How to Setup Dual Monitors

How_to_setup_dual_monitors_two_monitorsMore and more people are running dual monitors on their computers today. There are even some professionals and gamers who connect three or more monitors to their computers. One of the main reasons to consider running multiple monitors is that it is a tremendous time savior. Dual monitors increases productivity for anyone that opens multiple windows and applications simultaneously. This is especially true for designers who work with various graphics programs; you can code on one monitor and view results on another. Contrast to using a single monitor, you do not have to worry about constantly maximizing and minimizing screens when working with two or more monitors.

In order to set up dual monitors, you will first need to make sure that you have everything you need. Requirements for doing this include two monitors, a computer, Windows OS and two monitor connections on your video card. The video card is the part of your computer that sticks out from the back. Before you get started, you need to look and make sure that you have either two VGA connections, two DVI connections or one of each. In most computers produced in the last few years that is not a problem. In the rare event that you do not have more than one connector, you have two options. One option is to add a second video card and the other option is to replace the video adapter with a card that offers dual monitor support. There are many different video adapters from which to choose; varying in terms of performance and price. You can usually find one; however, that will support even a small budget. It is a good idea to keep in mind that in the event you work with a lot of graphics, you should make an attempt to obtain a card that supports Video Ram or VRAM.

To find out whether you have everything you need, take a look at the back of the computer and look for two VGA connectors, two DVI connectors, or one of each. If you only have a single DVI or single VGA connector then you will need to either replace your existing video adapter with one that has two connections or install a video adapter.


Once you have two of the right connectors, you can connect your second monitor to the computer by plugging the second monitor into the port. Then restart the computer. This will give it a chance to detect the second monitor.

You will then need to adjust the display settings by clicking on the Start menu and then on the Control Panel. Next, click on monitor icon labeled Display. From there, click on the Settings tab in the Display Properties box. (A faster way to get here is to right click anywhere on the desktop, click on properties, and then click the Settings tab.) Now, click the monitor icon that is labeled ‘2’. Next, select ‘Extend my Windows Desktop onto this Monitor.’ There should be a checkbox next to that option.


This will allow you to extend the desktop onto both monitors rather than having it just on one. It may take a moment for your computer to start running on both monitors. In fact, your screens may go black or freeze up for a few seconds. Do not worry as this is normal. Your computer needs a few seconds to ‘talk’ to the new monitor. Within a few seconds the screen should come back to life and you should be able to see your desktop on the screen. Now, enjoy!

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