Set up dual monitors to work with Windows 10 or Windows 11: Display, taskbar, and wallpaper options and settings
Once both screens are connected and ready to use, you can decide how to view desktop on dual screen using the menu Windows 10 and Windows 11 settings. You can therefore customize the background to have it different on the two screens, you can merge the taskbar and you can use the task view button to see which windows are present on each display.
Let’s see together how to modify them Windows 10 and Windows 11 settings to manage two displays connected to the PCthus adapting our configuration to the type of work to be done on the PC.
READ ALSO -> How to connect two monitors to your PC
1) Change the display mode
There are four display modes available in Windows 10 and Windows 11, which can be quickly selected by pressing the keys together Windows + P. This key combination brings up a sidebar with four options: screen only, duplicate, extend and secondary screen:
- PC screen only – to use only the main monitor.
- Duplicateto show the same desktop on both monitors.
- Extendedto have a desktop extended across two screens as if it were a single monitor.
- Second screen onlyto turn off the main screen and see the desktop on the secondary monitor, especially used when connecting a laptop to a large monitor.
Most of the time the function will be used Extended, thus creating a usable space on the other monitor within which it is possible to move windows, using the mouse, to always keep them in view. In this configuration, Windows creates an extended wallpaper that has double the resolution horizontally, but is cropped to the resolution of the lower one.
Ideally, you should use them two displays with the same resolution to be regular and prevent cropping, otherwise you would have to lower the resolution of the larger screen making it identical to the other one, even if it would be a bit sacrificial.
2) Dual screen setup
To access the Display Settings in Windows 10 and Windows 11 just press the right mouse button on the desktop background and then on Screen settings. In the settings you will find a section dedicated to users More screens with options to manage the position of windows.
With the button Detect it is possible to know what number is assigned to each screen, 1 is the primary one, 2 is the secondary one. In Windows 10 you can click the link Advanced scaling settings to activate the option that allows Windows to solve the problem of apps appearing blurry and to define a custom scaling, different from the default values from the main menu.
The function Night light Windows adjusts screen temperature based on the time of day to reduce blue lights at night, and it’s worth using.
As you can see in the screen settings we also find the entry for connect a wireless displayusing the Miracast function of modern Smart TVs or cast the screen on one Fire TV Stick.
On Windows 11, after connecting the second monitor, simply navigate to the location Settings -> System -> Display to preview screen placement; changing the positioning of one of them (by holding down Screen 1 about are Screen 2 and moving the mouse) we will also change the “access point” of the mouse cursor, so as to easily adapt to any type of configuration.
3) Changing the refresh rate
Taking us on the journey Settings -> System -> Display and pressing up Advanced screen settings we will have access to all the information on the two connected monitors (resolution, signal mode, bit intensity, color format and color space) and, by pressing on Video card properties per screenwe can change color profiles and control screen properties.
This is the fastest way to change the monitor refresh rateusing your voice Choose a refresh rate; alternatively we can press on Video card properties per screenopen the Monitor tab and change the refresh rate from the drop-down menu.
4) Advanced screen settings
Other important settings are in the menu Settings > Personalization > Taskbarwhere you can make sure of hide the taskbar or see it on both screens.
Two further options can help you define just what is displayed in the taskbars: the first to configure which application icons should appear on the taskbar in the two monitors, whether all on both or not. The second option asks you to choose whether or not Windows should show window titles next to open apps.
To the section Settings > Wallpaper, you can customize the desktop on both monitors and make sure that you see a different or the same image on all desktops. Bear in mind that to move a window to another monitor you can use dragging with the mouse or, more easily, using hotkeys Windows + Pag su e Windows + Down.
As for the key activity visualization and virtual desktops, you can select the virtual desktop on each of the connected monitors by pressing the task viewer button (the one next to search on the taskbar). From the thumbnails of the activity viewer you can right-click on each window to choose whether it should be visible on all desktops.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to use a tablet as a second PC monitor come on how to work with two monitors (double screen): settings and programs.