How to use multiple monitors with one computer

In this article we will talk about use multiple monitors with one computer. A lot of people use multiple monitors, either because they are computer geeks or they are simply people who need multiple monitors to work. Why use only one monitor when you can use two or more and see others at the same time?

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Additional monitors allow you to expand your desktop, gaining more screen space for your open programs. Windows makes it a lot easier to set up additional monitors, and your computer probably has the ports it needs for install two or more monitors on one computer.

Why use multiple monitors?

More monitors give you more screen space. When connecting multiple monitors to a computer, you can move the mouse back and forth between them, dragging programs between monitors as if it were a very large desktop.

Some examples of use cases for multiple monitors include:

  • Coders who wish to view their code on one display with the other display reserved for documentation. They can simply take a look at the documentation and look at their main workspace.
  • Anyone who needs to see something while working. Viewing a web page while writing an email, viewing another document while writing something or working with two large worksheets and having both visible at the same time.
  • People who need to keep an eye on information, whether it's emails or up-to-date stats, while they work.
  • Gamers who want to see their game world better by extending the game across multiple screens.
  • Geeks who just want to watch a video on one screen while doing something else on the other screen.

If you only have one monitor, you can also use Snap to quickly place multiple Windows applications side by side.

But how useful this feature is depends on the size and resolution of your monitor.

If you have a large, high-resolution monitor, it will allow you to see a lot. But for many monitors (especially laptop ones), things will seem very limited. Here's where dual monitors can come in handy.

How to use multiple monitors with one computer

How to connect multiple monitors to a computer. Connect an additional monitor to the computer it should be very simple.

Most new desktop computers have more than one monitor port, be it DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, the old VGA port, or a mix.

Some computers may also include splitter cables that allow you to connect multiple monitors to a single port.

Most laptops have ports that allow you to connect an external monitor.

Connect a monitor to your laptop's DisplayPort, DVI, or HDMI port, and Windows will allow you to use both your laptop's built-in display and external monitor at the same time (see instructions in the next section).

It all depends on the ports on the computer and how the monitor connects.

If you have an old VGA monitor and you have a modern laptop with only DVI or HDMI connectors, you may need an adapter that allows you to connect the monitor's VGA cable to the new port.

How to connect multiple monitors to a computer

Windows makes it easy to use multiple monitors. Just plug the monitor into the appropriate port on your computer and Windows should automatically extend the desktop onto it.

Now you just have to drag and drop windows between monitors.

However, Windows may mirror your displays, showing the same thing on each by default. If this is your case, you can easily fix it.

To quickly choose how you want to use the display on Windows 8 or 10, press Windows + P on your keyboard.

A sidebar will appear and you will be able to quickly choose a new view mode.

You'll probably want to use the Extend option to get more Windows space on your desktop, but here's what all of the options do:

  • PC screen only: Windows will only use the primary monitor and any additional monitors will be black.
  • Duplicate: Windows will show the same image on all monitors. This is useful if you are doing a slideshow and want the same image on the primary monitor and secondary display, for example.
  • Extend: Windows will enlarge and extend your desktop, giving you another screen to work with. This is the option you need if you are using an additional monitor for additional PC screen space.
  • Second screen only: Windows turns off the primary display and uses only the secondary display.

To configure your displays on Windows 10, right-click on the desktop and select “View Settings” or go to Settings> System> Display.

Click the “Identify” button to see the number of each display shown on the display, then drag and drop the displays so that Windows understands how they are physically positioned.

Display number one is your primary display.

Click "Apply" to save any changes you have made.

If Windows did not automatically detect all connected displays, click the “Detect” button here.

You can click on each connected display and choose an appropriate scaling level, which is useful if one display is a high DPI display and one isn't. You can also choose separate viewing orientations, for example, maybe a screen is on the side and you need to rotate the image.

Under Multiple Displays, you can choose how you want to use your display. These are the same options you can access by pressing Windows + P.

You can also change your main display from here. Select the display you want to set as primary at the top of the window, then click “Make this my primary display” under Multiple Displays.

Windows 8 and 10 also allow you to extend the Windows taskbar across multiple monitors.

To activate this feature on Windows 10, go to Settings> Personalization> Taskbar and enable the option “Show the taskbar on all displays”.

In Windows 8, right-click on the taskbar and select “Properties”. Here you can activate the option “Show taskbar on all displays”.

You can also choose how to display the taskbar buttons. For example, you can choose whether a window's buttons should appear in the taskbar on that window's display only or on all displays.

On Windows 7, right-click on the Windows desktop and select "Screen Resolution". Click the “Identify” button to see which monitor and drag and drop them into this window so that Windows understands how they are physically positioned.

Choose an option from the Multiple Displays box. The Extend option extends your desktop to an additional monitor, while the other options are especially useful if you are using an additional monitor for presentations. For example, you can mirror your laptop desktop to a large monitor or blank your laptop screen while connected to a larger screen.

Windows 7 does not have a built-in multi-monitor taskbar feature, like Windows 8 and 10 do. Your second monitor will not have a taskbar. To extend the taskbar to an additional monitor, you need third party software like Dual Monitor Taskbar… free!

Let's go further with DisplayFusion

Multiple monitors make things a lot easier right from the start, but you don't have to stop there. You can set different wallpapers for each monitor, either via a hidden feature in Windows or by using a third-party tool like DisplayFusion (which has a free version with some features and a $ 25 version with a lot of features).

DisplayFusion also offers customizable buttons and shortcuts for moving windows between monitors, the ability to snap windows to the edges of both displays, dual monitor screensavers, and much more. If you are using multiple monitors, it is a must have program.

If you have problems on how to use multiple monitors with one computer, just let me know in the comments box below.

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