Set up two mon­i­tors for your PC

KATHER­INE STEVEN­SON shows how to dou­ble your screen space

Tech Advisor - - Contents -

Even a gen­er­ous 24in mon­i­tor can feel cramped when you’ve got mul­ti­ple win­dows open on your desk­top (and who doesn’t). It’s much worse if you’re con­fined to a lap­top screen. For­tu­nately, it’s sim­ple enough to add a sec­ond mon­i­tor to your PC setup and spread out.

Any mod­ern desk­top or lap­top PC has the graph­ics ca­pa­bil­ity to run dual dis­plays. All that’s re­quired is a sec­ond mon­i­tor. You can get a very nice sec­ond screen for around £100.

To­day’s mon­i­tors typ­i­cally come with some com­bi­na­tion of VGA, DVI, HDMI, and Dis­playPort ports. In other words, you’ll have a cou­ple op­tions for how to con­nect the mon­i­tor to your PC. While its com­mon for VGA and DVI ca­bles to come in­cluded with the dis­play, you may have to pur­chase your HDMI or Dis­playPort ca­ble sep­a­rately if you go that route.

Step 1

The first part is easy – con­nect your sec­ond mon­i­tor to a power out­let and an avail­able port on your PC.

Step 2

Next, tell Win­dows how to man­age the two mon­i­tors. If Win­dows only ap­pears on one mon­i­tor, or if the two of them aren’t work­ing the way they should, right-click the desk­top and se­lect ei­ther Screen res­o­lu­tion (Win­dows 7 and Win­dows 8) or Dis­play set­tings (Win­dows 10).

In the re­sult­ing di­a­log you can spec­ify the dis­plays’ ar­range­ment. The Mul­ti­ple Dis­plays pull-down menu al­lows you to con­trol how the two screens work to­gether. Choos­ing Ex­tend these dis­plays will prompt Win­dows to treat your dis­plays as one con­tigu­ous screen. Once you’ve se­lected that set­ting, tell Win­dows which mon­i­tor is on the left or right by drag­ging the graph­ics at the top of the di­a­log box.

The Make this my main dis­play op­tion con­trols which mon­i­tor gets the taskbar and Start but­ton. If you don’t see that op­tion, the cur­rently se­lected mon­i­tor is al­ready the main one. You can also con­trol many of these set­tings by right-click­ing the desk­top and se­lect­ing your graph­ics con­trol panel.

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