There are a number of digital photo frames that you can use as an external extra monitor for your computer. These specially designed photo frames allow you to connect the frame display to the computer and allow extra viewing space for your computer files and programs. In addition this allows the digital electronic photo frames to get powered by the computer when it is on. Samsung is one known company that produces these specially designed digital photo frames. You’ll want to look for frames with USB in connections to do this connection to the PC.


Connect one end of the USB cable that came with the photo frame to the photo frame’s digital video out USB port. Connect the other end to an open USB port on your computer, not the monitor. The computer may automatically detect the digital photo display; if not install the software that came with the photo frame.


Go into the display settings for your computer on the computer and choose the extended display option while the digital photo frame is connected. You’ll be able to choose and see how the extended display will look, giving you extra screen space. If you want you can also mirror your main display on the smaller photo frame electronic screen.


Save the settings and test out the new mini display by moving the mouse cursor over to the digital photo screen. If set to extended it’ll appear on the photo frame screen. If set to mirrored you’ll see a mini version of your desktop screen on the frame digital display.

Digital Picture Frames have multiple uses.Credit: By Pix-Star (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Note that for some digital photo frames you’ll still need to plug in the frame’s own power supply to an available power outlet since when the computer is off the mini screen won’t get power. 


Also keep in mind that if you want to use dual displays on your computer on a regular basis for a lot of work you are better off buying a separate flat screen monitor. Using a digital photo display as a monitor is more of a gadget head geeking out type of thing to do just to do it. The small display can still be useful as an extension but overall heavy users requiring a dual monitor setup will benefit from a larger second screen.