How to configure and use multiple computer monitors in Windows 7

The project:

Imagine being able to use multiple monitors on a single operating system. Can you imagine how greatly this could enhance your productivity? Well, Windows 7 lets you make use of that. If this has interested you then you have to know how to configure the setup and this article will guide you in doing so.

Multiple computer monitors in Windows 7
Multiple computer monitors in Windows 7

Difficulty Level:

The process of setting up multiple monitors together is relatively easy in Windows 7. This feature comes to use, especially during presentations when display setting with a projector connected to your laptop need to be changed. The extra monitors can be used simply by using the new hotkey, Win+P. Two methods for this process are mentioned below. To start you have to make sure that the external monitors are connected to your laptop or desktop.

Resources required

1. Two monitors of any kind that is an LCD or CRT, or maybe even a TV screen. In case you need to buy a monitor keep in mind several factors such as price, resolution, screen size, picture size, richness of color, etc.

2. You could use more than two monitors as long as the connectors are available on your computer.

3. For connection to the monitors, two monitor cables, that mach the connection on the computer are required. In case a laptop is being used only one cable is needed.

4. A separate monitor connection is needed for each monitor that needs to be connected. A few types are Video Graphics Array (VGA), High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), and S-Video connectors for a TV. The ports connect to video cards that are located usually on the back of the computer.

5. In case connectors are unavailable, a video adapter may be installed. But this method involves opening the computer so help may be required.


There are two methods for this setup.

Method 1: By keyboard shortcut "Win+P"

1. Shut down both the screens and place them next to each other. Plug the power cord into a power strip.

2. Plug in a DVI (white) or VGA (blue) cable into the monitor and the back of the computer. In case the ports are mismatched then attach a DVI-VGA converter that is easily available at electronics stores and included with most video cards. In case of a laptop, you will have to check which video-out your laptop uses, the white DVI or the blue VGA. Once detected, select a matching cable. For some laptops, you will need an HDMI-DVI adaptor since they only have an HDMI port.

3. Turn on the computer and when the Windows desktop appears, hold down the Windows button on the keyboard and press "P" along with it. Then click on "Duplicate" to copy the desktop and both screens and then click "Extend" to make use of both monitors at the same time.

Method 2: By the "Screen Resolution" menu

1. Right click the desktop and from the context menu select "Screen Resolution".

2. A multiple displays drop-down list will appear. On that, select the "extend" or "duplicate" options. You can also select which screen you want to select as a primary screen.

Quick tips:

1. If you're using an older monitor, windows may not automatically adjust the screen resolution to suit your needs. If this is the case, then you should right-click the desktop and select "Screen resolution." Then click on a monitor and using the slider, set the resolution.

2. In case additional monitors are not being automatically detected in method 2, then you will have to manually click "detect". In case this too doesn't work then restart your computer and repeat the process.

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