Secondary monitors offer an easy and convenient way to boost your productivity or improve your gaming experience. What’s more, it also gives you a great foundation that acts as an extra workspace for general multitasking.
Connecting a second PC monitor is usually a plug-and-play process, but in some cases Windows 10 may not detect the monitor. There are several root causes for this problem, such as a damaged or faulty cable, your computer does not support the second display, you have an outdated driver, or your display drivers cannot handle the second display.
If your second monitor is not found, use this guide to troubleshoot problems with your monitor.
Fix Second Monitor Not Detected in Windows 10
You can start with the following basic troubleshooting tips. This might fix your problem with a second monitor not being detected before you need to further explore other issues.
- Make sure you are using the correct cable to connect your PC and second monitor. If the cable is damaged or defective, Windows will not detect the second monitor. If you replaced the cable and the new cable works with your display setup, then the old one is faulty.
- Disconnect any accessories such as connected adapters, dongles or docking stations that could cause hardware conflicts between your PC and the second monitor
- Try using a second PC monitor with a different system to determine if the problem is with the host system or with the monitor.
- Check if the second monitor is connected to a power source. Some monitors have a switch on the back to turn on the display.
- Make sure the correct input (HDMI, DVI, etc.) is selected using the built-in controls on your monitor.
- Connect a different work monitor to see if the problem is with your graphics card.
- You may need to update the firmware of the display you are setting up as a second monitor in order to fix any compatibility issues or bugs. You can do this by going to the display manufacturer’s website and looking at the support page to see how to install the latest firmware update.
Restart your computer
Restarting the computer can solve many problems, including when the second monitor is not detected. Restarting closes all other running processes that might interfere with the connection between your PC and the second monitor.
To restart your computer, click Start> Power> Restart.
Force Windows 10 to reveal your second computer screen
If there are no problems with the physical connection to your PC and the second monitor, you can use the Settings app to force the second display to be detected.
- Go to Settings> System.
- Click Display.
- Go to the Reorder Displays section and click Discover.
- Open “Settings”> “Devices”.
- Click Bluetooth & Other Devices.
- Select Add Bluetooth & Other Devices.
- Click Wireless Display or Dock.
- To update your graphics driver, right-click Start> Device Manager, and then click the Display Adapters category to expand it
- Right-click your video adapter (graphics card) and select Update Driver.
- Click “Search automatically for updated driver software” and restart your computer.
- Right-click Start> Device Manager> Display Adapters. Right-click your computer’s video adapter and select Uninstall Device.
- Uncheck “Remove driver software from this device” and click “Remove”.
- Restart your computer and return to Device Manager. Find and right-click on your PC’s name under Computer. Click Scan for hardware changes.
- Right-click Start> Device Manager and double-click the Display Adapters category to expand it. Right-click your computer’s video adapter and select Properties.
- Click the Driver tab.
- Click Roll Back Driver. If the Roll Back Driver button is grayed out, you cannot roll back the driver. However, you should be able to find an older version of the driver on your device manufacturer’s support website.
Connect Wireless Display
If your physical connection (via cable) doesn’t help Windows 10 detect the second monitor, try connecting a wireless display instead.
Make sure the wireless display is turned on and discoverable. Select a display from the list, and then follow the onscreen instructions to complete the setup.
Check Screen Adapter
If you can connect one external monitor but the second monitor is not detected, your graphics card (also called a video adapter) may not be able to support multiple monitors at the same time. In this case, the display splitter will not help you extend the display to a second monitor, because it duplicates the same signal instead of creating two independent signals.
If your computer only has one video-out port, this means that you can only support one external monitor. To support multiple monitors, you will need a USB Auxiliary Video Out adapter or docking station.
Update, reinstall, or roll back the graphics driver
A faulty, outdated, or damaged graphics driver can be one of the main reasons Windows 10 won’t detect your second computer monitor.
To fix this problem, you can update, reinstall, or roll back the driver to a previous version to fix and restore the connection between your computer and the second monitor.
How to update your graphics driver
Windows Update will automatically download and install the update if it detects a newer driver version. Check if the second monitor is detected after updating the driver.
Reinstall your graphics driver
At boot time, Windows will attempt to automatically reinstall the graphics driver, after which you can try to connect to the second monitor again.
Rollback Graphics Driver
Updating the driver can prevent Windows 10 from detecting the second monitor. If this happens, you can roll back the previous graphics driver to fix the problem.
If a driver rollback button is available, click Yes and restart your computer.
Manage your screens
If you’ve used any of the above fixes and Windows can now detect your second monitor, please let us know in the comments section. To learn more about setting up two monitors, check out our guides on the best software to control two monitors, how to connect two or more computers to one monitor, and how to fix blank or black monitor problems