How to Hook Up One Computer to Two Monitors

Connecting your computer to two monitors simultaneously can expand your viewable display area and allow greater visual access to a demonstration, office application, video or other program. In order to hook up one computer to two monitors, you'll need to determine the capabilities of both your computer and your displays. You may use either one video card with multiple video-outputs or two video cards. Laptop users can connect to an external monitor, or desktop users can hook up to two external monitors.

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Windows XP

Step

Connect the video card(s) to each monitor via the required cables. If you have a laptop, connect the single cable to your external monitor.

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Right-click on your desktop. Select "Properties."

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Click on the "Settings" tab, then select "Identify." You will now see a "1" and a "2" on-screen. Make a note of these identities.

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Click and drag the monitors labeled with a 1 and 2 to establish how you wish your display to appear across your monitors.

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Click "Apply," then "OK."

Windows Vista

Step

Connect the video card(s) to each monitor via the required cables. If you have a laptop, connect the single cable to your external monitor.

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Right-click on the desktop. Left-click on "Personalize."

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Click on "Display Settings."

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Click on "Identify Monitors." You will now see a "1" and a "2" on-screen. Make a note of these identities.

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Click and drag the monitors labeled with a 1 and 2 to establish how you wish your display to appear across your monitors.

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Click "Apply," then "OK."

Windows 7

Step

Connect the video card(s) to each monitor via the required cables. If you have a laptop, connect the single cable to your external monitor.

Step

Right-click on your desktop, then select "Screen Resolution."

Step

Click on "Identify Monitors." You will now see a "1" and a "2" on-screen. Make a note of these identities.

Step

Click and drag the monitors labeled with a 1 and 2 to establish how you wish your display to appear across your monitors.

Step

Click on "Duplicate these displays" or "Extend these displays" under the "Multiple Displays" header. Click "Apply," then "OK."