Configuring your desktop system to run dual monitors increases your monitor workspace and can help you work more efficiently while increasing your productivity. Follow the steps below to learn how to setup dual monitors for your system.
Before we get to the task at hand, we need to ensure that your system will support dual monitor:
- You must have a least one video card that has a Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or Video Graphics Array (VGA) connection or a card that has two video inputs, either VGA or DVI interface.
15-pin analog connector
- If your video adapter has only one DVI port, you will need to purchase a "Y" dongle to attach dual monitors.
15-pin Y dongle for analog monitors
DVI-I Y dongle for digital monitors
- Ensure that your system is either PCI , PCIe or AGP. ISA is not supported. You can verify this by going to Device Manager. Although not required, you may find better results in installing video cards that are from the same manufacture, to avoid any unnecessary complications.
Position your monitors the way to want to view them while working. On the back of your system, attach your connection to the first connection. If you are using a DVI-I connection, the connections will be white. If you are using VGA the connection is usually blue with 15-pins. Repeat the same step for the second monitor.
VGA 15 pin connection
Ensure the monitors are plugged into the electrical outlets and turn the computer and both monitors on.
Typically when your system boots up, your system may indicate that they have found new hardware. Follow the instructions for installing the drivers for your monitors or video card hardware. If you want to use the video from your video card you will need to follow the instructions based on your video adapter. Many cases you may not need to install any drivers because many monitors may work with generic Windows drivers.
Once the system has booted up, you may notice that both monitors are displaying the same information. You can change this by changing the video setting:
- Click Start, Control Panel, then double-click Display. The Display Properties window will appear.
- Click the Settings tab.
- There should be two boxes with the number 1 and 2. Click the box displaying #2, then check the box that says Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.
- Click Apply to ensure that you have the monitor set the way you like, then click OK.
Fine tune both monitors. When installing a second monitor, you may want to consider designating a primary graphics card to avoid any conflicts. Ensure that you have the monitors set to the same resolution. If you experience a problem during bootup then you will need to set your secondary monitor to a lower resolution.