It is quite rare to see a person performing only a single task at a time on a PC. Most of us have grown into proficient multitaskers and like working on multiple projects at a single time. Be it listening to music while getting your homework done or opening multiple browser tabs to write your report in Word. Creative personnel and professional gamers take the multitasking deed to a whole another level and have an unperceivable number of applications/windows open at any given time. For them, the usual multi-window setup doesn’t quite do the job and that’s why they have multiple monitors hooked to their computer.
Popularised primarily by gamers, multi-monitor setups have become quite common around the globe. However, knowing how to quickly switch between multiple monitors and how to divide the content among them is vital to reap the actual benefits of having a multi-monitor setup.
Fortunately, changing or switching between a primary and secondary screen in windows is quite easy and can be accomplished well under a minute. We will be discussing the same in this article.
Table of Contents
How to Change the Primary & Secondary Monitor on Windows 10
The procedure to switch monitors is slightly different depending on the Windows version you have running on your personal computer. It may sound unusual but there are still a healthy number of computers out there that run Windows 7. Nevertheless, below is the procedure to switch monitors on Windows 7 and Windows 10.
Change the Primary & Secondary Monitor On Windows 7
1. Right-click on an empty/negative space on your desktop.
2. From the ensuing options menu, click on Screen Resolution.
3. In the following window, every monitor connected to the main computer will be displayed as a blue rectangle with a number at its center under the ‘Change the appearance of your display’ section.
The blue screen/rectangle that has the number 1 at its centre represents your primary display/monitor at the moment. Simply, click on the monitor icon you would like to make your primary display.
4. Check/tick the box next to ‘Make this my main display’ (or Use this device as the primary monitor in other versions of Windows 7) option found in line with Advanced Settings.
5. Finally, click on Apply to switch your primary monitor and then click on Ok to exit.
Switch Primary & Secondary Monitor on Windows 10
The procedure to change the primary & secondary monitor on Windows 10 is the same for the most part as in Windows 7. Although, a couple of options have been renamed and to avoid any confusion, below is the step-by-step guide to switching monitors in Windows 10:
1. Right-click on an empty area on your desktop and choose Display settings.
Alternatively, click on the start button (or press Windows key + S), type Display Settings, and press enter when the search results return.
2. Similar to Windows 7, all the monitors you have connected to your main computer will be displayed in the form of blue rectangles and the primary monitor will bear the number 1 at its center.
Click on the rectangle/screen you would like to set as your primary display.
3. Scroll down the window to find ‘Make this my main display’ and check the box next to it.
If you aren’t able to check the box next to ‘Make this my main display’ or if it is greyed out, chances are, the monitor you are trying to set as your primary display is already your primary display.
Also, ensure that all your displays are extended. The ‘Extend these displays’ feature/option can be found under Multiple displays section inside Display Settings. The feature allows the user to set one of the monitors as the primary display; if the feature isn’t enabled, all your connected monitors will be treated the same. By extending the display, you can open different programs on each screen/monitor.
Other options included in the Multiple displays drop-down menu are – Duplicate these displays and Show only on…
As obvious, selecting the duplicate these displays option will display the same content on both or all the monitors you have connected. On the other hand, selecting Show only on … will show the content only on the corresponding screen.
Alternatively, you can press the keyboard combination Windows key + P to open the project side-menu. From the menu, you can select your preferred screen option, whether it is to duplicate the screens or extend them.
Switch Monitors through Nvidia Control Panel
Sometimes, the graphics software installed on our personal computers counters the switch between monitors made from the Windows Display Settings. If that’s the case and you weren’t able to switch monitors using the above procedure, try switching monitors through the graphics software. Below is the procedure for switching displays using the NVIDIA Control Panel.
1. Click on the NVIDIA Control Panel icon on your taskbar to open it. (It’s often hidden and can be found by clicking on the Show hidden icons arrow).
Although, if the icon isn’t present on the taskbar, you will have to access it through the control panel.
Press Windows key + R on your keyboard to launch the Run command. In the text box, type control or control panel and press enter to open the Control Panel. Locate the NVIDIA Control Panel and double-click on it to open (or right-click and select open). To make looking for NVIDIA Control Panel easier, switch the size of the icons to large or small depending on your preference.
2. Once the NVIDIA Control Panel window has opened, double-click on Display in the left panel to open the list of sub-items/settings.
3. Under Display, select Set up multiple displays.
4. In the right-panel, you will see a list of all the connected monitors/displays under the ‘Select the displays you want to use’ label.
Note: The monitor number marked with an asterisk (*) is currently your primary monitor.
5. To change the primary display, right-click on the display number you wish to use as the primary display and select Make primary.
6. Click on Apply to save all the changes and then on Yes to confirm your action.
We hope you were able to change your primary & secondary monitor on Windows quite easily. Let us know how and why do you use a multi-monitor setup below.