Installing a second monitor on your computer is a fantastic technique to boost output and enjoy games and movies. However, nothing beats the disappointment of buying a high-quality secondary monitor just to find out that the dual monitor is not working.
It’s possible that your secondary screen is being recognized but not actually showing up. A problem could arise with even the cheapest, most reliable cheap display. Here, we’ll go over several things to keep in mind to get around this issue and make the most of your second screen. Also, get the lowdown on what to do if your PC starts up unexpectedly.
Why Is My Dual Monitor Not Working?
The malfunctioning of the screen’s display is a typical issue for computer users. At some point, every computer user has wondered, “What’s wrong with my computer screen?” This could refer to an issue with the computer’s monitor or its display, either of which could be a laptop.
In most cases, a simple reason exists, such as a faulty connection or a change in the display’s brightness settings. Sadly, not every problem has a simple answer. Sometimes it’s tough to pin down exactly what’s causing an issue.
Major Sources of Display Trouble
Fixing a display problem might be easy or very difficult. The underlying problem and the optimal remedy vary greatly between different manifestations. If your computer monitor suddenly went dark during use or boot up, for instance, you could have more alternatives for debugging. This is comparable to someone with a suspected mechanical problem, such as nonfunctional monitor buttons.
There are four main difficulties we’ll be discussing here, with an eye toward highlighting some of the more prevalent ones and the solutions you may implement:
1-Power and Connectivity Issues
In the event that the computer boots up with the monitor connected but the dual monitor is not working, checking the cords and connections may be the first order of business. Freestanding monitors that accept multiple inputs often have flimsy cords that come unplugged after prolonged use.
If you want to rule out connectivity issues, make sure that everything is tight and that no cords are broken. In case you happen to have an extra cord lying around, you can try it out and see how it works with your screen.
2-Poor Cooling or Hardware Problems
Those who have wondered, “Why does my computer’s screen go dark immediately after loading up?” Furthermore, a problem with the hardware or cooling could be at the root of the problem. Multiple hardware issues could be at play here. The BIOS can be used to change the hard drive’s jumper values if the problem is caused by an older system.
Are you getting a lot of CPU fan activity but no visuals on your screen, otherwise functioning normally? Consider whether or not you have experienced recurring cooling problems.
Maybe you installed a new fan to help cool down your gadget. The process of installing new hardware exposes your computer to more potential threats than usual because it requires you to interface with numerous delicate components.
3-Hardware or Software that’s Out of Date
Compatibility problems can also arise and worsen while using outdated software. These are more common with intermittent difficulties but can make diagnosis more difficult for both types of issues. Repeated device failures could be fixed by simply installing the latest drivers for your hardware components.
Verify the identifiers and details of your essential hardware, and then look for the most recent driver software. If the equipment is still supported, updating to the most recent drivers is as simple as installing any other new software.
4-Physical Damage and Maintenance Issues
Physical damage, such as an impact or an electrical issue, can be the reason for a malfunctioning display. If you don’t fix problems like these, your screen may stop operating altogether, regardless of the cause. Once the damage is severe, it is usually more cost-effective to replace the gadget than to attempt repairs.
On the other hand, troubleshooting maintenance concerns is straightforward. Dusk the desk once in a while and check the wiring every month to ensure everything is running smoothly. Keep your monitor’s cooling vents open.
Checklist for Troubleshooting on Issues of Dual Monitor Not Working
Let’s summarize this into a workable plan. We’ve compiled a detailed checklist of things to try first in order to solve most household problems.
- Check that there is a working power source for the gadget.
- See to it that all power wires can be used without being damaged or tangled.
- Verify the safety of all connections. Each port might be unplugged and replugged at this point.
- Find out if you can increase the brightness by locating the appropriate settings. Not all devices turn off entirely when the light is lowered, but this remains a possible annoyance. I have no idea how the volume level dropped. Perhaps the software on your screen is outdated and needs updating.
- How about a whole power cycle? Resetting your device might solve numerous problems.
- Attempting hardware and software updates can fix your irregular PC behavior.
