How to Setup, Configure, and Troubleshoot Multiple Monitors in Windows 7

Summary: Learn how to setup multiple displays or monitors in Microsoft Windows 7 on a Dell PC. Find information on connecting, changing display preferences and troubleshooting multiple monitor See more

Article Content


Symptoms
This article is a how-to guide for setting up multiple monitors in Windows 7.
Resolution

Microsoft Windows 7 and later operating systems support multiple monitor setups, which can help enhance productivity. When you connect an additional monitor to your Dell PC, Windows automatically detects the monitor and displays your PC's desktop screen. You can then choose how you want your desktop screen to appear. Display options include:

  • 'Duplicate These Displays'
  • 'Extend These Displays' 
  • 'Show Desktop Only on 1' or 'Show Desktop Only on 2'
  • Change the screen orientation, resolution settings, or color depth
SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: The Dell OptiPlex 3040 or 3046 with add-on VGA port can only support two external monitors at one time without an external graphics solution.
 
SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: To learn more about configuring 3 displays on compatible Dell Latitude PCs, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to configure three (3) displays on a Dell Latitude Notebook with Intel HD 4x00 Graphics.

Expand the sections below for more information.

Ensure that the video port on your PC matches an available video port on the monitor, like VGA, DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort (DP). Connect your PC to the monitor or another display device - like a projector or TV - using a compatible cable. The monitor manufacturer should have provided this cable with the monitor.

To learn more, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How do I Connect a Monitor to a PC?.

To learn more about different ports on your PC, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article A Guide to External Ports and Connectors on a Dell PC.

Back to top

Determine the type of video connectors that are available on your PC and the monitors. The number of video connectors depends on the type of graphics card that is installed in your PC. Most desktop PC graphics or video cards can support two or more monitors, depending on the graphics card and PC specifications. However, laptop PCs can support up to two monitors depending on the PC specifications. To learn more, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How do I Connect a Monitor to a PC?.

SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: To identify the video connectors available on your PC and monitor, refer to the User Manual or User Guide of the PC and monitor.

Once the cables are connected securely, your PC should automatically detect and display the desktop screen on the connected monitors. By default, Microsoft Windows 7 duplicates the displays on all monitors. You can then select the display style that best suits your needs.

Microsoft Windows provides multiple options for displaying the desktop screen across multiple monitors that are connected to your PC.

  1. Duplicate These Displays (also called Clone mode) - Show the entire desktop on both displays. The second or other monitors mirror the primary monitor.
  2. Extend These Displays - Stretch the desktop across the two displays. The desktop screen of your PC is extended across all the detected monitors.
  3. Show Desktop Only on 1 - Use only display 1 and show nothing on display 2. The second monitor is ignored, and only the primary monitor is used.
  4. Show Desktop Only on 2 - Use only display 2 and show nothing on display 1. The primary monitor will be disabled, and only the second monitor will be used.
SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note:
Connecting a second monitor to a Dell laptop PC, the default display style is set to Duplicate.
Connecting a second monitor to a Dell desktop PC, the default display style is set to Extend.

Changing the Display Style

  1. Right-click on the Desktop and select Screen Resolution.
  2. Change the Multiple Displays drop-down as per your preference.
  3. Select the desired monitor and adjust the resolution using the slider.
  4. Click Apply.
    Note: In the confirmation window, click the Keep Changes to keep the new settings or click Revert to return to the old ones.
 

How do I change the display or video settings in Microsoft Windows?

To learn how to change the screen resolution, adjust the refresh rate and change the size of fonts and icons, refer to the links below based on the operating system installed on your PC:

Back to top

Docking station or port replicator provides a simplified way of connecting multiple peripherals like keyboard, mouse, printer, external hard drives and one or more external monitors to a laptop PC which usually have limited connectivity ports. Most docking stations or port replicators have video ports to connect two or more external monitors. Docking station or port replicator when connected to a laptop PC allows you to switch off the laptop LCD and use the external monitors instead.

