How-To

Windows 10 Tip: Configure a Dual Monitor Setup

Windows 10 makes it easy to add a second monitor using familiar commands available in Windows 7. Here’s a look at setting up your dual-monitor setup.

One of the improvements added to Windows 10 over Windows 8 is better support for multiple monitors. Windows 10 makes it easy to add a second monitor using familiar commands available in Windows 7. Let’s take a look at how to add and configure dual monitors on a Windows 10 PC.

Configure Dual Monitors with Windows 10

The first thing you need to do is connect the monitor to your HDMI, DVI, or VGA port on the PC.

connection

Press Windows Key + P on your keyboard. This will bring up a menu with a list of options. In my case, I need some additional screen real estate so I will go with the Extend option. Extend will place a copy of the Windows desktop on the second monitor with its options separate from the main monitor.

Multi mon 1

In the example below my second monitor on the right.

Multi mon 3

 Here’s an idea of what setting up a second monitor using a laptop looks like. 

WP_20150709_001

Configuring Settings

If you have unique requirements, you can adjust these using Display Settings. Right-click the desktop and select Display settings.

Multi mon 4

The Display Setting window will come up, and here you can make individual adjustments for each monitor. For example, the default screen resolution for monitor 2 is 1366 x 768, I can individually adjust settings for just that monitor without affecting the main one. You also have the option of changing the orientation of the monitor if supported, so if you read a lot of web pages, you can change from landscape to portrait.

Multi mon 5 a

To change the screen resolution, scroll down and select Additional display settings.

Multi mon 5 b

Click the Display you that you want to modify and then click in the Resolution drop-down menu and choose the resolution you want. Click Apply to confirm changes.

multi fix diplay

Changing Taskbar Options

One of the things you will notice by default, Windows 10 displays the Taskbar on both displays, but you can change this if you want. You’ll also get new options on the Taskbar properties when you enable Multiple Displays. Here, you can choose to have the option of displaying the Taskbar buttons only on the primary monitor or you keep the default and have it on both. I prefer to keep it on both screens for convenience. It allows quick access to applications or the Start menu.

If you do want to change it, just click on the Show taskbar button list box and select Main taskbar and taskbar where window is open. You can also customize how icons are displayed on the second monitor. Click Apply and OK and there you have it. You will notice this does not remove the Taskbar.

Main taskbar

Windows 10 also supports the new Snap Assist for multi-monitor setups. You can snap your favorite apps while interacting with others. Windows 10 makes being a power user a lot more fun and easy. Tasks like these used to be complex and required third party support in some cases. If you have not tried it, definitely check it out and let us know what you think.


41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Les Willey  

    Running an HP laptop with an additional monitor. Worked fine with Windows 7, but after upgrade to Windows 10, it will not detect the second monitor. Without resolution, will go back to Windows 7.

    • Barbara Thornton  

      I agree! 6 months later and Microsoft hasn’t fixed this problem! They hijacked my functioning windows 7 and left me with only one monitor and NO CLEAR EXPLANATION for how to reactivate the second. Bozos.

      Barbara T

  2. Anthony Benedetto  

    HI my desk top has 3 monitors and windows 10 pro when I updated it all 3 were still there in place with the options on all 3 and the main in the center like I had it worked perfect at lease one thing did.

    • wkancyr  

      are you saying that all three of your monitors worked with windows 10, not duplicating the screen but stretching the picture on all three, running a different program on each?

  3. Les Willey  

    Glad to hear multiple monitors can work with Windows 10. I made no changes to my hardware when upgrading to 10, but my second monitor is not detected. I was using only the second monitor with Windows 7. Sorry I upgraded.

  4. wkancyr  

    getting the second monitor isn’t the problem, its the 3rd and forth, I have a sapphire, with 4 heads and with my windows 8 I could set up 4 monitors, I used 3 for my computer and one for media. With the windows 10 I can only get 2 monitors to work, sucks to be me who spent 350. on a video card and can’t get it all to work

  5. Anthony Benedetto  

    wkancyr,

    I have 2 GeForce GTX 550 TI cards and 3 monitors attached I never tryed to attach a fourth no room. They all worked in windows 7 and when I updated to Windows 10 they were just fine no problems But I have Windows 10 pro. on my laptop I have Windows 10 home can not get things working on it. I’m not sure but I think its windows 10 home that has all the problems.

  6. A Miller  

    I would like to know which cable is best/correct to use for connection. HDMI to HDMI or VGA to HDMI?
    Thank you.

  7. Anthony Benedetto  

    i used HDMI to HDMI It was all new cards and monitors

    • A Miller  

      Thanks, got it hooked up and running. Works great.

  8. Vivi  

    Window 10 PC purchased Video Card NVidia GT730 and my 2nd monitor is not working.

  9. Anthony Benedetto  

    What is not working? You have several chooses 2 monitor as one or 2 separate monitors which is the way I have my 3 Monitors. Its all in the way you set up NVidia software my problem was also getting the order of monitor in the order I wanted which was the center one as my main, after playing around with it it worked fine. But that was before Windows 10! when I updated to windows 10 every thing was OK!

    • Renee  

      please provide step by step on how to get main monitor and two additional monitors to work with windows 10

      • Renee Barrett-Gonzales  

        The response received did not resolve my issue with trying to set up multiple screens. I have used the Extend option but the mouse bypasses the middle screen. It only works on the left or the right.

        I need step by step on how to set up my laptop screen as screen 1, my left monitor as screen 2 and my right monitor as screen 3.

