Choosing How to Use Multiple Monitors

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 3, 2017)

4

Windows 8 makes it easy to use multiple monitors on your system. Provided you have the monitors plugged in, you can control how Windows should use the additional monitor (or monitors) by pressing Win+P. This displays the Second Screen pane at the right side of your screen. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Second Screen pane.

There are four choices offered in the Second Screen pane:

  • PC Screen Only. This effectively turns off the second monitor, ignoring it completely. Everything is sent to your main screen.
  • Duplicate. This choice puts the same content on both the main and secondary screen. You'd normally use this if your second monitor is used for a presentation and it is pointing in a different direction than your main monitor does. (Perhaps the main monitor is on your laptop and the second is actually a projector of some type.)
  • Extend. This makes the second screen an extension of whatever appears on your main screen. As you move the mouse pointer off the right side of your main screen, it appears at the left side of the second screen.
  • Second Screen Only. This effectively disconnects your main screen, directing all output to the second one. You would normally use this if your main screen is much smaller than your second screen, for instance, in the case of a laptop into which you've plugged the second screen.

When you make a choice, it is implemented immediately. You'll want to play with the various settings, as some of them can affect the resolution on your main monitor. (For instance, if you use Duplicate, then the resolution of both monitors is set to whatever resolution is supported on both monitors.)

 This tip (12988) applies to Windows 8 and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Generating Unique Sequential Numbers

Using Excel to generate unique sequential numbers for invoices or company statements can be a challenge. Here's information ...

Discover More

Skipping Rows when Filling

Using the fill handle is a great way to quickly fill a range of cells with values. Sometimes, however, the way to fill cells ...

Discover More

Getting a Conditional Count of Cells Containing Values

Excel provides several worksheet functions that can be used to count cells containing values—particularly numeric ...

Discover More
MORE WINDOWSTIPS

Using Powercfg to Change the Active Power Scheme

You can easily change which power scheme is active by using the SetActive switch. This tip shows you how.

Discover More

Wiping a Drive

Want to easily improve the security of your old data? Here's an addition to the venerable format command that can help.

Discover More

Checking for Faulty RAM

Although it's rare for RAM to go bad, it does happen. This tip tells you how to check for faulty RAM by using the Windows ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 7?

2017-04-04 16:04:55

Lou Jones

David: I use this to use my TV as a monitor. You may have a connection problem (defective or incompatible). My setup uses HDMI connectors on both ends.


2017-04-03 10:19:46

WyomingSteve

Win-P does not work on my Win10 computers. However, you can get the same effect by selecting Cortana and typing in Multiple. This will take you to the system settings page. Click Display on the list to the left. The layout is a little different but you should be able to do the same thing as the tip describes.


2017-04-03 09:17:06

David Luce

This discussion is incomplete without: Using a TV as a monitor; Using Roku or Chromecast as a monitor, ...


2017-04-03 08:13:05

Lou Jones

Excellent presentation. Wish I had had this information a year ago when I was learning to use a second monitor.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Business Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share