To learn more about different ports on your PC, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article A Guide to External Ports and Connectors on a Dell PC

  1. For optimum performance, it is recommended that you install the latest video drivers on your PC.
  2. Connect the external monitors to the Dell docking station using a compatible VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort (DP) cable.
    SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: Refer to the documentation of the Dell docking station and the PC to determine the type of video ports that are available on both devices.
  3. Connect the docking station to the PC using the provided upstream cable.
    SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: Depending on the specific model of your docking station, the upstream cable may be a USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB), Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) cable. For more information, refer to the User Guide or User Manual of the docking station.
  4. Install the docking station drivers and any additional software that is required.
    SLN128740_en_US__1icon Note: Refer to the User Guide or User Manual of the Dell docking station to learn more about specific software or drivers that may be required.
Back to top

Dell wireless monitors enable your Windows laptop computer, Android smartphone, or tablet with Miracast capability to display the screen image to the monitor using a Wi-Fi Direct interface. When you connect the laptop, smartphone, or tablet to the Dell wireless monitor, you can access the mouse and keyboard that is connected to the monitor and control the devices.

You can either extend or duplicate your Windows desktop wirelessly to one of these monitors and connect your Android 5.0 (and above) tablet or smartphone via Wi-Fi simultaneously through Dual Cast.

To learn more about how to set up or troubleshoot a Dell wireless monitor, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Guide to Dell Wireless Monitors.

Back to top

The latest TVs and PCs provide a wide variety of video connectivity options. Ensure that the video port on your PC matches an available video port on your TV, like VGA, DVI, or HDMI.

Connecting your PC with a TV

  1. Connect the TV to the PC using a compatible cable.
  2. Power on the TV.
  3. Change the video input source on the TV to match the video source connection from the PC (HDMI, VGA, DVI, etc.)
  4. Power on the PC.

If you encounter a problem when trying to connect your PC with a TV:

  1. Power on the TV before powering on the PC.
  2. Ensure that the correct video input source is selected on the TV.
  3. Coaxial or S-video cable connections do not support higher resolution, ensure to set the resolution to 800 x 600 or less.
  4. Certain TVs may require you to adjust the screen aspect ratio for best possible scaling and resolution.
  5. Certain TVs may require you to set the TV as the primary display. Change the video settings in Microsoft Windows and restart the PC.
Back to top

Microsoft Windows 10, 8 or 8.1, and 7 support multiple monitor setups. If you encounter problems with multiple monitors, like a blank or black screen, no monitor signal, resolution issues, etc., refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Troubleshoot Multiple Monitor Problems on Dell PCs?.

Back to top

Informational Videos

Graphic Cards Explained (Official Dell Tech Support - YouTube)

Learn How To Setup Dual Monitors in Windows 7

Change Screen Resolution (Official Dell Tech Support - YouTube)

No Video Troubleshooting Steps (Official Dell Tech Support - YouTube)

