Multiple monitors in Windows

They told us that and we laughed. If you ever put a second screen on your computer you will never go back to one. And yes, it's true. Let's look at the pros and cons monitors as well as how to customize your second monitor.

computer tablet desktop pc screen

When it comes to desktop computers, one thing's for sure: two monitors are better than one. This is especially true for the workplace, for users who work through it and where they need to perform multiple tasks at the same time or compare tables and data.

But two or more screens are also common among players of digital action games since many of them are interactive and require a lot of detail and observation.

However, whether you are a graphic designer, data analyst, programmer, or anyone else who makes heavy use of the computer, the multiple screens can be a practical solution. Instead of cluttering your desktop with countless tabs and minimized programs, you can visually scan all your work with a single glance.

Whatever your need, enabling multiple monitors on your computer is a surefire way to increase productivity. Below, we will discuss in detail all the steps for setting up multiple monitors on your system.

The benefits of a second screen

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Compared to a single monitor, dual or multi-monitor excels in increasing productivity. Most programs, especially those used by professionals, even Office (Word, Excel etc) have minimal performance when used half screen to view them. Most are made to be fully open across the screen so you don't have to keep fiddling with the scrollbars.

This is why a dual screen allows users to increase their productivity. You can continuously view all available tools, menu options and information without constantly switching between windows.

In other words, second screens allow users the ability to grow additional windows on the screen. You don't have to sacrifice any specific functionality for watching hardware, listening to music, graphic elements, data analysis or content writing.

If you work in secretarial support the two screens are one way. You'll be comparing two Excel tables in half the time. In Word, writing a document based on the writings of another will become a breeze. Leave the company emails on one screen and your daily work on the other.

Ultimately whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can benefit from a dual screen existence. Best of all, most graphics cards allow for a multi-monitor setup. Today multi-screen configuration couldn't be easier!

Let's say a con too. Certainly the two screens take up space throughout your office, creating a "wall" and hiding you from the other side. This can be a good thing for some, if they don't want to be seen, but for others it can be perceived as alienation.

Choose your screen

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Most common monitors on the market are flat, high definition and with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This gives users plenty of space and a crisp 1080p resolution in vivid colors or greater.

Larger screen sizes and better resolutions usually cost a lot more. However, the setup for dual screen viewing is the same as a budget single screen. You won't need much more than a 24-inch 1080p display. You can still use it your laptop as a second screen.

But if you intend to buy a new monitor as a second one, we recommend that you buy exactly the same one as the first one. Same brand, inches, model, etc. On the one hand, you will have a uniform setting in your office, on the other hand, you will not suffer with color differences and white or contrast settings.

Correct cable entry

hdmi type cords

More important than the dimensions of your new monitor is the proper type of cable needed to connect it to the proper port. Many people confuse one type of cable with another, which can be a serious inconvenience.

There are a few types of cables you'll generally encounter when connecting a monitor to your computer: DVI (white by default), VGA (blue by default), HDMI, and DisplayPort.

HDMI and DisplayPort are the newer connection types for displays, while DVI and VGA are older. There are many advantages to these newer types of cables, two of which are directly relevant: the newer types of cables offer better image projection, and DisplayPorts act as the Swiss army knife, since they adapt to all the mentioned connection types.

Make sure you know the type of cable needed to connect your monitor to your computer. Most of the time, cables are not provided and you will need to purchase them.

Graphics cards

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Displays are connected to the computer through the graphics card, otherwise known as the GPU. The GPU handles the graphics processing capabilities of a computer, so you'll need to connect your monitor to the GPU component.

Here you have two possibilities. The first is to have two graphics cards installed in your computer, one integrated into the CPU and a second one installed in a slot on the motherboard or external (eGPU).

The second possibility is to have only one graphics card but one that is powerful enough to either support two screens or one but with twice the resolution.

