Have you grown tired of the limited screen space on your PC while working from home? Now is the perfect time to expand your workstation by adding more screen real estate. Adding more screens helps you save time and provides a more immersive experience whether you're a developer, gamer, or broker.
But before you decide to invest in an extra screen or plug your old one in, it is necessary to verify the compatibility of your PC. Each system is powered by a plethora of connection types that vary from generation to generation and the most common ones are explained below.
Types of Display Connectors
Typically, there are four types of display connectors that can be used to plug in the extra monitors to your PC namely VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort. VGA and DVI are obsolete and are not found on newer displays but if you have an older monitor lying around then it might still use these connectors.
HDMI had been the default connector for TVs, Monitors, and other displays for a while until it was replaced by the latest DisplayPort connector. If you own a laptop then some monitors can also feature USB-C connectors with Thunderbolt compatibility.
You can set up as many displays as your system allows that can vary from two to four and even more displays running simultaneously.
Here’s how you can set up multiple monitors on Windows 10
Once you have figured out the type of connection that your PC and monitor support then you can simply plug the connector into the respective port. Your PC would automatically detect that a second display has been connected and in most cases, your screen would be duplicated on the newly connected display. But if there is no response from your PC then it might be missing the display driver that can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.
For further information on the type of connection of your monitor or how to plug it in, you can check the instruction manual or the manufacturer’s website for the model number of your monitor - it can also be found on the packaging or on a label at the back of your monitor.
Then you can simply look up the information and plug in the monitor by following the OEM’s instructions. Some monitor support sections of ASUS, LG, Samsung, and Dell are listed where you can address your issue to get it resolved or follow up with other FAQs.
Modes of Display Connections
- Once you have connected the display to your PC, it would duplicate the screen of your default monitor and project it onto the newly connected one. Press the Windows key + P to bring up the Project menu. You can see the screen is set on Duplicate by default as this is helpful if you have plugged in your laptop to a larger external screen or simply wish to project two outputs of a single input simultaneously.
- The Extend feature stretches your screen as it merges both display one and two together to form a single extended display. This can be used to keep tabs open while you surf the web or create a report on-the-go without minimizing any tabs. You can access the extended display by pushing the mouse pointer across the right edge of Display 1 and it will appear in Display 2. The orientation of your display set up can be changed later on in the Settings.
- Second screen only turns off the first display and uses the second display as the primary one. This can be beneficial if you have plugged in your laptop to an external monitor and wish to use it as the only screen.
How to Configure Multiple Monitors
- Right-click on the home screen and select Display settings.
- This is how the display preview would work in the Duplicate mode.
- This is the preview for the Extend mode as now you can shuffle the orientation of your monitors by dragging the Display 1 to the right or Display 2 to the left. The display sizes vary in this case because the first display is a 15.6” laptop that is paired with a 39” display.
- If you wish to determine which display is which then simply click on the Identify option in the Display settings and it will display a preview of the active number of each screen respectively. This can be used to calibrate, position, and sort out of the orientation of each of the displays.
- You can adjust the brightness of the display accordingly if you scroll down and even tweak the Windows HD Color Settings that allow you to select various profiles based on the displays’ specifications and properties.
- The display scaling, resolution, and orientation can be updated in the Scale and layout menu. The higher the scaling size, the larger and bolder the text and apps appear. It is variable as larger displays tend to perform better at higher scaling. Select the preferred scaling option from Change the size of text, apps, and other items drop-down menu.
- Select the required resolution from the Display resolution drop-down menu as this is also variable based on the specifications and configuration of the monitor. For instance, the peak resolution of the laptop display, in this case, is 1366 x 768 whereas it can be upscaled to 1920 x 1080 as this is the resolution of the second display.
- The orientation of the displays is important if you plan to keep them in Portrait mode because you require the extra length for coding or other development tasks. Landscape is more user-friendly when it comes to visually-intensive tasks like video editing and other kinds of media post-processing. You can also flip the display upside down in Landscape and Portrait orientations based on your requirement.
- You can further view the specifications and configuration of your connected displays in Advanced display settings.
- You can view the Desktop resolution, Refresh rate, Bit depth, Color format, and Color space under the Display information tab.
These are the basic steps that are required to set up multiple monitors on Windows 10 as now you can increase your productivity and meet deadlines without compromising on any kind of screen size limitations on your PC. If you wish to scale or adjust the text and cursor size of each monitor individually then head over to our earlier guide for more details.