How to Setup Dual Monitors? [A Beginner-Friendly Guide]
Updated · Jul 19, 2022
Work can get overwhelming.
You get notifications from five different apps. You have to write an email while reading a document while participating in an online meeting.
You wish you had two heads, four brains, and at least nine eyes to be able to cope with the workload.
Even though such improvements are impossible, you can always start by setting up dual monitors.
Yes, I know it sounds a bit underwhelming after the four brains idea!
But, anyway, let’s see how to setup dual monitors and make your life easier.
What do I Need to Start?
Before all else, make sure your video card supports a dual-screen setup. You can get this information from your card manufacturer’s website.
Best Monitors for a Dual Screen Setup
Now, what should your second monitor be?
It's preferable to be the same model as your original screen, as there will be no difference in resolution, refresh rate, and color depth. There’s no technical issue with connecting different screen models, but it could cause some irritation.
Among the best monitors for dual monitor setup are “Dell S2722QC”, “AMD X= XG24IPS”, and “Gigabyte M27Q,” all of which offer HD resolution, high image quality, and low input lag.
You’ll also need appropriate cables. Don’t worry if your computer supports one interface and your screen another. You can buy adapters such as HDMI to VGA at a relatively low price.
You can set up dual monitors with an HDMI splitter, but it comes with setbacks. Adapters allow for the extension of one screen to another. The splitter will only duplicate the main screen to the second one.
How to Setup Dual Monitors?
Getting dual monitors on Windows is easy. Here are a couple of methods for achieving the task.
Dual Monitors on Windows 7/10/11
- On your keyboard, find and hold the “Windows” button.
- Tap the “P” key to scroll through the screen options.
- Right-click on your desktop.
- From the drop-down menu, choose “Screen Resolution”.
- If additional monitors are connected, there should be a “Multiple Displays” category among the drop-down menus.
- Left-Click on the menu and choose the desired option.
To use dual monitors on MAC, first, make sure your device supports the feature. You can find a list of all Apple products and their technical specifications on Apple’s support page.
- Go to “System Preferences”.
- Choose “Displays”.
- Open the “Arrangement” tab.
- If you wish to extend the monitors, uncheck “Mirror Displays”.
- Click and drag the monitors to arrange them in the preferred order.
On Linux (Ubuntu distro)
To get a multi-monitor setup working on Ubuntu, follow these steps:
- Open the Activities overview.
- Type “Displays” and click to open the panel.
- In the display arrangement diagram, drag the screens in your preferred order.
- Click “Primary Display” to choose your primary screen.
- Adjust any additional technical options you need.
- Click “Apply”, then “Keep Changes,” and you are all set.
What are the Benefits of Using Dual Monitors?
A good dual monitor setup can be a great quality of life improvement.
But how great exactly, and where is it applicable?
A study performed by the University of Utah reveals that dual monitors outperform single-monitor setups. Participants using a two-monitor setup scored higher in all categories. These include “Task Completion,” “Ease of Learning,” “Task Tracking,” and “Problem Tracking,” among others.
Being a successful streamer is no easy job. Having a multi-monitor setup helps you keep an eye on the chat, make quick references, and manage your streaming software without crowding your screen. It also lets you keep personal communication or input sensitive data without fear of compromising your privacy.
Dual screens are of great help, regardless of whether you’re in tech support, accounting, HR management, or any other type of white-collar job. They help you concentrate on your work while still keeping an eye on other important things. Communication, documents, lists of employees or clients – all of these could have their own designated screen, making them available at a glance.
Having two monitors for gaming can be quite useful. You can designate one screen to the game while browsing the internet or playing music on the other. Nobody likes losing an online game just because they minimized the screen for a few seconds.
Some games are also a feast for the eyes. In such cases, more monitors equal more stunning graphics to be admired.
Even though it requires some investment and technical knowledge, getting a good dual monitor setup can be of great use. It improves your work output in addition to learning, streaming, and gaming experiences.
Don’t hesitate to give it a try. It might just end up being your thing.
How to setup dual monitors with HDMI?
If you have two HDMI ports, you’re in luck. All you have to do is connect the screens to them.
In case you only have one port, you’ll need to buy a USB to HDMI adapter and connect the second screen to it.
When all is connected, go to your display options and set them to your preferences.
What cables do I need to use dual monitors?
Setting up dual monitors requires cables supported by both your computer and screen. This means having VGA cables to connect to your VGA PC port and screen. The same goes for every other interface.
In case your screen supports one interface (VGA) and your computer another (HDMI), you’ll need to buy a VGA to HDMI adapter. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to pass the signal from one device to the other.
How do I get my computer to recognize a second monitor?
Your computer usually handles this process automatically. If the screen isn’t recognized, there may be a technical issue. Check if both devices are functional, if the cables are properly inserted, and if there’s visible damage on any of them.
If everything is in order, and your computer still doesn’t recognize the second screen, go to the display options. There should be a button to detect new monitors and identify them.
For more detailed information on how to setup dual monitors, feel free to check out our in-depth guide.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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