How to Use Multiple Monitors to Be More Productive

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Whether they are computer gurus or just folks who need to be productive, many people swear by using numerous monitors. When you can utilize two or more monitors and view more at once, why use just one?

You may enlarge your desktop by adding multiple monitors, giving your open apps more screen space. Your computer likely has the required connections, and Windows makes it quite simple to set up extra displays.

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Why Use Multiple Monitors?

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You have access to greater screen space with several monitors. When you connect several monitors to a computer, you may drag applications between them as if you had a very big desktop by moving your mouse back and forth between the displays. In this manner, you may just glance at another window without Alt+Tabbing or task switching and then return your attention to the application you’re now using.

Some examples of use cases for multiple monitors include:

One display is used by programmers to see their code, and the other is set aside for documentation.

They can quickly scan the documents before returning to their primary work area.

Those who must watch something while they are working. reading a web page while composing an email, looking at another document while writing something, or simultaneously working on two sizable spreadsheets.

People who must monitor information while at work, such as email or current statistics.

Players that desire to expand their gaming experience over many monitors.

Geek types who simply want to view a video on one screen while using the other screen for anything else.

Use the Snap function to swiftly arrange many Windows apps side by side if you only have a single display. However, the size and resolution of your display determine how effective this function is. You can see a lot if you have a large, high-resolution display. However, it will appear excessively crowded for many displays (particularly those on laptops). Dual monitors might be useful in this situation.

Hooking Up Multiple Monitors

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It should be relatively easy to connect an additional monitor to your computer. Most modern desktop computers include several display ports, including DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, the more traditional VGA connector, and combinations of these. Splitter cables, which let you connect many displays to a single port on some computers, are available.

The majority of laptops also have connections for connecting an external display. Windows will let you use both your laptop’s inbuilt display and the external monitor simultaneously if you connect a monitor to the DisplayPort, DVI, or HDMI connector on your laptop (see the instructions in the next section).

Configuring Multiple Monitors in Windows

Using several displays is simple with Windows. Simply connect the monitor to the proper port on your computer, and Windows should expand your desktop to the new screen. Windows may now simply be moved across monitors using drag and drop. Windows may, however, mirror your displays so that they all default to seeing the sa
Press Windows+P on your keyboard to rapidly select how you wish to utilize your display in Windows 8 or 10. You’ll be able to rapidly select a new display option when a sidebar appears. Unless you’re delivering a presentation, you’ll generally want to choose the Extend option to add additional space for windows on your desktop. However, here is what each choice does:

PC Screen only: Any extra displays will be blank and just your primary monitor will be used by Windows.

Duplicate: On each monitor, Windows will display the identical image. This is helpful, for instance, if you want the identical image on both your primary monitor and secondary display when giving a presentation.

Extend: Your desktop will expand and extend in Windows, providing you an additional screen to work with. If you plan to use an extra monitor to expand your PC’s screen, you should choose this option.

Second screen only: Your primary display will be disabled, and Windows will only utilize the secondary display.

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Right-click your desktop and choose “Display Settings” or go to Settings > System > Display in Windows 10 to set up your monitors. To help Windows understand their physical placement, drag and drop the displays after clicking the “Identify” button to see each display’s corresponding number show on the screen. The first display is your main one. To preserve any changes you make, click “Apply.”

Click the “Recognize” button if Windows didn’t immediately detect all of your connected monitors.

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If one monitor is a high-DPI display but the other isn’t, you may click each linked display and select the proper scaling level for it. Additionally, you may select different display orientations; for instance, you might need to rotate an image if one monitor is on its side.

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You may select how to utilize your display under Multiple displays. The same choices are available when you hit Windows+P.

From here, you may easily switch between your primary and secondary displays. At the top of the window, select the display you wish to use as your main one, and then click “Make this my main display” under Multiple displays.

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Your Windows taskbar may be expanded over several displays in Windows 8 and 10. Open Settings > Personalization > Taskbar on Windows 10 and select “Show taskbar on all monitors” to enable this function. The “Show taskbar on all monitors” option may be found in the “Properties” menu when right-clicking the taskbar in Windows 8.

Additionally, you may decide how taskbar buttons should be displayed. For instance, you may decide whether the taskbar buttons for a window should be shown on all monitors or only the display of that window.

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Right-click your Windows desktop in Windows 7 and choose “Screen resolution.” Drag and drop the monitors into this window after clicking the “Identify” button to let Windows recognize which monitor is whose.

From the Multiple displays box, select a display type. While the other choices are mostly helpful if you’re utilizing an additional display for presentations, the Extend option expands your desktop onto a second monitor. For instance, while your laptop is linked to a bigger display, you may blank the screen or mirror your laptop’s desktop onto it.

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Unlike Windows 8, 10, and 11, Windows 7 does not come with a built-in multi-monitor taskbar capability. The taskbar on your second monitor won’t exist. You’ll need a third-party application, such as the Dual Monitor Taskbar, which is open-source and free, to expand your taskbar to a second monitor.

Going Further with DisplayFusion

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Multiple displays greatly simplify things straight away, but you don’t have to stop there. Through Windows’ built-in settings or a third-party program like DisplayFusion (which offers a free version with a limited feature set and a $25 edition with a robust feature set), you may select different backgrounds for each display. Additionally, DisplayFusion provides many other features such as dual-monitor screensavers, the ability to “snap” windows to the edge of either display, customized buttons and shortcuts for switching between displays. It is a requirement-have software if you use several monitors.

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