How to Freeze Projector Screen

What does it mean to freeze your projector screen? Apparently, this question is so old that users from up to 10 years ago were curious about it. Decades ago, when Windows XP was the norm instead of obsolete, they wanted a projector “Pause” button a la games from the Nintendo Entertainment System console.

Yes, it’s possible to “Pause” or “Freeze” your projector screen. Here’s the lowdown on how to freeze a projector screen.

The Freeze Option on Your Projector Remote

Modern projectors have a freeze option that freezes the display. This allows you to have a screen up there like a screensaver despite any change in your notebook PC display. This is handy because you won’t have to activate Expand Desktop mode to do that screen freeze technique.

This is much easier to do compared to looking for programs or going into Extend Mode to “freeze” the projector screen.

This is particularly handy if you’re a college teacher. You’ll need to use the feature constantly to access notes, multitask grading, look up information, or simply showcase a video on your projector screen while you do something else on your MacBook or laptop.

How to Freeze Projector Screen

Screen Freeze from the Laptop Itself

The freeze option isn’t universally available in all projectors. Some lack remote controls while others can’t do screen freezes on their own at all. This is especially true of projectors available in college A/V rooms. Thankfully, you can freeze the display on your laptop screen.

It involves toggling between modes or adjusting settings to feature the Extend Display option specifically. This way, the extended portion of your desktop will only show on your projector while your primary screen is hidden on your laptop screen.

Fair warning. The workaround can be quite tedious to do. This is especially true when you compare it to the much simpler screen freeze via projector remote.

Further reading: How to Freeze Screen Windows 10

A Screenshot and Screen Freeze Program

It might be possible to get a program that makes a screenshot of your current screen then opens it while you do things with your laptop. Then again, there’s an app for everything so why not?

Surely, your slideshow app should have an option to freeze your screen while you look up something on Google or something. However, such an app is unnecessary since you can just use Extend Mode on your operating system to do the same thing.

Freezing the Screen for Windows XP, 7, 8.1, and 10

If you wish to continue using your laptop normally while a screen is frozen or playing some other media, you should opt for the Expand Desktop mode. This mode is usually used for multi-screen setups involving two or more monitors.

However, you can use it on your projector as well. This makes your OS desktop extend beyond the parent or first screen of your laptop towards your desktop. You can place your slideshow or video there while you do work on your first screen.

Does Extending the Display Equate to a Frozen Screen?

Extending your display or desktop wallpaper to give you extra-long screen real estate is technically not freezing your display the same way you could with a projector remote control. The latter option remains the truest and most dependable option of the bunch for sure.

However, this screen freeze workaround for projectors lacking screen freeze features allow you to simulate a frozen screen. You can leave that extended portion of your desktop blank or on a specific slide you’re presenting on your slideshow as well as freeze frame on a paused video.

Furthermore, this method works universally in more machines, laptops, and projectors type compared to the screen freeze option on a high-end projector with extra remote control features.

the screen freeze option

How to Extend the Display on Windows

There are several ways you can extend your Windows desktop display, the simplest of which is to press the Windows Key + P.  This enables you to toggle between different viewing modes, including Extend Desktop Mode.

Either that or you should put it at Extend Desktop mode from the start. To do so, go to Display Properties at Advanced Mode and click the correct or preferred display. Yes, it’s easier to use the remote’s freeze button, but this is a viable (if cumbersome) workaround.

Don’t Enable Duplicate Screen and Troubleshooting

Enabling Duplicate Screen Mode by toggling through Windows Key + P or by the Advanced Mode of your Display Properties will have your officemates, bosses, or students see what you’re doing on your laptop rather than hide it.

If either method doesn’t work in extending the display on Windows, then you should try doing it while the computer is on Safe Mode (available to you in Windows 7 and below but tougher to get to for Windows 8 and above)).

You can also reconnect the laptop to your projector to see if that allows you access to toggling or the settings menu.

How to Extend the Display on MacBook or macOS

If you wish to connect your MacBook to a projector in order to go into Extend Desktop Mode for screen freezing purposes, do the following.

Click on the top-left corner Apple icon on your screen the choose System Preference, Displays, and the Arrangement tab. On the Mac Display Settings, you can pick between Mirror Display box, Extend Mode for Secondary Displays box, and so forth.

Check the Extend Mode for Secondary Displays box for screen extension on your laptop to the projector. There isn’t a toggle Projector Mode to Mirror Mode available here. Now your primary screen is hidden and you can freeze your extended screen wallpaper, video, or slideshow at will.

Read more: How to Freeze Projector Screen for Mac or Apple Products

In a Nutshell

Can you really temporarily freeze the screen of your projector so that you can continue using the notebook PC without having the screen change? Does it work with MacBooks or laptops such as Acer Aspire? It’s beneficial when you want to look up notes while the display is still up there.

Yes! In fact, this is also handy during lectures or presentations where the presenter wants to highlight specific lesson, slight, chart, or point. Maybe people wish to take notations or pictures of the screen for the test later or something.


  1. Freeze Projector Display“,, October 1, 2016
  2. How Do We Freeze the Display on an External Display?”, September 8, 2011
  3. How to Keep Using Your Computer While Showing a Movie on the Projector Screen“,, Retrieved March 22, 2021
  4. How to toggle projection settings (Mac)“, Help, June 23, 2019
  5. How to Toggle Projection Settings on Windows 10“, Help, July 24, 2019

James Core

I love my projector system and I am here to help you find the right projector for your needs.

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