How to Change Settings and Layout for Multiple Displays in Windows 10
Quite a many of us have multiple displays connected to our computers, I for instance always have a browser full screen on my laptop display showing PC Help Forum, Seven Forums, Eight Forums and Ten Forums on their respective tabs, and do all my other computing / browsing on the secondary display.
Most of today's laptops and desktops allow users to connect at least one external display, computers with advanced graphics hardware even more. This tutorial will show you how to setup your dual display system, the instructions are valid also if you have multiple external displays.
If you have any issues and questions about getting the dual display system to work as you would prefer, please post about it in this thread.
Use the links to jump directly to any part of this tutorial
Part One: Duplicate displays
When Windows is installed with two or more displays connected, the desktop will be by default shown duplicated when Windows has finished installing the video drivers. This means that the same desktop is shown on all connected displays; when you move your pointer, open applications and Explorer windows, you will see the exactly same on each display.
When you check the Display Settings
(right click on desktop, select Display Settings) you will notice that the system shows only one display icon, in my case now it shows that both the laptop built-in display #1 and the external display #2 are being duplicated:
When the displays are duplicated, Windows automatically selects the resolution used according to the max resolution of the smaller display; in Duplicate mode the resolution on all displays must and will be the same!
In screenshot you can see that although my external display is capable of bigger resolution, Windows has selected and recommends 1600*900, the max resolution of my laptop's built-in display:
Part Two: Extended displays
If you want to show different content on each display, select Extend these displays
and click Apply
The Display Settings
is now showing a thumbnail for each connected display.
When you are not sure which of your physical displays is shown as Display #1, which as #2, click Identify
. Windows will now show the display ID
on bottom left on each display:
Part Three: Change the resolution
mode you can set and change the resolution
independently for each display, in Duplicate
mode changing the resolution changes it on all displays. Select a display then Advanced display settings
link on bottom of the Display Settings
Windows shows the best resolution for your hardware as Recommended
. This is usually the max resolution for your current display allowed by your video hardware, but in some cases it might be a smaller resolution. My recommendation is never to select bigger than the resolution even if it was possible:
Part Four: Change the size of items on screen
Change item size
on a display by first selecting a display, then using the Item size slider:
An example, here's a 1600*900 display with default 100% item size:
The same display with 150% item size:
Part Five: Change the display orientation
Change the orientation
of a display by selecting a display, then selecting either Landscape
(default) or Portrait
The display thumbnail in question shows you now that the display you selected is changed to Portrait
Part Six: Display layout
By default Display Settings
shows your primary display on left and your secondary display on right. If your displays are set the same way on your desk, everything is OK. Moving the pointer or dragging an item now over the right edge of the main display, it will enter from the left edge on the secondary display. Red arrow in below image shows how the pointer moves from display #1 to display #2:
If you reorganize your desk or for any reason prefer the secondary display being on left of the primary display, the pointer will still leave the display #1 from right and enter display #2 from left:
You would in this case of course prefer the pointer to move between the displays over the left edge of the display #1 and right edge of the display #2. To do this, to change the Display Settings
to match your physical display layout and to get pointer movements logical, simply drag and drop the secondary display to where you have it on your desk:
Place the secondary display thumbnail where you want to. Notice that the exit and entry area of the pointer between the displays is determined here; how you have set the displays or move them on your desk has none whatsoever effect in pointer exit & entry area or direction. Be sure to set the display thumbnails correctly, in below screenshots the mouse exit & entry area is shown in few example cases:
When done you can move the pointer logically from one display to another, Display Settings
layout matching your physical layot on your desk:
That's it for now