When working on your computer, it’s sometimes helpful to view more than one document or application simultaneously, side by side. Windows, you can do this on a single monitor if you split the screen. Or, if you have more than one monitor, you can extend the screen. The following guide shows you how to toggle both methods on and off.
If you have more than one monitor connected to your computer, you can extend the screen across them. Called extended display, this feature allows you to view two or more program windows simultaneously, one per monitor. Select your version of Windows below and follow the steps to turn on the extended display.
Before you start
whether you’re a content creator, programmer, data analyst, gamer, or someone who’s recently been forced to work from home, a system with multiple monitors not only looks great, but it can significantly improve productivity when multitasking with several apps. However, a multi-monitor setup is only practical as long as you configure it correctly.
Windows 11 has several features and settings to support one, two, three, four, and even more monitors without the need for third-party software for the best experience.
In this Windows 11 guide, we’ll walk you through a bunch of tips to configure and use a multi-monitor setup, whether you’re connecting an external display to your laptop, or you’re connecting two, three, or more monitors to your workstation.
Before changing settings for your external displays, make sure everything is connected properly. Here’s what you can do:
- Make sure your cables are properly connected to your PC or dock.
- Check for Windows updates. To check for updates, select Start, then enter settings. SelectSettings > Windows Update > Check for updates.
Tip: If you’re using a wireless display adapter, connect to an HDMI port on newer TVs, then wirelessly connect your PC to it. After connecting your wireless display adapter to your TV, go to your Windows 11 PC, press Windows logo key + K to open Cast, then select your wireless display adapter.
Rearrange your displays
You’ll see this option when Windows detects more than one display. Each display will be numbered to help you identify them more easily.
Identify a display
To see which number corresponds to a display, select Start, then type settings. Select Settings > System > Display > Identify. A number appears on the screen of the display it’s assigned to.
Detect a display
If you connected another display and it isn’t showing in Settings, select Start >Settings > System> Display > Multiple displays > Detect.
Arrange your displays
If you have multiple displays, you can change how they’re arranged. This is helpful if you want your displays to match how they’re set up in your home or office. In Display settings, select and drag the display to where you want.
Do this with all the displays you want to move. When you’re happy with the layout, select Apply. Test your new layout by moving your mouse pointer across the different displays to make sure it works as you expect.
Change display options
After you’re connected to your external displays, you can change settings like your resolution, screen layout, and more. To see available options, in Settings, select System > Display.
Windows will recommend an orientation for your screen. To change it in Display settings, under Scale & layout, choose your preferred Display orientation. If you change the orientation of a monitor, you’ll also need to physically rotate the screen. For example, you’d rotate your external display to use it in portrait instead of landscape.
Choose a display option
To change what shows on your displays, press the Windows logo key + P. Here’s what you can choose.
|If you want to||Choose|
|See things on one display only.||PC screen only|
|See the same thing on all your displays.||Duplicate|
|See your desktop across multiple screens. When you have displays extended, you can move items between the two screens.||Extend|
|See everything on the second display only.||The second screen only|
Set up dual monitors on Windows
To get your PC to recognize multiple monitors:
Make sure your cables are connected properly to the new monitors, then press Windows logo key + P to select a display option.
If you need more help, here’s what to do:
- Select Start , then open Settings .
- Under System , select Display . Your PC should automatically detect your monitors and show your desktop. If you don’t see the monitors, select Multiple displays , then Detect.
- Use the dropdown list next to the image of your desktop to choose how your screen will project across your displays.
- Once you’ve chosen your setup, select Apply.
You can change the resolution of your displays. However, we suggest using the recommended resolution to get the most out of your displays.