Back to top

Article Properties


Affected Product

Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2518H, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2518HF, Alienware 34 Monitor AW3418DW, Alienware 34 Monitor AW3418HW, Dell Crystal Monitor, Dell 2407WFP, Dell 1707FP, Dell 1708FP, Dell 1908FP, Dell 1909Wb, Dell 2007FP, Dell 2009WFP, Dell 2208WFP, Dell 2209WA, Dell 2407WFP-HC, Dell 2408WFP, Dell 2707WFP, Dell 2709W, Dell 3007WFP-HC, Dell 3008WFP, Dell AW2210, Dell AW2310, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521H, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521HF, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521HFA, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521HFL, Alienware 25 Gaming Monitor AW2521HFLA, Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor AW2720HF, Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor AW2720HFA, Alienware 27 Gaming Monitor AW2721D, Alienware AW3420DW, Alienware 38 Curved Gaming Monitor AW3821DW, Alienware 55 OLED Monitor AW5520QF, Dell C5517H, Dell C5518QT, Dell C5519Q, Dell C7016H, Dell C7017T, Dell C7520QT, Dell C8618QT, Dell C8621QT, Dell D1901N, Dell D1918H, Dell D2015H, Dell D2015HC, Dell D2020H, Dell D2201, Dell D2215H, Dell D2215HC, Dell D2216H, Dell D2421DS, Dell D2421H, Dell D2719HGF, Dell D2720DS, Dell D2721H, Dell D3216H, Dell D3217H, Dell D3218HN, Dell Dock with Monitor Stand DS1000, Dell Dual Monitor Stand MDS19, Dell Dual Monitor Arm - MDA20, Dell Dual Monitor Stand (MDS14), Dell E157FPT, Dell E1609WFP, Dell E1709WFP, Dell E170S, Dell E1713S, Dell E1715S, Dell E178WFP, Dell E1909Wb, Dell E1909WDD, Dell E190S, Dell E1910, Dell E1910H, Dell E1911, Dell E1912H, Dell E1913, Dell E1913S, Dell E1914H, Dell E1916H, Dell E1916HE Monitor, Dell E1916HL, Dell E1916HM, Dell E1916HV, Dell E1920H, Dell E198WFP, Dell E2009WFP, Dell E2010H, Dell E2011H, Dell E2013H, Dell E2014H, Dell E2014T, Dell E2015Hv, Dell E2016, Dell E2016H, Dell E2016HL, Dell E2016HM, Dell E2016HV, Dell E2020H, Dell E2209WFP, Dell E2210, Dell E2210H, Dell E2211H, Dell E2213, Dell E2213H, Dell E2214H, Dell E2214Hv, Dell E2215HV, Dell E2216H, Dell E2216HV, Dell E2218HN, Dell E2219HN, Dell E2220H, Dell E2221HN, Dell E228WFP, Dell E2310HWFP, Dell E2311H, Dell E2313H, Dell E2314H, Dell E2316H, Dell E2318H, Dell E2318HN, Dell E2318HR, Dell E2318HX, Dell E2414H, Dell E2416H, Dell E2417H, Dell E2418HN, Dell E2420H, Dell E2420HS, Dell E2421HN, Dell E248WFP, Dell E2715H, Dell E2720H, Dell E2720HS, Dell E5515H, Dell G2210, Dell G2410, Dell IN1720, Dell IN1910NWFP, Dell IN1920, Dell IN1930, Dell IN1940MW, Dell IN2010NWFP, Dell IN2020, Dell IN2020M, Dell Dual-Monitor Stand MDS14A, Dell Micro All-in-One Stand MFS18, Dell Monitor Stand MKS14, Dell Monitor Dual Arm MDA17, Dell MR2217, Dell MR2416, Dell Small Form Factor AIO Stand OSS17, Dell P170s, Dell P190s, Dell P1911, Dell P1913, Dell P1913s, Dell P1914S, Dell P1917S, Dell P1917SWh, Dell P2010H, Dell P2011H, Dell P2012H, Dell P2014H, Dell P2016, Dell P2017H, Dell P2018H, Dell P2210, Dell P2210H, Dell P2211H, Dell P2212H, Dell P2213, Dell P2214H, Dell P2217, Dell P2217H, Dell P2217Wh, Dell P2219H, Dell P2219HC, Dell P2310H, Dell P2311H, Dell P2312H, Dell P2314H, Dell P2314T, Dell P2317H, Dell P2317HWh, Dell P2319H, Dell P2411H, Dell P2412H, Dell P2414H, Dell P2415Q, Dell P2416D, Dell P2417H, Dell P2418D, Dell P2418HT, Dell P2418HZ, Dell P2418HZm, Dell