Classroom Technology: Adapters Needed to Connect a Laptop to Classroom Projectors

Laptops have been made with a variety of ports over the years. In addition to VGA and HDMI ports, laptops have these common ports available to use to connect to projectors. For information about connecting to the VGA or HDMI cables and selecting these options on the AMX panel in your classroom, please see our article on the difference between HDMI and VGA. If your laptop has either an HDMI or VGA port, you will not need an adapter to connect to the projector system.

Other ports that may be on your computer:

Most newer laptops, PC and Mac, are switching to USB-C. This is becoming an industry standard in addition to HDMI. 


Note: Even though a Mini DisplayPort is the same shape as Thunderbolt 2, they are different connectors.

Thunderbolt connectors will include a lightning symbol thunderbolt lightning icon next to the port.

General Guide:

Apple MacBooks made after 2016 use USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. MacBooks made prior to 2016 had HDMI and/or Thunderbolt 2 ports. Some MacBooks also had Mini DisplayPorts, See this link on Apple’s website explaining what your MacBook might have.

Windows laptops made prior to 2014 often had VGA and/or HDMI. Most current Windows laptops have HDMI, USB-C, or Mini DisplayPort. Check your manufacturer's website.

How to Describe an Adapter:

Your adapter is described by explaining what you are coming FROM and what you need to go TO.

A person who has a USB-C port on their laptop and wants to connect to HDMI, would say: “I need a USB-C to HDMI adapter.”


Article ID: 119181
Tue 10/27/20 9:53 AM
Wed 3/22/23 11:56 AM
Technology Enhanced Classrooms