It is very common these day to use two or possibly more monitors with our computer. This applies primarily to office use, needing to keep try of multiple information sources at one time. Increasingly though, we also more than one monitor simultaneously with our own home computers. Gaming, home stock trading or just watching the big game while we surf.
What do we do though if our computers are not picking up the second monitor? This is quite a common Windows error which can strike fear into the hearts of many users. Do not despair however. With our easy to follow, step-by-step guide, you will be back up and running in no time.
Why Does It Happen
To know how to fix the problem, we must first take a quick look at why it happens to begin with. Once we have identified this pesky route cause, we can go about fixing the issue and ensuring it doesn’t happen again.
The most common cause of this issue is an incompatible or outdated display driver. The problem can be easily rectified using one of the following methods and performing the steps as shown:
Method One: Roll Back Display Drivers
Sometimes, new drivers can encounter issues working well, especially on Windows 10. By reverting to previously installed drivers, we can eliminate this issue.
Start by opening your Quick Access Menu (Press Windows + X key at the same time). From the menu which pops up, you should go ahead and click Device Manager.
In the device manager window, click Display Adapters. This should then expand to show your display software. Right click on your device and choose Properties from the drop down menu options.
Within the properties window of your device software, open the Driver tab. From there, click on the Roll Back Driver option.
Follow the prompts on screen. After completion, proceed to restart your system and this should then pick up the second monitor, using the previous version of driver software.
Method Two: Update Your Drivers
A common mistake with many minor driver, software or applications problems is not keeping them up to date with the latest versions.
Failing the driver roll-back, it is worth checking to ensure that your drivers are updated to the latest possible versions. This is a relatively simple process to complete.
Once again start by opening your Quick Access Menu (Press Windows + X key at the same time). From the menu which pops up, you should go ahead and click Device Manager as with the first method.
In the device manager window, click Display Adapters. This should then expand to show your display software. Right click on your device and choose Update Driver Software from the drop down menu options.
In the pop-up window, select the option Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software. Using this option, window should find and automatically update the driver software. Restart after updating to apply the new changes and your second monitor should be displaying.
If the automatic search fails to pick up any driver updates, you can search for updated drivers on the manufacturer’s website. After finding the appropriately updated driver, download, install and restart your system for the updated drivers to be implemented.
Method Three: Re-Install Your Drivers
If both of the above options have failed, it may be worth trying another simple solution. Try deleting and re-installing your current drivers by following these basic steps to get your second monitor functioning correctly again.
As with the previous steps, begin by opening your Quick Access Menu (Press Windows + X key at the same time). From the menu which pops up, you should go ahead and click Device Manager as with the other methods.
In the device manager window, click Display Adapters. This should then expand to show your display software. Right click on your device and choose Uninstall Driver from the drop down menu options.
After uninstalling the driver, restart your system. After the restart, Windows will then attempt to re-install the driver and hopefully resolve the issue.
Method Four: Simple Alternative Solutions
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the ones which we can easily overlook. This can again be the case with this issue. Here are a couple of the simplest solution to the issue which you may have overlooked.
By pressing the Windows + P buttons at the same time, you will open your multi-monitor menu. Here you will see a number of options as shown in the screenshot.
These will be: PC Screen Only (Default setting in which only the primary monitor is shown), Duplicate (Copies and replicates the display shown on the primary monitor), Extend (Stretches the display shown on the primary monitor to be displayed across a number of screens, and Second Screen Only (Disables the primary screen and shows only what is displayed on the secondary screen. Toggle with these various options to ensure the correct ones are selected to display your screens in the correct way.
One more very simple check which you should make sure is completed is that you have checked to ensure you are using the correct cables and that these are all tightly connected if you are operating a second wired display. Alternatively, in the case you are using a wireless display, you should ensure that your system has picked it up and recognizes it as a second display.
Ready for Action
Hopefully by following the steps and screenshots of our simple guide, you can get you displays operating correctly again and have collected some valuable tips on how to handle any minor issues you may encounter with displaying your second monitor.