view everything on an external monitor? With Windows 11, you can set things up easily to keep working with your screen down. Just follow the simple steps below, and you’ll be good to go in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial to Close Laptop and Use Monitor Windows 11

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. We want to close our laptop’s lid without it going to sleep. Instead, we want to keep using the laptop with an external monitor. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Connect your monitor to your laptop

Start by plugging your monitor into your laptop using the appropriate cable – HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, or USB-C.

Connecting your monitor to your laptop can be as simple as plugging in a cable. Make sure both your laptop and monitor are turned on. Once connected, your laptop should recognize the monitor. If it doesn’t, you may need to press a key combination on your laptop to switch to external display mode.

Step 2: Open Windows Settings

Press the Windows key + I to open Settings, or you can search for Settings in the Start Menu and click to open.

The Windows Settings app is where you can customize many aspects of your laptop’s behavior. In this case, we’ll be looking for options related to power and closing the lid.

Step 3: Go to System > Power & Sleep

In the Settings window, find and click on "System" and then select "Power & Sleep" from the sidebar.

In the Power & Sleep settings, you’ll find different options to customize what your computer does when it’s plugged in or running on battery. We are interested in what happens when the laptop lid is closed.

Step 4: Click on ‘Additional power settings’

Scroll down to find "Related settings" and click on "Additional power settings."

This will open the Power Options control panel. It’s a bit of a throwback to older versions of Windows but still very useful for managing power settings.

Step 5: Choose what closing the lid does

On the left menu, click on "Choose what closing the lid does."

This is the essential step. Here you can tell Windows exactly what you want to happen when you close your laptop’s lid.

Step 6: Set ‘When I close the lid’ to ‘Do nothing’

Under the ‘When I close the lid’ drop-down menus, change the settings to ‘Do nothing’ for both ‘On battery’ and ‘Plugged in.’

By choosing ‘Do nothing,’ you’re instructing your laptop to keep running even when the lid is closed. This way, your monitor will become the primary display, and your laptop won’t go to sleep or hibernate.

After completing these steps, you can now close your laptop’s lid, and your monitor will take over as the display. You’ll be able to use your laptop as if it were a desktop computer.

Tips for Closing Laptop and Using Monitor Windows 11

  • Always ensure your laptop is adequately ventilated, especially when the lid is closed, to prevent overheating.
  • If you’re using a wireless mouse and keyboard, make sure they’re connected before closing the lid.
  • Double-check that your monitor is set as the primary display in Windows display settings.
  • Remember to change the settings back if you want your laptop to sleep when the lid is closed in the future.
  • If you’re having trouble with the external monitor, try updating your display drivers through Device Manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my monitor is not detected by my laptop?

Check the cable connections and make sure you’ve selected the correct input source on your monitor. You can also try restarting your laptop with the monitor connected.

Can I still use my laptop’s keyboard and touchpad with the lid closed?

No, once the lid is closed, the built-in keyboard and touchpad are usually disabled.

How do I switch back to my laptop screen?

Reopen the lid, and your laptop should automatically switch back to its screen. You may need to adjust the display settings if it doesn’t.

Can I close the lid without the monitor connected?

Yes, but make sure the settings are adjusted to ‘Do nothing’ when closing the lid, or your laptop will go to sleep.

Will my laptop battery drain faster using an external monitor?

Depending on your settings and usage, using an external monitor may consume more power. However, if your laptop is plugged in, it shouldn’t be an issue.


  1. Connect your monitor to your laptop using the appropriate cable.
  2. Open Windows Settings.
  3. Go to System > Power & Sleep.
  4. Click on ‘Additional power settings’.
  5. Choose what closing the lid does.
  6. Set ‘When I close the lid’ to ‘Do nothing’.


Closing your laptop and using an external monitor on Windows 11 is a fantastic way to increase productivity, declutter your workspace, or just enjoy a larger display. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes to configure. With these steps, you can turn your portable laptop into a more stationary workstation whenever needed. The key is to ensure that your laptop stays awake while the lid is closed, allowing you to continue using the external monitor without interruption.

This functionality also extends the life of your laptop by reducing wear and tear on the built-in keyboard and screen. Plus, it’s an excellent way to use a broken or malfunctioning laptop screen. And don’t forget, even with the laptop closed, you can still use all its features, including audio, USB ports, and more.

So, whether you’re a digital nomad switching between coffee shops or a professional looking to streamline your home office, knowing how to close your laptop and use a monitor on Windows 11 is an invaluable skill. Give it a try, and you’ll wonder how you ever worked any other way.

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