To surf the Internet, or watch a video on YouTube or Netflix, a single monitor is enough to do it without problems. However, when we often start to work with the computer, we realize that a single screen on the PC is insufficient and we have serious space problems, wasting a lot of time switching between applications and pages. Wasted time that, had you used two monitors, would have turned into better productivity.
Connect two monitors to Windows 10: what we must take into account
Initially, any user can connect a second monitor to the computer. It does not matter if it is a new screen than an old one. The only drawback that we can find when doing this is that a second screen takes away a lot of space on the table or desk, it is something to take into account. A very important aspect when working from home is to keep a desk neat and as minimalist as possible, something that, having two screens, is difficult to achieve.
If we do not have too much space, it may be worth buying an ultra-wide monitor before a second monitor, since that extra screen will give us more order and space on the work table.
If we have a laptop, it will surely have a video output in the form of HDMI or USB-C. In this case, we can connect the second monitor to this video output. We will not need more.
In case of having a tower computer, what we must bear in mind is that we need our graphics card to have at least two video outputs. If we are using the graphics integrated in the processor, the motherboard will only allow us to connect a screen.
If we have a graph with more than one video output, we must make sure that our second monitor has a connection (VGA, DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort) according to the video output of the graph. If this is not the case, we can use adapters. But the safest thing is that our graphics have at least two HDMIs. Therefore, we can connect the two screens without problems.
Quickly change the operation of the two monitors
When we connect the second monitor to the computer for the first time, it will surely appear with the duplicate image. That is, we will see in the second the same as we do in the first. In some situations this can be useful, although in our case it is not.
We can easily change the operating mode of Windows 10 monitors with the Windows + P keyboard shortcut . When pressed, a drop-down menu like the one below will appear on the right where you can choose the type of dual monitor configuration that we want to use:
- PC screen only: only shows the main screen, leaving the secondary screen off.
- Duplicate: shows the same on both screens.
- Extend: allows you to extend the desktop to the second monitor, having double the space.
- Second screen only : turn off the main screen and show only the second screen.
The most useful option is to expand, since it is the one that allows us to make the most of the two monitors.
Configure the two displays in Windows
Although at first we do not have to do anything to be able to use the two screens in Windows 10, some settings may help us make the most of this new way of working.
The first thing is that Windows allows us to order the workspace as best we can. This is useful if when we place one of the screens on the left it appears placed on the right, which can be chaos. If we enter the Configuration> System> Screen menu, we will see the monitors that we have connected to the PC. We can drag and drop them in the same way that we have them actually placed. Thus the screen on the left will be the one on the left, and the one on the right the one on the right.
It is also essential to adjust the scale and resolution of the two monitors. We can do this from the same section of «Configuration> System> Screen, selecting the monitor that we want in the section of ordering the monitors and looking below, we can choose the scale and distribution for each of the monitors.
Although they are not essential, there are other settings that could help us feel more comfortable. For example, we can adjust the frequency (Hz) of each screen, configure a different wallpaper for each desktop and even choose if we want the taskbar to appear on both monitors or only on the main one.
Do you have a tablet? So you can use it as a second monitor
A second monitor takes up space, and it’s expensive. Therefore, there are many users who cannot afford to place it in their workspace to get the most out of it. However, it is very likely that we have a tablet at home. And it could not even work with the mobile, although the size of the screen makes it not worth it.
Thanks to SpaceDesk we will be able to turn any tablet into a second screen to use it, literally, as if it were connected to the PC. Best of all, with the Windows client, we can even use it wirelessly. A great option to have a second monitor that will get us out of more than one trouble.
Can virtual desktops replace a second monitor?
Microsoft introduced a feature called ” Virtual Desktops ” in Windows 10 . This function allows us to have several virtual desktops, dedicating each one to a specific type of task. Thanks to them we can organize our applications and our work easily. However, they cannot replace a second monitor.
Working with virtual desktops is not as comfortable or fast as working with two screens on the same computer. Although this function can get us out of trouble, if we really want to improve our productivity, what we must do is invest in a second screen for the PC.