How to Change Multiple Monitors to a Single Monitor

Multiple monitors can be a great way to expand the available viewing area for a user’s desktop, but not everyone prefers the added space to view programs. If you prefer to display the desktop on only one monitor, you will need to reconfigure the display settings in the operating system.

close-up of a person using a computer
credit: Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Windows XP

Step

Click the “Start” button and click on the “Control Panel” shortcut.

Step

Click “Appearance and Themes” and the “Display” icon.

Step

Select the monitor you wish to remove from the multiple display as shown in the "Display Properties" window.

Step

Uncheck the “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor” box and close the "Display Properties" window.

Windows Vista or Windows 7

Step

Click the “Start” icon and enter “Display” (without quotes) in the "Search" text field.

Step

Select “Change Display Settings” from the list of available shortcuts.

Step

Select “Show Desktop only on” from the “Multiple Displays” pull-down menu and close the "Display Settings" window.