How to Setup Dual Monitors on Your Computer

how to setup dual monitors: two computer flat screen monitors turned on

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Dual monitors can be used to extend movies, video games you watch, or simply offer you more screen real estate. Let’s learn how to setup dual monitors.

Setting up dual monitors on your computer is easy, but you may be wondering what cords need to be involved, or what settings you may need to configure. We have you covered with a quick guide on how to setup dual monitors on your computer.

What You Need to Get Started

Even laptops can connect to external monitors to setup dual monitors. You will need the following when learning how to setup dual monitors on your computer:

  • A second monitor
  • DVI/VGA/HDMI/Display Port

Depending on the monitor you have you may need a different form of port to connect your first monitor or laptop to your second one. For example, the 2012 Apple MacBook Pro does not have an HDMI port. You would need to use a Mini Display Port to HDMI Adapter.

While most modern monitors have HDMI ports, some older monitors only use VGA or DVI. In these cases, you will either need to use a VGA or DVI cord for your device along with a VGA or DVI adapter if your monitor or laptop does not have VGA output.

[amazon box=”B07CVL2D2S”]

Before you go out and buy a monitor, make sure you know what types of display ports your laptop or monitor can connect to. It will save you time and worry!

Setting Up Dual Monitors on Windows 10

Setting up a monitor on a Microsoft Windows 10 PC is fairly easy

Step 1: Connect Your Monitor

Plug in the power cable on your second monitor and connect it to an outlet. Use the appropriate cord to connect your laptop or monitor to the second monitor you will be using.

Step 2: Change Windows 10 Appearance Settings 

Once you connect your monitor you should see the extended desktop immediately. However, if you have any problems with the display you can manually customize it. 

On your desktop, right click and select “display settings.” If you are using Windows 7, or 8 you will have to click on “screen resolution.” Once you select display settings you will be able to arrange the screens to your liking with extra settings for changing screen resolution, and which monitor is on the left or right.

Setting Up Dual Monitors on Mac OS

how to setup dual monitors: apple computer desk electronics

Setting up a monitor on a MacBook Pro or Mac computer is also fairly easy. There are a number of different ways you can connect to an external monitor. You can even connect to an HDTV.

Step 1: Connect Your Monitor

Plug your external monitor into its power source and connect it via the respective cable.

If you want to connect an HDTV you will have to use Airplay along with an Apple TV. When both your Mac display and Apple TV are on you must first choose the TV from the AirPlay status menu. You can use this status menu to extend your display so that you see displays on both your Mac and HDTV.

Step 2: Change Mac Display Preferences 

On your primary MacBook pro or Mac select the Apple menu and then choose “System Preferences.” After you select System Preferences you will then need to choose “Displays.” Next click “Arrangements.”

You want to make sure that “Mirror Displays” is not selected. This will simply copy whatever you have on your MacBook Pro display or Mac display on to your external monitor or HDTV. 


How to Setup Dual Monitors on Your Linux Computer

Depending on whether or not you are using proprietary graphics drivers, setting up dual monitors on your Linux computer is either simple or a little more involved.

Step 1: Connect Your Monitor

You want to first connect your monitor to its power display and turn it on. Next, you want to connect your monitor to your Linux computer via the respective display cable.

Step 2: Change Your Linux Display Preferences 

You may need to change your Linux display settings if it does not detect which monitor is left versus right or if the screen resolution seems off.

You will have to go to your “System Settings,” and then click “Display.” In this selection field you will be able to change your screen resolution and let Ubuntu know which monitor is left and right.

Step 3: If You Use Proprietary Graphics Drivers 

If you use a proprietary graphics driver, you will need to go into that drivers configuration utility. Here you will configure your resolution and display settings for dual monitors.


Setting Up Dual Monitors Is Easy On Most Devices

We have taken you through 3 of the most popular technologies to set up dual monitor displays.

Dual monitors are usually set up as soon as you connect your first monitor or laptop to the second monitor.

There still may be times where you need to configure specific settings to make sure the display is to your liking.

Recommended For You

[amazon box=”B074JKT894,B077747V2X,B00MIBN71I” grid=”3″]

Recent Posts