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Dual or multiple monitors set up in homes and businesses have become more and more popular over the days. Dual or multiple monitors can be used to increase productivity by allowing the user to have multiple programs open at the same time without having to switch between apps.
Setting up multiple monitors, however, is not that straightforward an affair. It is not a matter of just plugging an extra monitor or two in. A few things to be conscious of before you invest in an extra monitor are learning if your computer can support extra monitors, the number of outputs that your graphics card can support or the number of ports your computer has.
Step 1: Check available ports
The first thing you need to check before you go for another monitor is checking to see the kind of ports that are available on your laptop or PC:
Many computers have more than one port, a closer examination will allow you to determine the nature of the port. If your computer has more than two ports on it, this means that the video card is capable of sending an output signal to both.
It is also possible for a desktop to have more slots available for additional video cards. This means that even if your desktop has only one port, it is possible that you will find slots available for another card if you pop the cover on the back.
When it comes to laptops, investing in a docking station which will extend your laptop until it has two or more ports is also an option.
Step 2: Check the Video Card Settings
If you have two ports and they don’t work at the same time, the next thing that you can do is determine if your video card has the ability to display multiple monitors. Plug in both the monitors, click on Start menu and then type Display. And then click on “Change display settings.” Click on Advanced display settings which will be available at the bottom of this window. You can see Display adapter properties for each connected display if your graphics card recognizes the number of monitors that have been plugged in.
If there is more than one shows up, this means that your card is capable of displaying multiple monitors. If you only see one, this means that your video card is only able to utilize one port at a time. If the case is the latter and you cannot seem to make dual screens work, read ahead for a few more techniques you can try.
Step 3: Research your Graphics Card
If you still aren’t sure if your computer can support dual monitors, the next thing that you can do is research the graphics card. The first step that you need to do is learn more about your graphics card.
Click on Start and then type 'display managers.’ Click on this and then expand Display adapters. Note down the brand and make of your graphics adapter.
Google the name followed by multi-display or multi-monitor and you will be able to learn if your graphics card supports multiple monitors.
You can configure your screens by clicking Start and then typing Display Settings.