Dual Monitor Is Not Working: A Quick Solution
The addition of a second screen to your computer setup is a great way to increase productivity or improve your gaming or movie-watching experience. Nothing, however, is more disheartening than investing in a high-quality secondary monitor just to have it fail to function. Occasionally, your secondary display will be recognized but will not show up on the primary screen. Problems could arise with even the cheapest, most reliable display.
Initial Steps to Take into Account
This is the first step you should take before tearing out cables or pursuing more extreme procedures. If your dual monitor is not displaying working, the problem may be due to a straightforward display issue rather than something more involved. Examine these points for accuracy ahead of continuing on to the following section.
? Usage Status
First, you should ask yourself if you’ve ever used a second screen before. Being the first time, it more likely than not involves a certain set of problems. If your monitor, for instance, suddenly stopped displaying anything on your PC, the problem could be hardware-related.
However, problems with drivers or even other programs can be to blame for a display monitor that was functioning properly before. If your screen has functioned before, the hardware is probably still there.
? Restart the Computer
This may sound like a platitude, but it’s actually one of the best bits of advice regarding technological difficulties. A restart provides your computer with a fresh start and allows it to resume its normal operations. Starting with the basics, like the operating system, a computer starts up and then moves on to more flashy components like the display.
After connecting a new display and installing the necessary drivers and software, your PC may become befuddled as to which device should be given more priority. Rebooting the machine ensures that the new display is recognized and assigned the appropriate categories.
? Test With An Alternative Configuration
Adjusting your screen’s settings is also recommended. If your PC supports several monitors, you’ll need to connect it to one of those ports. In case that doesn’t work, try connecting your primary screen to the second display’s port. Using this method, you may pinpoint whether the PC or the display is malfunctioning.
This additional screen can be used in place of your primary screen if you like. If the second screen functions properly when connected to the primary screen’s port, then the issue is likely with the second port. Again, this aids in determining if a hardware or software problem is at the root of the problem.
? Are the Drivers Updated?
Driver upgrades are a major cause of incompatibility between various pieces of tech hardware and various computers. Before connecting a second monitor to your computer, you must ensure that the display drivers for your graphics card are up to date.
That’s because most new displays come with drivers optimized for the newest versions of Windows and other popular operating systems preinstalled on your computer. Your display may be “out of date” and therefore unable to interact with your computer if it hasn’t been updated in a while.
? Checked for Viruses
There’s also the possibility that a virus is to blame for your screen issues, which has to be looked into. Antivirus and anti-malware protection should be pre-installed on all computers. But if you don’t, your last internet foray probably exposed you to some nasties that are now preventing your system from functioning as smoothly as it could.
Unfortunately, malfunctioning displays aren’t typically caused by viruses. Simply put, this is a necessary safety measure. You can never be sure, so it’s always prudent to run a virus scan whenever you notice any unusual behavior from your computer.
Step-by-Step Guide in Fixing Dual Monitor Malfunctioning
There are two potential causes for your second monitor to not display, regardless of whether you own a Dell or the greatest FreeSync monitor available: a software error or a hardware issue. A software problem indicates a breakdown in data transmission between the display and the computer.
Usually, this is due to incompatibilities between drivers, but it could also be OS-related. Once in a blue moon, a virus could wreak enough havoc on your computer’s code and programs to prevent you from adding a second monitor.
In order to get rid of that, here is a guide on how can you fix that kind of issue when your dual monitor is not working.
1-Modify How Your Dual Monitors Show Information
Sometimes it’s just a matter of tweaking a setting if your secondary monitor is recognized but not showing up. Just right-click anywhere on your desktop, and you’ll see a menu with “Display Settings,” which you can use to adjust various visual aspects of your computer. Once you click the detection button, Windows will attempt to recognize your display.
Press the Windows key plus X if that doesn’t work. To access the Device Manager, simply go there. Verify that Windows is indeed picking up the presence of your video card in this section. Examine the “Display Adapters” as well as the “Monitors” sections.
2-Verify and Attempt to Operate the Equipment
Remember what we mentioned about making your second screen your primary one? If this still doesn’t fix the issue, it’s likely due to a hardware malfunction in the display. You can verify this by using a third screen in place of your secondary display.
If the third screen is functional, the issue is probably with the second. You might also try hooking up the second screen to a totally different computer. If the monitor is functional on that machine, then the problem must be related to your primary computer.
