Support Options

Support Home Page

How to set up dual monitors in Windows 7

Article ID : 267703Date Published : 2009-09-24Journal ID : 8f91fc43-e247-4d60-b813-e046b95216fa

If you have an extra monitor that you would like to add to a laptop or a desktop running Windows 7 so that you can have dual displays, follow the instructions below.

Refer for instructions to setup dual monitors in Win 8, Win Vista or Win XP.

Step 1: Connect the monitor cable

Connect the external monitor cable to the correct video port on your laptop or desktop computer.

NoteNote: Most flat-panel monitors now come with at least one digital DVI connection. Check the video connection on your computer to see if it is has a DVI port or an older-style analog VGA port.

Types of video connections:

Display Port

Display Port is a new digital standard for connecting monitors to computers and they usually resemble USB ports with one side angled. A Display Port cable should be used if Display Ports are available on your laptop and the external monitor.

 

DVI

Digital Video Interface (DVI) is the digital standard for connecting monitors to computers. DVI connections are usually color-coded with white plastic and labels. A DVI cable should be used if DVI connectors are available on your laptop and the external monitor.

 

VGA

Video Graphics Array (VGA) is the analog standard for connecting monitors to computers. VGA connections are usually color-coded with blue plastic and labels. A VGA cable should be used if DVI ports are not available on your laptop or the external monitor.

 

HDMI

High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is the current digital standard for connecting many kinds of video devices and provides the same quality of video signal as DVI. HDMI can provide audio through the cable, but the video card installed in your computer has to be capable of supporting the Audio through HDMI function in order for it to work properly. An HDMI cable should be used if HDMI ports are available on your computer and the external monitor.

NoteNote: A connector type such as DVI or VGA may require a cable adapter to connect multiple monitors.

Step 2: Configure the display settings

When you connect an external monitor to a laptop, the default setting creates a mirror image of your laptop's screen on the external monitor. In contrast, when you connect an external monitor to a desktop computer, the display defaults to Extend these displays, and you should be able to drag a window from one monitor to the other without changing any settings.

Method 1: Press the Win+P keyboard shortcut

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Hold down the Windows logo key and press the P key on your keyboard.
    Select one of the following options:
     
    • Computer only: This setting will show the screen image only on your laptop's monitor.
    • Duplicate: This setting will duplicate your laptop's screen image on both monitors based on the monitor with the lower resolution.
    • Extend: This setting allows you to move a window from one monitor to the other by clicking the title bar of the window and dragging the window to a new location.
    • Projector only: This setting is typically chosen when your laptop is used as a desktop computer so you can enjoy the higher resolution of a large external monitor.

Method 2: Access the Screen Resolution menu

  1. Close all open programs.
  2. Right-click an empty area on your desktop, and then click Screen resolution.
  3. Click the Multiple displays drop-down list, and then select Extend these displays, or Duplicate these displays.
    If you cannot see the additional monitor(s) listed, click Detect. If it does not work, try restarting your computer and repeat steps 1 and 2.

    • Duplicate these displays: This setting will duplicate your laptop's screen image on both monitors based on the monitor with the lower resolution.
    • Extend these displays: This setting allows you to move a window from one monitor to the other by clicking the title bar of the window and dragging the window to a new location.
    • Show desktop only on 1: This setting is typically chosen when your laptop is used as a desktop computer so you can enjoy the higher resolution of a large external monitor.
  4. Click Identify Monitors to see which monitor is number 1 and which is number 2, and then drag the monitor icons to reorder their positions to match the physical setup you have chosen.
  5. Click the Resolution drop down menu, and select a screen resolution by moving the slider arrow right or left, then click OK.
  6. If the new settings are compatible, your computer's screen will reappear with the new settings in place. To change display resolution settings back to the previous setting, hold down the Windows logo key and press the P key to change the mode to Computer only.
  7. Click Yes if you want to keep the new settings.
  8. Restart your computer to ensure that the changes are saved.



 

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily.   In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue.  As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Toolbar
Start a New Search
Look up a journal
Choose your language
Cesky
Dansk
Deutsch
Español
Suomi
Français
Italiano
日本語
한글
Norsk
Nederlands
Polski
Português
Svenska
中文
All prices, specifications and promotional offers are subject to error, change and/or substitution at Dell's discretion at any time without notice. Dell cannot be responsible for errors in typography or photography. Unless otherwise specifically advertised, promotional offers are not combinable with any other offer or volume based or other discounts to which you may be entitled. Advertised configurations and limited time offers only available to business customers in Canada with 99 employees or less. All purchases subject to your Customer Agreement or Dell's standard terms of sale, Dell's limited warranty terms and the applicable Dell or third party service agreement. Copies available on request or at www.dell.ca. Remember to back-up your data. Dell is not responsible for lost or corrupt data or software. Limit one (1) offer per eligible system. Dell reserves the right to limit quantities to five (5) systems per customer.


Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.

snWEB7