P2419H, Dell P2419HC, Dell P2421, Dell P2421D, Dell P2421DC, Dell P2714H, Dell P2714T, Dell P2715Q , Dell P2717H, Dell P2719H, Dell P2719HC, Dell P2720D, Dell P2720DC, Dell P2721Q, Dell P2815Q, Dell P3221D, Dell P3418HW, Dell P3421W, Dell P4317Q, Dell S1709WFP, Dell S1909WFP, Dell S1909WN, Dell S1909WXWFP, Dell S199WFP, Dell S2009WFP, Dell S2209WFP, Dell S2216H, Dell S2216M, Dell S2218H, Dell S2218M, Dell S2230MX, Dell S2240L, Dell S2240M, Dell S2240T 21.5 Multi-Touch Monitor with LED, Dell S2309WFP, Dell S2316H, Dell S2316M, Dell S2317HJ, Dell S2317HWI, Dell S2318H/S2318HX, Dell S2318HN/S2318NX, Dell S2318M, Dell S2319H, Dell S2319HN, Dell S2319HS, Dell S2319NX, Dell S2330MX, Dell S2340L, Dell S2340M, Dell S2340T, Dell S2409WFP, Dell S2415H, Dell S2417DG, Dell S2418H/S2418HX, Dell S2418HN/S2418NX, Dell S2419H, Dell S2419HGF, Dell S2419HM, Dell S2419HN, Dell S2419NX, Dell S2421H, Dell Gaming S2421HGF, Dell S2421HN, Dell S2421HS, Dell S2421HSX, Dell S2421NX, Dell S2440L, Dell S2715H, Dell S2716DG, Dell S2718D, Dell S2718H/S2718HX, Dell S2718HN/S2718NX, Dell S2719DC, Dell S2719DGF, Dell S2719DM, Dell S2719H, Dell S2719HN, Dell S2719HS, Dell S2719NX, Dell S2721D, Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2721DGF, Dell S2721DGFA, Dell S2721DS, Dell S2721H, Dell Gaming S2721HGF, Dell S2721HN, Dell S2721HS, Dell S2721HSX, Dell S2721NX, Dell S2721Q, Dell S2721QS, Dell S2740L, Dell S2817Q, Dell S3219D, Dell S3220DGF, Dell S3221QS, Dell SE178WFP, Dell SE1918HV, Dell SE197FP, Dell SE198WFP, Dell SE2018HL, Dell SE2018HR, Dell SE2018HV, Dell SE2216H/SE2216HM, Dell SE2216HV, Dell SE2218HL, Dell SE2218HV, Dell SE2219H/SE2219HX, Dell SE2416H, Dell SE2416HM, Dell 24 Monitor: SE2417HG, Dell SE2417HGX, Dell SE2419H/SE2419HX, Dell SE2419HR, Dell SE2716H, Dell SE2717H, Dell SE2719H, Dell SE2719HR, Dell SE3218H, Dell Small Form Factor AIO Stand OSS21, Dell Single Arm Monitor (MSA14), Dell Single Monitor Arm MSSA18, Dell Single Monitor Arm - MSA20, Dell SP2008WFP, Dell SP2009WFP, Dell SP2208WFP, Dell SP2309WFP, Dell SP2318H, Dell SP2418H, Dell SR2220L, Dell SR2320L, Dell ST2010B, Dell ST2210B, Dell ST2220, Dell ST2220L, Dell ST2220M, Dell ST2220T, Dell ST2310, Dell ST2310B, Dell ST2320L, Dell ST2321L, Dell ST2410, Dell ST2410B, Dell ST2420L, Dell ST2421L, Dell SX2210T, Dell SX2210WFP, Dell U2211H, Dell U2212HM, Dell U2311H, Dell U2312HM, Dell U2410, Dell U2412M, Dell U2413, Dell U2414H, Dell U2415, Dell U2417H, Dell U2417HA, Dell U2417HJ, Dell U2417HWI, Dell U2419H, Dell U2419HC, Dell U2419HS, Dell U2421E, Dell U2421HE, Dell U2515H, Dell U2518D/U2518DX/U2518DR, Dell U2520D, Dell U2520DR, Dell U2711, Dell U2713H, Dell U2713HM, Dell U2715H, Dell U2717D, Dell U2717DA, Dell U2718Q, Dell U2718QM Monitor, Dell U2719D, Dell U2719DC, Dell U2719DS, Dell U2720Q, Dell U2720QM, Dell U2721DE, Dell U2913WM, Dell U2917W, Dell U3011, Dell U3014, Dell U3219Q, Dell U3415W, Dell U3417W, Dell U3419W, Dell U3421WE, Dell U3818DW, Dell U4320Q, Dell U4919DW, Dell UP2414Q, Dell UP2516D, Dell UP2715K, Dell UP2716D, Dell UP2716DA, Dell UP2718Q, Dell UP2720Q, Dell UP3017, Dell UP3017A, Dell UP3017Q, Dell UP3214Q , Dell UP3216Q, Dell UP3218K, Dell UP3221Q, Dell UZ2215H, Dell UZ2315H, Dell UZ2715H, Dell WR517 Wireless Module

Last Published Date

05 Dec 2020

Version

3

Article Type

Solution

Rate This Article


Accurate
Useful
Easy to Understand
Was this article helpful?

0/3000 characters