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As you begin working from home full-time, you will appreciate the value of having extra screen space. If you have an extra monitor or two, you can keep your applications accessible at any time. This eliminates the need to switch between windows and alt-tab. Many desktop PCs can support multiple monitors. However, laptops aren’t likely to provide a similar solution. However, did you know that a Windows laptop can support up to seven displays?

In the following guide, we’ll show you how to set up multiple monitors on your work device. The first thing you should do is to look at your computer. What ports do you have available? When you have any one of these, your next step would be to choose a monitor supporting what you have.

It is pretty straightforward to add an extra display. All you need is to set up your new monitor, make sure it has the correct connection adapter, and plug it in. After that, your Windows laptop should detect it and start displaying your desktop automatically.

If you want to use your laptop’s built-in screen as a secondary display, you need to set it in your display settings. All you have to do is to right-click on your desktop and choose Display Settings. You will see two boxes in the new window that will open representing your monitors. Click Identify to know which number corresponds to which screen. You can also rearrange the boxes so to match the physical arrangement of your displays. When you know the number assigned to which display, choose the screen you want to use as your primary screen.

Scroll down to Multiple displays. Click on the dropdown menu and choose Extend desktop to this display. Don’t forget to tick the Make this my main display checkbox! Sometimes, when you do these, the computer will ask if you want to Keep changes or Revert. Click on Keep changes if you’re happy with it or Revert if you want to go back to the way it was. The inch screen in your laptop may not be enough, so consider adding a second monitor.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Firstly, you need to find out what other ports you have available on your Windows laptop. If you do, you’re in luck! All you have to do is get a new display compatible with your available port, and you’re ready to go. But if all you have is an extra USB-C port, you have to check if it supports transmitting a video signal. But if you don’t see any of the above logos beside your USB-C port, you can check your laptop’s manual.

You can also contact your laptop’s maker and ask if it will support a video signal. If they say that it doesn’t support any display protocol, I’m afraid you can’t connect a monitor via that port. If you don’t have an extra video port and absolutely need to have that extra monitor, get a USB 3. It will be able to display your screen at full resolution, depending on the adapter. If you find two external displays lacking, you can use your laptop screen as a third monitor.

Use the same procedure we described above, and you’ll be good to go. But if you must have three or more large displays on your Windows laptop, you have to do a little bit more digging. This plugs into your DP-compatible port and then splits the signal into up to 4 distinct monitors. Thus, allowing you to use HDMI monitors in your setup. The advantage you get in this method is you can use more affordable HDMI monitors.

However, it will also limit you to a maximum of four displays. Your other option is to use MST-compatible monitors only. These displays connect via a daisy-chain configuration. This would allow you to have up to seven screens on a single port. One downside to this is that these displays are few and far between. Furthermore, they are far more expensive than their non-MST counterparts. This is because they tend to be considered professional displays.

That is why they typically have enhanced features such as color accuracy. This daisy-chain option is usually best for professionals. Especially those that require high video standards, like photo and video editors. Also, take note that your laptop must have a discrete graphics card with more than three external displays.

This is because most built-in graphics usually supports up to three displays only. You should check your laptop’s specific model before committing to any purchase. Now, whether you choose the MST hub or the daisy-chain method, setting up your monitors is easy.

You only need to plug and play, and you’re ready to go. Automatic detection of these screens works well in Windows. Go to the Display Settings menu to change the monitor placement. Then, scroll back up to the Using Your Laptop Screen as a Second Monitor section and follow my instructions for each display.

Multiple displays aren’t just for bragging or a conversation piece. You can use it at work to improve your quality of life.

In addition, it will increase your productivity. Additionally, it will be a great entertainment and gaming rig. Ports on the rear-left side of an Acer Swift 3 laptop. Laptop connected to an external monitor. DisplayPort and Thunderbolt logos. Triple monitor setup on a laptop at SpaceX. Clean dual monitor setup. Triple monitor workstation powered by a laptop.

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Choosing ‘Duplicate’ will show the same content on two or more displays. However, if using only the bigger monitor is preferred, ‘Second screen only’ will allow that, using only the second monitor and turning the laptop screen black.