3-Calls for Update or Reinstall Your Graphics Drivers
Once you’ve confirmed there are no issues with the hardware, it’s time to go on to install the latest software and drivers. The graphics driver in your computer is in charge of coordinating all of the many graphics-related software and hardware components. These drivers should regularly receive automatic updates, but they sometimes fail to do so.
? Display Driver Upgrade Using the Manufacturer’s Default Interface
In order to revisit the Device Manager submenu, please do so. Next, select “Display Adapters” from the menu. To manually update the drivers, right-click the graphics card. Get this done for each and every graphics card. Graphics drivers can be reinstalled manually from this page if you have the most recent versions available.
Instead, you can go to the webpage of your graphics card’s creator (Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA). They frequently update the home page with fresh content. The final step is to update Windows. To check for updates, use Windows’ built-in search function by typing “Look for Latest update” into the box. Any available updates will be found and installed mechanically.
4-Perform System Restore
If you’re using Windows 10 and your secondary monitor isn’t working, you can roll back to an earlier save point by using the system restore feature. If the display was working before installing the Windows update, this is helpful in determining whether or not the update is to blame for the problem.
It is possible to roll back Windows to an earlier time and state using system restore. If you’d like, you can revert to a previous release of Windows. Alternatively, you can revert to a previous Windows installation.
5-Modify Your Windows OS to the Latest Version
Ensure that Windows is always up-to-date. To ensure that your OS is up-to-date, head to the settings menu or utilize the search function in Windows. Keep in mind that newer monitors will likely come with updated drivers that may not be compatible with earlier versions of Windows.
6-Check for Malware After the Update
It’s also a good idea, though not as likely, to run a virus scan after installing updates. There are malicious viruses and flaws that can severely damage your operating system by corrupting vital system files and causing other problems at the system’s root level. Make sure you have reliable antivirus software installed to both prevent malware from infecting your system and remove any existing malware.
7-Attempt a Clean Install of Windows if that Fails
Just try this as a last-ditch effort if everything else fails. When you reinstall Windows on your computer, you are essentially starting over and losing all of your files and programs, forcing you to build or reinstall them from scratch. The process is laborious and time-consuming, but it may be necessary if your secondary monitor was functioning before and is now malfunctioning.
8 Methods to Improve Your Dual Monitor That Is Not Working
Multiple monitors allow you to do more on the screen, whether you’re working or playing. You can use two screens at once to write a paper and use the internet as a reference. Play video games while chatting with friends on Discord. It is acceptable to pretend to give importance to your video conference while actually engaging in side conversations via Slack.
Even if connecting a second monitor is simpler than ever before, you shouldn’t stop there. There are other tweaks you may make to your multi-monitor setup once you’ve got everything set up.
1-Line Up the Displays
If both of your displays are identical, you can generally skip this step; Windows will automatically expand your desktop horizontally when you connect them. The monitor stands may be aligned with one another, and you’ll be ready to go.
However, if you’re using more than one display, some extra effort may be required to get them to cooperate. Perhaps you’re using a second screen alongside your laptop by connecting it to an external monitor. This will cause some unexpected results, but they can be easily fixed.
2-Make the Monitors Match
If you have a 4K display and a 1080p monitor side by side, you may modify the resolution and scaling of each monitor separately. You can do this by opening Display Settings and navigating to the Scaling and layout section.
Thus, if you have a 4K display and a 1080p monitor, you can use the higher-resolution monitor’s native resolution. It can be done while increasing scaling on the lower-resolution monitor to make windows seem the same size on both.
In order to achieve an even closer visual match, you can utilize the monitor’s native controls to tweak the screen’s brightness and color. When you’re done configuring your monitors, you should find it a lot simpler and more enjoyable to drag and drop windows between them.
3-Tweak Your Taskbar
If you have a dual-monitor setup, Windows automatically extends the taskbar across both displays. This is a useful feature, but you may tweak the settings to better suit your needs. The taskbar’s options can be changed with a right-click.
If you choose to maintain the taskbar spread across both screens, you have the option of placing each icon on either the main taskbar or the taskbar where the corresponding window is now open. Alternatively, you can select to place each icon solely on the active monitor.
