1. Home
  2. Windows

Multiple Displays Not Working on Windows 10 (FIXED)

Connecting external monitors to a Windows 10 PC is about as easy as connecting a pair of headphones, or a mouse, or a keyboard. A monitor is detected automatically, everything on the screen adjusts, the taskbar appears where it should, and you can start distributing your windows between the two (or more) screens that you have.

Multiple displays not working? Here’s what you should do

If you’ve connected a second display to your Windows 10 PC, but it isn’t showing up, there are a few simple things you can do to fix the problem.

1. Change display mode

Windows 10 generally detects a second monitor when it’s connected. You don’t have to change a setting but in some cases, you might need to change the display mode.

  1. Tap Win + P to open the Project panel on the right side.
  2. You will see a few different display modes.
  3. Select the one you want to use; Extend will set each monitor up as its own and Mirror will duplicate it so that each screen shows you the same thing.

2. Select input method

Monitors can use one of three different methods; VGA, DVI, and HDMI. These are types of ports that a monitor supports and it should select whichever one is in use but not all monitors do.

  1. Access your monitor’s settings panel. You should be able to see it by pressing a button on the monitor.
  2. The menu will list an input method.
  3. Make sure the correct one is selected e.g., if you’re using an HDMI port, the input method should be set to HDMI too.

3. Restart PC

Monitors, when they play nice and everything goes well, work as plug & play devices. Still, if a monitor isn’t showing up, it’s a good idea to restart the PC, especially if you’ve changed the input mode.

4. Detect display

You can force Windows 10 to detect a display if it won’t show up. There are two things you can try;

Device manager

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the ‘Display adapters’ group of devices.
  3. Select the group of devices, right-click it, and select ‘Scan for hardware changes’.
  4. Check if a new display appears under the group of devices.

If a new monitor or device doesn’t appear, you can try the second method.

Settings app

To detect the display from the Settings app;

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the System group of settings.
  3. Select the Display tab.
  4. Scroll to the bottom, and click ‘Detect’ under ‘Multiple Monitors’.
  5. If the button isn’t there, check under the current display.

5. Toggle display mode

Try toggling the display mode;

  1. Tap the Win + P keyboard shortcut.
  2. From the panel, select any other display mode than the one currently selected.
  3. Once the mode has changed, select the one you want to use.

6. Hardware check

Sometimes, a damaged cable or port might prevent the monitor from being detected.

  1. Try a different cable than the one you’re using.
  2. Try connecting the monitor to a different system.
  3. Try connecting a different monitor to your system.

7. Port check

PCs and monitors generally support two different display ports: HDMI and VGA. Try using a different port than the one you’re using if you can. This fix has hardware limitations i.e., if your PC only has an HDMI port, you don’t have the option to try the VGA port. If you do have more than one port, and changing it gets the monitor to show up, it’s likely that your ports are loose or damaged.

8. Update/roll back graphics driver

Drivers are often the answer to display problems.

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Display Adapter group of settings.
  3. You will see two different devices if you have a dedicated GPU.
  4. Select the on-board graphics card, right-click it, and select Update Driver.
  5. If an update is available, install it and restart your system.
  6. Repeat the above process for your GPU.

Roll back driver

Sometimes a new driver version can prevent a monitor from being detected. Try rolling back to an older version if it’s available.

  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. Expand Display Adapters.
  3. Right-click your on-board graphics card, and select Properties.
  4. Go to the Driver tab.
  5. Click the Roll Back button if it is active/clickable.
  6. Restart your system after the driver has been rolled back.
  7. Repeat for your GPU but only if you know for a fact that the external display is going to use it.

Which one worked for you?

The above eight fixes should be able to resolve problems with a second display. They’re generally not difficult to troubleshoot even if your monitor is exceptionally old. If you have a 4K monitor and are worried your PC can’t support it, you should know that a 4K monitor can be used with a system that can’t support 4K. It just won’t display the screen in 4K but you won’t be left with a blank screen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.