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2,678 Tutorials

How to add a second screen to your PC or laptop

Maximise your Windows desktop

Adding a second screen to your PC or laptop gives you more space to multitask: you can browse the web, check emails and complete work tasks, all while displaying your video or photo slideshows on a second screen.

This is an easy task: all modern laptops will offer at least one port that can be used to connect a monitor, be it VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort. PC users will need to be running a graphics card with two such ports.

The simplest solution is to choose a second monitor with a matching port and connect the two, although it’s possible to mix and match some of the digital options. It’s then just a case of configuring Windows to use both screens.

Step 1. All modern laptops will have a VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort connection that lets you add a second screen. PC users should check the back of the tower for a spare connection – if one isn’t available you’ll need to upgrade your graphics card. Connect the port to a matching port on the new screen.

Dual screens step 1

Step 2. Click Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization. Choose ‘Connect an external display’ from the Display menu. What’s shown on your main screen will be duplicated on the second display. Select ‘Extend these displays’ from the ‘Multiple displays’ drop-down menu to expand your desktop across both monitors.

Dual screens step 2

Step 3. Alternatively, you can view the desktop on just one of the screens – perhaps the larger of the two. Click the Identify button if you aren’t sure which screen Windows is referring to as ‘1’ and ‘2’. Note that Windows 7 also has an option for setting up a projector – find it under Start, Accessories, ‘Connect to a Projector’.

Dual screens step 3

Step 4. Adjust the resolution for each screen to improve the quality of text and video shown onscreen. From the Display drop-down menu, select a display and click Resolution. Use the slider to adjust the screen’s resolution. It’s advisable to use Windows’ recommended resolution for each display.

Dual screens step 4

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