How to Turn Your Windows 10 PC Into a Wireless Display
Since it launched in July 2015, Windows 10 has offered the ability to mirror your screen to any dongle or device (TV, Blu-ray player) that's compatible with the popular Miracast standard. However, with the August 2016 Anniversary Update, Microsoft's operating system now lets your PC become the wireless display, receiving Miracast signals from a phone, tablet or other Windows 10 computer.
If you have a small Windows 10-powered computer -- an Intel Compute stick, for example -- hooked up to your TV, it can now double as a wireless display dongle for your phone or laptop. When you're mirroring from a Windows 10 computer, you can extend rather than duplicate the screen so you can, for example, play a movie on the receiving display while you send emails on the primary one. Just imagine taking a Windows 10 tablet, propping it up next to your laptop and using it as a second monitor on the road.
As cool as display mirroring is, there are a few caveats. While most modern devices with Wi-Fi have the ability to send out a Miracast signal, compatibility is spotty at best. My Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone could not project to any Windows 10 PC I tried. And, even if you can connect, sometimes you have to try three or four times before the process works. So be patient.
Here's how to turn your Windows 10 PC into a Miracast-capable wireless display:
1. Open the action center. It's represented by the speech bubble icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
2. Click Connect.
3. Click Projecting to this PC.
A settings window appears.
5. Select "Available Everywhere" or "Available everywhere on secure networks" from the top pulldown menu.
6. Select "First time only" or "Every time" under "Ask to project to this PC." I recommend picking "first time only," unless you're really worried that some rogue person is going to grab your phone and project to your computer without your permission (and why would they want to?).
I recommend leaving "Require PIN for pairing" off since you have to grant permission on the receiving computer anyway. You can also decide whether you want your PC to receive projection requests only when it's plugged in.
7. Click Yes when Windows 10 alerts you that another device wants to project to your computer.
The Windows connect app will launch in its own window. You can drag, resize or maximize the window. We found that videos played pretty smoothly in a connection between a Surface Pro 4 and a ThinkPad T440s. Also, if the sending device is a Windows 10 PC and allows it, you can use the keyboard and mouse on the receiving computer to remotely control the sender.
How to Mirror Your Windows 10 Screen to Another Windows 10 Device
Here's how to broadcast your screen from the sending device, if it's a Windows 10 computer. Android devices have different wireless display menus.
1. Open the action center.
2. Click Connect. A list of available receiving devices appears and your other computer should be on it.
3. Select the receiving device. You may have to wait a minute or longer for the devices to pair. It may also fail and you'll need to try again.
4. Toggle "Allow input" to on if you want to let the receiving device control your PC with its keyboard and mouse.
5. Click "Change projection mode" and select "Extend" from the menu that appears if you want to use the wireless display as a second desktop, rather than a mirror of your current desktop.
6. Click Disconnect when you want to terminate your connection.