How to Add a Second Monitor to a Computer

By Kristen Waters

Adding a second monitor to a computer allows you to extend your desktop. The desktop will stretch across both of the monitors. For the monitors to respond correctly, the operating system must know how they are arranged on your desk. Once the operating system understands how the monitors are arranged, you will be able to drag items from one monitor to the other. You will also be able to open one application in one monitor and a second application in the second monitor.

Step 1

Attach the monitors to the computer by plugging the cable from each monitor into the correct port on the back of the computer. The port will be the same shape as the plug. A VGA port will have 15 holes in three rows. A DVI port will have 24 holes arranged in three rows and a separate section with four holes arranged in the shape of a cross.

Step 2

Click on the "Start" menu.

Step 3

Choose the "Control Panel" from the list of options.

Step 4

Choose the "Appearance and Themes" option in the "Control Panel" window.

Step 5

Choose the "Display" option.

Step 6

Click on the "Settings" tab at the top of the "Display" window.

Step 7

Click on "Identify" to display the number that corresponds to each of the monitors.

Step 8

Click on each of the monitor icons and drag it to the position that corresponds to how the monitors are arranged on your desk.

Step 9

Click the "Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor" check box to use the monitors as a single desktop. Choose the "Use this device as the primary monitor" to change which monitor will be viewed as the primary monitor.

Step 10

Click the "Apply" button to save the changes.