4-Keep the Laptop Closed
In the presence of two displays, a closed laptop lid is not an impediment to productivity. If you’re using Windows, click the Start button and type “Lid” into the search bar. To access the power settings for your laptop, close the lid and click Modify. What does locking the lid do?
To disable charging when the lid is closed, select “Do nothing” from the plug-in menu. To permanently implement your modifications, select the Save button. As a result, you may now put your laptop to sleep while it’s still running. Perhaps, you’ll still be able to use all of its features and view anything on its monitors.
5-Seek Out Super-Wide Wallpapers
Even though having a beautiful background on each of your displays won’t help you get more done, we had to include it because it’s so cool. While most wallpaper galleries offer dual monitor support, dual monitor backgrounds are one of the few that focus only on ultrawide wallpapers.
Once you’ve decided on a wallpaper (or series of wallpapers), you can change it by right-clicking the desktop and selecting Customize (then clicking Background in Windows 11). Navigate to the desired file or directory, and then select Span to stretch it across all of your monitors.
6-Study Your Shortcuts
The ability to “dock” programs to the margins of each display is one of the best features of using multiple monitors, especially when compared to ultrawide and superwide monitors. Because of this, it’s tough to see many Windows at once. It’s possible to move and resize windows by dragging them with the mouse, but doing so is laborious and time-consuming.
7-Fix That Wandering Cursor
The triple monitor setup allows you to spread the game across all three screens at once, but the dual monitor setup isn’t ideal for super-wide gaming. This is due to the crosshair that will be positioned in between the two displays. You can, however, play the game on one display while using the other to consult a guide, a chat window, or a graphics processing unit (GPU) monitor.
The Cursor Lock (which opens in a new window) was created by an ambitious programmer who set out to address this issue. And in my experience, it does a fantastic job of doing so. To choose the location of the game’s executable file, start the program with the Open Program checkbox selected. Doing so will generate a brand-new shortcut for your convenience.
8-Do Even More With DisplayFusion
The DisplayFusion (which also opens in a new window) is a third-party tool made specifically for use with multiple displays if you find yourself still wanting more after all that. By keeping DisplayFusion in the system tray, you’ll have more control over your desktop backgrounds.
The ability to program your own shortcuts, the ability to snap windows to the boundaries of any display, and the ability to automatically darken the inactive monitor to reduce distractions. The free edition of this program is packed with features that will prove to be quite helpful, so don’t take my word for it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why did my second monitor go black?
Following the aforementioned procedures will get you started troubleshooting. Even if your second monitor suddenly goes dark, you may verify its health by swapping out its HDMI cable with one from your primary display and seeing if that one works. You can also verify the functionality of the extension cable as well as the HDMI port.
Q: Which cable should I use to link two monitors together?
The HDMI ports on your computer can support connecting two displays, and all you need is an HDMI cable for each.
Q: Can I connect two displays using HDMI to USB?
Converting HDMI to USB could allow you to use two monitors. To do so, look for an HDMI USB Display Adapter.
Q: Why won’t my monitor recognize HDMI?
It’s probably a hardware issue if you’ve connected the monitor through HDMI but your computer still won’t recognize it. You can test the issue by switching to a different HDMI connection, a different HDMI-compatible display, or a different monitor. If the cable and screen are usable on another computer, the issue must lie with the graphics processing unit (GPU) or the motherboard’s display ports.
Q: Which of the HDMI ports on my motherboard or graphics card should I use?
The GPU on most CPUs is connected to the motherboard via HDMI. You’ll need an HDMI connector on the GPU to hook up any external GPUs or graphics cards you might be using. The internal graphics processing unit will be replaced with a dedicated external unit. If your monitor is being fed via an HDMI port, you should make sure that it is indeed the GPU port.
Q: Should I activate the motherboard’s HDMI port?
Occasionally, the UEFI or BIOS will give you the option to turn on or disable the HDMI port; when it does, be sure you use it. To alter this setting, press F2 or Del at startup to enter the UEFI, and then go to the Display part of the menu.
Many different things could be the cause of why my dual screen won’t turn on. Thankfully, the majority are simple repairs. Additionally, it’s simple to locate a cheap replacement display. In the event that repairs are either impossible or pricey, you might be able to replace your old, broken display without spending a lot of money by upgrading.