If you work in an office or at home, you’re almost certainly using your computer on a daily basis. In fact, the average person spends about nine hours a day on their computer; that’s almost half of your waking hours! If you’re spending so much time in front of this digital device, it makes sense to ensure you’re getting the most out of it by making sure it has all the features you need. One way to do that is by extending your desktop to support dual monitors. Let’s take a look at what that means and how you can tell if your computer supports dual monitors.
How To Tell If Your Computer Supports Dual Monitors?
- First of all, you need to make sure your computer is capable of connecting to two monitors.
- To check that, plug your second monitor into one of the free video ports on your computer and turn it on.
- If you have a Dell computer, you will see a message in the lower-right corner of your screen that says “External Monitor Detected.”
- If you have an HP computer, there will be a small icon in the lower-right corner of your screen when an external monitor is connected.
- After that, right-click on any blank space on the desktop and choose “Screen Resolution” from the menu to open the Screen Resolution window.
- Now find out which monitor is set as the primary display and which is the secondary display by clicking on each one in turn and looking at its resolution details in the Screen Resolution window (the primary display will always be listed first).
- When you have determined the primary display, click on the “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor” check box.
- Click on “Apply” and then on “OK.”
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose “Screen Resolution” again from the menu to open the Screen Resolution window.
- Now you will see that both monitors are listed in the Screen Resolution window and have a resolution of 1280*800 each (or something close to it).
- If you have more than two video ports (typically, if your computer has a video card with multiple video ports), you can connect another monitor to one of those video ports as well (that will be your secondary display).
- To set that up, repeat steps 6-10 for that monitor as well, except when you come to step 8, choose “Mirror my Windows desktop onto this monitor” instead of “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.”
What To Know Before You Buy A Second Monitor?
1. Consider The Size Of Your Monitors
One of the most important things to consider when shopping for a second monitor is the size of your current monitor. If your computer has two 17-inch monitors, then buying two more 17-inch monitors will give you three identical monitors. While this is a good thing from a space standpoint, it can be difficult to use three large monitors at once.
2. Consider The Connection Type
The next thing to think about when you’re shopping for a second monitor is the connection type. If your computer has an HDMI port, then buying an HDMI-compatible monitor is a good idea. However, if you don’t have an HDMI port on your computer, then you’ll need to make sure that the second monitor has the right connection type for your computer.
3. Consider Your Budget
Finally, before you start shopping for a new monitor, think about how much money you can afford to spend on it. Monitors can be quite expensive and if you’re not careful, it’s easy to spend more money than necessary on them. Don’t worry too much about the price though; even cheap monitors can work just fine.
4. Consider Whether You Need A Dual-Screen Computer
If you’re buying a second monitor, then you need to think about whether or not you need a dual-screen computer in the first place. While dual monitors are great for people who want to watch two different things at once, they’re not necessary for everyone. If you don’t have any plans to use your computer for multitasking, then this probably isn’t something that you should buy.
5. Consider Whether You Can Use Multiple Monitors On Your Current Computer
Before you buy your second monitor, it’s always good to think about whether or not your current computer can support multiple monitors. While some computers can be upgraded with multiple video cards and ports, many of them don’t come with these features out of the box. If you do plan on having multiple monitors on your computer, then make sure that the second monitor is compatible with the existing ones before making your purchase.
6. Consider The Size Of The Second Monitor
The last thing to think about when you’re shopping for a second monitor is the size of your current monitor. The ideal size for a second monitor is 17 inches, which is large enough to be useful but not so large that it takes up too much space on your desk. If you have a smaller monitor, then you should consider buying one of the dual-screen monitors mentioned above, which can double as both a second monitor and a tablet computer. If you don’t want to spend money on two monitors, then there are many other options available to you such as an external display or even an iPad or tablet computer that can act as your secondary screen.
7. Consider The Features Of Your Current Monitor
Before you buy a second monitor, it’s always good to check the features that are included with your current monitor. You should make sure that the second monitor has a similar resolution to the first one. You should also check to see if it has any built-in speakers and if it can be used as a tablet computer or an external display.
8. Consider Whether Your Computer Can Support Multiple Monitors
If you’re buying a second monitor, then there’s always a chance that your computer can support more than one. If this is true for you, then buying your secondary monitor will be easier because it will already be compatible with your current setup. If you don’t want to spend money on two monitors when you don’t need them, then there are many other options available to you such as an external display or even an iPad or tablet computer that can act as your secondary screen.
How To Connect Two Monitors To Your Computer?
- If your computer has built-in support for dual monitors, plug the second monitor into the computer’s video port. If your computer doesn’t have built-in support for dual monitors, you will need to purchase an adapter.
- On the second monitor, plug in the power cable and connect the monitor to a video port on your computer.
- If your computer doesn’t have a video port, you will need to purchase an adapter.
- If you are using a video port on your computer, plug the monitor’s power cable into the power supply. You may need to turn on the monitor before it can be turned on by the computer.
- If you are using an adapter for your second monitor, plug in both cables and connect them to the adapter so that they are facing each other in a straight line from left to right.
- Once you have connected both monitors, you can go ahead and turn on both monitors at the same time.
- If your computer has built-in support for dual monitors, simply click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt > Right-click Command Prompt and select Run As Administrator from the drop-down menu (or just enter “cmd” in the Run box). Type “dxdiag” into the command prompt window and hit Enter.
- In the dxdiag window, click on Display in the left pane and then select Multiple Monitors from the drop-down menu.
- Click on each monitor you wish to use and view its properties in the right pane of the window.
In this article, we explored what dual monitor support is and how you can tell if your computer supports it. We also looked at what to know before you buy a second monitor and what brands to look for when buying a second monitor. Finally, we explored how to connect two monitors to your computer so that you can get more out of your computer with an extra monitor.