How to Connect Raspberry Pi to a Windows Laptop Without Monitor or Ethernet Cable

Although it is a wired setup, we have already written a dedicated guide on using a Windows laptop as a monitor for Raspberry Pi. So we wrote another article on how to access a Raspberry Pi from a distance, but it also needs an initial setup with an Ethernet cable. Not every user’s home contains an extra Ethernet cable or monitor. Furthermore, few people use a Wi-Fi router at home. Therefore, we have developed another tutorial to make things truly remote and wireless. We’ll go over how to connect a Raspberry Pi to a Windows laptop without using an Ethernet cable, a monitor, or a router in this article. So let’s get right to the steps and discover how to connect to a headless Raspberry Pi.

Connect Raspberry Pi to a Windows Laptop Without Ethernet Cable, Monitor, or Wi-Fi Router (2021)

Since we started from scratch in this article, even complete beginners can easily begin their Raspberry Pi projects. To access the headless Raspberry Pi without a monitor, Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi router, or even an HDMI cable, simply follow our step-by-step instructions.


1. You must download Raspbian OS from this link. On the web page that appears, I advise downloading the Raspberry Pi OS with desktop and suggested applications. It will include all necessary utilities, packages, and dependencies.

2. Next, use BalenaEtcher, a free download, to flash Raspbian OS onto the SD card.

3. Finally, obtain VNC Viewer(Free) so that you can use your Windows laptop to access the desktop environment of the Raspberry Pi.

Flash Raspbian OS on Raspberry Pi

1. Extract the ZIP file after downloading Raspbian OS. An IMG file will be delivered.

2. Next, open balenaEtcher after installing it. Under the Select target option, select the SD card after selecting the extracted image. Once that’s done, select Flash. You will require an SD card with at least 16GB of empty capacity, so keep that in mind.

3. Open the flashed card from My Computer after the flashing procedure is finished. It ought to appear as boot. You need to create an empty file on the SD card. To create the file, right-click and choose New -> Text Document.

4. Rename the file tossh with no extension at this point. Hit enter after removing.txt from the filename.

Generate IP Address for the Headless Raspberry Pi

It’s time to generate the IP address for the headless Raspberry Pi now that you’ve flashed the card and made the SSH file. You will require a home Wi-Fi network to use this method. You can make a hotspot on your smartphone and share it with your PC and Raspberry Pi if your home doesn’t have a router. This is the procedure.

Download thewpa supplicant.conf file first from here. It enables you to add your Wi-Fi login information to the Raspberry Pi so that the device can find the specified Wi-Fi network and instantly connect to it.

2. After downloading, open it in Notepad or another text editor. Here, replace Wi-Fi Hotspot with the name of your home Wi-Fi network or hotspot. Change the Wi-Fi Hotspot Password to match the password you’ve specified for your mobile hotspot or router. Make sure to enter the information just as it is.

3. Next, save the file and transfer wpa supplicant.conf to the SD card’s root directory. Finally, the Wi-Fi information needed for the headless Raspberry Pi to establish a connection has been provided.

4. After that, take out the SD card, put it in the Raspberry Pi, and turn it on. It will attempt to automatically connect to the mobile Hotspot or Wi-Fi, so give it some time.

5. If you have a router, open in a web browser after a minute. Enter the router’s default login information to search for all wirelessly connected devices. The Raspberry Pi’s IP address can be found. Take note of it.

6. Users can alternatively download and instal Advanced IP Scanner (Free) on their Windows computer to discover the Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

7. To check the network for users who are utilising a mobile hotspot, download the Fing app (Android/iOS) to your smartphone. It will instantly recognise the Raspberry Pi and display its IP address. Take note of it.

Connect Headless Raspberry Pi to Windows Laptop Without Ethernet or Monitor

Here’s how to connect the headless Raspberry Pi to your Windows laptop without using an Ethernet cable or a monitor now that you’ve created the IP address for it. On your Windows machine, launch Command Prompt and type pi@[IP Address].

2. After executing the programme, enter the word yes.

3. Next, the Raspberry Pi password will be required. Raspberry is entered after typing. By the way, the default login and password for the Raspberry Pi are both raspberry.

4. The Raspberry Pi will now allow you to log in. Now, anything you want to accomplish can be done without a monitor or an Ethernet wire. To begin with, turn on the VNC server and GUI interface so you may use the Raspberry Pi as a desktop computer.

5. To open the Configuration tool, type the command sudo raspi-config.

6. Next, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate to Interface Options or Interfacing Options. Then press Enter.

7. Select VNC under Interface choices, then press Enter.

8. Select Yes and press Enter on the following page.

9. After that, navigate to Boot/Auto Login in System Options. Go to the Desktop Autologin option next. Navigate to Boot Options -> Desktop/ CLI -> Desktop Autologin if you’re using an older Raspberry Pi.

10. To apply the modifications, press enter lastly. Press Tab to advance to Finish, then press Enter. Your Raspberry Pi will reboot as a result, and the SSH session will stop. Shut the CMD window now.

11. Open the VNC Viewer that we obtained earlier after installing it. Hit enter after keying in your Raspberry Pi’s IP address.

12. After that, a prompt will show up; click Continue. Enter your Raspberry Pi’s credentials (username: pian and password: raspberry) in the following window. Click OK to continue.

13. The Raspberry Pi’s screen will go live on the display of your Windows 10 laptop in a matter of seconds. Follow the on-screen directions to set up Raspberry Pi right away. Go to the next section if you encounter any errors.

Troubleshoot: Fix Cannot Currently Show the Desktop Error on Headless Raspberry Pi

There is no need to be concerned if you see the Cannot presently show the desktop issue when attempting to connect your Raspberry Pi to a laptop display. To solve the problem, adhere to the methods below.

1. Open a command prompt and type the following command before pressing enter.

ssh pi@[IP address]

2. Type the password for Strawberry and press Enter. Enter the new password if you’ve previously changed it.

3. You’ll sign in to Aspi. Run the command listed below to start the Configuration tool now.

sudo raspi-config

4. Click on Display Options and then select Resolution. However, if your Raspberry Pi is older, you may find this setting in the Advanced Options section.

5. Select a different resolution than the default. You can select any other option depending on the aspect ratio and display resolution of your laptop.

6. Click Finish and close the window by pressing Tab.

7. When you finally launch the VNC Viewer, you will be able to successfully connect to the desktop environment of the Raspberry Pi this time. Change the resolution repeatedly until you find one that works for you if the Cannot presently see the desktop issue still occurs.

Setup a Headless Raspberry Pi Without Ethernet Cable, Monitor, or Router

So there you have it, a Raspberry Pi can be accessed without an Ethernet wire or a monitor. I also included a solution for users without access to a router at home. You can establish a Wi-Fi network using the hotspot on your mobile device. That’s all we have to say, though. If you have successfully configured the Raspberry Pi, I strongly advise installing Pi-hole to prevent advertisements and trackers across the entire network. And as always, feel free to ask us any questions in the comments section below.