When using a Windows 10 laptop with the most popular multiple monitor option ‘Extend,’ it’s important to align the displays. Display settings will show the virtual displays side by side and number them. These numbers can be displayed on each physical monitor’s screen by clicking the ‘Identify’ button. Aligning the numbered displays that appear in Display settings will make the mouse pointer movement track appropriately.

Otherwise, the mouse movement may appear to jump to an unexpected position, when it reaches the edge of one monitor and appears on the next. To align the numbered displays, simply drag them so they match the physical layout of the real world monitors. Both horizontal and vertical placement can be accounted for. Each display can have a different resolution and orientation without any issues when using ‘Extend. While ‘Extend’ is generally the most useful setting, ‘Duplicate’ is quite useful when sharing with others in a meeting or a classroom.

Although duplicated displays can be set to different resolutions and orientations, it may lead to unwanted effects. It’s very convenient to have the option to use external monitors with a laptop and once the hardware compatibility issues are sorted out, Windows 10 makes setting up easy. Source: Microsoft. Configure your displays. To organize your workspace so it works best for you, adjust your display settings. You have now successfully connected your laptop to both of your external monitors!

Method 2. Verify that your monitors and laptop are compatible. To daisy chain with Thunderbolt or USB-C cables, one of your monitors must have two Thunderbolt ports, while your laptop and other monitor only need one port.

Plug the power cords into your monitors. Before the monitors can be used, they must be connected to power with the provided cables. All Thunderbolt ports have the capacity to both input and output video, so if your monitor has multiple ports, it does not matter which port you use.

You can try to verify this by looking up the specifications of your monitor and checking to see if the ports support “Alt Mode”. If one of your monitors only has one port, connect your laptop to the other monitor. Set your display preferences. You have now successfully set up your laptop and two monitors with Thunderbolt cables! Method 3. Find a docking station that is compatible with your laptop and monitors.

Depending on your laptop, your dock will need to use different connectors. Additionally, make sure the video output ports are compatible with your monitors, or that you have the appropriate adapters. Some laptops connect to docking stations by sitting on top of the station, then being locked into place, so there will be no connecting cable. Plug in the docking station and monitors.

Connect the docking station to your laptop. Since the connection method will vary depending on your laptop and docking station, follow the instructions included with your dock if you are not confident you know how to connect it.

The two most common connection methods will be setting your laptop in a specific position on top of the dock or connecting the dock with a built-in cable. Connect each monitor to the docking station. Using the appropriate cables, plug one end into the “In” port on each monitor and the other into the “Out” port on your dock. Plug your laptop charger into the docking station optional. Some docking stations can also charge your laptop, so consider plugging your charger directly into the dock to maximize your cable management.

Turn on your laptop, monitors, and dock. If your dock does not have power, your setup will not work, so do not forget to turn the dock on! You should now be able to use your new setup! Method 4. Check the ports on your laptop and monitors. If your laptop has multiple ports and you do not want to or are unable to daisy chain, you can simply connect a port to each monitor. Make sure that the ports are compatible with those on your monitor. Your monitors must be connected to power before use.

Connect your laptop to one of the monitors. Depending on the age of your computer or monitor, you may instead need a VGA cable.

Connect your laptop to the second monitor. Be sure that the cables are snug in their ports! Customize your display settings. This means you can have triple monitors that can extend your display. A splitter can split the image into two duplicates but can never extend the image.

To do this, you need an adapter. But, if you are looking for a stationary solution, maybe a USB docking station with access to multiple ports is a better option. With the right hardware, you can easily set up your monitors exactly the way you want them. Just a little understanding of what all these technologies do can really help when it comes time to purchase hardware. The HDMI splitter allows you to extend your display to two monitors. This is useful if you have a laptop that has only one monitor port and want to use it as a second monitor.

Now you can watch movies on your laptop while using the TV as a secondary screen. You cannot extend your display to two screens. If you are trying to do this, you may need to buy a different device.

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How to Connect Multiple External Monitors to Your Laptop

 
 
› Knowledge Base › Technical Tips. To display different things on two or more displays, you need to extend your screen to the other monitors. Under Settings > System > Display.