How to connect two monitors to the computer

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If you need to connect two monitors to the computer or a second monitor to your laptop — to do this, as a rule, is not difficult, except in rare cases (when you have a PC with integrated video card and a single monitor output).

In this instructions — for detailed instructions on connecting two monitors to the PC with Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7, configuring their work and the possible nuances that you might encounter when connecting. Cm. also: How to connect a TV to computer, How to connect laptop to TV.

Connect the second monitor to the graphics card

In order to connect two monitors to a computer requires a video card with more than one output to connect the monitor, and that almost all modern discrete graphics card NVIDIA and AMD. In the case of laptops — they are almost always present HDMI, VGA, or, more recently — Thunderbolt 3 for connecting an external monitor.

This will require that the outputs of the video card were supported for your monitor, otherwise you may need an adapter. For example, if you have two old monitor with only VGA input and the graphics card a set of HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI, you will need appropriate adapters (although perhaps a more optimal solution here is to replace the monitor).

Note: in my experience, some beginners are not aware that their monitor has more inputs than is used. Even if your monitor is connected via VGA or DVI, please note, possibly on its back side there are other inputs that can be used, in this case, we’ll just have to buy the necessary cable.

Thus, the initial task is to physically connect two monitors, using the available outputs of the video card and the inputs of the monitors. It’s better to do on the computer is turned off, while it may be reasonable to disconnect it from the mains.

If the connection is not possible (no outputs, inputs, adapters, cables) — should consider purchasing a suitable for our problem video card or monitor with the necessary set of inputs.

Configure two monitors on Windows 10, 8 and Windows 7

After turning on the computer with two connected monitors, they, after loading are usually determined automatically by the system. However, it may be that when you first load the image is not on the monitor where it is displayed normally.

After the first run will only to set the two monitors, while Windows supports the following modes:

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  • Screen mirroring on both monitors displayed the same image. In this case, if the physical resolution is different, there may be problems in the form of image blur on one of them, because when you duplicate the screen on both monitors the system exhibited the same resolution (and change it will not work).
  • Displays the image only on one monitor.
  • To expand the screens — when you select this option, two monitors, Windows desktop «expands» on the screen, ie on the second monitor is a continuation of the desktop.
  • The setting of the operation modes is done in the Windows display settings:

    • In Windows 10, and 8 you can press Win+P (the Latin P) to select the mode of operation of the monitors. If you choose «Extend» it may be that the desktop «has expanded in the wrong direction». In this case, go to Settings — System — Screen, select the monitor that is physically located to the left and check the box «Make this my main display».
    • In Windows 7 (also possible to do it in Windows 8) go into the screen resolution settings in the control panel and in the «Multiple displays» to select the desired mode of operation. If you choose «Extend these displays» may be that of the desktop «messed up» in some places. In this case, select settings displays the monitor that is physically located on the left and at the bottom, click «Make this my main display».

    In all cases, if you have any problems with the sharpness of the image, make sure that each of the monitors installed physical resolution of the screen (see How to change the screen resolution in Windows 10, How to change the screen resolution in Windows 7 and 8).

    Additional information

    In conclusion — a few additional points, which can be useful when connecting two monitors or just for information.

    • Some graphics cards (especially Intel) in the composition of the drivers have their own settings to configure multiple monitors.
    • The option to «Expand screens», the task bar is available on two monitors simultaneously only in Windows In previous versions, it is feasible only by using third-party programs.
    • If you have 3 Thunderbolt output on the laptop or PC with integrated video, you can use it to connect multiple monitors: while these monitors in the shop a lot (but will be soon and can be linked consistently to one another), but there is a device — docking station, connected via Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) and has multiple outputs for monitors (Dell picture Thunderbolt Dock designed for the Dell laptops but compatible not only with them).
    • If your objective is to duplicate the image on two monitors, while the computer has only one monitor output (integrated video), you can find an inexpensive splitter (splitter) for this purpose. Just look in the sale VGA, DVI or HDMI splitter, depending on the available output.

    This, I think, can be completed. If you have questions, something is not clear or doesn’t work — leave comments (if possible, detailed), I’ll try to help.