HDMI to VGA: Using your VGA monitor on your HDMI laptop

Looks like the trusty old VGA interface is on its way out and while you’ll still see legacy systems and devices using this 25 year old standard for monitor connections, the newer laptops and computers are starting to pass on VGA connectors in favor of HDMI which, among its other benefits, allows for thinner devices. When I bought my new laptop computer, I never even thought to check if it had a VGA monitor port on it and, sure enough, it doesn’t. Instead, it has an Active HDMI port on the side. This wasn’t a problem until I tried connecting it to a projector during a meeting a few months ago and found out that projector’s HDMI interface didn’t work.

Fortunately, there are a number of HDMI to VGA adapters on the market and, after some trial and error where I learned the difference between a DisplayPort and the Active HDMI ports used on computers, I decided to try the Ableconn Active HDMI to VGA Adapter Converter Dongle. This model (HDMI2VGAD) was highly reviewed on Amazon.com and I immediately found those reviews to be justified.

(Edit – 4/1/2022: The Ableconn adapter is no longer available. The Moread adapter is still available, however.)

The Ableconn converter is excellent for its simplicity. It’s true plug and play with no drivers required, it’s compact and doesn’t require external power. Just plug it into an HDMI port, plug the VGA cable into the adapter’s VGA port and then select the desired display settings through your laptop.


As you can see in the picture below, the image is crisp and clear and connecting or disconnecting the dongle automatically activates the remembered settings. Best of all, in my case, it worked with the VGA projector that I needed to use.


You can find the Moread HDMI to VGA adapter and other laptop accessories on Amazon.com.