How to Use Windows Laptop as Second Monitor for Mac

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

For many people who work on creative projects or need to do lots of tasks at once, using two screens can really help. It lets you have more space on your screen to see different things at the same time. But, what if you have a Mac computer, like a MacBook or an iMac, and also an extra Windows laptop? Can they work together as a double screen setup? Yes, they totally can! With something from Apple called AirPlay and a cool software named 5KPlayer, you can make your Windows laptop act like a second screen for your Mac. We’ll show you step by step how to make it happen, making your work easier and helping you use both devices better.

Also see: Using MacBook or iPad as Second Monitor for Windows PC

How to Use Windows Laptop as Second Monitor for Mac

First things first: Understanding AirPlay and 5KPlayer

Before we continue, it’s important to know a bit about AirPlay and 5KPlayer and how they help in using your Windows laptop as a second Mac monitor.


AirPlay is a special way Apple made for streaming stuff like music, videos, and even your whole screen from one Apple device to another. Originally, it was made to let Apple devices stream to Apple TVs. But now, thanks to other software like 5KPlayer, you can send stuff from your Mac to a Windows laptop, too.

Connect Windows laptop as second monitor to Mac using AirPlay


5KPlayer is a software that’s really good at playing videos and also has this cool feature where it can receive AirPlay streams. This means if you put 5KPlayer on your Windows laptop, it can show what’s happening on your Mac screen, making it a second monitor.

What is 5KPlayer and AirPlay DLNA

Checking if they match

To make sure this all works smoothly:

  • Your Mac needs to be updated to at least macOS Mojave (10.14). Older versions might not work as well.
  • Your Windows laptop should have Windows 7 or newer, better yet Windows 11 or Windows 10.
  • Both your Mac and Windows laptop need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi for AirPlay to find and connect them.

Related resource: Second Monitor Keeps Going to Sleep (Fix)

How to set up your Windows laptop as a second screen for your Mac

Here’s a guide to help you use your Windows laptop as a second Mac monitor through AirPlay and 5KPlayer.

1. Put 5KPlayer on your Windows laptop

First, you need 5KPlayer on your Windows laptop. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the official 5KPlayer website. It’s best to download software from their official site to stay safe.
  2. Hit the “Free Download” button and pick the version for Windows.Download 5KPlayer on Windows Laptop PC
  3. After downloading, open the installation file and follow the setup steps. Once installed, open 5KPlayer.Install 5KPlayer on Windows 11

Useful tip: How to Disable Laptop Keyboard Permanently in Windows 11

2. Turn on AirPlay in 5KPlayer

With 5KPlayer installed, now make your Windows laptop ready to receive your Mac’s screen.

  1. Open 5KPlayer and click the “AirPlay” icon at the top right.
  2. A side menu will show up. Here, switch on the AirPlay service.How to enable AirPlay Service on Windows 11 or 10 PC
  3. You’ll see a default name under “Computer Name”. You can change this to whatever you like. This is the name your Mac will see when it tries to connect.

Handy guide: How to Keep Laptop On When Closed in Windows 11

3. Get your Mac ready to connect

Now, set up your Mac to send its screen to your Windows laptop.

  1. Click the Apple logo on your Mac, choose “System Preferences.”
  2. Click “Displays.”Mac System Preferences Displays Settings
  3. In the Display settings, look for an “AirPlay Display” option. If you can’t see it, your devices might not be on the same network or there could be other network issues.
  4. Choose your Windows laptop from the “AirPlay Display” dropdown, based on the name you saw in 5KPlayer.Setting a Windows laptop as a second monitor for Mac

Your Mac should now start showing its display on your Windows laptop.

4. Adjust display settings (optional)

If you’d rather extend your Mac’s screen to the Windows laptop instead of mirroring it, here’s what to do:

  1. After choosing your Windows laptop in the “AirPlay Display” dropdown on your Mac, an “Arrangement” tab will show up.
  2. Go to the “Arrangement” tab. Here, you’ll see your screens. Drag them around to match how you’ve got them set up physically (like if your laptop is on the right side of your Mac, put it there on the screen too).Mac airplay mirror or extend display and arrangement settings

Related problem: Second Monitor Keeps Going to Sleep (Fix)

Fixing common problems

If you’re having trouble getting your Mac and Windows laptop to connect, don’t worry. Here are some common issues and how to sort them out:

  1. The 5KPlayer display (Windows laptop) not showing up on Mac: Make sure both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi. Restarting both might help too.
  2. Screen lagging or stuttering: This could be because of Wi-Fi problems. Check your connection is strong. Using a 5GHz Wi-Fi can also make things smoother.
  3. 5KPlayer not getting the signal: Try restarting 5KPlayer and check the AirPlay service is on.
  4. Different screen sizes: If the screens of your Mac and Windows laptop don’t match up well, you might need to adjust the resolution settings to get a better fit.

Linked issue: Second Monitor Keeps Flashing or Going Black Randomly

Making the most of your dual-screen setup

Here are some tips to help you get the best out of using two screens:

  1. Work-play configuration: Use your Mac for work and your Windows laptop for looking up things, watching videos, or chatting. This helps keep things organized.Windows 11 10 laptop as second display for Mac or Macbook
  2. Keyboard shortcuts: Macs have shortcuts that make managing two screens easier. For example, Control + Command + F lets you switch to full screen, and Mission Control (F3 or Control + Up Arrow) helps you move between windows and desktops on both screens.
  3. Get a stand: If you use two screens a lot, think about getting a stand for your laptop. It can make your setup more comfortable to use.Windows Laptop or Macbook Stand
  4. Wired connections: AirPlay is wireless, but for a more stable link, you might want to use cables like HDMI or USB-C. Just remember you’ll need some extra software to help with that.

Relevant concern: Mouse Lag on 4k Monitor or TV Screen (Fix)

Summing everything up

If you have a Windows laptop you’re not using much, turning it into a second screen for your Mac is a smart and cool way to use technology. AirPlay helps make this idea work, letting two big tech systems work together nicely.

But, using a wireless connection like this can sometimes mean you’ll see some delays, lag, or lower quality images. That’s just part of using Wi-Fi. Even with these small issues, being able to use an extra device you already have as more screen space is super handy.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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