If you only have one card, before buying a second one make sure that the existing one cannot support two screens. If it has two outputs then it can. If it has only one see its features and if it has a resolution of 4096×1160 and above, then it covers you. The reason; You simply divide the 4096 resolution in half.

Integrated cards in modern times are inside the CPU. Example the Intel i5-12500 12h generation processor. It has an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 770 GPU, and supports 4 screens.

intel gpu uhd graphics 770

The motherboard panel may have only one output port, but you can buy a splitter and connect two monitors to one port.

If you have two graphics cards, then connect one to the motherboard port and the second to the additional port of the second graphics card. Be careful, if you haven't bought a CPU with an integrated GPU the motherboard port will just be there but not working.

In the market, know that there are cheap cables that convert a displayport plug to hdmi. Or if you have multiple displays that use DisplayPort but only have one connector on your graphics card for that type of connection, you should use a DisplayPort hub with multi-stream transport. The hub will connect to the only available DisplayPort port and allow you to connect up to three displays to it.

Second screen configuration

Once you've connected the second monitor to your GPU, turn on your computer and both monitors. Wait for an image to appear. If your first screen remains blank, check your connection.

Once you see an image on your primary screen, right click on your desktop and select Screen settings.

You should see your second screen in the settings image. Windows 10 conveniently provides this look so users can easily configure multiple displays.

windows 10 second screen

You can drag and drop one of your two screens to configure the display position. If you have a second screen to the left of your first, and you want to reposition them, drag the second screen to the right of your main screen.

If you are confused about which screen your computer is referring to, click the button Recognition to see which screen is which.

Then scroll down through the options until you get to Screen Resolution. This will be the main setting you will need to change to get your monitor up and running.

windows 10 second screen 2

Windows 10 sometimes displays your screen at a lower resolution than your screen is capable of. Set your resolution to Recommended (or higher).

If you have an older monitor but use a newer graphics card, you can also adjust the settings to increase your resolution higher than default.

Keep changing whatever options suit you. Orientation will allow you to change the portrait or landscape orientation of your screen. Multiple screens allow you to expand or yes you reflect your screens (playback). Remember to select the screen you want to change before making any changes.

The option labeled “Make this my main display” will, among other things, make the programs appear on the main display you have selected.

Show taskbar

Another subtle aspect of a multi-monitor setup is what you do with the taskbar. The toolbar can be a problem if you are working on a clean desktop.

To change or remove your taskbar, go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar. Scroll down until you see a Multiple Screens section.

windows 10 dual screen task manager

To disable the taskbar on all screens (except the main screen), set Show taskbar on all screens to Off. If you leave it on, you can decide whether the taskbar will show all pinned programs or only the programs present on that screen under the “Show taskbar buttons on” option.

Additionally, you can choose to show or hide programs' text labels from "Button Combinations on Other Taskbars".

Customize your multiple screens

As trivial as it sounds, part of the fun of one y dual or multi-screen is the use of multiple backgrounds. You are no longer tied to a stale, uniform background. You can use different backgrounds on each screen.

For this feature, open Settings > Personalization > Wallpaper again. Scroll down until you see the button Search in the Choose your image category. Click the Browse button and select the image you want to use as a background. Do this for as many backgrounds as you want.

Once you've selected your background, right-click on its thumbnail. You should see an option labeled “Set for all monitors” or “Set for monitor X”. Choose any you want.

While there are third-party apps that also allow multiple background settings, the easiest and fastest way to do it is by default in Windows 10.

But what if we want to create a single, super wide background image that covers all of our desktops?

Wide desktop background

To set a wide desktop background, i.e. a photo that will expand across all screens and not repeat itself, just go to Settings > Personalization > Background scroll down and in the Customization Option field select “Span”. You will have a background that spans multiple screens.

windows 10 two screen span

Of course you can choose any image of yours you want for the background, just choose one with a high resolution because now you are displaying it on a particularly wide screen.

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Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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