  10. MEM  

    I just got updated to Windows 10 without my permission. Now it just won’t detect my 2nd Monitor. Any suggestions would be appreciated

    • Lenha  

      My problem also. Running ASUS EX201.

  11. Alex  

    When I did all the steps my monitor was not detected. I used a hdmi to vga. I am using a laptop to power the monitor

    • Martin  

      HDMI is a digital signal. VGA is an analog signal.

      This is why your monitor isnt working. You need either HDMI> HDMI or HDMI > VGA.

      • Martin  

        Sorry, or VGA > VGA

  12. Les Willey  

    I had exactly the same problem. I went back to Windows 7. I tried all the ways posted in this blog, no luck. My monitor was still not detected. Not sure what to do now.

  13. Joshua Guthrie  

    My issue is when i connect any secondary display there seems to be a cutoff like the image displayed is too big by default, is there any way to make the image accommodate my screen more appropriately? (without sacrificing any resolution)

  14. Greg  

    Does anyone know how to make the extend screen option the default. I unplug at work each night from my second monitor, re-attach each morning and need to switch from PC only to extend screen each day. Looking to save 11 secs of repetitive tasking. thx.

  15. Jesper Friis  

    Instead of buying Linked in fix this problem ….!

  16. Karen  

    I just purchased a new computer with Windows 10. I have always used 2 monitors with an extended display. I can duplicate the display but it won’t extend the display. I’ve tried everything, does anyone have a fix for this?

  17. veeru  

    i have Dell inspiron 5010 updated windows 8 to 10 and second display is not detected. tried all solutions given above bu no joy.

  18. Paul  

    Hello

    Running Windows 10 with two monitors.

    Question: I’m a bit unsure on how to open the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” window. Even with windows search I can’t find it.

    Question2: The taskbar is on both displays. Is there an option to open apps from the start button of the display I click?
    Example: If I open Microsoft edge from my second display I want the app to start on the second display. Right now it starts from my main display regardless of what taskbar I click.

    • Thomas Frederics  

      1: Right click taskbar and select settings, you will find the option to display multiple task bars or not there.

      2: In my experience the windows open from the last spot that you used them or wherever you closed out of them. I have not found a setting that affects this yet.

  19. Mauro  

    Hi! First, the post was great. I have a question: I have two Samsung Monitors (24) and a Radeon r7 370 with a 8370 Eight Core processor and 16 GB of RAM. The thing it’s the second monitor always turn off from one moment to another with no aparent reason. Do you know what could it be? Thanks a lot!!

  20. Antonio  

    Ive always extended my displays but with W10 my taskbar appears on BOTH screens (unlike only one in W7). I cant get my complete taskbar on screen 2. By that I mean that on screen 2, the windows icon and other shurtcut icons, but the battery information, the time, date, language…., that are always on the right side of the taskbar does not show. Any ideas.

  21. Lloyd Joseph  

    Just attached a 2nd screen, but my PC is only detecting 1 screen. I have pressed “Windows” button & “P”, but when I click extend, it doesn’t find the 2nd screen.

    In display settings it only shows I have 1 screen.

    Any ideas anyone ????

  22. Les Willey  

    Exactly the problem I started this with. I use a laptop with a separate monitor. I only use the separate monitor. Had to go back to Windows 7. Works great with Windows 7.

    • Lloyd Joseph  

      It’s a work PC, so can’t revert back to Windows 7 !!!!

  23. Trina  

    I’m having the same problem. It seems that the problem is with Windows 10 Home, has anyone figured out how to get around this? Thanks much.

  24. My HP creates a duplicate poorly, positioningis out on second display. If i extend, when I click firefox, it always opens in forst screen, I want it to open in second, with a second and different firefox in first. Whatever I do, firefox will only ever display on screen 1.

  25. matt  

    Incredible quality of life tip, i switch frequently and i was sick of going into the vvidia settings. This tip works perfectly for me.
    Thank you.

  26. Diane  

    What is on the laptop should be on the screens, it’s back to front. The laptop is blank, and what is on the screen is what should be on the laptop? We can’t select anything

  27. Les Willey  

    I only use the second monitor because of the small size of my laptop screen. Windows 10 will not DETECT the second (my main monitor), so Windows 10 is completely useless. None of the settings will work if the monitor is not detected. Windows 7 works great.

  28. Lev Vernik  

    I have Windows 10 laptop and external monitor. I keep my laptop closed at all times and only use the monitor. I’ve set Display Settings/Power Settings to turn off in 15 mins, but no effect. The monitor does not turn off.

  29. William Lodge  

    I am using a MacBook Pro with Parallels in the virtual environment to run Windows 10 Pro, and need to connect 2 monitors to Windows 10. My Mac sees the 2 monitors perfectly, but Windows 10 doesn’t even recognize them. Where are the settings for adding multiple monitors to Windows 10?

  30. Kalaya  

    I’ve been using a 2nd monitor with my HP Laptop. my 2nd monitor is no longer recognized since the August update
    what do I need to do for my laptop to recognize the 2nd monitor again?
    thanks

  31. Kalaya  

    Thanks for the info.
    prior to the Windows 10 update i didn’t have any problems with my 2nd monitor. After, my 2nd monitor was working intermittently.
    sometimes I could get it to work by unplugging the 2nd monitor and doing a restart.
    sometimes I had to go into devices and uninstall the 2nd monitor..
    the monitor is working now. display settings had reverted to ‘show 1 – I tried to extend and nothing showed up on the 2nd monitor. , so I changed display setting to show 2 and it was displayed. then I click on extend again and it worked.
    it could be that my laptop and 2nd monitor are old and needed persuading. I’ll get back to you if it quits working again.

    Thanks

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