How to Set Up Multiple Displays on Windows 10

Have you ever wondered about setting up Multiple Displays on Windows 10? Here are the steps to set up and manage them.

When you’re done, your set up may look similar to the image below.

Plugging In – Cables

Most commonly with newer hardware you will use either DPI (Display Port) or HDMI cables. If you have an older PC or monitor it may support DVI or VGA. VGA is the least likely as it is the oldest and has not been used for a while.

The image below shows where the inputs are, as well as what each type of cable looks like. Keep in mind the back of the PC pictured does not have DVI or VGA as it is a newer PC. You can also buy all sorts of adapters, such as DPI to HDMI, DVI to HDMI etc. in case your monitor and your computer do not use the same adapter.

hdmi to vga converter adapter, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
D-Kuru, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons
Evan-Amos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Evan-Amos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Plugging In – Input Slots

There are two spots on a PC you can plug monitors into. One is the GPU, which stands for “Graphics Processing Unit,” the other is the Motherboard.

It must be understood that all computers and hardware are different. Some systems will ONLY have a motherboard, which means no GPU.

If your computer does have a GPU:

The slots you will plug into will likely be underneath all of your motherboard inputs. The GPU ALWAYS has priority over the motherboard. In order for a GPU to display graphics, the inputs NEED to be plugged into it otherwise it will not work. View the image above to see an example of input locations.

If your system only has a Motherboard:

You need to make sure that there are enough inputs on the back of the computer to support two monitors. If so you will plug into one of those.

Display Settings

Once you have your monitors plugged in and your PC turned on you will right click on your desktop to enter your display settings.

Once in these settings your screen will look like this.

If you are unsure which monitor is which, hit the “Identify button” under the picture of the displays with numbers on them. It will display the numbers directly onto the monitors themselves, as in the image below.

Use this information to click and drag your #2 display to the correct position. If your monitor is on the left like in these images, the #2 monitor will be on the left of the #1 monitor. If it is on the right move your #2 monitor to the right of the #1 monitor.

This is important because it determines where your mouse pointer hits a boundary, and where it moves onto the second monitor.

Scale and Layout Section

After you have positioned your monitors, you will scroll down to the “scale and layout” portion of your display settings.

Keep in mind this changes the settings for the monitor that is selected above. Since the #1 monitor is blue this means these options below apply to the #1 monitor. Click on the #2 monitor if you wish to change the settings for that one.

In most cases the recommended resolution is the default choice under “Display resolution” and you shouldn’t have to change anything.

Set “Display orientation” to “landscape”. The only time you would switch to portrait would be if your second monitor was set up vertically instead of horizontally. This is usually the default, and you shouldn’t need to change anything here.

Multiple Displays Section

In this section, with the #1 monitor chosen, you will want to make sure the “make this my main display” box is selected.

You will also set it to “extend these displays”.

An exception to this, is if you want to use a monitor to mirror another monitor, such as your laptop screen. Then choose “duplicate these displays.”

Hopefully this covers the set up and use of multiple displays on Windows 10. Here is the official Microsoft Support Page if you are still having trouble.

Additionally, If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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