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How to change primary display with a shortcut on Windows 10

On a multi-monitor setup on Windows 10, you can choose any of the monitors connected to your system as the primary monitor. The primary monitor is where the system tray lives, and where the Action Center panel opens. You change the primary display from the Settings app however, if you need to change it often, a shortcut is a much easier way to go about it. Here’s how you can change the primary display with a shortcut.

Change primary display with shortcut

In order to do this, we’re going to use a small, free utility called Nircmd. Download it and extract the folder.

Open a new Notepad file and enter the following;

@echo off
cd "C:\Users\fatiw\Desktop\nircmd-x64"
nircmd.exe setprimarydisplay 1

You will have to change the second and third line to suit your own setup. With the second line, you need to change the path to the folder that you extracted Nircmd to.

With the third line, you need to change the number at the end. Unfortunately, you will have to do this by way of trial and error. The script above doesn’t treat display number 1, as set by Windows 10, as display number 1. Go ahead and save the file with the BAT extension. Run it, and see which monitor is set as the primary one.

If it’s the wrong one, change only the number at the end to 2, (or 3, if you have three monitors). Make the change, save the file, and run the script again. Check if the correct display is now set as the primary display. Once you’ve got the number set to change to the correct display, it will be easier. The script changes the display and doesn’t toggle it. Create a script for setting each display as the primary one if you need to.

In order to run the script(s) with a keyboard shortcut, right-click a script and select Send to>Desktop (create shortcut). Right-click the shortcut and select Properties from the context menu. On the General tab, enter a shortcut in the respective field to run the script.

You have to keep the shortcut on your desktop and you’ll be able to run it from anywhere with the keyboard shortcut you’ve set up.

The keyboard shortcut isn’t necessary. If you’re comfortable making the change by running the script from your desktop, you can just do that. It is still more accessible than the Display settings inside the Settings app. You can also pin it to the Start menu and run it from there.

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