Depending on your computer, you may have additional options here. Know which Macs you can use.
The more displays your computer has, the better—but there are considerations to keep in mind as you move into extreme multi-monitor setups. How to set up two monitors for double the screen real estate. Any modern desktop or laptop PC has the graphics capability to run dual displays. Today’s monitors typically come with some combination of VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort ports.
All Macs support at least one additional monitor, though some Macs only have one available port to share between charging, file transfers, and external displays. If you have a MacBook laptop with only one port, make sure that your computer is fully charged and disconnected from any peripherals e.
Find your Mac's video output port. Thunderbolt 2 — Square-shaped port. Found on older Macs. HDMI — Six-sided, flat port. Open the Apple menu.
You'll find this option in the drop-down menu. Doing so opens the System Preferences window. It's a screen-shaped icon in the System Preferences window. A pop-up window will open.
Click the Arrangement tab. This is at the top of the Displays pop-up window. Extend your desktop to the second display.
If you want to use the second monitor as an extension of your desktop, uncheck the "Mirror displays" box at the bottom of the window. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
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When using a second monitor to extend your primary monitor, pushing your mouse all the way to the right of the first monitor will place the mouse on the second monitor. Warnings If your computer doesn't accept multiple displays, you'll need to install a graphics card that has a minimum of two video outputs in order to use multiple displays. Article Info This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Computer Monitors Computer Networking In other languages: Is this article up to date?
That said, Dell and LG have a particularly good reputation for their screens. Setting up your new screen is extremely easy: As soon as you plug in a second monitor, your computer will recognize it without requiring any extra software or complicated setup process. However, you can take a few optional steps to configure it exactly as you like it.
The exact process will depend on your computer's operating system. PC screen only only the original computer screen is active , Duplicate the two screens show the same thing , Extend the two screens act as one large display , or Second screen only only the external monitor is active. Most of the time, you'll want the Extend option, which allows you to open apps and windows independently on both screens.
To further configure your second display, open the Start menu, click the Settings icon the cog symbol on the left , and choose System followed by Display. From here, you can configure the brightness, resolution, and orientation of both screens. If you're using two displays as one extended screen, you can also use this menu to set which monitor will be on the left and which on the right.
Under the Arrangement tab, you can change the relative positions of your displays—which one is on the left screen and which is on the right. Using the Mirror Displays checkbox, you can also switch between mirrored mode the two screens act as duplicates and extended mode the two screens act as one display.
In addition, you can set the screen resolution from this same menu. If you're on a Chrome OS computer, click the information panel in the lower right-hand corner where the clock appears. Then select the cog icon, go to the Settings panel, and choose Displays. From this menu, you can configure whether the second display acts as an extension or a duplicate of the first one, set the resolution and the orientation of your displays, and position them in virtual space.
Finally, you can sit back and enjoy using your second screen. If you're operating in extended mode, you can drag program windows between displays and maximize them on either screen. Not only does this reduce clutter on your desk—assuming you have the hardware to take advantage of it, of course—it means laptops can be made smaller and thinner by consolidating ports.
So, if you have a laptop with Thunderbolt 3 and a Thunderbolt-capable monitor, this is by far the best solution. Specialized adapters—basically mini-laptop docks—are designed for the purpose of regular docking to a multi-monitor setup with mice, keyboard, and other connections. That may take a while, since some manufacturers like Microsoft seem oddly hesitant to adopt the standard.
This will let you easily add an external monitor, but if you want to connect two, things get more complicated.
If those multi-port docking stations are just too much money for you, there is a cheaper option. This option has a lot of advantages. However, USB video-out adapters basically function as their own low-power graphics cards, and they have a bigger hit on system resources like processor cycles and RAM than a standard external display.