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Do USB-to-VGA Adapters Work?

a black USB-to-VGA adapter

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Ever had the headache of connecting two devices with different display ports?

Due to the ever-changing electronic designs, this problem is bound to increase. A Universal Serial Bus (USB) to Video Graphic Array (VGA) connection is the most common electronic problem people encounter.

USB is the standard port used on electronics today. Though the port has not changed, its transfer bandwidth has increased significantly. This is evident with the USB naming.

The current USB 3.1 has a higher transfer rate than USB 3.0. USB is used for the transfer of data and for external display connection.

VGA is mostly used in graphic based electronics, which may include monitors and larger displays like projectors. It is mostly used to transfer video signals, especially from the Central Processing Unit (CPU) to the display device.

This article aims to answer some of your questions about VGA and USB adapters and show you exactly how they do their functions.

Do USB-to-VGA Adapters Work?

Yes, USB-to-VGA adapters work very well to convert digital display signals from the USB to analog video signals.

This process outputs a display with a high resolution of 1900 x1200. This display is of higher quality than a 1080p resolution.

This adapter is mostly used by laptop users to project their screens to a larger display. This can be useful in presentations and for entertainment purposes.

This is the process by which the USB-to-VGA adapter works.

USB to VGA Adapter

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The driver in the computer compresses the display data and sends them through the USB cable. The chip in the adapter decodes the data to digital video signals.

The chip then converts the digital video signals to analog video graphic arrays, which are then passed through the VGA port.

Can You Connect a VGA Monitor to a USB port?

A VGA monitor can not be connected directly to a USB port. However, to connect these two devices, one will need to use a VGA-to-USB adapter.

Amazon Basics Aluminum USB 3.1 Type-C to VGA Adapter

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Because the VGA and USB ports have different structural builds, we can not connect them due to lack of compatibility.

This is where a driver comes in. A driver is a device that connects two pieces that can not directly be connected to each other.

Adapters are equipped with necessary in-built chips to process data and information from one form and turn it into a suitable output for the next device.

Not all adapters are sophisticated with chips. Some of them are just right input wires configured to the right output wires.

Do USB-to-VGA adapters work?

The USB-to-VGA adapters are excellent and very efficient at what they do. The USB-to-VGA adapter can only transfer video signals to the display screen.

USB to VGA Adapter

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This is because VGA is only used to transfer video signals.

Though USB has both sound and video signals, the sound signals are isolated, and only the video signals are passed through to the VGA.

Sometimes the USB-to-VGA adapter may not be able to work on your personal computer. The reason might not be because the adapter is not working. Always check these factors before buying an adapter.

  1. VGA pins – There are two types of VGAs. One is the 14-pin and the other one is the 15-pin. Always check your computer’s pin configuration before you buy a USB-to-VGA adapter because you might buy one with a wrong pin configuration.
  2. Driver – If you plug the adapter, and it is not working, you can check your device driver. If you are lacking the driver needed, go to the website of your operating system and download the driver. After installing the driver, your display will work.

By far, this is the best USB to VGA adapter cable I can recommend.

USB to VGA Adapter

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It is compatible with most devices which include Laptops, desktops, PCs, monitors, projectors, and HDTV.

This adapter also comes with a USB 3.0 that means it allows for a higher resolution and fast data transmission.

How to Connect a VGA Monitor to a USB Port Using an Adapter?

An adapter may not work as easily as many may think. This is why you need to be informed on an adapter’s best practice before you purchase it.

Details on how to handle the adapter are always written on the adapter manual. However, some practices are assumed to be general knowledge by the manufacturer. Though this might be the case, always do your best to research the best practice for your device.

The knowledge on how an adapter is connected will help you in handling since mishandling can cause you some setbacks.

Mishandling an adapter may damage the adapter in case of short-circuiting or when too much force is applied. Some adapters may also not give the best results when they are connected poorly.

These are the steps to take if you want to connect your VGA monitor to a USB port.

1. Connect the VGA cable to the VGA monitor. The other part of the VGA cable is then connected to the VGA side of the VGA-to-USB adapter.

2. Now connect the VGA-to-USB cable to your PC using the USB port. At this point, the screen on your VGA monitor should be showing a display from the PC. If it does not have a display, do not panic because this is because you do not have a driver installed.

3. Most VGA-to-USB adapters will come with a diskette from which the driver is installed. Since most of the laptops these days do not support diskettes, you can download the VGA-to-USB driver online.

4. After downloading the driver, make sure you install it appropriately. Follow the steps in the video below to set up your driver.

USB 3.0 TO VGA Adapter I How to use USB to VGA Adapter

5. Everything should work perfectly after installing the driver.

In case you have the driver and the display output is still not showing in your VGA monitor, these are some of the methods you can use to re-install the driver.

Method 1 – Install a generic display driver

  1. Open the Device Manager by simply clicking the Windows button + X.
  2. In the Device Manager, go to Display Adapters.
  3. Now right-click on the Display driver and hit Uninstall.
  4. Restart your PC for it to download a new driver automatically.

Method 2 – Install a new driver from the manufacturer’s website

  1. Open the Device Manager by simply clicking the Windows button + X.
  2. In the Device Manager, go to Display Adapters.
  3. Now right-click on the Display driver and hit Uninstall.
  4. Visit the manufacturer’s website to download the driver or use the diskette.
  5. Run the file to install the driver.


Working with adapters makes our jobs easy and takes a lot of hassle off our backs.

Next time you are having a problem connecting two different ports, remember that there is always a compatible adapter out there that you can buy.

If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to reach us anytime. 

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