How Do I Display Different Things On Two Monitors?

For some users, one monitor is not enough to work. Commonly seen for certain professions and playing high-end games, dual monitors let you display different windows on the two screens. This can be highly beneficial for people who do multi-tasking. They can switch from one screen to the other and get things done in less time.

Now the question is how to display different things on the two monitors. Yes, you can either have the second display as a mirror of the first or use it to display different things. For having different things on the monitors, you have to connect each monitor to a separate video port on the computer.

Connect the second monitor to the second DVI or VGA port on the computer. Luckily, many new PCs have two DVI or VGA ports, and laptops have an external video port connected to a second monitor. You can also choose to connect using an HDMI port.

Connecting A Second Monitor On Windows

Before changing any settings, ensure that the cables are connected properly. To check for Windows update, select Start > Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Updates > Check for updates.

When Windows detects more than one screen, each screen will be given a number for easier identification. Type’ Settings’ at the start to find out the number corresponding to a display. Go to Settings > System > Display > Identify. Now the screen will show the number it is assigned.

If after connecting a display, it is not getting detected, go to Start > Settings > System > Display > Multiple Displays > Detect. The displays can be arranged by dragging and dropping them to where you want them. You can press Apply once the changes are done.

Changing aspects like layout and screen resolution can be done by going to Settings and selecting System > Display. To change the orientation of the display, go to Display Settings and click Scale & layout to choose the right Display Orientation.

Displaying Different Things On Windows 10

Windows 10 offers two options of displaying things on the two monitors. If you choose Duplicate mode, you can see the same things on both screens. If you choose Extend mode, the second display acts as a separate screen to open different applications. Follow the below steps to change the display settings in Windows 10.

  • Right-click on a space on the desktop
  • Select Display Settings
  • Come down to the Multiple Displays area and select Extend these displays option to display different things on the two monitors.
How Do I Display Different Things On Two Monitors
How Do I Display Different Things On Two Monitors?

Displaying Different Things On Windows 11

Changing the viewing mode on Windows 11 OS is pretty straightforward. Here again, you will find the Duplicate and Extend options. Follow the steps given below to choose Extend option.

  • Open Settings
  • Tap System
  • Tap the Display page that appears on the right side
  • Select the monitor that you want to make changes to
  • In the drop-down menu on the bottom right, you can see two options – Duplicate and Extend. You can select Extend to extend the display to the second monitor so that different applications can be seen here.

Connecting A Second Monitor On MacOS

If you have the right cables and adapters, setting up a dual monitor for a laptop Mac or desktop Mac is not a big task. Here are the steps for the same.

  • Connect the second display to the Mac using specific adapters and cables.
  • Place the Mac and the displays where you want them while working.
  • Switch on your Mac. The second display will be automatically detected and activated. You may choose to change the display settings if needed.
  • Tap the Apple menu icon and then System Preferences
  • Tap Displays, and on the main display, tap Arrangement
  • On the main display, you will find a diagram that shows the positioning of your monitors. If the positioning is not correct, locate the secondary monitor icon.
  • Click and drag the second monitor into the correct position. Once you release the mouse, it will be placed in your desired position.
  • Now the monitors are perfect for use. If needed, you can configure the new monitor not to discolor or stretch the image.
  • For configuring the monitor, tap Scaled and then select the correct resolution for the display. It is better to choose a resolution equal to or less than the resolution supported by Mac.
  • Once all the configurations are done, you can close the display settings and start working with dual monitors. 

Displaying Different Things On MacOS

When you connect a second monitor to macOS, it usually shows the same display as in the first monitor, which is called mirroring. If you want to see different things on the monitors, you will have to turn off mirroring. There are two options called Mirror mode and Extend mode that can be applied.

In the Mirror mode, the second screen shows the same thing as in the first, and in the Extend mode, both the screens show different things. Follow the steps to turn off mirroring.

  • In the Apple menu, go to ‘System Preferences.’
  • Go to ‘Displays’ and tap the ‘Arrangement’ tab.
  • Uncheck the box that says ‘Mirror Displays.’ Now you may see different things on the monitors.

When setting up dual monitors for Windows or Mac, it is important to configure them correctly to tweak them the way you want. Both the monitors will be numbered, so identifying them won’t be a problem. Extend is the keyword you must remember if you want to display different things on your monitor. Choosing Extend option extends your display to the new monitor so that it doesn’t mirror the first.


Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

Recent Posts