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Working on Dual Monitors

With a second monitor and the required connectors on your PC, setting up Windows 10 to display over two screens is easier than ever. Aside from looking pretty cool, having a second monitor can really help to increase productivity, and allow you to stay more organised when you are at your computer.

Setting Up Dual Display

Matching up the resolution and size of your two chosen monitors will give the best results but even mismatched monitors can work really well in dual format.

  1. You will obviously need to ensure that your PC has the requisite connections for two monitors (two HDMI, VGA or DVI ports, or a combination of these). Check the back ofyour PC tower or the side of your laptop to find out. With your PC turned off, connect both monitors to the available ports.
  2. detect that two displays are connected and you should see both of them displaying a desktop. Your main display will have all ofyour icons on it, whilst the new second display will be blank apart from the taskbar along the bottom.
  3. You will now need to configure the dual monitor setup to your liking. Windows 10 allows you to easily choose how the dual monitors display. Press Windows Key + P to see the Project side panel. Here you can choose from PC Screen Only, Duplicate, Extend or Second screen Only options.
  4. PC screen Only and Second Screen only are fairly self-explanatory, displaying an image on one or the other screens. Duplicate is also fairly easy to understand, showing exactly the same display on both screens. Extend turns the two monitors to one long screen that you can spread out across.
  5. The Extend option is the one which needs the most setting up. On the main display, right-click anywhere on the desktop and choose Display settings from the Action menu. Scrolling to the bottom of the display settings gives you another way to choose the display mode.
  6. At the top of the display settings are the two displays side-by-side. 1 is your main display and 2 is the secondary display. Which side of the screen the two monitors "join" at (which side allows you to move on to the second monitor) is controlled by dragging the display boxes here to the left or right.
  7. You can view settings for each display independently, by clicking on one you want to see, and then scrolling down. You can change the scaling, orientation and resolution of each display to best suit the specification of the monitor, if it is the case that the two monitors have different maximum resolutions.
  8. If you don't want to see the taskbar on both displays, go to Settings → Personalisation → Taskbar, and scroll down to Multiple displays. You can then choose to turn off the taskbar on the second display. You can also spread a single wallpaper across both screen by selecting Span in Background settings.
  9. Spreading out across the two monitors in Extend mode is as easy as clicking and dragging a window, be that a browser window, app or anything else, to the "joined" side of the main screen. Just keep the mouse pointer moving and it will continue on to the second screen seamlessly.
  10. Depending on the graphics card software you have installed (Radeon for example), you will usually have further display options for the second monitor in the graphics adapter settings. This might include Virtual Super Resolution and GPU scaling, helping you match up resolution settings.