How to connect two monitors to one computer

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If you need to connect two monitors to your computer or a second monitor to your laptop, in general it is not difficult to do anything, except in rare cases (when you have a PC with a built-in video adapter and the only output to a monitor) .

This tutorial details how to connect two monitors to a Windows PC 10, 8 and Windows 7, how to configure them and the possible nuances that you can find when connecting them. How to connect a TV to a computer, How to connect a laptop to a TV.

Connect a second monitor to a video card

To connect two monitors to your computer, you need a video card with more than one monitor connection output, and that's what almost all modern discrete video cards from NVIDIA and AMD do. In the case of laptops: almost always have an HDMI connector, VGA the, more recently, Thunderbolt 3 to connect an external monitor.

For this, the video card outputs need to be the ones your monitor supports for input, otherwise adapters may be required. As an example, if you have two older monitors that only have a VGA input and your video card has an HDMI set, DisplayPort and DVI, you will need the appropriate adapters (even though maybe a better solution for this case is to replace the monitor) .

Note: According to my observations, some novice users are unaware that their monitor has more inputs than it uses. Even if it has a VGA or DVI connector, note that there may be other posts on the back of the monitor that you can use, in which case you only need to buy the necessary cable.

Therefore, the initial task is to physically connect the two monitors using the video card outputs and the available monitor inputs. It is better to do it with the computer turned off, and it is also convenient to unplug it from the power.

If the connection is impossible (no exits, tickets, adapters, cables), It is important to note considering the alternatives to buy a suitable video card for our task or monitor with the necessary set of inputs.

How to set up two monitors on one Windows computer 10, 8 and Windows 7

After turning on the computer with two monitors connected, these, after start, they are generally detected by the system automatically. Despite this, when starting for the first time, the image may not be on the monitor on which it is regularly displayed.

After the first start-up, all that's left is to set dual monitor mode, since Windows supports the following modes:

  1. Mirror screen: both monitors show the same image. In this circumstance, if the physical resolution of the monitors is different, problems in the form of blurred images can occur in one of them, since the system establishes the same resolution for both monitors (and it can't be changed) when mirroring the screen.
  2. Send an image to only one of the monitors.
  3. Expand screens: when this option is selected to handle two monitors, Windows desktop will “extend” on two screens, In other words, the second monitor is an extension of the desktop.

The operating modes are configured in the Windows display settings:

  • In Windows 10 Y 8, you can press Win + P (Latin P) to choose monitor mode. When choosing “to expand”, it is possible that the desktop has “incorrectly expanded”. In this circumstance, go to Settings – System – Screen, select the monitor that is physically on the left side and check “Make main screen”.
  • In Windows 7 (this is also feasible on Windows 8), go to the screen resolution settings in the Control Panel and set the desired operating mode in the field “Multiple displays”. If you select “Expand these screens”, some parts of the desk may be “messy”. In this circumstance, select the monitor that is physically located on the left side in the display alternatives and click “Make main screen” on the bottom.

In all cases, if you have clarity problems, make sure each monitor is set to your physical screen resolution (See How to change screen resolution in Windows 10, How to change screen resolution in Windows 7 Y 8).

More information.

Finally, some additional items that may be useful when connecting two monitors or just for information.

  • Some graphics adapters (Intel en particular) have their own settings as part of their drivers for configuring multiple monitors.
  • In option “Expand screens”, the taskbar is enabled on two monitors simultaneously only in Windows. In older versions, this is only implemented with third party software.
  • If you have a Thunderbolt output 3 on a laptop or PC with integrated video, you can use it to connect multiple monitors: there are not many monitors of this type for sale yet (but soon they will be and will be able to connect “and series” each) But there are devices: Thunderbolt docking stations 3 (in the form of USB-C) that have multiple monitor outputs (picture shows Dell Thunderbolt Dock, designed for Dell laptops, but compatible with more of those ).
  • If your goal is to duplicate an image on two monitors, with a single monitor output (integrated video) present on your computer, you can find an inexpensive divisor for this purpose. You just need to look for a VGA splitter, DVI o HDMI, depending on the output you have.

I think this is the end of the story. If there are still questions, something is not clear or does not work, leave comments (detailed if feasible), I will try to help.

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