The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 can now act as second screens for your Windows 10 PC
Mark Hachman / IDG
How to use Samsung’s Galaxy Tab as a second display for your PC
Tablets are useful for more than playing games and watching movies, and one of the simplest, most effective tools a Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet offers is its ability to quickly connect itself as a second screen for your PC—via, well, Second Screen.
Why should you care? Because a lightweight Galaxy Tab tablet makes for a great secondary display on a business trip, and it can easily slip into a backpack. More screens equals more productivity!
Connecting a generic Android tablet to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC typically requires downloading a third-party app onto both the tablet as well as the PC, such as SpaceDesk or Duet Display. The latter software is especially useful if you own an iPad, as Duet Display extends your desktop onto Apple’s tablet, either via wireless or a wired connection.
Samsung’s Second Screen app, however, is built right into Samsung Galaxy PCs and tablets. The only catch? You’ll need Samsung’s UI 3.1 tablet interface, which rolled out to Tab tablets in 2021.
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+
Best Prices Today: $699.99 at Dell Small Business | $759.07 at Amazon | $899.99 at Adorama
Samsung supplied us with a Galaxy S8+ tablet (in the photo at the top of this story) and a Galaxy S22 phone at our request, to help answer an ongoing question: Does it it makes sense to buy into the Samsung-branded ecosystem, as opposed to just mixing and matching Android devices and Windows PCs? We also used an existing review unit of the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 as our Windows PC. We’d also highly recommend that you either purchase or use something like a Samsung Book Cover Keyboard Slim to prop up the tablet, as it lacks the kickstand of Microsoft Surface devices.
At a glance
- Time to complete: 2 minutes
- Tools required: none
- Materials required: Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet, Samsung Galaxy PC
- Cost: $0
Swipe to find the Second Screen icon
Enable the Second Screen on the Tab tablet.
Mark Hachman / IDG
The fastest way to connect your Windows 11 PC to a Samsung Galaxy Tab is to begin with the Galaxy Tab tablet. Swipe down from the top to reveal the array of shortcuts that include Bluetooth options, the flashlight, airplane mode, and more. Now slide right to reveal a small number of additional controls. Click Second Screen.
Select your display experience
This screen explains how the feature works.
Mark Hachman / IDG
Your Tab tablet will then pop up a page that explains what Second Screen is and how it works. As the page explains, you’ll have the best experience if both your tablet and PC are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. You also have the choice of selecting between a display that’s optimized for video (with a smoother, less choppy display) or selecting a more responsive alternative that you (theoretically) can play games upon.
Enable the Second Screen app on your Samsung Galaxy PC
This screenshot shows the Second Screen app on a Galaxy PC, and the little popup that indicates that it’s connected.
Mark Hachman / IDG
You’ll then need to enable the Second Screen app on your Samsung PC. This app should be preinstalled as part of Samsung’s installation package. If it is, and you click on it, Second Screen should automatically detect the nearby tablet and then connect. At this point, you can treat the Tab tablet as just another display, that you can adjust as part of the Windows 10/11 Settings menu (System > Display).
(In testing, the tablet occasionally disconnected, either from timing out—though we couldn’t find a control that indicated this—or from a momentary hiccup in the wireless connection. Fortunately, Windows 11 will restore a display to the location it existed in before it was disconnected, so reconnecting it is simple.)
On your PC, you should see a small hovering popout window that indicates that you’re connected to the external tablet—in my case, “Mark’s Tab S8+”. A small Disconnect button next to it will disconnect the tablet from the PC. And that’s it—you’re done!
If you’d like, you can either use the tablet as a “dumb display” without any input—or you can use an associated S Pen, the tablet’s touchscreen, or an attached keyboard (if there is one) to provide additional controls. All of this can be controlled via the Windows “Cast” menu (Win + K).
If you’d like to access other Android apps on your Galaxy Tab tablet while still connected to the PC, you can do that, too. Simply swipe up from the bottom to reveal the navigation icons. (The Tab should also indicate this via a tooltip as part of the setup process.) You’ll still a see a small “Cast” icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen that will allow you to quickly return to the Second Screen app.
You can also use your PC to control your tablet via a related app called Samsung Flow. It, too, connects the tablet and the PC together, in much the same way that the Second Screen function does. The difference is that Flow allows you to control your tablet or phone from your PC, similar to how the Windows’ Your Phone app works.
While we still appreciate (gimmicky) travel options like the FOPO triple display monitor, sometimes you just want simplicity. And Samsung’s Second Screen option delivers it!
The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ can now act as second screens for your Windows 10 PC
The best Android tablets around now make great companions to your Windows 10 PC.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Review (Image credit: Joe Maring / Windows Central)
What you need to know
- The Galaxy Tab S7 can now act as a second screen for select Windows 10 PCs.
- The new feature is rolling out with the One UI 3.0 update.
- The feature requires a WiDi-capable PC running Windows 10 version 2004 or later.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7+ already top our sister site Android Central’s list of the best Android Tablets. Now, with the rollout of One UI 3.0, the tablets are even better options for people who also have a Windows 10 PC. One of the many features that comes with the latest update is Second Screen, which allows you to duplicate or extend the display of a Windows 10 PC to the Galaxy Tab S7 or S7+.
The feature is a bit like Apple’s Sidecar, allowing you to use a tablet you already own as a second display instead of having to buy a dedicated portable monitor. Like using Windows 10 with other monitors, you can either duplicate your display to your tablet or extend it as a second screen. There isn’t an option to use the tablet as your only display, though that option is more useful when using PCs with a presentation display or TV.
To use Second Screen, you have to have a Galaxy Tab S7 or S7+ running One UI 3.0 and a supported Windows 10 PC. Your PC needs to be WiDi (Wireless Display) capable and running Windows 10 version 2004, also known as the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, or later. There are PCs that meet these requirements that aren’t from Samsung, but the company highlights that the Galaxy Book Flex2, Galaxy Book Flex2 5G, Galaxy Book Flex, and Galaxy Book Flex alpha all work with the Second Screen feature.
If you don’t have one of these Galaxy tablets, you can also check out spacedesk, which lets you use your Android tablet and many other types of devices as an additional monitor.